CEO and Co-FounderOffice: Boston Year: 2011
Tracy Palandjian is CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance, a national impact finance and advisory nonprofit that builds innovative partnerships and investments to measurably improve lives. Since 2011, the firm has pioneered impact investments including the Social Impact Bond and the Career Impact Bond to mobilize capital at scale and deliver sustainable impact in communities across the United States. Social Finance is driven by the belief that social and economic systems should enable all people to thrive, and the conviction that we can create the most meaningful and measurable change in our communities when governments and markets work together.
Tracy has worked for over a decade to reimagine the role of the capital markets in enabling social progress. Building on the work of Social Finance UK, Tracy co-founded Social Finance in 2011 with Sir Ronald Cohen and David Blood to launch the Social Impact Bond field in the United States. In the early years, Social Finance led the development of the Social Impact Bond ecosystem, contributing to thought leadership, impact measurement, and policy work at the federal, state, and local levels, including the passage of historic federal legislation in 2018. The firm became a fund manager in 2019 to launch its Career Impact Bond strategy, a financing model that improves economic mobility for unemployed and underemployed individuals. Social Finance also develops recoverable grant platforms for donor-advised funds, aiming to unlock the $150 billion in DAF assets toward greater social impact. To date, Social Finance has catalyzed over $225 million to help more than 35,000 individuals realize improved outcomes in education, economic mobility, health, and housing.
Prior to Social Finance, Tracy was a Managing Director for eleven years at The Parthenon Group, where she established and led the Nonprofit Practice and worked with foundations and NGOs to accomplish their missions in the U.S. and globally. Tracy also worked at Wellington Management Company and McKinsey & Company.
Tracy is an author of Workforce Realigned: How New Partnerships Are Advancing Economic Mobility, a book published by Social Finance and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia with case studies on how to reboot economic mobility in America. She is also co-author of “Investing for Impact: Case Studies Across Asset Classes” and serves as Vice Chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and a Trustee of the Global Steering Group on Impact Investing. In addition, Tracy is an Independent Director of Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE: AMG), a Trustee at the Surdna Foundation where she chairs the Investment Committee, and a Director at both The Boston Foundation and Mass General Brigham. Previously, Tracy served as Vice Chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers, Board Chair of Facing History and Ourselves, Co-Chair of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Trustee of Milton Academy.
Tracy is a frequent speaker and writer on ESG and impact investing, social innovation, and results-oriented policymaking, having been covered in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Economist, TIME, Institutional Investor, and Forbes. A native of Hong Kong, Tracy is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. She graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. magna cum laude in Economics and holds an M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She was a 2019 recipient of the HBS Alumni Achievement Award, the School’s highest honor.