Engineering alumna and venture philanthropy specialist to lead new Marshall Impact Accelerator at London School of Economics

The Marshall Institute at the London School of Economics has announced that venture philanthropy and investment specialist Leslie Labruto will be director of its newly launched Marshall Impact Accelerator, a first-of-its-kind new launching ground for innovative social ventures. The new director’s immediate focus is on building the Accelerator’s strategy before it operationalizes later this year.

Leslie Labruto

Labruto, BE’11, joins the Marshall Impact Accelerator from Acumen, where she served as head of investment strategy and spearheaded initiatives to ensure universal energy access during the pandemic and kickstart philanthropic investment in emerging markets around the world.

First announced in 2021 following a $66 million (USD) donation, the Marshall Impact Accelerator will support not-for-profit social ventures that focus on tackling global challenges in key areas such as health, climate change, social inequality, public policy and developmental economics.

“The Marshall Impact Accelerator will help us scale up the social impact projects that are making a difference in key global development areas,” said Stephan Chambers, director of the Marshall Institute. “With her years of success and experience in global venture philanthropy and investment, Leslie Labruto is the ideal leader to take us from a world that focuses less on ‘what people want’ and more on ‘what people need.’ We’re confident and excited to take our next steps with her at the helm.”

The Accelerator will leverage LSE’s existing expertise in these areas to add rigor and data to help determine what’s needed to scale effective solutions, provide philanthropically backed capital to start-up enterprises, and accompany successful companies on their pathway to scale through business, policy, and talent support.

After graduation from Vanderbilt in 2011 with a degree in civil engineering and minors in engineering management and energy and environmental systems, Labruto served as a young alumni trustee on Vanderbilt’s Board of Trust and earned a master’s in clean energy at Imperial College London. She joined the Clinton Foundation working with small islands to transform their energy economies. Labruto joined Acumen in February 2017, leading Acumen’s efforts to provide citizens in the remotest parts of Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa access to energy with low-cost home solar projects.

Contact:  Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314