Business and Society Program

2011 First Movers

The Aspen Institute Business and Society program announced the third class of First Mover Fellows, individuals who are working within companies to unite business growth with a sustainable society in the products and services they are developing. The Fellows chosen this year come from a wide variety of industries and a number of countries.

Download a complete list.

John Buckley

John Buckley, Managing Director, BNY Mellon. In this role, John is responsible for strategy development and board of director and management engagement, as well as communications and reporting relative to the firm's corporate social responsibility practices and performance. He has led the creation of the firm's new disciplined approach to CSR, the strategy for the firm's targeted philanthropy approach and the design of the firm's highly successful Community Partnership program (engaging the firm's employees).  Prior to this responsibility, John had 25 years at Mellon Financial serving in numerous leadership positions related to major corporate change initiatives, including eCommerce, re-positioning and selling the retail bank, acquisitions, quality management, re-engineering, credit card and cash management. Previously, John was Director of Cash Management in Citicorp's Investment Management Group and a senior financial analyst in General Motors Corporation's Treasurer's Office. John holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Macalester College and an M.B.A. in Finance and Management Accounting from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  John is on the board of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce; and is joining the advisory council of the University of Pittsburgh's Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership; he also works with several community organizations in financial and strategic development.


 Michael Dupee

Green Mountain

Michael Dupee, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. Michael leads the company's overall Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, including providing strategic direction and reporting publicly on the company's social responsibility initiatives and programs; managing the company's allocation of 5% pre-tax earnings into socially and environmentally responsible projects; and generating increased understanding of and recognition for the company's socially and environmentally responsible initiatives, both internally and externally. Michael serves on the Boards of the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals and the Vermont Council on Rural Development.  He was also a 2005 Fellow, and has volunteered as a coach, in the Sustainability Institute's Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows Program, a program designed to accelerate the shift to global sustainability by increasing the effectiveness of well-positioned sustainability leaders with a curriculum focused on instruction, practice, and collaboration using systems thinking tools, reflective conversation, and visioning. Prior to joining Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Michael was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York, NY, making and managing opportunistic investments in distressed financial assets from 2000 to 2004.  Michael earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, and Master in Business Administration degrees at Georgetown University and his B.A. in history, magna cum laude from Boston College.

 Nikki Foster

Nikki Foster, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, Sunrise Community Banks, a multi-bank holding company headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Sunrise is the first certified B-Corp in Minnesota and has been a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) for ten years.Nikki received a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1996 and went on to earn an M.A. in Applied Sociology with an emphasis in Public Policy from American University in 1998.  While in Washington, DC, Nikki served as an intern for the Children's Defense Fund and a legislative assistant for NeighborWorks America.After her time in DC, Nikki moved back to her home state of Minnesota and held positions in the Community Affairs Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the Northwest Area Foundation. Nikki joined Sunrise Community Banks in 2004.  As the organization's Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, Nikki is charged with ensuring the integrity of the organization's mission and leading its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.  She oversees the company's marketing and branding, corporate governance, and community development and community affairs efforts. Nikki was recognized as a Finance & Commerce 2009 Top Women in Finance and a 2010 "Mover" by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.  In her free time, Nikki volunteers in the local schools, cheers on her two young children in their many sporting events, and enjoys the numerous outdoor amenities Minnesota has to offer from snow tubing to bike rides along the Mississippi River.

 James Inglesby


James Inglesby, New Business Unit Project Leader, Unilever. James Inglesby is a project leader for Unilever's New Business Unit focusing on environmental, sustainable and BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid) projects. He is tasked with finding new business ventures that Unilever will be working in 5-10 years' time. James graduated from the University of Birmingham with an undergraduate and then master's degree in Chemical Engineering. He completed his masters' research with Shell Global Solutions based in Amsterdam. After graduation James joined Unilever's Future Leadership Program. During the program James worked across Unilever's business as a marketing manager for the Vaseline brand, as a project engineer working on energy saving projects, and as a process scientist developing novel processing equipment in R&D. He then worked as a claims manager for Unilever's House Hold Care Category based in Milan. After he completed the program James joined the newly set up New Business Unit based in London. James currently leads a project on the development of a business model to deliver both urban sanitation solutions and market development opportunities for household care products in the BOP. James has been working in partnership with NGO WSUP (Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor) and design agency IDEO to deliver a novel franchise business model approach to solving one of the biggest issues in the developing world. He also works on projects to understand how to deliver products and innovation directly to consumers. In his spare time James likes to play golf and meet people from different cultures.


