Jacob Harold - President & CEO, GuideStar

Jacob Harold is the President & CEO of GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information about nonprofits.  Each year more than 9 million users seek answers from GuideStar’s 3.5 billion pieces of data. 

Harold was named to the Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50 in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Harold came to GuideStar from the Hewlett Foundation, where he led grantmaking for the Philanthropy Program.  Between 2006 and 2012, he oversaw $30 million in grants which, together, aimed to build a 21st century infrastructure for smart giving.  Before that, he worked as a consultant to nonprofits and foundations at the Bridgespan Group and as a climate change campaigner and strategist with the Packard Foundation, Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace USA. 

He has written extensively on climate change and philanthropic strategy.  His essays have been used as course materials at Stanford, Duke, Wharton, Harvard, Oxford, and Tsinghua.  He earned an AB summa cum laude from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford.  Harold has further training from Green Corps, Bain, the Chinese Academy of Sciences/Santa Fe Institute, and SIT.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Harold is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where his parents ran small community-based nonprofit organizations.   He lives in Washington, DC with his wife—a physician-anthropologist—and their young son.