Our Team

SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM

headshot of Vice Dean Katherine Klein

Katherine Klein, Vice Dean

Katherine is the Edward H. Bowman Professor of Management and the Vice Dean of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative. With a passionate commitment to social impact and deep research expertise, Katherine guides WSII’s vision and strategy, partnerships, research, and faculty engagement. An award-winning organizational psychologist, she teaches course on social impact, leadership, organizational change, and research methods. She is a fellow of the Academy of Management, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. Katherine’s current research focuses on the effects of leadership succession on organizational change and effectiveness. Katherine received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She loves spending time with her family and friends, taking exercise classes, traveling abroad (especially to Rwanda), and eating really dark chocolate.

Sandi M. Hunt, Managing Director

Sandi leads WSII’s team in delivering best-in-class experiential learning opportunities and producing influential research. She has co-authored reports including “Four for Women,” “Can Investing in Public Equities Improve the Lives of Women?,” “Project Sage,” and “Project Sage 2.0.” She is a host of the social impact podcast, “Dollars & Change,” and has served as an investment committee member and judge for many impact groups and competitions. Prior to joining WSII, Sandi worked in consulting at Accenture and served as Vice President of Operations at Back on My Feet. She graduated with honors from Bucknell University where she studied business, and is currently a candidate for a Masters of Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania.

STAFF

Michael Brown headshot, wearing a long sleeved navy zipup

Maoz (Michael) Brown, Head of Research

Michael Brown is the Head of Research at WSII, where he coordinates research on impact investing and social enterprise. His responsibilities include planning studies on the business of social impact, data collection and analysis, synthesizing and disseminating findings, and consulting on impact assessment. Michael was previously a research assistant at Chapin Hall, a policy institute focused on improving the well-being of youth and families. He also consulted for the Community Programs Accelerator at the University of Chicago, where he completed a PhD in Sociology. In his spare time Michael enjoys exploring his new home of Philadelphia (especially its restaurants.)

headshot of jay corbin at Wharton

Jay Corbin, Team Coordinator

As Team Coordinator, Jay helps manage day to day activities at WSII including payroll, event management, and administrative support. He looks forward to helping students find a program within WSII that will hopefully strengthen their desire to pursue a career in social impact. Before coming to WSII, Jay worked at the Penn Children’s Center as the Front Desk Manager, helping to manage a team of teachers and staff while maintaining both their website and databases. Jay is currently pursuing his Associates degree at the Camden County College in Computer Science. In his free time, Jay can be found reading business and technology books, watching Scooby Doo movies, running, swimming, and spending time on the beach.

Vaibhav Gowda

Vaibhav Gowda, Impact Program Associate

Vaibhav Gowda is the Impact Program Associate at WSII. Passionate about the intersection of business and impact, he joined WSII to be at the forefront of impact investing and learn more about how it can be harnessed in the most effective way. He will work on experiential learning programs (such as WIVA and Fund for Health) and assist students along their path to sourcing, analyzing, and closing successful deals. Prior to joining WSII, Vaibhav worked as a special assistant to a senior partner at Capria Ventures, a fund of funds investing in early stage, emerging market impact investments. He was also a manager at the Wadhwani Foundation, a global nonprofit working to improve the quality of job creation in the developing world. He has also worked at Tellson Securities, Unitus Capital, and Ujjivan Microfinance. In his free time, Vaibhav can be found playing pickup basketball, answering questions at the local pub trivia night, and working on political campaigns.

Nisa Nejadi, Head of Strategic Communications and Award Programs

A wordsmith with a creative eye, Nisa leads Wharton Social Impact’s marketing, communications, and award programs. Nisa leads and executes a wide range of storytelling projects including web, email, social media, print, podcasts, and more. Prior to WSII, Nisa worked in recruitment and admissions marketing at Teach For America where, in addition to setting the strategy for campus marketing collateral, she trained the recruitment team on marketing strategies and brand communications. Nisa has also worked in marketing in the corporate sector, planning global product launches at the Estee Lauder Companies and managing U.S.-based marketing for Lierac, a French brand. After receiving her BA in Economics from New York University, she moved to Paris for a year to teach English to elementary school students. She remains an enthusiastic Francophile, and can be found daydreaming about baguettes, cheese, and her next trip to Paris.

