Blum Center Welcomes New Board Members Michelle Nunn and Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss

In anticipation of the expansion of its Development Engineering programs and continued growth of the Big Ideas Contest and global problem-solving initiatives, the Blum Center welcomes two new members to its board of trustees.

Michelle Nunn is president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading humanitarian organization that fights global poverty and provides lifesaving assistance in emergencies. CARE works in 93 countries and directly reaches 63 million people annually. Nunn took the helm of CARE in 2015 and has since invested in innovative new programs and partnerships with private corporations and other nonprofits. Among her initiatives, Nunn has set a goal of increasing CARE’s micro-savings program from 7 million participants to 60 million participants by 2028.

Before joining CARE, Nunn built an illustrious career of civic and public service as a social entrepreneur, a nonprofit CEO, and a candidate for the U.S. Senate. She co-founded the volunteer-mobilization organization Hands On Atlanta, and expanded it from a single entity to a national network of more than 50 affiliates. Nunn oversaw that group’s merger with Points of Light, creating the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, with affiliates across the globe engaging more than 70,000 corporations and nonprofit organizations.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, Nunn majored in history with a minor in religion and earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also received a Kellogg Fellowship to study faith and social justice in more than a dozen countries, from Peru to Namibia to Jordan.

Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss is the founder and CEO of RockCreek, a leading global investment firm that applies technology and innovation to sustainable investments. Previously, she was managing director and partner at the Carlyle Group and president of Carlyle Asset Management. She was treasurer and chief investment officer of the World Bank and worked at Shell International and J.P. Morgan. Beschloss has advised central banks and regulatory agencies on global public policy and financial policy. She led the World Bank’s energy investments and policy work on sustainable investing in traditional and renewable energy and power projects to reduce carbon emissions. She founded its Natural Gas Group to invest in natural gas and power projects in emerging economies.

Beschloss serves on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the World Resources Institute, and the American Red Cross, among others. She is a member of the World Economic Forum and the Council of Foreign Relations. Beschloss is a past Trustee of the Ford Foundation, where she chaired the Investment Committee.

Beschloss is a recipient of the Institutional Investor Lifetime Achievement Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award. She was recognized as one of American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking. Beschloss holds an MPhil (Honors) in Economics from the University of Oxford, where she taught international trade and economic development. She is the co-author of The Economics of Natural Gas and author of numerous journal articles on energy, finance, impact, and sustainability. 

Said Professor Shankar Sastry, faculty director of the Blum Center, “We are delighted Michelle Nunn and Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss have agreed to lend us their intellect, ear, insights, and sage advice to further the Blum Center mission to educate the next generation of global citizens and support breakthrough interdisciplinary research for the widest societal benefit. In Fall 2021, we will launch the first professional master’s degree in Development Engineering, piggybacking on what we have learned from our faculty innovations, our Big Ideas Contest, our undergraduate program in Global Poverty & Practice, and our PhD programs in Development Engineering. We are grateful these two exceptional people will be helping us with that and other efforts.”