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Gayle Peterson

Director, Oxford Impact Investing Programme and Social Finance Programme, pfc social investment advisors


As co-Director for the Impact Investing and Social Finance programmes, Peterson oversees curriculum development and programme design, and serves as a faculty member and tutor. In this capacity, Peterson challenges students to effectively tackle the world’s most complex problems through ethical and deliberate leadership. Peterson’s research and publications focus on social investing and modern-day slavery, climate change, poverty alleviation, worker wellbeing, and human rights. She co-founded Women Transforming Leadership and speaks and lectures on gender lens investing, women in private equity and social investing.
Peterson is also Senior Managing Director, pfc Social Impact Advisors, an international consultancy, offering strategic guidance in leadership, transparency, programme strategy, and performance measures. With more than 20 years of experience as a strategist, philanthropist, and trusted adviser to social investors worldwide, Peterson has managed and assessed more than US$15 billion in philanthropic and impact investments. She has advised social investors in more than 45 countries and has taught social investing classes in China, Africa, Europe, Russia, and North America.
Other highlights from Peterson’s career included serving as: Programme Director for the Great Lakes Protection Fund where she created the first bi-national grantmaking programme to promote environmental sustainability, green jobs, and multi-sector collaboration; Legislative Director for the Chicago Council on Urban Affairs where she led a successful campaign to amend the Illinois Constitution to promote fair housing practices; Chief of Staff, Commissioner of the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, where she advocated for policies to expand employment opportunities for women on public works projects.
MA Social Policy and Law, University of Chicago; MSc HEC-Paris School of Management and Oxford University.