About us

Meet The Founders Pledge Team
and Supporters

About Founders Pledge

Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to do immense good. We approach this mission with a deep understanding of the sector – Founders Pledge was built for and by entrepreneurs, and launched out of Founders Forum, Europe's foremost network of digital and technology entrepreneurs. Our board members, advisors, sponsors and funders include some of the most influential voices in the tech sector and social sector.

Want to know more about our community and approach to philanthropy?

Meet the Team

David Goldberg

Co-founder & CEO

Bio

David is the co-founder and Global CEO of Founders Pledge. He moved into the non-profit sector from an eclectic commercial background. Having run the gauntlet of finance, start-up, and academia, he started Founders Pledge to make it absurdly easy for entrepreneurs to do good in their work and lives. Following high school, David joined Mortgage Capital Associates, one of the largest privately held mortgage banks in the U.S., where he launched the secondary marketing department. After that, he worked as a mortgage and investment banker at CS Financial in Beverly Hills. David also founded and ran a boutique real estate firm in Germany and was the general manager of Urban Motion. David is a graduate of UCLA and the University of Cambridge.

Q&A with David

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

I think I'd enjoy having dinner with Socrates because he's the intellectual backbone of Western philosophy and also asks great questions. Although the case could be made that Plato would be the more interesting person to sit down with. So maybe a toss up.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

It changed a couple of times throughout childhood, but I always harbored a secret desire to play basketball in the NBA. My more practical ideas were dentist, lawyer, and scientist.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Science Fiction would be the genre and Adrian Brody would be the actor.

Charlotte Monico

Chief Operating Officer

Bio

Charlotte brings a wealth of experience to Founders Pledge from working in startups and scale ups as well as in top corporates. She began her career delivering analysis and strategy at Boston Consulting Group, and then went on to lead global teams in both Finance and People Operations at Google. Charlotte played various tactical and operational roles for Cloudreach as it launched and scaled, built her own property side-business, and consults and facilitated for Women Ahead. Charlotte is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Cambridge.

Q&A with Charlotte

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Jeanne Baret because I am passionate about travel and exploring. Jeanne was the first female explorer ever to circumnavigate the Earth. Unfortunately she had to do it in the guise of a man, since the French Navy didn’t allow women on its ships. She for sure has some good stories to tell!

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A show jumper

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Action adventure / romance combo, and I'd flatter myself by being played by Kate Winslet

Matt Hunter

President

Bio

Matt is an entrepreneur, social activist and artist, and is currently the CEO of Founders Pledge, Inc., the North American arm of Founders Pledge. Previously, Matt co-founded the WiFi marketing business Turnstyle, which was acquired by Yelp in April 2017. Somewhere along the way Matt co-founded the intimacy development publication, cambyo. He has helped bring the morning dance party movement Daybreaker to Toronto. And before all this, Matt was an artist, making electronic pop music under the moniker Natural Animal.

Q&A with Matt

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Nelson Mandela because there is so much I can learn from him and the way he approaches leadership.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Basketball player or a musician, specifically a Blink 182 cover band artist who plays basketball well.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

It would be a Comedy-Drama played by Viggo Mortensen similar to how he is in Green Book, except not Italian, not violent, and I'd like to think slightly easier to get along with.

Ieva Kajokaite

Chief Strategy Officer

Bio

Ieva joins Founders Pledge from a diverse non-profit background. She is an experienced partnership director and programme manager, and has worked extensively with projects focused on young people affected by the intersection of vulnerabilities. After graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies and Vilnius University, Ieva worked with charities assisting refugees, and, more recently, children and young people with special needs. Ieva is a visiting lecturer at Vilnius University and has carried out research focused on gender identity and the politics of presence in Qatar, Oman and Italy.

Q&A with Ieva

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Michel Foucault - to talk about power!

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A vet.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Surrealist comedy with Cate Blanchett!

Neil Jansen

Chief Information Officer

Bio

Neil joined Founders Pledge in October 2015 from both technical and artistic careers. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and then moved to Los Angeles to work on the Space Shuttle Main Engine as a systems engineer. As NASA wrapped up the shuttle program, he successfully transitioned into a career as a freelance brass musician - teaching and performing across the greater Los Angeles area. Founders Pledge brought him to London in 2017 to support the team from the global HQ.

