Ali believes deeply in the creation of unique learning journeys, especially as they connect to the transformational role that institutions can play as leaders in emergent changemaking. Ali brings experience in community building, higher education, and transformative leadership to the Ashoka U team. Previously, Ali was based in Boston working with the Learning by Giving Foundation and Northeastern University (her alma mater) to accelerate national student grantmaking opportunities in higher ed and to launch the first-ever MOOC for effective charitable giving. In her hometown of the Hudson Valley, Ali co-founded the Ascienzo Family Foundation and serves as a director of foundation initiatives. She especially gravitates to education-based innovation, having worked for social enterprises like DonorsChoose.org and Room to Read. Living in service to others is Ali’s lifelong commitment — she is always eager to collaborate in ways that support the work and missions of fellow changemakers.
Jessica’s focus is on increasing Ashoka U’s breadth of impact. She leads Ashoka U’s thought leadership and digital strategy, refining Ashoka U’s messages to reach new audiences. Based in Ottawa, and as a past member of the Ashoka Canada team, Jess also brings a global lens to Ashoka U’s work. Through partnerships with higher education networks, she is building an increasingly global, and more representative campus network. An accomplished social entrepreneur, Jess has been working on spreading ideas in the social impact education space for more than 15 years. Her early experience was as a co-founder of an award-winning environmental organization that scaled across Canada, and the UK. She went on to launch an online school for changemakers, and develop a city-wide collaborative to support social enterprises. Jessica was awarded a Skoll Scholarship for her work and holds an MBA from Saîd Business School at Oxford University.
Danica comes from a family of entrepreneurs with Scottish ancestry in the unceded Coast Salish Territory of Victoria, BC. At Ashoka Canada, she leads the search and selection of visionary social change leaders into the global community of Ashoka Fellows. In addition, she co-leads the development and management of partners who are committed to working alongside this community on our country’s most pressing issues. Prior to joining Ashoka Canada, Danica worked on environmental and social change initiatives across Canada as well as internationally with The McConnell Foundation, Evergreen, the Institute for Ecological Economics and BALTA. She holds a MSc from McGill University and is the co-founder of StreetSuds transitional employment enterprise on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) in Montreal, where she currently resides.