David Reiff

2019 Cheng Fellow

David Reiff is a joint MPP and MBA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. His work focuses on addressing socioeconomic inequality and barriers to economic mobility in the US through innovative technology solutions for the middle-skills labor market. He is currently validating key hypotheses around the demand for and viability of a range of social venture concepts, including new career on-ramps for overlooked talent, new data standards that improve the interoperability of the various stakeholders in the workforce development ecosystem, and workforce ROI solutions that nudge employers to invest more in their workers.

David previously co-founded a social enterprise developing financial health benefits for low- and moderate-income workers, with the backing of the Omidyar Network, the Robin Hood Foundation, and BlackRock Social Impact. In this role he gained first-hand exposure to lower-income Americans who facd not only near-term economic security challenges but significant barriers to longer-term economic mobility. He became inspired through this work, and collaborations with Cheng Fellow, D Polk, to re-dedicate himself to innovations that could improve economic mobility for traditionally underserved populations through technology-enabled solutions for adult learners, workers, employers, and the broader workforce ecosystem.

While at Harvard, David has also worked in venture capital as an Academic Core Venture Partner at Underscore VC, focusing on early-stage future of work investments, and he previously helped Flourish Ventures develop an investment thesis in housing affordability and access. David was an early member of the product team at LenddoEFL, a social enterprise building digital tools that expand financial inclusion for unbanked entrepreneurs and consumers in emerging markets. He has also worked in the San Jose Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation and served as a fellow at the Aspen Institute Financial Security program. He has published research in organizational behavior in theĀ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Tufts University.