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Nancy Pfund ’82 Honored by Commonwealth Club of California

Nancy Pfund ’82

Nancy Pfund ’82, a founder and managing partner of DBL Partners and a pioneer in social impact investing, will be honored at the Distinguished Citizen Award Gala of the Commonwealth Club of California on April 19 in San Francisco.

The Commonwealth Club, founded in 1903, is a forum for discussion of public affairs, presenting conversations with public figures, scholars, and artists. Its annual Distinguished Citizen Award Gala honors “those whose professional and humanitarian endeavors and accomplishments are worthy of recognition and celebration.”

Yale Insights: Nancy Pfund ’82 on Tradeoffs in Impact Investing

Pfund worked at JPMorgan and Hambrecht & Quist before founding DBL Investors, a venture capital firm that invested with the aim of achieving both financial returns and social or environmental impact. In 2015, the firm joined with the cleantech practice of Technology Partners to form DBL Partners. Pfund has made successful investments in such firms as Tesla, SolarCity, and Pandora.

“DBL Partners aims to develop great, innovative companies that achieve a broader social purpose,” Pfund said in a recent interview with Yale Insights. “We believe social purpose isn’t just desirable, it’s a necessity for successful businesses. We infuse our investment decisions with an underlying values equation. We expect that will, increasingly, become the norm.”

Other honorees in 2018 include Dr. Mary G.F. Bitterman, president of the Bernard Osher Foundation and former president and CEO of KQED Public Broadcasting; Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense, director of the CIA, White House chief of staff, and U.S. representative, and co-founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy; Sylvia Marie Panetta, co-chair and CEO of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy; and Dr. John L. Hennessy, board chair of Alphabet and 10th president of Stanford University.