Senior Advisor and Founder | he/him
Andrew Wolk is a Senior Advisor and Founder of Root Cause.
Andrew Wolk became a serial social entrepreneur more than twenty years ago to pursue his life’s work: helping best utilize resources that enable more individuals and families to achieve lifelong success, from a healthy birth, to entering school ready to learn, to receiving a quality education, to getting and keeping a good paying job, and to a healthy and secure aging.
After founding Root Cause in 2004, Andrew served as the organization’s CEO until October 2020 when he stepped down into a Senior Advisor role. As Senior Advisor, Andrew helps facilitate relationships with current and prospective funders and partners leveraging his two decades of experience in the sector.
Andrew recently launched Finding Common Purpose—a new national, nonpartisan think tank building off his blog and podcast of the same name. Finding Common Purpose advocates for putting people first and reframing success through a new social contract for the 21st century between institutions and the people they serve. The foundation for this social contract is the Pathway to Lifelong Success that he has been writing about, from a healthy birth, to a quality education, to finding and keeping a good-paying job, and to healthy and secure aging.
At Root Cause:
As Founder and CEO, Andrew worked closely with foundations, nonprofit organizations, public school districts, corporations, and government agencies. His work includes partnering with the Open Society Foundations to develop the strategy and launch the Campaign for Black Male Achievement; managing the Workforce Investment Network with the State Street Foundation; and leading the Continuous Quality Improvement efforts as part of Get Ready Guilford with Ready for School, Ready for Life, and The Duke Endowment. His work on collective action, measurement, learning, improvement, and strategy and implementation has helped organizations across the country in the fields of early childhood and K-12 education, workforce development, poverty alleviation, and aging.
In addition, Andrew also founded, incubated, and spun off two sustainable, independent nonprofits. This includes the Social Innovation Forum, which builds organizational capacity and introduces community-based nonprofits to funders and Interise, which shifts the focus of technical assistance from start-up small businesses to existing community based businesses, as well a social impact consulting firm, Impact Catalysts.
Andrew has been recognized for his pioneering efforts as a teacher, having designed and taught one of the worlds first courses on social entrepreneurship in 1999 at Boston University and later lecturing at MIT, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Boston College, and the Heller School at Brandeis University. Over the years, his work has been written about in the New York Times and Boston Globe and he has appeared on WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.
Andrew earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management from Boston University and a BA from Lehigh University. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with his wife Jodi, two daughters Kayla and Lindsey, and their dog Riley.
Follow the blog, Finding Common Purpose.
Connect with Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWolk.