P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Jenna Nicholas, 2016

CEO, Impact Experience

Jenna Nicholas is the child of immigrants from Iran and United Kingdom

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MBA in Impact Investing and Strategic Philanthropy at Stanford University

Jenna was born in New York City, New York but spent most of her formative years in London, England raised by her British mother. Inspired by the bold pioneering spirit of enterprise, positivity and action so prized in the American dream, Jenna decided to return to the United States for college. She was accepted into Stanford University for her undergraduate studies and truly felt she had come back home.

 Graduating with an honors degree in International Relations, Jenna entered the world of social impact investing, working with Calvert Special Equities and from there setting up her own consultancy, Phoenix Global Impact. As part of her portfolio, she worked with the World Bank Treasury on social and green impact bonds and headed Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a movement dedicated to persuading foundations to divest from fossil fuels and re-invest in new energy solutions.

 Jenna returned to Stanford in 2015 with the help of PD Soros to complete an MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business where she co-founded a new organization, Impact Experience. This organization is dedicated to bringing investors to marginalized communities to co-create solutions which meet the criteria of climate, economic and racial justice for a better and more sustainable world. 

  • MBA Impact Investing, Strategic Philanthropy | Stanford University 2017
  • BA International Relations | Stanford University 2012
  • World Economic Forum’s Young Global Shaper
  • Fortress Investment Group Tactical Stock-Trading Award - First prize for stock-investing competition.
  • Yale University: 25 under 25 in US–China Relations - Recognition for work done in China in Impact Investing
  • Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree
  • 2018 Climate Fellow
Select Publications
  • Impact Investing: New Enterprises and Collaborations: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/impact_investing_new_enterprises_and_collaborations
  • SOCAP Interview: http://socialcapitalmarkets.net/2015/11/25/socap-conversations-jenna-nicholas-on-divest-invest-in-2015/
  • Toniic Blog posts: http://www.toniic.com/category/blog-posts/
  • Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in the Future: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/divesting_from_fossil_fuels_investing_in_the_future
Work History
  • Impact Experience, CEO
  • Divest-Invest Philanthropy, Project Manager
  • Toniic Institute, Fellow
  • GuideStar, Fellow
  • Business for Social Responsibility, Consultant: Evaluation on partnership between Nike and the China Youth Development Foundation
  • World Bank Treasury, Consultant on green bonds and development impact bonds
  • Phoenix Global Impact, CEO
  • Calvert Special Equities, Associate
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