Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dr. Cheryl Dorsey-President of Echoing Green

Cheryl Dorsey is president of Echoing Green, a global social venture fund that has awarded over $33 million in startup capital to nearly 600 next generation social entrepreneurs worldwide since 1987.  It was 1990, and black babies were dying at three times the rate of white babies in inner-city Boston, home to some of the world's top hospitals. Cheryl Dorsey, a Harvard medical student, had been hearing about racial disparity in infant mortality and thought it "an egregious affair." So when Nancy Oriol, a Harvard faculty member, suggested working together on a solution, Dorsey threw herself into the project full force, postponing her internship and residency in pediatrics. After many late nights at Oriol's kitchen table, the two launched Family Van in 1992. The mobile health program served 1,292 Boston residents of all ages that first year and now serves about 7,000 annually, doing its part in helping to close the infant mortality gap.  Family Van was funded in part with a grant Dorsey received as a fellow at Echoing Green, a nonprofit investor in young social entrepreneurs, which Dorsey now leads.  Dorsey completed her internship and residency, then left her doctor's coat behind for good. She joined Echoing Green's board in 1998 and served on several fellowship selection panels before stepping down in 2001 to consult for the group, which was seeking new leadership. Dorsey thought she'd stay a few months but was named president in May 2002. "The organization transformed my life," she says. "It made sense for someone who really understood the program to take over the reins." By                                                              

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