 Annalie Killian


Annalie Killian, Catalyst for Magic, AMP Services Limited. Annalie is the Catalyst for Magic at AMP – a connector between the future and the present, the emergent and the operational, the inside and the outside, the imagination and the practical, the technology and the business application. As Director of Innovation, Collaboration and Communication, she nurtures a culture of collaboration, the exploration of new trends, ideas and emerging technologies and the business application thereof. She leads AMP's award-winning corporate intranet and Enterprise 2.0 practices. She was the founder of AMP's crowd-sourcing innovation programme for employees and is a sought-out thought leader on corporate innovation, employee engagement and culture transformation. Annalie produces the bi-annual Amplify Festival of Innovation and Thought Leadership which attracts edge-thinkers and change agents from all over the world to Sydney. AMPLIFY provides an immersive learning experience for all of AMP's 3500 leaders and employees, customers and partners, and a growing public audience. Another programme she curates is the monthly Social Media Learning Cafes to accelerate the technology transfer and adoption rate by business leaders. Prior to AMP, Annalie lead the Public Affairs function of BHP Billiton's Aluminium Division in South Africa where she won numerous international awards for social innovation. Annalie's corporate career started with Deloitte as an accountant.


 Ryan Kudder


Ryan Kuder, VP of Marketing, Bizzy. Ryan started his first business when he was in fourth grade. His teacher gave out points for good behavior and the class would track these points on little paper sheets. When you got enough points, you'd get extra recess or lunch at Burger King. The problem with the paper sheets was that they weren't awesome. So Ryan made plastic coated wipe off sheets decorated with awesome things like footballs and pirates. He sold them to other kids for points. He got a lot of extra recess and burgers that year. Since then Ryan has been creating and driving ideas in large companies and startups alike. He has been a product manager at eBay, led international marketing for Yahoo! Mail, started several companies of his own including Neighborsville and (both deadpooled), and was Chief Strategist at Koombea Interactive working with early stage startups and entrepreneurs. Ryan is currently VP of Marketing at, a mobile app that enables people to share their opinions about the places they visit and get great recommendations for local places to eat, shop, and play in their hometowns. He holds a degree in marketing from Georgetown University. When he's not working on new ideas, he can often be found in his back yard grilling steaks, sipping a martini, and thinking about how to make things more awesome.


Seth Marbin


Seth Marbin, Social Responsibility Business Partner, Google Inc. Seth currently works as a Social Responsibility Business Partner at Google Inc. and focuses on engaging employees in community service and philanthropy. In his five years at Google he has also worked on search quality and learning and development. He joined Google after having spent most of his career in the nonprofit sector, serving as an AmeriCorps member three times and helping found City Year New Hampshire. He graduated from Brown University where he wrote his senior thesis on social enterprise and focused his studies on the intersection of public and private sector organizations. He is the 2009 recipient of the AmeriCorps Spirit of Service Award and his team's work on GoogleServe - an employee driven community service initiative - was featured in the Net Impact publication 'Making Your Impact at Work: A Practical Guide to Changing the World From Inside Any Company.' He also serves on the steering committee of CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partner Program. Seth lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and two children. His hobbies include skateboarding and running. He also founded and maintains - a collaborative encyclopedia of free team building activities.


