Stanford Impact Labs Establishes Investment Advisory Council

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Afua Bruce, Daniel E. Ho, Rakesh Rajani, Ambassador Susan E. Rice, and Greg Walton will provide guidance to strengthen and inform SIL’s investment strategy

Graphic with headshots of 5 people. Bottom has a green strip going upwards.

Stanford Impact Labs (SIL), a university-wide initiative established in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, is delighted to mark our fifth year of investing in solutions-focused social science research with the formation of an Investment Advisory Council (IAC).

The council, which includes government and social sector leaders as well as Stanford University faculty and staff, has been carefully assembled to reflect a range of perspectives and harness the expertise of researchers and practitioners experienced at putting social science to work for society across the globe.

We are delighted to welcome Afua BruceDaniel E. HoRakesh RajaniAmbassador Susan E. Rice, and Greg Walton to the inaugural council to work alongside SIL leaders Michael EddyMisan RewaneAna Tellez, and Jeremy Weinstein.

Appointed for a one-year term, council members will meet quarterly to support each of SIL’s three investment cycles (Stage 1Stage 2, and Stage 3) and provide strategic advice to strengthen and inform the team’s overall investment strategy. This strategy springs from our founding agenda to enable teams of Stanford scholars to work with the public, social, and private sectors to tackle social problems using human creativity, rigorous evidence, and innovative technology. 

The formation of this council represents a crucial and exciting next step in our evolution as a special initiative within a higher education institution committed to harnessing social science to drive change. In prior funding cycles, SIL engaged the participation of stage-specific investment committees. By inviting the advisory support of one council across all proposals, the team hopes to enhance its holistic evaluation process, reduce bias, and strengthen the impact potential of the portfolio as a whole.

“Every time SIL invests, we look to fund a cohort of exceptional teams working in strong partnerships on significant social problems,” explains Michael Eddy, Director of Investments and Accountability. “We fund teams poised to not only make a vital scientific contribution to their field, but to do so in a way that demonstrates a compelling path from science to impact. Naturally, each review cycle we conduct presents us with tough decisions to make as we consider how best to allocate the limited resources we have. This council’s foundational guidance and support will strengthen how we frame, and answer, the many critical questions we consider in making those decisions.”

The guiding ambition at Stanford Impact Labs is to put social science to work for society, which cannot be done alone. Realizing this vision requires leadership and action from collaborators and change agents at all levels: government, higher education, philanthropy, and local communities. We’re honored and delighted to partner with this inaugural investment advisory council in pursuit of progress on some of the world's most pressing and persistent social challenges. 


Stanford Impact Labs maintains conflict of interest guidelines to manage potential and actual conflicts with advisory council members, reviewers, and others involved in selecting and managing investments.