Expanding CASE’s Global Network: Announcing the Newest Senior Fellows

A New York Times bestselling author gives a presentation at the Sustainable Business and Social Impact Conference. An activist and organizational development consultant works with MBA students in an independent study to advocate for food justice in Durham. A serial social entrepreneur coaches impact enterprises to scale.

What do these people all have in common? They are all senior fellows at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  

“When I first learned about CASE, I was so impressed with the team’s expertise in the field of social entrepreneurship that I just knew I had to be involved with what they were doing,” said Dan Heath, New York Times bestselling author of Upstream, Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive and The Power of Moments. “Now, after over ten years of being involved, I can honestly say it that it has been one of the best partnerships of my career.”

In 2009, Dan Heath became CASE’s first senior fellow and has since mentored students through the CASE Launch Pad, provided strategic guidance on CASE initiatives, led Change Academy, which was CASE’s first executive education program, and contributed to the latest research in the social entrepreneurship field. Realizing that this could be an opportunity to leverage expertise from other individuals in its vast global network, CASE has since welcomed others interested in becoming senior fellows.

Today, CASE has seven senior fellows, including Heath, who are experts in a diverse range of topics, from scaling social impact to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion. Through these senior fellows, CASE is constantly challenged to innovate and incorporate varying perspectives into creating cutting-edge, high-quality programs and research.

“We have talented and influential people in our network and our senior fellows program allows us to bring their experience and invaluable insights to our work,” said CASE Executive Director Erin Worsham. “We are delighted to engage with these inspiring individuals and thrilled to offer this resource to the Fuqua community and beyond.”

Most recently, CASE welcomed its two newest senior fellows, Laurie Spengler, who will share her expertise in impact investing, and Laura Gitman, who brings expertise in corporate social impact and will support student teams working with impact enterprises through the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum. Read about why they are excited to work with CASE below and, as asked on the Fuqua MBA application, a fun fact about them:

Laura Gitman

Why are you excited to work with CASE?

“I’ve spent my career at the intersection of business and impact, so I’m really excited to work with a business school program that drives that intersection not just with social entrepreneurs directly, but by preparing the next generation of leaders to drive societal change across public, private and social sectors. I hope I can contribute my experience in ways that will benefit the students and the program overall, but I also know that I will personally benefit. I’ve been in this space a long time, and it can be frustrating and sometimes disheartening when the pace of change does not meet the urgency of the global problems we’re trying to solve. Engaging with students and entrepreneurs provides a burst of positive inspiration that can be incredibly rejuvenating, and reminds me that change is not just possible, but is happening.”

At Fuqua, we ask our applicants to give us 25 fun facts about themselves – since you are now joining Team Fuqua, what is one fun fact about yourself?

“The most educational experience I’ve ever had was the six months that I spent living on the coast of Ecuador as one of two ‘gringas’- both of us named Laura.”

Laurie Spengler

Why are you excited to work with CASE?

“I am excited to work with CASE because the team pushes to convert thought to action; they use probative inquiry to seek solutions and identify levers of influence that will both eliminate barriers and accelerate action – from a range of stakeholders – to build robust, resilient, impact economies around the world. Their multi-lingual approach translates into an understanding of the full range of actors contributing to an impact economy ecosystem, from investors to enterprises to regulators to community and more. I am excited to be part of this dynamic team!”

At Fuqua, we ask our applicants to give us 25 fun facts about themselves – since you are now joining Team Fuqua, what is one fun fact about yourself?

“I speak a bit of Mandarin from my days living in Taiwan as an English teacher right after university.”

Learn more about CASE’s five other senior fellows for 2020 below: