Diana Wells Recieves Brown University's Highest Honor

Submitted by: Tsega Belachew on 02/05/13

Editor's Note: This article was written by Jaime Gusching, Executive Assistant and Events Coordinator with the Ashoka Executive Office.

Ashoka's very own Diana Wells got some recognition from her alma mater, Brown University, for exceptional service and contribution to society. Wells received the Williams Rogers Award, Brown University's highest honor bestowed for graduates who exemplify “the University's mission to prepare alumni for lives of 'usefulness and reputation.' ”

More from Brown about Wells, a member of the class of '88.

Diana Wells’ junior year in India, during which she came to believe in the value of local solutions to complex problems, literally changed her life. After graduation, she joined Ashoka, a nonprofit organization that supports social entrepreneurs around the world, where she created one of the organization’s central programs: systematic support and community for the social entrepreneurs selected as Ashoka Fellows. Diana took a leave to pursue a Ph.D., then returned to Ashoka to continue growing its mission. She led the development of a worldwide discovery and selection program for naming Ashoka Fellows and oversaw the organization’s geographic expansion into more than 70 countries. She also implemented a widely respected tool for measuring the effectiveness of social entrepreneurship, one of the first standard tools to do so. Dr. Wells was named president of Ashoka in 2005.

In 2008, Dr. Wells was a winner of the first annual Women to Watch Award. She has taught at Georgetown University and has edited two compilations on social movements in the United States. She earned her PhD from New York University (2000), where she was both a Fulbright and a Woodrow Wilson scholar.