Jane C. Leu

JaneC.Leu

Research Interests

  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Global Migration
  • Workforce Diversity

Bio

Jane Leu is an internationally recognized social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow with more than 20 years of experience in founding and leading numerous social enterprises. Her latest venture is Smarter Good, a global services firm with a dual mission to improve the efficiency and impact of small nonprofit organizations and create purposeful careers for aspiring changemakers in emerging markets. Smarter Good is a continuation of her life’s work to: 1) optimize global talent - a strength she developed as Founder and CEO of Upwardly Global, a national organization that integrates skilled immigrants into the US workforce; 2) apply business strategies to the nonprofit sector - a technique she pioneered as co-Founder of the Craigslist nonprofit venture forum and as a member of the founding team of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; and 3) promote the inclusion of diverse professionals into leadership roles in social entrepreneurship and changemaking, inspired by her experience as the interim Executive Director of Ashoka U, Ashoka’s university division. Jane’s contributions and leadership have been recognized by BYU Social Innovator of the Year, John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, the Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership program, Jefferson Award for Community Service, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneur Award, among others. She is a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Venture Partner, representing the foundation’s investment on the Board of Directors of Reset Foundation, a member of the advisory boards of the Peery Family Foundation, Joshua Venture Group and the Migration Policy Institute. She has been a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Marquette University and San Jose State University and guest lecturer in social entrepreneurship at Stanford, Harvard, Tufts, NYU, WUSTL, Amherst, and Ateneo de Manila, among others. She holds a MA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA from Tufts University. She lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband, Ted Levinson, a social finance professional, when she is not in Manila with the team of Smarter Good.

CEO/Founder, Smarter Good,
Fellow, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Founder and former CEO, Upwardly Global

Academic Degrees

  • MA, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 1997
  • BA, Tufts University, 1991

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2015-present

Professional Experience

  • Founder and CEO, Smarter Good Inc, 2012-present
  • Founder, Upwardly Global, 1999-present
  • Assistant Director for Resettlement and RefugeeWorks, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, 1996-1999
  • Assistant Coordinator, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 1994-1996

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
  • John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award
  • BYU Social Innovator of the Year Award
  • Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneur Award
  • 1st Fellow, Draper Richards Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Jefferson Award for Community Service
  • Spelman College, Legacy of Leadership Bridge-Builder Award
  • Next Generation Leadership Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Aspen Institute Scholar

Teaching

Degree Courses

2018-19

Social ventures require leadership, funding, expertise, skills and networks to get off the ground, grow and scale. This course will focus on the key strategies for building and leveraging a network of champions to capitalize a social venture at...

2017-18

Social ventures require leadership, funding, expertise, skills and networks to get off the ground, grow and scale. This course will focus on the key strategies for building and leveraging a network of champions to capitalize a social venture at...

2016-17

Social ventures require leadership, funding, expertise, skills and networks to get off the ground, grow and scale. This course will focus on the key strategies for building and leveraging a network of champions to capitalize a social venture at...

Stanford University Affiliations

Stanford GSB

In the Media

TEDxBYU, May 12, 2015
SSIR, September 6, 2009
With the Obama administration's focus on social enterprise as a means of solving some of our most pressing problems, the social entrepreneur has emerged as the chief change agent of our time. In this panel discussion, part of the Stanford 2009 Entrepreneurship Week, leaders of several vital organizations talk about the motivations, successes, and challenges associated with running a social enterprise. They consider what the economic downturn has meant to their missions, and they offer practical advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

School News

October 6, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.