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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Jenna Nicholas, 2016

MBA, Stanford University

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

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MBA at Stanford University

Of Western European and Middle Eastern heritage, Jenna was born in New York City, New York but spent most of her formative years in London, England. 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.

In her freshman year at Stanford, Jenna learned about the idea of investment for social good from a graduate class she was taking. This captured her imagination and she ran with it. The motto of the business school to “change lives, change organizations and to change the world” equally fits in with this ethos.

Jenna has been fortunate to work with many of the leaders in the impact investing field, from the World Bank, to Calvert Special Equities, to managing the Divest-Invest Philanthropy Initiative and working extensively in China in this nascent field.

Jenna has been enrolled in the MBA program at Stanford since September 2015. In addition to her studies, Jenna plans to continue to grow her impact investing firm, Phoenix Global Impact, to unlock greater pools of capital into socially-minded enterprises. 

  • MBA | Stanford Business School 2017
  • BA Honors Degree in International Relations | Stanford University 2012
  • other | St Paul's Girls' School
  • 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
  • Impact Investing: New Enterprises and Collaborations:
  • SOCAP Interview:
  • Toniic Blog posts:
  • Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in the Future:
Work History
  • Phoenix Global Impact, CEO
  • Toniic Institute, Fellow
  • GuideStar, Fellow
  • Divest-Invest Philanthropy, Project Manager
  • Calvert Special Equities, Associate
  • World Bank Treasury, Consultant on green bonds and development impact bonds
  • Business for Social Responsibility, Consultant: Evaluation on partnership between Nike and the China Youth Development Foundation
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