PALO ALTO, Calif., March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Skoll Foundation and its Board of Directors are delighted to announce that Marla Blow will join the Foundation as President and Chief Operating Officer. Marla comes to the Foundation from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, where she is Senior Vice President for Social Impact in North America.
Ms. Blow, a seasoned leader in both the public and private sector, will lead Skoll's program, grants, investments, and financial management, including its operations, endowment, and portfolio partnerships. In this newly created role, she will be focused on shaping the Foundation's strategy and deepening its impact.
"We couldn't be more excited to have Marla as our new President and COO as we embark on the next chapter at the Foundation,'' said Don Gips, CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "We are inspired by her entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to impact, and strong track record of leadership. Her strategic vision and experience will help fuel our learning and innovation and enable us to seize new opportunities to amplify our impact and catalyze meaningful, lasting social change."
"I am honored to join Skoll at this pivotal time nationally and globally," said Ms. Blow. "Philanthropy—alongside communities, social entrepreneurs and multi-sector partners—has a pivotal role to play in advancing a world that is more just and equitable. I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead at an organization that helps to accelerate positive change and tackles the world's most pressing problems."
Marla brings deep experience in economic inclusion after years as a corporate executive, a Federal regulator, an entrepreneur, and an angel investor. Throughout her career, she has been unwavering in her commitment to being a purpose-driven leader in both the private and public sectors.
At the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the company's philanthropic hub, Ms. Blow helped to advance the Center's priorities in North America to promote financial security, foster a more inclusive economy, and support worker mobility. Most recently, Marla led efforts to address the racial wealth and opportunity gaps through programmatic work and impact investments in support of Black communities. She is the Board Chair at LIFT-DC, an organization that helps low-income parents with young children achieve economic mobility and serves on the Board of Square Financial Services.
Prior to joining Mastercard in 2019, Marla was founder and CEO of FS Card Inc., a DC-based credit card venture designed to make traditional credit available to underserved consumers. She was also a Partner in Fenway Summer LLC, a consumer finance investment and venture capital firm that incubated FS Card.
"Marla's commitment to driving systems change ensures that Skoll will continue to operate at the leading edge of philanthropic innovation," continued Mr. Gips. "She is the right leader to add to our team at this important moment as we work to advance social equity and economic inclusion alongside our longstanding commitment to addressing entrenched challenges around the world. The entire leadership team and I look forward to working with her to enhance our impact."
Ms. Blow has been widely recognized as a leading executive in the finance industry. For her work as an entrepreneur, she won the EY Mid-Atlantic Emerging Company Entrepreneur of the Year Award. As part of the implementation team that built the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Marla served as the Assistant Director for Card and Payment Markets.
She is a Henry Crown Fellow as part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Other accolades include the #3 spot on the list of most important women in FinTech in the US and being named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Ms. Blow holds a BS from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and an MBA from Stanford University.
About the Skoll Foundation
The Skoll Foundation, founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeff Skoll in 1999, works to build a sustainable world of peace and prosperity for all. It invests, connects, and celebrates social entrepreneurs and other innovators working to solve the world's most pressing problems, ranging from addressing the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthening global health systems, inclusive economies, effective governance, racial justice, and climate action. The 2021 Skoll World Forum will take place online April 13-15 and is free and open to everyone, with advance registration available here.
SOURCE The Skoll Foundation