Contributor profile


Vanessa helps organizations build capacity to grow promising programs and organizations to scale. Vanessa has held senior management positions in both the private and nonprofit sectors, and is a consultant to nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and socially responsible corporations. Recent projects have included organizational assessment and capacity building, strategic and business planning for replication and scale, branding and marketing strategy, cost structure analysis, survey creation and analysis, and a comprehensive study of charter school funding in Oregon. Past clients include Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, READ Global, Nike Foundation, Fundacion Paraguaya/Teach a Man to Fish, Nike’s Sustainable Business and Innovation Group, Ecology Project International and Northwest Center for Educational Options.

In addition to consulting, Vanessa co-chairs Friends of the Children, a pioneering mentoring program for at-risk children with chapters nationwide currently undergoing a longitudinal randomized controlled trial funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Before joining the board, Vanessa served as Managing Director and VP of Strategic Development at Friends of the Children.

As Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources at EF Education, a language, cultural exchange and educational travel company with offices in 50 countries, Vanessa built EF’s professional development programs, created an MBA recruiting program to grow management talent, and reduced employee attrition from 40% to 25% in two years. Prior to EF, Vanessa completed MBA internships for Intel, working on education, and for Patagonia, completing an analysis of forecasting accuracy and cost. In the early 1990’s, Vanessa worked for a Venezuelan conglomerate and philanthropic group in Caracas, including managing and liquidating the group’s trade finance bank in New York City.

Vanessa is an active member of the community,  speaks at conferences, and serves on various boards and committees including Harvard Business School Alumni Advisory Board, Stand for Children’s K-12 Stable Funding Advisory Committee, Black Butte Ranch Board of Directors (formerly elected Vice Chair), and her Local Option PAC. Vanessa holds a B.S. from Boston University (summa cum laude) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.