Q&A with Neil

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Robyn. Must include an evening out afterward. Her choice of venue(s). She's idiosyncratic. I like this.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Astronaut. Possibly some sort of robot. Space robot. Robonaut. Interstellar Exploratory Being.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Science Fiction. Visually, my character would be artificially generated based on an average of what people would expect me to look like given where I am psychologically at each point in my life. They'd match each version to the voice of the actor that is the closest visual match to that version, and then generate the lines artifically based on recordings of that actor.

Danielle Gram

Managing Director - San Francisco

Bio

With 15 years of non-profit management and humanitarian experience, Danielle joined Founders Pledge to transform philanthropy through an evidence-led approach. She was formerly the Head of the Tony Blair Foundation-US, and has founded successful non-profit and political initiatives, the largest of which, Kids for Peace, engaged 13 million children in 2018. Danielle has traveled to more than 60 countries and worked as a humanitarian in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. She received an A.B. in Religion and Sociology from Harvard College.

Outside of the office, Danielle enjoys adventures in the Great Outdoors, political activism, community-building, and is an avid reader.

Q&A with Danielle

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

I'd like to have dinner with Karen Armstrong, one of the leading comparative religion thinkers of our day. I've read many of her books and listened to interviews of her, and find her personal journey and religious/cultural analyses fascinating.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a young child, I wanted to be a tooth fairy, giving money away to children. When I grew to be a bit older, I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist before I discovered policy and politics as a way to create change.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

I would want to be in an action film/drama starring Natalie Portman.

Marie Paglinghi

Programmes

Bio

Marie started her career in the financial industry, advising hedge funds on their investments in Fixed Income markets. Willing to find a path with purpose, she left the sector in 2014 to complete her Masters in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS London. Since completing her degree, Marie has delved into multiple areas of the social impact space, from leading the fundraising activity of a youth charity in East London, to coordinating the CSR programme of a fast-growing FinTech company. Marie joined Founders Pledge in March 2018 and currently heads up content curation and speaker engagement.

Q&A with Marie

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

If I could choose one person to have dinner with, it would be Serge Gainsbourg. This unapologetic yet genius French singer wrote the most beautiful and poetic lyrics ever. He was also a drunk and a womanizer, but in the 60s this was all very well tolerated. Fun & intellectual stimulation guaranteed!

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child I wanted to become a philosopher. I still haven't dropped the case. I read and practice philosophy everyday.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

It would be a sort of French dramatic comedy, where people speak for hours over extended meals, and overstate everything that happens in their sort of ordinary lives. I would love for Karin Viard to play me, she's funny, she's strong yet sensitive.

Gregory Thwaites

Research Director

Bio

In addition to being the Research Director at Founders Pledge, Gregory is a part-time Research Associate at the Resolution Foundation and a visiting fellow in the LSE Centre for Macroeconomics. Prior to this, he was the Head of International Research at the Bank of England, and then Research Director at WorldRemit. Gregory also worked for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and the Independent Commission on Banking (the ‘Vickers Commission’).

Q&A with Adriana

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Genghis Khan - I think we have very different world-views.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronomer.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Ross Kemp in a straight-to-video prequel to the 'Fast and Furious' franchise.

Crystal Chiu

Community, Europe

Bio

After graduating with a BSc Geography from UCL, Crystal started her career in climate change research across Northern Scandinavia. She then spent three years in the city recruiting quant analysts in the finance world. Having reached her savings goals, she moved onto a publishing house in Athens as an editor and writer of children’s books.

It wasn’t until her return from Mediterranean shores that she found her mojo in major gift fundraising joining Christian Aid, Teach First and RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), where she was Head of Major Giving. It was at these incredible charities that she spent almost six years building close and fruitful relationships with HNI’s from across a range of sectors including finance and technology.

After completing a start-up programme, Crystal started a side hustle focussed on dating, as well as setting up a charity that supports young mothers in Sierra Leone.

Crystal has also worked as a silver service waitress at Tottenham’s stadium (don't tell Meera or Sach!), and the first match she ever saw was Arsenal at the Emirates stadium.

