Trelstad to chair Advanced Leadership Initiative

Brian Trelstad has been appointed faculty chair of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. Photo courtesy of Harvard Social Enterprise Conference

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Brian Trelstad, senior lecturer of business administration and Joseph L. Rice III Faculty Fellow at Harvard Business School, will become the next faculty chair of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) beginning this month.

In his new position, Trelstad will succeed Meredith Rosenthal, C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who has served as ALI faculty chair since January 2019 and, prior to that, as an ALI faculty board member since 2016. In collaboration with faculty across Harvard, Trelstad will advance ALI’s mission to prepare experienced leaders to take on new challenges in the social sector. He will continue his affiliation with the Harvard Business School, where he teaches elective courses on social entrepreneurship and systems change and required courses on the role of business in society.

“Brian brings to ALI deep experience in training leaders to support efforts for social good,” said John H. Shaw, the University’s vice provost for research. “His commitment to understanding innovation and how it drives social and environmental change makes him the right person to carry forward ALI’s mission of empowering leaders to contribute solutions to complex problems.”

“We are indebted to Meredith Rosenthal for her service over the past four years,” Shaw said. “Under her leadership, ALI has reworked and expanded its core curriculum, recruited more diverse cohorts, and broadened its reach through partnerships with social impact programs and the launch of its Social Impact Review. Her commitment has been inspiring and beneficial for ALI’s fellows, and I am deeply grateful to her for her energy and unwavering dedication.”

The search process involved consultation with faculty, staff, and others across the University, including substantial input from ALI alumni. “We learned so much about the initiative, including opportunities to further strengthen and support it,” said Shaw. “We look forward to working with Brian, the Faculty Executive Committee, and others to act on these recommendations.”

Shaw notes that Trelstad will continue to work as a senior lecturer in HBS’ General Management Unit, where he teaches courses on social entrepreneurship and systems change and leadership and corporate accountability. He is also a partner and board member at Bridges Fund Management, a specialist sustainable and impact investor with $1B+ under management that invests in mission-driven businesses, real-estate projects, and outcome-based contracts in the United States and Europe. Prior to joining Bridges, Trelstad was the chief investment officer at Acumen, a pioneering impact investment fund that primarily focused on emerging markets.

Trelstad is an alumnus of Harvard College, where he received a degree in Social Studies (A.B. 1991). He also received an M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and an M.A. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.