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Jake Harriman

CEO, Nuru International


Jake Harriman graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and served seven and a half years in the Marine Corps as a Platoon Commander in both the Infantry and a special operations unit called Force Recon. During his military career, Jake led four operational deployments, including two combat tours in Iraq and disaster relief operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Asian tsunami. Jake was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat during his second tour in Iraq. From his experiences, Jake came to believe that the “War on Terror” wouldn’t be won on the battlefield alone: the contributing causes of terrorism—disenfranchisement, lack of education and extreme poverty—must also be eradicated. Jake left his career in the Marine Corps and enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to build Nuru International, an organization focused on ending extreme poverty in remote, rural areas. Jake graduated with an MBA in June 2008 and led a team to launch Nuru Kenya later that year. Since then, Nuru Kenya and Nuru Ethiopia have enabled over 60,000 people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. As founder and CEO of Nuru International, Jake has received several honors: Rainer Arnhold Fellowship (2009); Unsung Hero of Compassion presented by His Holiness The Dalai Lama (2014); Gerson Lehrman Group Social Impact Fellowship (2014); Ballard Center Social Innovator of the Year (2014); TEDxBYU speaker (2014); story told in 40 Chances by Howard G. Buffet (2014); White House Champion of Change (2014); Senate resolution in his home state of West Virginia for efforts in addressing global poverty (2015); Presidential Leadership Scholar (2015); and coverage in The New York Times, BBC, Forbes, ABC, Devex, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, among others. When not in Sub-Saharan Africa, Jake stays in San Clemente, California. Jake is 40 years old and is fighting to end extreme poverty in his lifetime.