Ellie Burke
Ellie Burke
5 min
Leadership council speaking at the Collaborative + Classy Awards

Just Announced: Leadership Council Assembled for the 2016 Classy Awards

We’re proud to announce one of the most incredible components of this year’s Collaborative + Classy Awards, our esteemed Leadership Council and judges of the 10 Classy Award Winners. The Leadership Council consists of 110 thought leaders who collectively represent eight different organizational backgrounds. From members of foundations to power players in the media, the Leadership Council represents the full spectrum of the social sector. Their collective knowledge makes the Classy Award a distinction truly unlike any other.

Of the entire Leadership Council, 10 of the members are Fellows. Fellows will work with the Collaborative team to gain expertise in their respective sectors of interest and then apply their newfound knowledge, unique perspective, and creativity as a voting member of the Leadership Council. Be on the lookout for more on this group to come.

In addition to evaluating the Classy Awards nominations, many members of the Leadership Council will also participate in keynote addresses, panel discussions, product showcases and demonstrations, curated debates, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities during the Collaborative event in June.

Check out some of the most innovative leaders from academia, the media, the public and private sectors, and more who will take their seat on the panel.

Academic Institution

Sonal Shah

Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University


Dr. Mike Haynie

Vice Chancellor of Syracuse University, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University


Dr. Stephanie Berzin

Co-Director, Boston College Center for Social Innovation


Brian Fishman

Counterterrorism Research Fellow, International Security Program, New America Foundation

Sonal Shah

Economist, entrepreneur, and executive director of Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University—these are just a few of Sonal Shah’s many distinctions. Her work at the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation is devoted to actionable, innovative, and practical solutions to social problems. She most recently served as the Deputy Assistant to the President and founding Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

Shah is also a senior fellow at the Case Foundation and the Center for American Progress. She serves on the Board of Social Finance, Inc. and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Follow her @SonalRShah and @BeeckCenter.

Social Accelerator

Dr. Cheryl Dorsey

President, Echoing Green


Clara Brenner

Co-Founder & CEO, Tumml


Caleb Harper

Principal Investigator/Director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative, MIT Media Lab


Banny Banerjee

Director & Founder, Stanford ChangeLabs

Dr. Cheryl Dorsey

The President of Echoing Green, an organization focused on discovering, connecting, and supporting the world’s next generation of problem solvers, Dr. Cheryl Dorsey began as a social entrepreneur before she became the leader of this social impact organization. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, as well as her Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. She went on to serve in two presidential administrations and currently also serves on multiple boards, including the Harvard Board of Overseers and the SEED foundation.

Dr. Cheryl Dorsey’s work at Echoing Green helps prepare young leaders for their participation in the social impact sector. She brings a valuable perspective to the Collaborative as a social innovator and as the vice-chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Follow her @cheryldorsey and @EchoingGreen.


Andrew Wolk

Founder & CEO, RootCause

Richard Marker

Founder & Co-Principal, Wise Philanthropy

Brian Leslie

Partner, Camber Collective

Grant Garrison

Managing Director, GOODcorps

Andrew Wolk

Wolk was one of the first people ever to design and teach a class on social entrepreneurship. He taught classes at both MIT and Harvard Kennedy School, and he holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management from Boston University. He has also held positions on the boards for Social Enterprise Alliance and the Social Capitalist Awards.

Wolk’s work has helped shape this growing industry as a consultant. His organization Root Cause works with organizations and funders to build sustainable business models that create positive social impact. Wolk continues to demonstrate a profound dedication to promoting the use of data and science to better inform and grow the organization’s ability to solve social problems.

Follow him @AndrewWolk and @RootCause.


Michele Sullivan

President, The Caterpillar Foundation

Doug Sabo

Head of Corporate Philanthropy & Responsibility, Visa Inc

Esther Ndichu

Humanitarian Supply Chain Director, UPS

John Kelly

Senior Vice President, Global Responsibility & Public Policy, Starbucks

Michele Sullivan

The first female president of The Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic branch of Caterpillar, Sullivan has transformed the organization’s focus from social responsibility to social innovation. This differentiation has enabled the foundation to address the social needs of the world and focus on policy work to effect real change. In particular, the foundation invests in girls and women around the world to spark a domino effect that breaks generational poverty.

Sullivan holds her MBA from Bradley University. Through her work, she has proven her dedication to strategic partnerships and collaboration across and outside of the nonprofit sector.

Follow her @FollowMicheleL and @CaterpillarInc.