Q&A with Crystal

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

David Attenborough - because I can't think of anyone who has done more for raising awareness of nature's treasures and threats with the average person than our Dave! Besides, who could be better to compile your dream travel bucket list with?!

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An 'explorer', which probably explains my dinner guest choice!

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Has to be a romantic comedy (oh the long quest for love!) starring Nora Lum as me.

Eddie Moore

Deployment

Bio

Eddie studied French, Spanish and linguistics at the University of Cambridge and went on to work for the British Council after graduating, teaching English as a foreign language in Spain. On his return to the UK, he moved to London and went to law school, later qualifying as a UK lawyer with City law firm Watson Farley & Williams. But eventually it was time to change course, so he left the world of corporate law and joined Founders Pledge to head up the deployment team in November 2018.

His main interests are outdoor pursuits, tennis and falafel wraps.

Q&A with Eddie

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Roger Federer, because he's very good at tennis and speaks multiple languages.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A leopard.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Romantic action thriller - Daniel Craig, or if he's not available, David Schwimmer (after six months of hard work in the gym).

Callum Calvert

Research

Bio

Callum joined the research team in spring 2018. Before joining Founders Pledge, Callum worked as a quantitative analyst at a hedge fund. He holds a First Class MMath in Mathematics from the University of Warwick, where he set up the Warwick effective altruism group.

He's interested in ethics and football.

Q&A with Callum

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Oskar Schindler, because he went to great lengths and initiative to save many people when it was very dangerous.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A footballer and international mega-star.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

A coming of age classic, played by a young Simon Amstell.

Alessandra Ferrari

Community & Growth, UK

Bio

Alessandra joined Founders Pledge in September 2018. She’s a very (very) proud Venezuelan, and lived in Colombia for six years before moving to London. After getting her BA in International Relations she worked at a nonprofit advising high-net-worth individuals on more effective giving practices and seeking grants for projects in education. She also partook in a brief but fascinating stint in the beekeeping industry.

Alessandra is a house plant and US politics aficionado – she is not, however, an Arsenal or Maduro fan and has never seen Thea wear black.

Q&A with Alessandra

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Marianne Lake because she's unapologetically the woman she wants to be.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The President of Venezuela.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Satire – Brie Larson or Matthew McConaughey (hopefully?).

Housam Silim

Programmes

Bio

Housam recently joined Founders Pledge as Programmes Curator having completed a Master’s in Education and International Development at the University of Cambridge. His previous jobs include teaching in Tanzania, workshop facilitation, event organising, and running his own music radio show for two years.

He is excited to take use of these experiences to open up new spaces of dialogue and stir intellectual engagement within the Founders Pledge community!

On his own time, Housam is passionate about collecting music, discussing politics and watching Star Trek!

Q&A with Housam

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Jean-Luc Picard (from Star Trek TNG) so I could pick his mind and he could tell me about his tales traversing the Alpha Quadrant over a cup of Earl Grey.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The Night King.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

A low budget action film from the 80's, and I would be played by Steven Seagal.

Devon Fritz

Technology

Bio

Devon joined Founders Pledge following a diverse background in consulting and software development for both the public and private sectors, working for various organizations as well as running his own business. He has been awarded a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Information Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, as well as a Master of Arts in Computational Linguistics from Heidelberg University in Germany. A learner for life, Devon has a broad range of interests, from language learning to philosophy.

Q&A with Devon

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Peter Singer - he's had such an impact on the world! I'd love to pick his brain.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A baseball player. Things turned out very differently.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Absurdist/Surreal. Maybe Jake Gyllenhall?

Ashley Neff

Community & Growth, US

Bio

Ashley joined Founders Pledge in the summer of 2018, in a fortuitous confluence of her interests in philanthropy and startups. In a past life, she was an early employee at a tech startup,managing the community and communications. Before that, she worked in Tanzania with a sustainable development non-profit and launched a small food business with a group of women in her village.

Ashley earned a BA from St. John’s College, where she studied epistemology and the art of asking questions.

For the love of rivalry, she is now a Tottenham fan - sorry Meera & Sach!

Q&A with Ash

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Leonardo da Vinci, because I want to get inside his brain. I would eat and listen, and have him teach me about all the things. There's no time limit on this dinner, is there?