new raj Headshot Jan 2020 1

Rajith Sebastian, Head of Impact Investments

Rajith Sebastian (Raj) is the Head of Impact Investments at the Wharton Social Impact Initiative. Raj oversees the Wharton Impact Venture Associates and the Penn Medicine – Wharton Fund for Health programs, where he manages teams that are sourcing and assessing impact investments. Prior to joining Wharton Social Impact Initiative, and during his MBA, Raj worked on raising an Africa-focused private credit vehicle, in collaboration with a large global bank. Raj has 12 years of investment banking and private equity experience, primarily across Sub Saharan Africa and China, and has worked on over $8bn worth of transactions across these markets. He has worked in senior investment banking roles at Standard Chartered Bank and Nedbank, was a VP at Chinavest (a Shanghai based PE group), and started off his career in strategy consulting at the Monitor Group. He has a Bachelor of Business Science degree from the University of Cape Town, an MBA from the Wharton School, and is a CFA Charterholder. He lives in Philly, and loves to spend time with his wife and two young boys.

WSII staff member Yuri Seung standing outside

Yuri Seung, Program Manager

Yuri manages WSII’s experiential learning opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. Prior to joining WSII, she worked at the Office of University and Community Partnerships at Drexel University and Bloomberg Philanthropies. As an undergraduate, Yuri studied in Tokyo researching issues affecting women and minorities, and studied Chinese at Middlebury Language Schools. She holds a BA in English and Asian Studies from Temple University where she graduated with honors. Yuri is also currently working on a conceptual writing project as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. When not working or studying, she enjoys experimental records, genre films, skincare, graphic novels, and fitness training.

DOCTORAL FELLOWS

Aparajita Agarwal HEADSHOT

Aparajita Agarwal, WSII Doctoral Fellow

Aparajita is a doctoral student in the Management Department at Wharton. Through her research on entrepreneurship, economic development, and investments in the impact space, Aparajita wants to advance not only the academic understanding of these important areas, but also derive actionable insights for policy and practice. In addition to her work with WSII, Aparajita has been working on field projects in India and Colombia on related topics. Prior to joining Wharton, Aparajita worked in multiple business consulting and strategy roles in India, Africa, and the UK. She has an undergraduate degree in Information Systems and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. In her free time, Aparajita can be found in her living room, trying to get her (musical) keyboard skills to work.

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Lauren Kaufmann, WSII Doctoral Fellow

Lauren is a doctoral candidate in Legal Studies and Business Ethics at Wharton, where she conducts research on business ethics, business and society, social enterprise, and behavioral ethics. At WSII, she works with the research team on projects related to social and environmental impact performance measurement. Prior to Wharton, Lauren worked in the field of impact investing, focusing on gender lens investing and conservation finance. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Most weekends she can be found exploring Philadelphia’s bakeries, book stores, and live music venues.

ike silver headshot

Ike Silver, WSII Doctoral Fellow

Ike Silver is a doctoral student in Marketing and Psychology at Wharton. Ike’s research investigates issues at the intersection of morality, politics, and marketing, and it currently comprises two major streams. The first explores self-censorship and strategic omission in communication – the tactics people and brands use to sidestep difficult conversations about social issues, and the unexpected costs such strategies exact for discourse and for society. The second explores consumer perceptions of inauthenticity, hypocrisy, and virtue-signaling – the judgment processes that govern how people react to brands and individuals that take political stands or contribute to moral causes. In his personal life, Ike enjoys playing tennis, making music, and spending time outdoors.

OFFICE HOURS

Our team has regular office hours to meet with Penn/Wharton students each week. Email Jay if you’d like to schedule.

Please include the topic for your meeting and which team member you’d like to speak with in your request.

  • Michael Brown: Wednesdays 4-5PM
  • Jay Corbin: Fridays 10-11AM
  • Sandi Hunt: Fridays 9-10AM
  • Professor Katherine Klein: please contact Professor Klein directly to setup a meeting
  • Nisa Nejadi: Thursdays 2-3PM
  • Rajith Sebastian: Tuesdays 9-10AM
  • Yuri Seung: Mondays 9:30-10:30AM