Tracy Palandjian

CEO and Co-Founder

Office: 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 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 Pay For Success ecosystem, including the passage of historic federal legislation in 2018. The firm became a fund manager in 2019 to launch the Career Impact Bond to improve economic mobility, and the Dreamers Graduate Loan Program to support DACA recipients pursuing professional degrees. Social Finance also develops recoverable grant platforms for donor-advised funds (DAFs), aiming to unlock the $200+ billion in DAF assets toward greater social impact. To date, Social Finance has mobilized over $350 million to drive measurable, 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.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Tracy is a frequent speaker and writer on ESG and impact investing, social innovation, and results-oriented policymaking. She 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, and co-author of “Investing for Impact: Case Studies Across Asset Classes.” Tracy is also Vice Chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and a Trustee of the Global Steering Group on Impact Investing.  

Tracy is a member of the Harvard Corporation and serves on the boards of The Surdna Foundation and The Boston Foundation. She is an Independent Director of Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE: AMG). Previously, Tracy was Board Chair of Facing History and Ourselves, Co-Chair of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Vice Chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers. She also served on the boards of Milton Academy and Mass General Brigham. In recognition of her efforts to improve the lives of children and families, Tracy received the Embracing the Legacy Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps in 2018. She is also a 2019 recipient of Harvard Business School’s Alumni Achievement Award.

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.