Ben Mangan to Lead the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership

Ben Mangan

By Nora Silver, Faculty Director

“We commit to take action.”
That’s the title on the certificate Ben Mangan is holding as he stands beside Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2013 (pictured below).

Ben brings that promise of action to his new role as the 2nd executive director of the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.  He was chosen from among an exceptionally strong candidate pool. Exciting ideas Ben brings to the Center include:

  • democratizing social entrepreneurship by providing access to Center resources for budding, but still unknown, social entrepreneurs around the globe
  • becoming a regular destination for top talent – inviting visiting fellows from industry to teach and learn with students
  • applying lean launch principles to social start-ups
  • offering groundbreaking social impact convenings and executive education

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Alumni Spotlight – Jennifer Kawar, Director, Nonprofit Finance Fund

Jennifer Kawar

Jennifer Kawar, BS 82

Jennifer Kawar, Haas BS 82, admits that working for the social sector wasn’t her focus while obtaining her undergraduate degree from Haas and her MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

It was after 14 years of experience in the “mainstream” of financial services, working in  business development, underwriting, portfolio management and credit administration for financial institutions like TIAA-CREF, GE Capital and Bank of America, while devoting her energies to family and community, that Jennifer reflected on how she could better use her business education and experience to effect change in the social sector.

Her move into the social sector.

“People with training in accounting and finance have largely been deployed to Wall Street or corporate America, toward managing assets for individuals or corporations that have accumulated wealth,” she said. “I wondered what might be possible if we re-deployed some of that talent to help those who don’t have ready access to capital and financial advice.”

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Community Partner Spotlight – ImpactAssets

Ron Cordes, BS 81, Founder and Board Member

Like many successful new enterprises, ImpactAssets began as a way to address an unmet need. Ron Cordes, Haas BS 81, needed advice on investing the assets of his new family foundation. He quickly fell into what he calls the “5% – 95% conundrum”. Advisors pushed the foundation to have a grant budget equal to 5% of its assets and invest the rest. “Why can’t we have an impact with our other 95%?” Ron pushed back. The answer to that question led to ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services company whose mission is to build the field of impact investing and provide investment opportunities to a wide range of investors.

Ron Cordes, BS 81

Ron Cordes, BS 81

ImpactAssets is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public entity designed to be a field builder and to create an ecosystem to benefit the field and the public at large. It is also a financial services company committed to being financially accountable with a sustainable revenue model based on earned income. It manages $150 million in assets, having surpassed an initial goal of $100 million last year. It engages the field in two main ways;

  1. acting as a catalyst, promoter and supporter of impact investing, and
  2. democratizing impact investing by providing financial products accessible to small investors.

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Brent Copen recognized for outstanding teaching

Brent Copen

Haas Lecturer Brent Copen, CFO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement, was named to the latest Berkeley-Haas “Club Six”.

Based on written student evaluations, the “Club Six” ranking is a key metric used by Haas to measure the teaching performance of its instructors. It means that students in his class rated his teaching 6.0 or above on a 7 point scale. Despite his busy schedule, he teaches the Nonprofit Finance course for both full time and part time MBA students.

On his commitment to teaching, he says:

“I find it personally rewarding to help students appreciate the complexities of the nonprofit business model – as well as what is required to move an organization ‘from good to great’.”

His favorite part of working with students:

“I enjoy sharing some of the practical tools and approaches I have picked up over the years that will help students – as future nonprofit leaders – analyze and act upon financial information as part of an overall approach to strategic decision making.”

Why MBAs are important to the social sector:

“As future board members and senior managers, MBA’s bring the financial background and the business acumen that many nonprofits need to realize the double bottom line of mission impact and financial sustainability.”

Brent brings more than 15 years of nonprofit experience into the classroom, including management roles at the Nonprofit Finance Fund and La Piana Consulting. He is committed to strengthening the sector by helping nonprofit organizations develop more robust financial management practices.  He has presented hundreds of workshops and trainings nationally to executive directors, board members, funders and future leaders. He has also consulted extensively to a wide variety of nonprofits across sub-sectors.

Brent will also publish a new case study for the Berkeley-Haas Case Series later this month.