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Ben Thornley

Board Observer

Ben Thornley is an internationally recognized leader on impact management and originator of market best practices and standards, an experience that has allowed him to bring key concepts in impact investing to the highest levels of finance and government.

Since Tideline’s inception in 2014, Ben has advised over 60 institutional asset owners and managers on the launch of new products and platforms that comprehensively integrate impact and sustainability into each stage of the investment process, from sourcing and screening, through to performance optimization and reporting. Ben also has domain expertise in international and community development finance and leads Tideline’s strategic advisory practice in this area.

Ben also works closely with the CEO at BlueMark to develop the company’s direction, services, and new business relationships.

Prior to co-founding Tideline, Ben worked at the San Francisco-based CDFI Pacific Community Ventures where he grew the impact measurement business, PCV InSight, into a leading global think tank and consulting firm. Ben collaborated directly on the development of ideas, tools, and partnerships with organizations including Harvard University, Duke University, and the World Economic Forum, completed client work for institutional investors including the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), and published research for funders including the Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur, Heron, Annie E Casey, and W.K. Kellogg Foundations. This research included some of the foundational reports on impact investing at the time: Impact Investing – A Framework for Policy Design & Analysis (with Harvard University in 2011); Impact at Scale – Policy Innovation for Institutional Investment with Social and Environmental Benefit (with Harvard University in 2012); Breaking the Binary – Policy Guide to Social Innovation (with the World Economic Forum in 2013) and Impact Investing 2.0 (with Duke University in 2013).

Ben’s work at PCV culminated in the creation of the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative, a network of researchers, investors and policymakers from over 30 countries. This accomplishment earned Ben a White House invitation to make the first expert presentation to the G8’s Social Impact Investment Taskforce (now the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment). He also went on to co-author The Impact Investor: Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism with Cathy Clark and Jed Emerson in 2014, which to this day remains one of the most highly rated books on impact investing.

Ben began his career as a reporter and editor focused on the business and finance sectors, based in Australia and the U.S. He also served in government, directing Australia’s U.S.-based efforts to grow trade and investment in financial services while working out of the New York Consulate. Ben holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and sits on the advisory committees of the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) and SOCAP.