Heather Grady

Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors


Heather Grady is a Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) based in the San Francisco office. She leads on global philanthropy and helps deepen efforts on impact investing, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. She helped create, and leads on, the SDG Philanthropy Platform (, facilitating philanthropy’s engagement in the Sustainable Development Goals. She works with foundations and philanthropists in the US, Europe, China, South America, Indonesia, Kenya and other emerging markets. She leads on the European initiative of RPA’s Theory of the Foundation project and a new initiative with the Skoll Foundation on how philanthropy can better support ‘scalable solutions’.

Heather’s interest in systems-level change and sector-wide effectiveness stems from two decades of living and working in Asia, Africa and the Middle East managing long-term development and humanitarian programs. These were focused on themes including education, livelihoods, health, agriculture and microfinance. Previously Heather served as Vice President, Foundation Initiatives at The Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing an annual grantmaking budget averaging $65 million across several program areas including employment, health, impact investing, agriculture, transportation and culture. Before that she served as Managing Director of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, founded in 2002 by former Irish President Mary Robinson, and was an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University teaching courses on ethical globalization and climate change. Heather has an MPA from Harvard and a BA from Smith College. She is conversant in Chinese and Vietnamese. She serves on a number of Boards and Advisory Groups including The B Team, the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum, and SXSW Eco.