An Interview with Cathy Clark, founder and director of Duke's CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing


Fuqua School of Business
Faculty Director of CASE

Academic Area: Strategy

Teaching / Research Interests

Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Angel Investing and Venture Capital, Impact Assessment and Metrics, Scaling Social Ventures, For-profit Impact Enterprise, Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy


Named in 2014 one of the top 20 women in the USA working in philanthropy, social innovation and civic engagement, Cathy Clark has been an active pioneer, researchers, educator and consultant for over 25 years in the fields of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. She serves as Faculty Director at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where she founded and directs the CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing and co-leads the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD), an accelerator working to scale impact of global health ventures in India and East Africa. She is also lead author of CASE’s online learning series for impact entrepreneurs, CASE Smart Impact Capital, and co-author of CASE’s #ScalingPathways series, in partnership with the Skoll Foundation, USAID’s Global Development Lab and MercyCorps. 

A former impact investment fund manager and private foundation program officer, who taught at Columbia Business School for 9 years before coming to Duke, Clark’s work has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, intermediaries, and governments around the globe improve their ability to use business as a tool for good. She helped develop the standards for B Corporations, and has coordinated global research across 15 universities using data from $4.5 billion of impact assets under management and from over 11,000 impact entrepreneurs in 29 countries. Clark was also the sole academic member of the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce US National Advisory Board, and was invited to track $2.5 billion in new impact investments by the Obama White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Engagement. She is co-author of The Impact Investor: Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism, which reached #18 in finance textbooks on Amazon in 2014. Cathy holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Columbia Business School, and has published over 25 books, articles and case studies. She publishes #OnImpact, a weekly newsletter on impact investing and social innovation read in over 100 countries, and tweets at @cathyhc.

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