Jeremy Nowak

Senior Fellow, Center for Impact Finance
President at J Nowak and Associates LLC

Jeremy Nowak operates a boutique consulting firm that specializes in social investment, urban policy, and strategy. Current clients include The Berwind Office of the Trustees, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, and The California Endowment. Mr. Nowak is also Board Chair and columnist for a new media startup in Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Citizen.

He was the President of the William Penn Foundation in 2011 and 2012, developing the blueprint for their current grant making. Jeremy was the founding CEO of The Reinvestment Fund (TRF). During his tenure more than $1 billion of investments in support of housing, small businesses, and community facilities was allocated to urban neighborhoods in the mid-Atlantic. He also launched a real estate development company, a public policy consultancy, and a spatial analytics firm ( through the TRF platform.

Currently he is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Nonresident Scholar
at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research. In 2012 and 2013 he was appointed to chair the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, as part of this six-year tenure at the Reserve Bank (2008 to 2013).  

Active in Philadelphia’s civic life, he was the founding Board Chair of Mastery Charter Schools, a network of seventeen inner-city schools that continues to receive national attention for student achievement. He was the founding Board Chair of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a charity that has raised more than $100 million in support of pediatric cancer research. In 1995, Mr. Nowak received the Philadelphia Award, the city’s highest civic honor. Both Villanova University (2000) and La Salle University (2008) have awarded him honorary doctorates in recognition of his achievements.

Jeremy was a Fellow at the Aspen Institute in 2007. The Opportunity Finance Network presented him with the Ned Gramlich award for responsible finance in 2011. He has Mr. Nowak testified in Congress in a variety of issues including the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Obama Administration’s healthy food initiative.  In 2012 he co-chaired the National Arts Policy Roundtable at the Sundance Institute.

He has authored numerous articles and chapters in books on subjects as diverse as development finance, urban place making, and housing policy. He holds a B.A. degree in Philosophy from The Pennsylvania State University (1973) and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the New School for Social Research (1986), where his dissertation won the Alfred Schutz award.