Check out the full list of Leadership Council members

Foundation/Impact Investor

Daniel Lurie

Founder & CEO, Tipping Point Community

Saadia Madsbjerg

Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation

Gargee Ghosh

Director, Development Policy & Finance, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Timothy Freundlich

President & CEO, Impact Assets

Daniel Lurie

Born and raised in San Francisco, Lurie founded Tipping Point Community to address and prevent poverty in the Bay Area. Prior to Tipping Point, Lurie worked for Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign, Accenture Consulting, and the Robin Hood Foundation. His collective experiences and passion have equipped him to lead an organization that empowers the next generation to get involved and solve this social problem.

Lurie currently serves on multiple boards, including the 50 Fund, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and the Levi Strauss Foundation. He was also the Chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee.

Lurie received his Master’s in Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley.

Follow him @DanielLurie and @tippingpoint.

International Agency

Ertharin Cousin

Executive Director, World Food Programme

Nathaniel Raymond

Signal Program on Human Security & Technology Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Sergio Fernandez De Cordova

Co-Founder, P3GM and PVBLIC Foundation, Private Sector Advisory Group, SDG-FUND

Dr. Rebecca Winthrop

Director, Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institute

Ertharin Cousin

In her role at the World Food Programme (WFP), Cousin works to not only address hunger around the world, but to also build practices that support a long-term solution to hunger. Before joining the WFP, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. in Rome. She also served as a White House liaison to the State Department under President Bill Clinton’s administration, as a member of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, and as the executive vice president and COO of Feeding America, the largest organization in the United States addressing domestic hunger.

She is a graduate of the Georgia School of Law and speaks often on topics like food insecurity, malnutrition, and strategies to provide aid to those impacted by hunger.

Follow World Food Programme @WFP.


Morgan Clendaniel

Editor, Co.Exist, Fast Company

Matt Petronzio

Social Good Editor, Mashable


Marc Gunther

Editor, Guardian Sustainable Business, The Guardian

Erica Williams Simon

Editor, Upworthy

Morgan Clendaniel

Created in 2011, Co.Exist is an online section of Fast Company magazine that highlights innovation, world change, and social issues. In Clendaniel’s work as a founding editor and writer, he immerses himself in topics like social entrepreneurship and social responsibility, covering businesses dedicated to incorporating social impact into their model. Prior to developing and launching Co.Exist, Clendaniel worked as the editorial director at Very Short List and deputy editor at GOOD Magazine.

He attended Brown University where he received his BA in Classics and Archaeology.

Follow him @MClendaniel and @FastCoExist.

NGO/Social Enterprise

Ben Rattray

Founder & CEO, Change.org

Dr. Leslie Mancuso

President & CEO, Jhpeigo

HyeSook Chung

Executive Director, DC Action for Children

Michael Markarian

Chief Program & Policy Officer, Humane Society of the United States

Ben Rattray

With over 135 million users, Change.org is the world’s largest petition platform for social change. Under Rattray’s leadership, this online platform has become a place that mobilizes people to voice the changes they want to be realized and rallies supporters to help promote real solutions.

Named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, Fortune’s 40 Under 40 Rising Young Business Leaders, and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, it’s safe to say the world has its eyes on Rattray and his demonstrated leadership in social innovation.

Rattray graduated from Stanford University and the London School of Economics.

Follow him @brattray and @Change.

Collaborative + Classy Awards Fellows

Saskia Rotshuizen

Classy Awards Fellow and Freelance Program Manager & Business Model Innovation Facilitator

Teni Ayo-Ariyo

Classy Awards Fellow and Human Resources Management Trainee, Zenith Insurance Company

Andrew Ho

Classy Awards Fellow and Program Analyst, Samasource

Megan Christensen

Classy Awards Fellow and Fulbright-García Robles Binational Business Fellow, U.S. Department of State

Fellowship candidates go through a rigorous three-part application process, including an application, writing assessment, and interview. Each stage of the process allows Fellowship candidates to showcase their experience and qualifications. Be on the look out for an upcoming post announcing our 10 fellows and what they’re all about.

The Collaborative is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to engage with industry thought leaders and learn about the most innovative solutions to today’s global problems. With so many incredible minds in one space, who knows what could happen? The opportunities to gain insight and build meaningful connections that further your organization’s work are endless.

Take it from an attendee at the 2014 Collaborative.

“I was able to connect with Helene Gayle, who at that time was the Chief Executive Officer at Care International.  She and I had known each other from our previous work, but we had a chance to reconnect at the Collaborative in 2014 and I was able to tell her more about what we were doing with Team4Tech. As a result, she ended up joining our advisory board, and now we are actually working with CARE on their girls’ education projects worldwide and helping them improve their impact by bringing technology volunteers and solutions. So, it was a spark connecting us and Classy that has led to this chain of happy events.”

– Julie Clugage, ED, Team4Tech


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