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An explorer, or a discoverer. Someone like Marie Curie, or a reporter for National Geographic.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

A mockumentary. I'd be played by a Roomba with googly eyes, or Frances McDormand a la Fargo.

Gen Lazarus

Operations

Bio

Gen joined Founders Pledge in the Summer of 2018. After starting her career developing investor relations and fund analytics programmes within hedge funds, Gen made the jump to technology startup operations in 2010 and never looked back. As an Operations Director, working in the fields of AR & AI tech, design, and fin-tech, Gen has seen three companies through acquisitions. Interested in investing her career in giving back, Gen joined Founders Pledge and is working with our North American CEO to develop operations in the US.

Gen plays several musical instruments, once snowboarded at a professional level, and takes online grad courses in diverse subjects for fun. As a working mother of two young children, Gen’s dream is to someday sleep.

Q&A with Gen

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

I would have dinner with Jack Kerouac and ask him to role play certain scenarios of my life which involve the most attachment and commitment. His perspective would surely challenge the conventions I’ve built around my own life and my place in the world.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be the female version of Indiana Jones. This would involve traveling the world in pursuit of priceless knowledge, artifacts and experiences. A life built around education and adventure. And leather jackets and cowboy hats, of course.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Wes Anderson would direct this quirky tale, staring Natalie Portman. Paris cafes and parks of the 1920’s would be the backdrop of flashbacks bringing a multigenerational family mystery to resolution in the Seattle suburbs of the 1990’s. The soundtrack would feature Jack White and RZA of Wu-Tang fame covering everything from Billie Holiday to Johnny Cash to Nirvana. Heartfelt yet existential hilarity ensues.

Thea Thorsen

Marketing & Communications

Bio

Thea is the communications manager at Founders Pledge. She joined in July 2016 after graduating with a First Class Honour BASc from University College London, specialising in Cultural Anthropology. She has a background in the not-for-profit sector, having worked for Amnesty International as well as in a number of roles in Norway's largest youth environmental organisation. Before moving to London she was a facilitator at an environmental conference in Madagascar, studied Arabic, and worked at an archaeological museum.

Q&A with Thea

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Emily Bronte

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Furniture designer (weird kid)

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Hopefully a dark comedy by Phoebe Waller Bridge

Meera Patel

Technology

Bio

Meera joined Founders Pledge in May 2018. Prior to this, she worked as an analyst for a London-based family office.

Meera holds a Masters in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces (or as is said in English: theoretical physics) from Imperial College London, and has a paper co-authored with Stephen Hawking’s former PhD student.

Meera enjoys reading challenging books, breathing non-London air, board games, the sun (the star not the newspaper), and listening to the History of India podcast.

She is an Arsenal fan.

Q&A with Meera

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Crystal Chiu. I would make her a lovely Huel meal.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A Salesforce Developer.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Whatever genre Kim Kardashian's tape is. I'd be played by Priyanka Chopra.

Matt Hurst-Smith

People

Bio

Matt joined Founders Pledge in early 2019 as Head of People. Taking an untraditional route to People Operations, Matt started his career with Deloitte before moving into the Visual Effects industry, where he focused on building exceptional employee experiences, and then moved into the startup world. He strongly believes in the power of HR to unlock teams' potential and help great work happen.

Outside of work, Matt is a huge rugby fan and plays regularly (though isn't as fast as he used to be). He is also a musician and loves a good dad joke.

Q&A with Matt

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Derren Brown - I realise that by the end of the meal I will either be hypnotised or he will have stolen all of my possessions, but I reckon it would be worth it.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A musician. Or failing that, a Power Ranger.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

It would be a hybrid of musical, comedy and boring documentary. Probably starring Mark Ruffalo.

Gilad Goren

Growth, US

Bio

Gilad Joined Founders Pledge following nearly of decade of entrepreneurial endeavors, mostly in the nexus of tourism and impact. He launched the Travel-tech startup Raleigh&Drake, established the world's largest community of impact-focused travel professionals with The Impact Travel Alliance, and established several regenerative business models in both hospitality and tourism. Gilad has taught on the subject of impact and tourism at NYU, spoke on purpose and impact at several stages including TEDx and the United Nations, and has been published in several publications. Gilad is a third-culture kid whose been to 65 countries, lived in three, and currently resides in Brooklyn (another world, altogether).