Rahul Raj

Rahul Raj, Director of Sustainability, Rahul is a consummate social entrepreneur and business intrapreneur who has benefitted some of the world's most successful companies with his vision and expertise. At, Rahul leverages sustainability as a driver of the business. He has rigorously pursued opportunities to help consumers monetize old consumer electronics to unlock billions of dollars in value, while also diverting millions of pounds of e-waste from landfill.  Additionally, he has driven the refurbishing and reselling of products from Walmart's returns stream, to help the enterprise capture additional market share while also extending the usable life of secondary products. Rahul began his career at Procter & Gamble in brand management before joining Ferrero to develop the re-launches of the Nutella and Tic Tac brands. Both projects quickly won the affinity of consumers—far exceeding internal expectations—and triggered the reapplication of his innovative re-launch models across the globe. He also employed his competency for launching and turning around brands at in-sync, a division of Publicis, successfully leading brand transformation projects for Gillette, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Havaianas, Juan Valdez, Frito Lay and Kraft. Throughout this career, Rahul has cultivated a passion for community service. As the founder of Meal Exchange, an organization that empowers students to address local hunger, he was identified by TIME Magazine as one of Canada's leading social entrepreneurs and having developed a "revolutionary" program. Rahul's pursuit of social innovation eventually resulted in the blueprint for a systems-changing social enterprise – called Share Impact, which mobilizes retail investors to align their social values with economic value creation. Through it, he was able to map proxy proposals relevant to individual shareholder interests & holdings, while simplifying and automating the voting process.


John Renehan

GE logo

John P. Renehan, Renewables Strategy Leader, GE Energy, one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. He joined GE in 2007 as part of the Renewable Energy Leadership Program where he served in roles including Wind Operations, Solar Product Line, Commercial Operations, and European Solar Development. Prior to GE, Renehan co-founded EnVision Leadership, a leadership education non-profit and served as Executive Director for five years. EnVision has developed leadership curriculum and facilitated inclusive leadership programs for thousands of students from over fifteen countries. Renehan holds an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University where he was a Park Leadership Fellow and participated in the Sustainable Global Enterprise Immersion. He holds a B.A. in Leadership Studies from the Jepson School of Leadership at the University of Richmond. Renehan is an entrepreneurial, systems-thinker who believes that business can serve as a vehicle for building stronger global communities. John's favorite way to spend time is with his family in Saratoga Springs, NY where he lives with his wife and two children. He peaked athletically in middle school but he still loves to play basketball and softball.

 Gema Sacristan

Inter-American Development Bank

Gema Sacristán, Chief, Financial Markets Division, Inter-American Development Bank. Gema joined the Washington DC-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2008 as a secondment from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (BBVA), a leading financial institution in Spain and Latin America. Gema is a Lead Investment Officer in the Financial Markets Division of the Structured and Corporate Finance Department (IDB's Private Sector) where she leads the Division's investments in structured trade finance and social funds. Gema also developed and currently manages the sustainability program called "beyondBanking: banking on global sustainability." This program is aimed at promoting sustainable environmental, social and corporate governance principles in Latin America and the Caribbean's financial sector, as well as the futureBanking Lab, an ideas laboratory and innovation forum focused on developing a new model for sustainable banking. She has received multiple industry awards and recognitions and also participates actively in major conferences and seminars. Gema has more than 15 years of experience in the international finance industry with special expertise in developing countries, especially Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining the IDB, Gema worked three years at BBVA New York as Director of the Americas Export and Agency Finance Business and eight years at Banco Santander in Madrid and New York as Vice President and Product Manager of the Structured Trade and Corporate Finance Department. She started her career in 1994 at Mishubishi London (UK) where she spent two years in the Business Development department. Gema is a Spanish citizen and American resident, holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Madrid's Autonoma University, a Master's degree in International Business from Complutense University (Madrid) and an Advanced Diploma in International Finance from New York University.


 Regula Schegg


Regula Schegg is Strategic Business Developer for the Hilti Foundation. Inspired by the First Movers Fellowship program, Regula decided to take her fellowship project "establishment of social enterprises through the development of alternative building materials and modular housing systems for low income people", from concept to realization. As a consequence, she joined the Hilti Foundation in July 2012. She focuses on social enterprise development in Asia and the Pacific with its first enterprise being incorporated in the Philippines. Prior to this, Regula worked for Hilti Corporation as VP of Finance & Business Development, Energy & Industry, one of Hilti's globally acting divisions providing products and services to the renewable and conventional energy industries. She further held the position of Head of Group Strategic Financial Controlling and was Finance Business Partner at Hilti's North American headquarters. Prior to Hilti, Regula was Deputy Director of Capital Markets for Grameen Foundation, a Washington based NGO, focusing on poverty alleviation through Microfinance.


