Amit Bouri: Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

15th November 2016

Country of birth: United States
Education: Northwestern University, MBA; Harvard University, MPA; Swarthmore College, BA
Number of years leading the GIIN: Seven
Previous employment: Monitor Institute, Bain & Company, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Gap Inc., Johnson & Johnson

Organisation
GIIN: The Global Impact Investing Network is a platform for investors who want to connect and bring together private capital, public resources, and philanthropy
Number of years active: Seven
Headquarters: New York City

Why did you become involved in your field of work?
Well, I spent part of my childhood on welfare. I knew that purpose was part of my career. I knew that impact investing was the best way to do so.

What is your favourite part of the job?
By far, working with amazing and pioneering people all over the world.

What is the biggest challenge facing development professionals?
I think it’s responding to the on-the-ground needs while keeping the bigger picture in mind.

What do you think have been your biggest achievements?
One of the biggest accomplishments of GIIN has been starting to change the way people think they can have an impact on the planet.

Where was your last overseas trip?
Rome, Italy for the Vatican’s impact investing conference. They have considerable financial assets in addition to having a presence all over the world so there’s a lot of potential there.

Who is the most interesting person you have met or worked with?
While at the Vatican, I met Cardinal Peter Turkson. He’s really spearheaded the Church’s position and advocacy on climate change.

How valuable is social media in your job?
It’s incredibly valuable for GIIN because we are supporting a truly global network. It’s such a fast-growing industry so we really rely on Twitter for breaking news, opportunities, and to share the work we’re doing. We’re very proud to have 22,000 followers of our account, @theGIIN!

Where do you expect to be in five years’ time?
I expect to still be at the GIIN, continuing to drive development and direct more dollars to address pressing social and environmental problems.

What are you reading right now?
No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nat Hanh. It’s about mindfulness, which is incredibly useful in driving social progress because you want to experience people at a human level but also drive development in the larger sense, too.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I’m more of an early bird, but potentially a bit of both. One of the things that’s exciting about our work is that we operate across every time zone.

Hobbies and interests outside of work?
I grew up in rural California, so I like getting outdoors as much as possible even though that may take a different form living in New York. I enjoy travel, hiking, and cooking as well.

Who is your hero or inspiration?
Definitely have to say my grandfather. His tremendous work ethic, integrity, and commitment to community are really what motivate me today.

What is your life philosophy?
This is a difficult one, but a good question. I think ‘make the most of the moment that you’re in.’

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