Q&A with Gilad

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

I'd have dinner with Abraham Lincoln, so I can ask him how he was able to keep such resolve at such unbearably trying times, while both keeping his own spirits up and playing what seemed like 4D chess with his opponents.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Indiana Jones.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Harrison Ford circa Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

John Halstead

Research

Bio:

John joined Founders Pledge in 2017 from a background in policy think tanks and academia. He has a doctorate in political philosophy from Oxford and taught philosophy at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford. Following that, he moved to the Global Priorities Project, working as a researcher on global catastrophic risk. He likes quips, tennis, football, boxing, and not spending money.

Q&A with John:

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Bob Mortimer

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Footballer

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Romcom; John O'Shea

Harrie Carver

Events

Bio

After leaving university in 2015, Harrie had an exciting four years working in the events industry, most notably organising events for Rolex. Her time at Rolex took her all over the country for all types of large and small scale events, before she returned to London for a role in the non-profit sector. The experience of working for a non-profit prompted the change in direction, and led to Harrie joining Founders Pledge at the start of 2019.

Harrie enjoys playing netball and looking after her Red Bearded Dragon, Norman.

Q&A with Harrie

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

It has to be Dr Seuss, he made me fall in love with reading as a child (and as an adult), I enjoyed his stories immensely!

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

According to my family, I was torn between being a Farmer or a Cowboy...

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

I'd really like this answer to be an exhilarating Drama played by Emma Watson. However, (and i'm sure the rest of the office will agree with me) it's much more Bridget Jones and Renée Zellweger.

Mia Serafine

Events

Bio

Mia joined Founders Pledge in March 2018. Prior to this, she worked for: The Philly POPS, Charleston Wine + Food, and NASA.

Mia earned a BA from The College of Charleston, where she studied Communications and Marketing.

When Mia’s not working, you can find her exploring New York with her English Bulldog Bruiser or desperately trying to convince friends that gluten free and dairy free alternatives taste better than the regular version.

Q&A with Mia

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

I'd love to have dinner with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I've always been fascinated with the Kennedy family, especially Jackie. Jackie is someone who I've always admired as a style icon and as a strong woman to look up to.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Fashion Designer.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

If my life was a movie the genre would be a Comedy and Isla Fisher would play me.

Niki Buys

Operations

Bio

Niki joined Founders Pledge in September 2018. Following a foundation course at drama school in Oxford, Niki spent eight years as a Stage and Production Manager on over 50 different productions. The adventure took Niki from pub theatres to the Edinburgh Festival, the London West End, the Royal Albert Hall, and a very big tent in Saudi Arabia.

Most recently Niki worked at the Royal Horticultural Society as part of the Operations team for their flower shows. She worked across their portfolio of five major events including the Chelsea Flower Show.

Despite this, she is still incapable of keeping her house plants alive.

Q&A with Niki

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Tyrion Lannister. I'd love to pick his brains on strategy and battle plans over a glass of wine.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A horse. I was very definite about this.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The film would fall somewhere between a drama and a complete farce.

Rose Brookhouse

Community & Growth, US

Bio

Rose received a BA in Spanish Language, and a Masters degree in International Actions and Social Inclusion. After an internship in UN’s Department of Inclusive Social Development, she joined Founders Pledge in April 2019. Previously, she's worked in global immigration law, bilingual education, and spent time volunteering with local non-profits. Rose will be applying her operational expertise and passion for community building to Founders Pledge's newest office in San Francisco.

A nomad at heart, she has lived in obscure small cities in Spain, along the California coast, and in Costa Rica. Away from the desk, Rose is a film photography nerd, loves city hikes and would happily eat Chinese food everyday.

Q&A with Rose

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Cleopatra because I could have all my pyramid questions answered and I bet she would be dressed fabulously!

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A doctor

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Uma Thurman.. by popular demand she's been voted in as my lookalike.

Rebecca Roden

Partnerships

Bio

Rebecca joined Founders Pledge in late 2018 having spent the previous four years teaching: Maths on the Teach First Development Programme and leading the Economics and Business Department at a London senior school.

