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Post-Election Philanthropy: Safeguarding the Heart of Impact Investing with Matt Onek
In the immediate aftermath of a momentous U.S. election, foundations and other institutions are keen to learn what the results mean for advancing their social and environmental missions. Impact investing has been able to harness the collective power of philanthropy, government, and the private sector to begin to address COVID-19, racial injustice, the climate crisis, and other challenges. As more investors are attracted to the field and motivated to achieve both social and financial returns, it is critical that impact remains at the heart of the impact investing movement.
Both philanthropy and government can and should play crucial roles in protecting the impact in impact investing and in developing new strategies to support the shift toward an impact economy. In this program, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker welcomes Matt Onek, CEO of Mission Investors Exchange and former Chief of Staff of the White House Domestic Policy Council in the Obama Administration, to discuss the impact investing ecosystem, post-election, and how philanthropy and government can more effectively address social and environmental challenges in the United States and in the rest of the world.
Matt Onek is the Chief Executive Officer of Mission Investors Exchange. He brings unique perspective to the organization’s work to grow the impact investing field, having championed mission investing within foundations, federal and local government, and in the private sector.
Matt has developed mission investing strategies for foundations and intermediaries, including the Walton Family Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Aspen Institute. As Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Matt coordinated a range of policy priorities in the Obama administration. Among them, he helped establish the White House Office of Social Innovation & Civic Participation and advanced policies supporting the impact investing movement. At Citigroup, Matt advised the Citi Foundation and designed investment partnerships between the private sector and philanthropy.
Earlier in his career, Matt served as Senior Counselor to the New York City Schools Chancellor under Mayor Bloomberg and as the first Director of the San Francisco Youth Commission. Matt received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from Stanford University.
Laurie Lane-Zucker is Founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, LLC, an impact economy business that hosts the Impact Entrepreneur Network — a large, global network of “systems-minded” entrepreneurs, investors and scholars of social and environmental innovation — and publishes Impact Entrepreneur Magazine. For over 30 years, Laurie has been a “pioneer” (Forbes) and recognized leader in sustainability, social enterprise, and impact investing. Laurie was the founding Executive Director of the international environmental organization, Orion Society, which publishes the celebrated Orion Magazine, as well as the founder of a global sustainability think-tank, the Triad Institute, and Hotfrog, a Founding B Corporation, GIIRS Pioneer Company, and the first company ever to complete an equity transaction on an impact investment exchange. Laurie is the bestselling and multiple award-winning publisher and editor of books and magazines on sustainability and social impact, and the author of numerous articles on entrepreneurship and impact investing.