Jacob Harold is a social change strategist, author, and executive. He served as President & CEO of GuideStar and co-founder of Candid, which was formed in 2019 by the merger of GuideStar and Foundation Center.
Harold joined GuideStar from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where he led grantmaking for the Philanthropy Program. Between 2006 and 2012, he managed $30 million in grants which, together, aimed to build a 21st century infrastructure for smart giving. Before that, he worked as a consultant to nonprofits and foundations at the Bridgespan Group and as a climate change campaigner and strategist with the Packard Foundation, Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace USA. He began his career as a grassroots organizer with Green Corps.
Harold has written extensively on climate change and philanthropic strategy. He earned an AB summa cum laude from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford. Harold served as a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and has further training from Bain, the Chinese Academy of Sciences/Santa Fe Institute, and the SIT Tibetan Studies Program, where he did the first translations of newly discovered poems by the Sixth Dalai Lama. He serves on the boards of the U.S. Climate Action Network, Rewiring America, and the Duke University Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship.
Most systems we care about are complex – and devilishly difficult to redesign. But, if we can't be the 'architects' of new systems, can we be the 'gardeners' that tend them? The former GuideStar boss explains how in an extract from his new book.