Rebecca graduated from Durham University with a degree in Maths and Economics, and is currently studying for a Masters in Social Business and Entrepreneurship at the LSE.

She enjoys getting involved in various charitable initiatives, including directing charity fashion shows, volunteering abroad in Kenya, Ghana and Brazil, and currently running a volunteering programme for young professionals and sitting on a charity committee.

In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys practicing yoga, boxing and going for muddy walks with her cocker spaniel, Cupid.

Q&A with Rebecca

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Moses - would love to get an insight into what leadership looked like in Biblical times and understand how different/ similar human civilisation is today.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A dancer on a West End stage!

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Jackie from Friday Night Dinner - Jewish mama with a teenage sense of humour!

Sasha Cooper

Tech

Bio

Sasha joined Founders Pledge in November 2016, after transitioning from academic publishing to software development through Makers Academy. He has an ongoing preoccupation with utilitarian philosophy, and with the underlying ethics of the effective altruism movement, which he's been involved with since its inception (and which prompted his career shift). At Founders Pledge, he maximises the utility offered by the website.

Q&A with Sasha

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Hodor!

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Hodor!

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Hodor! Hodor!

Sjir Hoeijmakers

Research

Bio

Before joining Founders Pledge in early 2018, Sjir advised Dutch municipalities in setting up experiments with elements of basic income, and organized coordination between experiment initiatives on an academic, political and governmental level, crowdfunding his own ‘basic income’ to independently do this for two years.

In 2017, he co-founded Effective Altruism Netherlands (EAN), where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board.

Sjir holds a Master’s degree in Operations Research (cum laude) at Tilburg University.

He enjoys doing sports such as futsal, running and cycling; playing board games with friends; and going out on a walk to explore.

Q&A with Sjir

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

John von Neumann - He is a good candidate for 'smartest person ever lived', and not just in one area but in many, both in the pure and applied sciences. On top of that, he has had a major influence on 20th century history (e.g. via his involvement in WWII and the Cold War) and is supposed to have been an intriguing personality. I'd love to see how his mind would deal with the major challenges of our time.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A bus driver!

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Sci-fi, simply because the world in 40 years (when I hope to still be alive) will likely be so different from the current world that if a movie was made of it now we would believe it to be sci-fi. And if I have to choose a professional actor, it would probably be Edward Norton.

Tania Phipps

Events

Bio

Tania joined Founders Pledge in the spring of 2018 to lead all logistical and production aspects for our events. After completing her business studies degree at the International Business College in Prague, Tania moved to London.

Tania has a background in covering events and managing programmes across both commercial and non-profit sectors.

Tania is an amateur film editor, having taken it up a few years ago, studying at MET Film School in London. Her free time is mostly spent playing beach and indoor volleyball, and hiking in beautiful parts of the country.

Q&A with Tania

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

I would invite Sixto Rodriquez to sing all night, Levison Wood to get some travel tips, Nelson Mandela for interesting conversation, Kerri Walsh for inspiration and Anthony King just to make me laugh. If only this was possible…

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

According to my mum I wanted to be a police woman. I was such a tomboy and watched many cop movies so I probably thought chasing ‘baddies’ was very exciting and a lot of fun. Little did I know….

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

"It would have to be Adventurous Comedy, since life is comprised of humorous and ironic developments and is full of new and exciting experiences.
Who would play me? Audrey Hepburn. Come on…who would not want to look so elegant and stunningly gorgeous on the screen."

Adriana Lowe

Research

Bio

Adriana obtained a Masters with distinction in Human Evolution and Behaviour from UCL, and a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Kent, specialising in chimpanzee behaviour. Before joining Founders Pledge, she was a lecturer at the university of Kent.

Q&A with Adriana

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

All of the Andrex puppies.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A librarian.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

A friend with an unexpectedly high opinion of me thinks I would be leading a pack of survivors in a film set in a dystopian future. I think it would be something a bit more low key - maybe a documentary about gardening.

Matt Jenkins

Deployment

Bio

Matt has a Masters degree in Human Rights from UCL, specialising in asylum law. After working in multiple refugee projects in Greece, he worked as a risk manager for a green finance company in London before joining Founders Pledge.

