Pamela Hartigan (1948-2016)


The late Dr Pamela Hartigan (1948-2016) was most recently the Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Said Business School.
Read John Elkington’s brief celebration of Pamela, here.

She was also a Volans Founding Partner and Non Executive Director. From 2001 to 2008, she was the Managing Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a Swiss-based organization focused on advancing the practice of social entrepreneurship nationally, regionally and globally. The Foundation is the second organization started by Klaus Schwab, the first being the World Economic Forum. Pamela was the first Managing Director of the Foundation and was responsible for shaping the strategy and operations pursued by the Foundation to achieve its mission.

Pamela was a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and held a Masters degree in International Economics, a Masters in Education and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. Her book, entitled The Power of Unreasonable People: How Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World and co-authored with John Elkington, was released in February 2008 by Harvard Business Press. She was a frequent lecturer on social entrepreneurship and innovation at graduate schools of business in the USA, Europe and Asia, and was an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia School of Business in New York City. She served on the Board of five social enterprises and advised many more.

Throughout her career, Pamela held varied leadership positions in multilateral health organizations and educational institutions as well as in entrepreneurial non-profits. She was responsible for conceptualizing and creating new organizations, departments or programs across a variety institutional arrangements and multi-stakeholder platforms. In the area of health, Pamela headed up the Department of Health Promotion at the World Health Organization (1999-2001); was Programme Manager and Area Co-ordinator for Applied Field Research in the Special Programme on Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) of the World Bank, WHO, and UNDP (1997-1999). Between 1990 and 1997, she worked in WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as Chief of the Gender, Health and Development and Manager for Special Initiative in the HIV/AIDS Programme.


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