Meet the Community

Cheryl Dorsey

Cheryl L. Dorsey is a pioneer in the social entrepreneurship movement, and the President of Echoing Green, a global organization seeding and unleashing next-generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. Prior to leading this social impact organization, Cheryl was a social entrepreneur herself and received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1992 to help launch The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit in Boston. She became the first Echoing Green Fellow to head the social venture fund in 2002. An accomplished leader and entrepreneur, she has served in two presidential administrations as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor (1997 98); Special Assistant to the Director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Labor Department (1998 99); and Vice Chair for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships (2009 16). Cheryl serves on several boards including the SEED Foundation, The Bridgespan Group, and, previously, the Harvard Board of Overseers. She has a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and her Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School and received her Bachelor’s degree in History and Science magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges.

Cheryl has received numerous awards for her commitment to public service, including the Pfizer Roerig History of Medicine Award, the Robert Kennedy Distinguished Public Service Award, the Manuel C. Carballo Memorial Prize, and Middlebury College Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Vision Award. She was also featured as one “America’s Best Leaders” by US News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School in 2009, as one of The Nonprofit Times’ “Power and Influence Top 50” in 2010 and 2011, and was named as one of “America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers” by the Business of Giving in 2016. During the 2018 – 19 academic year, Cheryl will serve as a Beck Visiting Social Innovator at SICI. One of Cheryl’s favorite quotes from Robert Schuller sums up her career ideology: What would you attempt to do if you could not fail?

While at SICI, Cheryl will further her work by developing and piloting initiatives specifically aimed at closing the gap in access to resources for social impact leaders of color and proximate leaders. On campus, she will advance this project through meetings and collaborations with faculty, staff, and students to exchange knowledge on critical social innovation content and competencies.