Darlene Damm

Faculty Chair & Head of Social Impact

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Darlene has spent nearly two decades working on moonshots and initiatives designed to solve our world’s toughest social problems and empower people to create abundant futures.  In her role as Head of Social Impact, Darlene oversees and is responsible for empowering SU’s teams, programs, and global community in meeting their mission of using exponential technologies to solve our world’s toughest problems. In her role as Faculty Chair, Darlene works directly with SU’s startups, corporations, executives, governments, and impact partners to help them understand how the future will unfold and how they can use technology to create high-impact, scalable solutions within that future.

Darlene has a broad background spanning across both technology and social change. In 2012 she founded DIYROCKETS, the first company to crowdsource space technology, and in 2011 was an early co-founder of Matternet, one of the world’s first companies using drones for commercial transport and delivery of medical goods.  Darlene served with Ashoka, the world’s largest association of social entrepreneurs for nearly ten years where she built the organization’s fundraising system (raising over $30 million per year) and led Ashoka’s presence in the Silicon Valley launching major partnerships with companies such as Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook. In addition, she helped launch Ashoka’s StartEmpathy initiative which has scaled to over 30 countries ensuring young children grow up learning empathy and change-making as core skills for the 21st century.  Prior to that, Darlene spent over a decade working in Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, East Asia, and the US on educational and economic programs that empowered youth and helped bring developing nations into the global economy.  She received her bachelor’s degree in History from Stanford University and her master’s degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She was a Fellow with Japan-US Community Education and Exchange and a graduate of Singularity University. She holds a patent and regularly speaks around the world and publishes on the topic of technology, innovation, and social change.

Darlene is a California native who enjoys hiking, the outdoors, photography, and the ocean.