 Diana Simmons

Cliff Bar

Diana Simmons, Director of New Product Commercialization, Clif Bar & Company. Diana is director of new product commercialization for Clif Bar & Company. Guided by Clif Bar’s five bottom lines – Sustaining our Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet – Diana built the Company’s new product development and launch process and leads the team that implements that process.
Diana is known for her skills and experience in sustainability and brand management, as well as her willingness to venture deep into uncharted territory, developing and launching innovative products that expand the Company’s consumer base and advance its commitment to sustainable manufacturing, ingredient and packaging sourcing. Diana holds both a bachelor’s degree in human biology with a focus in environmental policy, and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University. She was a 2011 Aspen Institute First Mover Fellow and has spoken at a host of leading business schools. Diana resides in San Francisco, California with her husband and two children.

 Keshav Sondhi


Keshav Sondhi, Chief Engineer for Global Vehicles, FedEx Express. He is responsible for strategic fleet plans and is also the Program Manager for Electric Vehicles. Keshav's expertise is in the area of fleet optimization, which includes evaluating competing platforms (conventional, alternative) as well as vehicles within the same platform, for the parcel delivery industry. His work has included modeling and identifying the right vehicle for each mission type based upon economical as well as environmental merits. One of his primary roles includes continuously improving on the environmental impact of the vehicle fleet at FedEx. Also a core responsibility is enabling the electrification of a targeted segment of the FedEx fleet. Keshav was a speaker at the Fortune Brainstorming Green 2010 conference. He has also spoken at several other events and conferences hosted by organizations like Ernst & Young and Net Impact, as well as at universities like Northwestern University. In association with the organization EMBARQ, he is sharing his expertise and knowledge of fleet management and environmental impact reduction with fleet operators in large cities like Mexico City. Keshav has a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Manufacturing/Industrial Engineering. Born in Nepal, he was educated in Kenya, India, Thailand and the US. His employment has spanned the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. Keshav currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee.


 JoAnn Stonier

MasterCard Worldwide

JoAnn Stonier, Global Privacy & Data Protection Officer, MasterCard Worldwide. JoAnn's responsibilities include identifying, evaluating and managing risks associated with privacy and information management on a global basis.  She is responsible for worldwide privacy compliance for the enterprise. JoAnn and her team of global professionals are responsible for assisting business colleagues in understanding the risks and legal requirements related to utilizing personal information in the development of products and services. JoAnn has been recognized as an expert in the field of financial privacy and has spoken at many industry events. Before joining MasterCard in 2008, JoAnn was the Chief Privacy Officer for American Express Company. Prior to her Privacy Officer role, JoAnn held various roles of increasing responsibility at American Express including:  Chief Operating Officer, American Express Tax & Business Services; Vice President Acquisition Integration; Vice President & Assistant to the Chairman; and Director & Assistant to the General Counsel. Prior to her positions at American Express, JoAnn worked at Waldenbooks, Inc, PepsiCo and started her career as an auditor for PriceWaterhouse Coopers. In addition to her work at MasterCard, JoAnn is an adjunct professor at Pratt Institute where she teaches business strategy as part of the Design Management Masters program and at St. Francis College in Brooklyn where she teaches accounting and auditing at the undergraduate level. JoAnn is also the owner of her own interior design practice, Design at Work, where she advises commercial and residential clients regarding the creation of unique and functional designs incorporating color, texture, fabrics, furniture, and lighting. JoAnn received her Juris Doctor from St. John's University in Queens, and her Bachelor's of Science from St. Francis College.  She holds memberships in the Bar of the State of New York and the Bar of the State of New Jersey.  She received her interior design certificate from the New York School of Interior Design.


