Cheryl Yaffe Kiser
Executive Director, The Lewis Institute & Babson Social Innovation Lab
As the Executive Director of The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation and The Babson Social Innovation Lab, Cheryl is responsible for leading a critical aspect of the growth strategy for Babson by promoting broad support for Babson’s work in integrating social innovation and social entrepreneurship into its curriculum and co-curricular activities. Employing Entrepreneurial Thought & Action as Babson’s key methodology for spurring social innovation in all sectors, Cheryl is developing Babson as the “go to place“ for global social entrepreneurship resources, activities, relationships, networks, knowledge and convenings. These initiatives will enable Babson to serve as an educator, amplifier, accelerator and communicator of the positive impacts of social entrepreneurship in all of its forms.
Before coming to Babson, Cheryl was the Managing Director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. She is one of the leading voices in the U.S. on the role of business in society. For more than 12 years she played a central role in creating the largest research center of its kind in the U.S., and spearheaded a national initiative to engage leading businesses to take a collaborative approach to working on education issues.
For over a decade she managed the content and delivery of the largest annual conference in the world on corporate citizenship, the International Corporate Citizenship Conference which drew representatives from over one third of the Fortune 500 and from 24 countries around the globe.
Prior to Boston College, Cheryl was the Director of Marketing for Work Family Directions, the leading provider of work life programs.
Cheryl, who earned a graduate degree in community organization and social policy and planning from Boston College, has always been at the intersection of public policy, private enterprise and community. She is skilled at building new markets for social change organizations and developing communications and positioning strategies. She is a leader in corporate social responsibility and social innovation, and has won awards for her public affairs campaigns.
Cheryl’s passion for promoting healthy living started when she was born. Her grandmother was a vegan and her mother was a pioneer in the natural food industry, founding The Golden Sheaf Natural Foods in 1969. Cheryl is also active in her brother’s two food entrepreneurial ventures, Garden Grille, a vegetarian restaurant, and Wildflour, a gluten-free, vegan bakery in Providence, Rhode Island. Cheryl is also the co-creator of Food Sol an “action tank” at Babson’s Social Innovation Lab dedicated to using entrepreneurship to redesign the food system.
Cheryl is married to David Kiser and has two children Ross and Kenna.