Q&A with Matt

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon - I find mutualism a really undervalued concept in how to balance social and economic equity with individual rights, so dinner with the movement's founder would be fascinating. Also, absinthe.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Palaeontologist - I'm still a little disappointed dinosaurs aren't still around if I'm honest.

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

My heart says a rags to riches musical bio a la Walk the Line. Reality says Tommy Wiseau - The Room (in both acting prowess and coherence).

Bryan

Chief Cuddles Officer

Bio

Bryan is a dog. He has been with Founders Pledge since day one. He often thinks he's in charge and even though he's not, no one tells him otherwise. In his free time he likes to collect sticks and play fetch. He is based in London.

Q&A with Bryan

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Did someone say dinner?

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A good boy!

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

A David Attenborough documentary starring myself!

Bellatrix

Chief Happiness Officer

Bio

Bellatrix (Trixie for short) joined Founders Pledge in February 2019. She has a strong background in tummy rubs and attempting to lick everyone's ears. Once described as problematically cute, Trixie can often be found curled up on the office beanbag or being fought over by serious grown ups. She's not really a football fan, though is a big fan of balls generally.

Q&A with Bellatrix

Q: If you could choose anyone famous (real or fictional) to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Sunny and Bo Obama. The real driving force behind the former President.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A sunglass-wearing Dogue De Bordeaux (google it).

Q: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?

Emma Stone in an action film with a romantic twist.

Join the Team

Want to work with Founders Pledge? Follow our Careers page for current vacancies.

Trustees

Dafna Bonas

Dafna was founding CEO and co-founder of Founders For Good (now Founders Pledge). She is now a trustee of the charity, continuing to dramatically impact the way in which entrepreneurs give back. Dafna is also a trustee of The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, a board member of Intelligence Squared, and has supported organisations including The Royal Foundation and The Good Solutions Group. Before founding Founders for Good, she launched Excite in Europe, co-founded eos Ventures and spent seven years as a Operating Partner at Eden McCallum, a disruptor in strategy consulting. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School, and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Carol Cone

Carol is the founder and CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, whose mission is to educate, inspire and accelerate purpose programs and impacts for organizations, nonprofits and individuals around the globe. She is internationally recognized for her work on purpose and CSR. For over 25 years, she’s built lasting partnerships between companies, brands and social issues for deep business and societal impact. For the past five years, Carol created and led the business and social purpose practice for Edelman, building it into a $25 million global group. Previously, she was founder & chairman of Cone, Inc., now Cone Communications, a leading cause branding consultancy. In 2007, PR Week called her "arguably the most powerful & visible figure in the world of cause branding".

Jonathan Goodwin

Jonathan is the chairman of Founders For Good and the co-founder of Founders Forum. In 2011 Jonathan founded Lepe Partners, a merchant bank for media, consumer and internet CEOs and entrepreneurs. He was previously co-founder and CEO of LongAcre Partners, building the company into Europe's leading mid-market media corporate finance house before selling it to Jefferies in 2007. Jonnie also co-founded PROfounders Capital and is on the advisory board of Opera Solutions and Kelkoo. He has advised on over 100 transactions in the media and internet space worth over $20bn to date.

Neil Hutchinson

Neil is the founder of NEON Adventures, an investment vehicle with activities in finance, property, lifestyle and philanthropy. He is also a principle investor in the Forward Internet Group, which creates, acquires and invests in web businesses across a variety of industries and territories. Neil is committed to giving back through the Forward Foundation, helping exceptional charities and social enterprises transform young lives.

Damian Kimmelman

Damian Kimmelman is the Founder and CEO of DueDil, the London-based fintech business whose vision is to organise the world’s private company information and which was recently listed among Wired magazine’s Hottest Startups in Europe. Before launching DueDil, Damian set up two other businesses: a peer-to-peer Chinese gaming platform and a digital agency. In June this year, he was named “International Entrepreneur of the Year” by Tech City News.

Andy McLoughlin

Andy is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active Bay Area seed stage investors. Prior to joining SoftTech in 2015, Andy was co-founder and EVP of London and San Francisco-based Huddle, a leading enterprise SaaS content collaboration company.