 John Thompson

 Advent Financial

John Thompson, President, Advent Financial Services. Advent delivers practical and constructive everyday financial products and services that dramatically improve the financial capability of working families and individuals. As a co-founder of Advent, John provides leadership in several areas, including product development, technology, and client/partner experience. Prior to Advent, John led multiple teams at H&R Block focused on the development of financial services solutions for LMI consumer segments, including transaction services, savings programs, benefits enrollment, and a variety of external partnerships. John has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Kansas.  Early in his career, John worked at Oracle in various database/application engineering roles.

 Arlin Wasserman


Arlin Wasserman, Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Sodexo. He leads the company's efforts including its efforts in North America on sustainability in North America including sustainable food and agriculture practices, eco-efficiency and facilities management, community development, and health and wellbeing. He also serves as a member of its North American Executive Committee. Arlin holds a Master of Science in Natural Resources and a Master of Public Health, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics, all from the University of Michigan. Arlin also is the founder and principal of Changing Tastes and previously served as an advisor on community food and economic development issues to the United States Department of Agriculture, state agencies in the Midwest, and several of the nation's largest private foundations. Arlin also has spoken before the European Union Parliament on industry and consumer trends in the U.S. food system and world trade negotiations. Arlin is a past recipient of a national Food and Society Policy Fellowship through which he explored new food and agricultural business models that create value through terroir, or evoking a "taste of place." His presentations and articles on the connection between location, flavor and economic development have reached public health professionals, agricultural interests, culinary professionals, policy makers and the popular press.


 Nathan Waterhouse


Nathan Waterhouse, OpenIDEO, IDEO. Nathan leads OpenIDEO, a web-based platform that enables a growing community of people to create human-centred solutions to problems of a social and environmental nature. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Nathan develops and explores the potential of open innovation as it grows and matures as a business, designing new concepts and offerings for IDEO clientele in the US market. Nathan previously led the organizational design practice for IDEO Europe. During his tenure, he helped clients in diverse industries, from financial services to health care, to understand why innovation is important, what types are appropriate for their business, and how to support an entire organization in building upon its existing assets to meet future needs and goals. Nathan has always been fascinated by how technology can be used to increase cooperation within groups of people, from professionals employed by the same company to colleagues connected by online social networks. His innovative work in this area has been featured by the BBC and MTV appeared in more than a dozen major exhibitions, from the Victoria and Albert Museum's Touch Me in London to the International Furniture Fair in Milan, Italy. Prior to joining IDEO, Nathan worked for Vodafone, where he managed the concept innovation team and developed a pioneering approach to involving users in the development process. Before that, Nathan contributed to the creative agencies Small Back Room and Livewire. Nathan also ran his own design consultancy, which specialized in digital services. His work for clients such as Coca-Cola, Pfizer, and the Science Museum, spanned from developing tools that enabled internal change to creating interactive experiences for consumers. Nathan holds a master's in interaction design from the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy, and a bachelor's in product design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.


 Jeff Wishnie


Jeff Wishnie, Director of Social Impact, ThoughtWorks. Jeff joined ThoughtWorks in the fall of 2009, as Director of Social Impact. With his co-director, Rohit Bansal, Jeff implements programs that deploy ThoughtWorks expertise in software development in support of the efforts of NGOs, UN Agencies, and non-profits. Since join ThoughtWorks, Jeff has initiated work for a variety of clients including UNICEF, GSMA Development Found, and Grameen Foundation. Additionally he has launched Pro Bono efforts in the fields of health informatics, mobile health, mobile data collection, and emergency response with partners including the Open Medical Record System project, Columbia University, and UNICEF. Prior to this, he spent nearly 20 years as a silicon valley entrepreneur working in both large organizations and small - as engineer, user-interface designer, product designer, architect, president and founder. In 2006, Jeff turned his focus to the use of technology for social good - taking on the role of CTO for Inveneo, a San Francisco based non-profit in the ICT4D field. At Inveneo, Jeff planned and participated in field implementation of computing and communications technology for education, health care, relief, and economic development projects in Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone. Away from his professional life, Jeff flies paragliders competitively.