Jacob Lief is Founder and CEO of Ubuntu Pathways (ubuntupathways.org), a non-profit organization that takes vulnerable children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa from cradle to career. Nuancing traditional development models, Ubuntu redefined the theory of “going to scale”; rather than expanding geographically, they focus on the depth rather than breadth of their programs within a community of 400,000 people. Ubuntu’s programs form an integrated system of medical, health, educational and social services, ensuring that a child who is either orphaned or vulnerable could succeed in the world of higher education and employment. Ubuntu’s child-centred approach highlights the difference between merely touching a child’s life versus fundamentally changing it.
In 2010, Jacob was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. In 2012, he joined the Clinton Global Initiative Advisory Committee. In 2014, he was a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and is the host of Philanthropy Unfiltered–a podcast series produced in partnership with the University’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy. Jacob has authored a book, I Am Because You Are, which was published by Rodale Inc. in May 2015.