Faculty Spotlight – Cleveland Justis

Justis, Cleve_010Having been raised in a family of entrepreneurs, Cleveland Justis recognizes the power of entrepreneurial approaches to solving problems. In particular, he has been interested in the places where business, government, and nonprofits work together in entrepreneurial ways to solve problems and create opportunities, and has been working with the Center for many years to explore that interest. In the past, he has hosted two S3 teams and a Board Fellow and has spoken at a number of Haas classes, and currently, he teaches the Social Entrepreneurship course, an experience that he finds memorable.

“The students are so talented, motivated, and willing to engage in the material and with our guest speakers,” he said. “This semester we’ve had some high profile speakers and the students have engaged fully and asked thoughtful questions and, at times, respectfully challenge the speakers.”

Due to Haas students’ motivation, willingness to question the status quo, and passion for making the world a better place, Cleveland has seen numerous successful startups emerge from his classes.

“There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing [my] students create a successful enterprise to solve a pressing problem,” he said.

Outside of the Center, Cleveland serves as the Board Chair of the Marin Community Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the country. He believes that serving on the board allows him not only to bring in the lessons from philanthropy into the Social Entrepreneurship course, but also to put into practice what he and his students discuss in class.

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