Andy has been an active angel investor since 2010 and built a portfolio covering 35+ pre-seed and seed stage investments, mostly in the B2B space but also covering e-commerce, marketplaces and mobile. His companies include innovative SaaS businesses like Apiary, tray.io, Bugsnag, Rolepoint, Intercom, Import.io, Pipedrive, and Buffer, as well as retail plays including Postmates, Secret Escapes, and Zesty.

Andy was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s birthday honours list for services to UK business and technology leadership.

Richard Reed

Richard is the co-founder of innocent, the No.1 health drinks brand in Europe. Innocent was started from a market stall, now sells in 17 countries and was acquired by Coca Cola for $700m. Innocent’s mission is to ‘taste good and do good’, with sustainable business practices and a minimum of 10% of profits going to charity each year. Richard, along with his co-founders, now runs JamJar Investments, a UK based start-up fund focusing on consumer facing brands that use creativity, craft and functional performance to create lifetime loyalty. Richard is also a director of the independent press regulator Ipsos.

Alexandre Semboglou

Alexandre is a qualified Swiss lawyer. After being admitted to the bar in Switzerland in 1997, Alexandre qualified as a Swiss Certified Tax Expert in 2002 and went on to work for different financial services companies and prestigious law firms. In 2011, he became Chief Executive Officer of the Rhone Group, a Swiss company which provides clients with sophisticated financial planning advice and support.

Advisors

Moran Cerf

Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist and business professor at the Kellogg School of Management and the neuroscience programme at Northwestern university. In his work, Moran helps individuals and businesses harness the current knowledge of the brain to improve thinking and understanding of customers and business decisions. Moran is the beneficiary of several awards and grants for his work, including the Instructional Improvement Grant, and the prestigious Presidential Scholarship for Excellence, and was recently named one of the "40 Leading professors below 40". Currently, Moran is on the board of a number of neuro-tech companies (Nervanix, VR Americas, Best Fit), the Co-founder of ThinkAlike, and also the founder of B-Cube which applies neuroscience to help society.

Mustafa Suleyman

Mustafa Suleyman was co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Deepmind Technologies, a leading AI company, which was bought by Google in 2014 in their largest European acquisition to date. Mustafa is now Head of Applied AI at Google DeepMind and is responsible for integrating the technology across a wide range of Google products. Previously, Mustafa dropped out of Oxford University to help launch a telephone counseling service, building it to become one the largest mental health support services of its kind in the UK. As a skilled negotiator and facilitator, Mustafa has worked all over the world for a wide range of clients such as the UN, the Dutch government and WWF.

William MacAskill

William MacAskill is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Oxford University and the co-founder of Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours, which advises individuals on how to maximise the social impact of their time and money. Through these non-profits, Will has raised over $400 million in lifetime pledged donations to the most effective charities and helped spark the effective altruism movement. He is the author of Doing Good Better, published by Penguin Random House.

Jaan Tallin

Jaan is a founding engineer of Skype and Kazaa. He is Co-Founder of the Cambridge Centre for Existential Risk, Future of Life Institute, and philanthropically supports other existential risk research organizations. He is also a partner at Ambient Sound Investments, an active angel investor, and has served on the Estonian President's Academic Advisory Board.

Alex Comninos

Alex supports Founders Pledge on tech for good and is an Associate at Founders Intelligence, a specialist consultancy that helps the world’s leading corporates and investors to harness industry defining technologies and business models. Alex advises corporates and investors on digital strategy and technology innovation, and in this role has worked with Visa, News Corp, and Fannie Mae. Before joining Founders Intelligence, Alex worked in M&A, focusing on investments in media, internet and consumer business. Alex has varied volunteering experience, including coaching football at a local school in Costa Rica, and supporting Founders For Good and NSPCC Digital Taskforce.

Nicole Fu

Nicole is a marketing consultant helping startups and small organizations scale their marketing and outreach efforts. Previously, she was the Head of Marketing at a SaaS data analysis company where she was responsible for managing marketing efforts among a customer base spanning consumer and enterprise clients. Nicole graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics and is a champion of women in STEM.

Supporters

In-kind Partners