2007–2008 Harvard Kennedy School
Brian Elliot

Taking classes as an undergraduate at Stanford University on “Business Skills for the Social Sector” while simultaneously helping start a nonprofit on-campus played a formative role in shaping my perspectives on how business strategies could be adapted to drive greater social impact. After taking these classes, I worked at a corporate foundation and as a business planning consultant to several major U.S. foundations. These work experiences sparked my interest in addressing head-on the strategic problems facing traditional grant-making institutions and social capital markets. Foundations, which are often accused of running inefficiently, operate with minimal accountability constraints and are governed by highly inefficient market forces.

To help make social capital markets more effective and to improve the capability of foundations to have a positive social impact, I hope to deepen my understanding of business strategy and identify ways it can be applied to foundations. I also hope to better understand what organizational issues foundations face and what the barriers are to improving the flow of social capital in the nonprofit sector. The Zuckerman Fellowship will offer me a unique opportunity to combine these interests and my desire to learn more about cross-sector solutions to social problems. I am honored to be a part of and to be able to learn from a cohort of like-minded Zuckerman Fellows, who will enhance my learning experience as a dual-degree MBA/MPA graduate student.

Background
Education:

MBA candidate, Harvard Business School
BA, Stanford University

Professional:
The Bridgespan Group: Senior Associate Consultant
Bain & Company: Associate Consultant
Cisco Systems Corporate Philanthropy Department: Consultant Intern
CBS News: Planning Intern
Camp Kesem: Founder and Coordinator