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As a mentor, I can help you

  • Lead a purpose-driven organization

  • Navigate a career in the non-profit and social enterprise sectors

  • Shift from doing to managing to leading

  • Serve low-income customers and stakeholders

  • Create a strategic plan

  • Build and develop your team

  • Measure and evaluate impact

  • Develop fundraising plans and manage grants

  • Succeed as a single, working mom

Ella Gudwin is the CEO of the pioneering social enterprise VisionSpring. Under Ella’s leadership, VisionSpring has corrected the vision of 10 million adults and children with eyeglasses, unlocking $2.16 billion in income earning potential for households living on less than $4 per day. Why eyeglasses? They are a powerful tool for social and economic development, enabling low-income consumers to earn a living, achieve in school, drive safely, and improve well-being.

Since Ella joined VisionSpring in 2015, the organization has:

  • Grown its impact 5x to correct the vision of almost 2 million people annually

  • Expanded from two to nine countries with 300 people in Bangladesh, India, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam and the US; and

  • Raised more than $60 million.

With 25 years of experience, Ella has led strategy and program development, emergency response, and Asia and Eurasia partnerships at AmeriCares; foreign government and board relations at the Population Council; and member convenings at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her passions for social justice and economic development took root when she lived and worked in Indonesia during the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the ensuing people power revolution.

Ella earned a masters degree with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelors with honors from Vassar College. Ella is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her work has been covered by the BBC, Financial Times, The Guardian, NPR/PRI, Forbes, Fortune, among other media and she has lectured at leading universities including Dartmouth, Duke, MIT, Stanford, Princeton and Yale.


“Ella is beyond patient, supportive and kind, while also fiercely direct, focused and strategic. Working with Ella has taught me how to effectively evaluate the operating landscape, including identifying both potential collaborators and competitors, and how to successfully create an immediate impact that positively influences achieving my goals. I couldn’t have matched with a better mentor than Ella.”

— Kia

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