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Jane Leu: Social Entrepreneur in Residence, Fall 2009

Jane LeuJane Leu, an internationally recognized social entrepreneur, was Marquette University’s first social entrepreneur-in-residence from October 27 through November 7, 2009. During her residency, Leu met with classes, student organizations and faculty members across campus in an effort to explore a cross-disciplinary fit for social entrepreneurship at Marquette, both as a tool for learning and for life.

As founder and CEO of Upwardly Global (2000-09), widely considered a solid model of social entrepreneurship, she focused on creating the day when immigrant professionals from around the world will be seamlessly integrated in the U.S. workforce in a way that optimizes their skills. Currently, foreign-born professionals experience extreme downward mobility into jobs such as taxi driver, security guard and nanny.

Upwardly Global, with offices in San Francisco, New York and Chicago, has assisted nearly 2,000 immigrants from 100 developing countries restart their professional careers in the U.S. Upwardly Global has partnered with major corporations and state governments to increase global workforce diversity and remove systemic barriers to labor mobility. Upwardly Global's innovative idea and Leu's leadership have been recognized by many awards, including Ashoka: Innovators for the Public and the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, as well as having been profiled by National Public Radio, the BBC, CNN, Time magazine and the Wall Street Journal. She serves on the Advisory Council for the Migration Policy Institute's National Center for Immigrant Integration.

Leu holds a master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree from Tufts University. She was born and raised in Medina, Ohio and currently lives in San Francisco, CA.


“Ultimately, we must understand the
need to be agents of change.”       

Pedro Arrupe, S.J.


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