President of Ashoka elected to serve on Brown University’s Board of Trustees

May 29, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Diana Wells, President of Ashoka, was elected as a Term Trustee for Brown University at its regular Commencement Weekend meeting on May 24, 2013.

Trustees serve on the Board of Trustees of the Corporation of Brown University, which is responsible for establishing policy and strategic plans; selecting the President; siting buildings; setting the budget, tuition and fees; appointing faculty and senior administrative officers; and accepting gifts and naming opportunities. Trustees are comprised of carefully selected internal appointments and elected through the alumni to ensure that Corporation members have the professional and personal backgrounds needed to meet their fiduciary and oversight responsibilities.

Wells joined Ashoka briefly after graduating from Brown with a degree in South Asian Studies. Taking a leave to pursue a Ph.D. in anthropology, she completed ethnographic research focusing on understanding how social change happens as a local articulation of a global social movement. 

Wells has taught at Georgetown University on Anthropology and Development and has both authored and edited numerous journal and book publications including two compilations on social movements in the United States.

Having her PhD in hand, Diana returned to Ashoka to provide leadership for the worldwide process of sourcing and selecting leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows. She has been president of Ashoka since 2005 and has been responsible for Ashoka’s geographic expansion and the significant increase of Fellow elections.

In 2008, Diana was celebrated as one of 10 winners of the first annual Women to Watch award, by Running Start, a Washington, DC based organization that empowers young women to be political leaders; and, in 2011, George Mason University’s Inaugural Social Innovation Champion Award recognized her “groundbreaking work to develop and apply innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions to the world’s most pressing social problems.”
Wells will join nine other newly elected trustees formally at the next Corporation of Brown University’s business meeting in October.

Ashoka: Founded in 1980, Ashoka is the world’s working community of nearly 3000 leading social entrepreneurs. It champions the most important new social change ideas and supports the entrepreneurs behind them by helping them get started, grow, succeed, and collaborate. As Ashoka expands its capability to integrate and connect entrepreneurs around the world, it builds an entrepreneurial infrastructure that is supporting the fast-growing needs of the citizen sector.  Ashoka’s vision is to create change today, for an Everyone A Changemaker™ society to become the reality of tomorrow.  For more information, visit