Today, more than 1.5 million nonprofits are registered in the U.S., according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), and many more continue to be formed every day. Behind every successful nonprofit organization is a leader who is dedicated to the mission and has a vision for the nonprofit’s future that will create a powerful impact on its community. Three influential leaders who have paved the way for future great founders, CEOs, and trailblazers are listed below.
Jean-Paul Laurent, Unspoken Smiles Foundation
Laurent is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the Unspoken Smiles Foundation since its inception in 2014. The mission of the foundation is to promote both long-term oral health and economic stability in the world’s most underserved regions. Laurent has received acknowledgment for his work in the sector. The United Nations, Ashoka, NYU Alumni, Clinton Foundation, etc. have honored him in the past five years. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his philanthropic contributions to the community. His dedication to oral health, social entrepreneurship, and public-private partnerships have allowed the foundation to be recognized as a global hub in the Dentistry. Laurent has an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Juliana Rotich, Entrepreneur and Advisor
Rotich is the co-founder of Ushahidi Inc, which is a nonprofit tech company that focuses on developing open-source software for changing how information reaches people across the globe. She also serves as a strategic advisor and keynote speaker, among many other roles. She currently serves as an advisor to BASF, Africa Technology Ventures, Risk Cooperative, and the Lemelson Foundation. In addition, she is also a trustee of the Bankinter Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Spain. She was also appointed as a board member of the Digital Impact Alliance as well as the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board.
Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code
Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, which is a national nonprofit that works hard to close to the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does in today’s society. By the end of the previous academic year, the organization had reached over 50,000 girls in 50 states and many U.S. territories. In addition, her earlier career also defined her as a trailblazer. She was the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. Saujani attended and graduated from the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Yale Law School.