Catherine Casey, Class of 2006
Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
I work with Acumen Fund, a non-profit venture fund that invests patient capital in businesses that provide basic goods and services like health care, housing, water, energy and agriculture to low income consumers in East Africa, India and Pakistan. At Acumen Fund we believe in the power of business to build solutions that create choice and dignity for the poor, rather than dependence. We have invested about $50 million to date in companies like Ecotact, a pay-per-use toilet company in Nairobi, Kenya; D.Light, which makes low-cost solar lanterns for sale in India and Tanzania; and Lifespring, a chain of low-cost maternity hospitals in India.
I’m currently leading Acumen Fund’s exploration of expansion to West Africa, including fundraising, building a local team, and developing a pipeline of investment opportunities in the region. I originally joined Acumen through the Fellows Program in 2007, and worked for a year to strengthen and grow a franchise network of health clinics in Kenya (you can learn more in the short video I made).
I continue to work closely with alumni from the Reynolds Fellowship and the Academy, and remain deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a strong community of changemakers.