Joy Anderson – Criterion Ventures

Luc Fagerberg August 2, 2009

Joy brings a depth of relationships that span established institutional investors, innovative social investors and philanthropists to her role as founding principal of Good Capital. In 2001, Joy founded and serves as President of Criterion Ventures, a national firm that incubates and scales ventures that make a better world. She evolved the firm from a general contract consulting group that did a range strategic work with nonprofits, to a firm that invests time and talent in a few focused social ventures. Client examples include a system-wide healthcare initiative for the $14 billion Methodist Pension Fund, to a data sharing system for the Women’s Funding Network to track the impact of social change philanthropy through 105 foundations. Criterion has worked in many sectors, including education, poverty alleviation, and healthcare.

Prior to Criterion, Joy worked for Growth Design, a national consulting firm that did fundraising and strategic planning for large nonprofit systems. Her first client, in 1997, was the United Methodist Church General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits, a client she worked with for a decade as strategic counsel. Having served as a counsel to leaders in philanthropy and nonprofits for the past decade, Joy’s experience runs from established national organizations to emerging ventures. After completing a BA in American Politics at Wesleyan University, Joy began her career in the NYC public school system at James Madison High School in Brooklyn. She went to understand how power works in a large system and stayed for eight years because of the kids and their daily triumphs. Joy played leadership roles in the United Federation of Teachers, working closely with union President Sandra Feldman on retention strategies for new teachers. And she designed and managed million dollar federally funded programs for the school and the district in both educational technology and English as a Second Language. During that tenure, she completed a Ph.D. in American History from New York University. Her dissertation examined prison reform in the 1830’s and how individuals and organizations in democracies claim expertise in order to shape public institutions.

In addition to her work at Good Capital and Criterion Ventures, Joy sits on the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Community Foundation.

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