Natalie Grillon, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management MBA 2012, Named Acumen Global Fellow


Prestigious fellowship selects fewer than 1 percent of its 1,000 applicants from 100 countries to work on tackling global poverty

Natalie Grillon, MBA ’12, was selected as an Acumen Fund Class of 2013 Global Fellow.  The Acumen Fund Global Fellows Program is one-year fellowship that combines two months of leadership training in New York City with a 10-month field placement in India, Pakistan, East Africa, or West Africa.  Each Fellow provides on-the-ground management support to one of Acumen’s investee companies on the front lines of tackling global poverty.

The prestigious fellowship selected fewer than 1 percent of applicants from its global candidate pool.  For the Class of 2013, Acumen Fund received over 1,000 applications from more than 100 countries.  Natalie joins nine other fellows, who together represent eight countries, speak 11 languages, and bring a depth of global experience, ranging from software engineering at Google, to directing operations at a fashion house in Saudi Arabia.

“We are extremely excited that Natalie was selected as a member of such an impressive group,” said Mark Milstein, director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise. “The Acumen Fund’s Fellows Program is highly regarded for preparing its participants for careers in social enterprise and impact investing.  It is a great opportunity for Natalie. We know she will make a lasting contribution to – and benefit from – being part of this exclusive community.”

Natalie is the first Johnson student to be selected for the program since its inception in 2007.  Natalie came to Johnson, after working as a natural resource management specialist with the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali. She also worked in environmental and sustainability planning for a Massachusetts municipality and was a sustainability strategy and marketing intern at S. C.  Johnson in 2011.  While at Johnson at Cornell University, Natalie was a member of the Sustainable Global Enterprise immersion, a semester-long class coupled with an external consulting project.  Her Johnson consulting experience ranged from advice to a multi-national chemical company, to a marketing plan for a local land trust.  In addition to her Johnson MBA, Natalie holds a B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University.

“Johnson, and the sustainability curriculum in particular, prepared me well for supporting an Acumen investee company,” said Natalie.  “I’m honored to be selected as an Acumen Fund Global Fellow and hope my experience in West Africa, coupled with my recent degree, enable me to make an impact on social enterprise in an emerging market.”


About the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise

The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management frames global sustainability challenges as business opportunities, and works with firms to specify innovative, entrepreneurial, and new business alternatives they can implement in the marketplace. Programs include those focused on market and enterprise creation (particularly in low income communities), clean technology commercialization and innovation, and finance + sustainability. The Center focuses on building the skills and capabilities needed to formulate and implement practical, operational solutions that have value in today's marketplace.