2024 McNulty Catalyst Fund for Emerging Leaders — Recipients To Host Dialogue On Shifting Entrenched Paradigms

April 4, 2024

Inspired by personal experience, seven promising leaders are driving change across the US, China, Rwanda and the world. All will receive unrestricted funding to expand and scale their impact.

New York, NY, April 4, 2024––The McNulty Foundation and Aspen Institute have announced the recipients of the 2024 McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund. These awards are awarded annually to organizations led by Aspen Institute Fellows which have shown significant momentum in advancing innovative models of social change. A total of $140,000 will be awarded to seven recipients working in China, Rwanda, the US, and globally. Register now to hear from the recipients in a two-part dialogue on Tuesday, April 23rd, and April 30th at 11:00 am ET, exploring what it takes to build organizations and work with communities for deep, lasting change.

While each of the seven organizations tackles distinct systemic challenges, all are led by individuals whose expertise and personal experience have given them unique insight into the issues. All are building solutions aiming to shift broken paradigms by working directly with affected communities. They are improving health and education in Rwanda’s remote areas; advancing social innovation in China; inspiring young change-makers globally; reconnecting Black youth to the outdoors; providing non-judgemental prenatal care for substance users; transitioning US public schools to zero emissions; and fueling a global pro-democracy movement.

“We believe strongly that leaders can and must come from every community. Each of these leaders’ lives has brought them face-to-face with challenges, and they have developed solutions in partnership with those they serve. We are honored to hold up these examples—all poised for growth—with the Catalyst Fund,” said Anne Welsh McNulty, President of the McNulty Foundation and Trustee of the Aspen Institute. 

Meet the 2024 McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund awardees:

Keseb | Global
In response to rising authoritarianism, Yordanos Eyoel (Civil Society Fellow) founded Keseb for pro-democracy champions around the world to collaborate in building resilient, inclusive democracies. Keseb is fueling the global democracy movement through capacity building and capital to innovative organizations, convenings, and actionable insights. Reaching democracy entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, journalists, and policymakers, Keseb is building momentum to defend current institutions and build the democracy of the future.

Move Up Global | Rwanda
As a child, Anatole Manzi (New Voices Fellow) often dealt with inescapable abdominal pain from malnutrition, an experience shared with 40% of children in Rwanda’s most mountainous region. Spurred to action, he launched Move Up Global, equipping schools and health facilities to drive community transformation. Move Up plans to scale in Rwanda through learning collaboratives that train teachers and parents as community health champions.

Magdalene Clinic | United States
Women with substance use disorders experience deep-rooted stigma when accessing healthcare, especially when pregnant. Dr. Kacey Eichelberger (Liberty Fellow) founded Magdalene Clinic in South Carolina to provide a safe, loving space for women who use or have used during pregnancy. Their model has led to increased prenatal visits and feelings of belonging, and has helped to combat relapse; they are poised to bring this long-term intervention to more women.

Black Outside | United States
Black youth are disproportionately underrepresented in outdoor spaces—only 1% of Texas state park visitors identify as Black/African-American. Alex Bailey (Healthy Communities Fellow) founded Black Outside in Central Texas to reconnect youth to nature and culturally-aligned programming. After launching their newest mentorship program for boys, and doubling their counselors-in-training program, Black Outside plans to procure land to expand youth leadership opportunities.

Qi Social Innovation Center | China
In 2003, Jack Hsu (China Fellow) moved back to China from New York to build schools that focus on social innovation. In 2022, Hsu founded the Qi Social Innovation Center to cultivate a spirit of change-making, in order to combat the ‘personal gain and accomplishment mindset’ that he felt was pervasive amongst China’s youth. Having set the groundwork with a series of pilots, the center will launch and grow its Fellowship for Change program for young leaders this year.

Moonshot Platform | Global
While global challenges persist across generations, youth rarely have the decision-making power to address them. Yemi A.D. (Henry Crown Fellow) founded Moonshot to empower the voices of young change-makers addressing our most pressing problems, through fellowships, mentorship, and thought leadership camps. Building on success convening their global participants, Moonshot now plans to reach more indigenous and migrant youth and to launch regional programs in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

UndauntedK12 | United States
Schools are increasingly impacted by heat and fires, which can thwart student health and learning. Jonathan Klein (Pahara Fellow) founded UndauntedK12 to support America’s public schools to make an equitable transition to zero emissions while preparing young people to build a sustainable future in a rapidly changing climate. In addition to operating state-wide campaigns in California and Massachusetts, Undaunted is working nationally to build awareness of the opportunity for schools to shift to climate-resilient infrastructure by leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act.

The McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund recognizes promising ventures led by Fellows of the Aspen Institute with significant early momentum and at critical junctures on their path to creating meaningful change. The Fund boosts leaders and their organizations, awarding up to $150,000, annually across five to seven recipients as well as non-monetary support to reach the next level of impact. Launched in 2017, to date, the fund has supported over 30 recipients from around the world.

Want to learn more? Register for “Creating an Inclusive Future: A Two-Part Dialogue on Shifting Paradigms” with the 2024 Catalyst Fund Awardees on Tuesday, April 23rd, and April 30th from 11:00am-12:00pm ET.


About the John P. & Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation 

The McNulty Foundation inspires, develops, and drives leaders to solve the most critical challenges of our time. The Catalyst Fund builds on more than a decade of impact with the John P. McNulty Prize, a $450,000 annual award that recognizes three Winners with moral courage, a vision for change, and a track record of bold and lasting impact. Prize Winners are chosen by an international jury that has included the late Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Dorsey, Olara Otunnu, Brizio Biondi-Morra, Darren Walker, Mary Robinson, and Richard Branson. The McNulty Prize and Catalyst Fund are given in partnership with the Aspen Institute, to recognize exceptional leadership ventures undertaken by their Fellows. For more information, visit mcnultyfound.org. Follow @McNulty Foundation on LinkedIn and @McNultyFoundation on Instagram.

The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of nearly 4,000 high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from over 60 countries who share a commitment to values-based leadership and to using their creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. Because of their demonstrated accomplishment and abilities, they have been selected to join one of 13 geographic or sector-specific AGLN Fellowships around the world. Fellows convene annually at the AGLN’s flagship event, the Resnick Aspen Action Forum. For more information, visit aspeninstitute.org/agln

For over 30 years, the Aspen Global Innovators Group (AGI) has supported health and development leaders from across Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Island States to build a safe, equitable, and healthier future for all people and communities. The impact of our Fellows reverberates across the globe. Our mission is to amplify the voices and impact of visionary leaders and innovators who are building healthier and more equitable societies. Our global community stands tall with local leaders, advocates, researchers, policymakers and practitioners who have long been beacons in this movement and whose voices and work are critical to reshaping a healthy, equitable future for all. For more information, visit aspenglobalinnovators.org

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

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