Liz Hamburg, Taproot Foundation

TITLE: President and CEO

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, K-12 education, pre-K education, the environment, health, social services

CONTACT: (212) 257-7660

PROFILE: Liz Hamburg is President and CEO of the Taproot Foundation. Her bio on the foundation's website states:

Liz is a high energy, entrepreneurial executive who is passionate about making an impact in the world. She has over 20 years of experience starting up and growing innovative businesses both in the U.S. and international markets.  Liz has extensive experience both as board member/chair and mentor to nonprofits and social entrepreneurs.

Liz is the founding New York board chair and member of the governing board of the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, one of the largest domestic micro-enterprise training organizations working with low-income women to help them start and grow businesses. Liz has been instrumental in launching the Women's Initiative’s national expansion into New York after 25 years in the Bay Area. She served as interim executive director of New York in 2013.

Liz is a founding member of the entrepreneur board of Venture for America, which provides fellowships for recent college graduates with emerging companies in economically challenged cities, and the advisory board of the Brown University Entrepreneurs program. She has served on the NY Advisory Board of Astia, an organization which fosters women entrepreneurs and leaders in high growth businesses and was the longest serving board member of Safe Space, a social service agency for children & families in NYC.

Her for-profit experience includes serving as president of Upstart Ventures, where she was involved in the start-up and growth of over 15 new businesses, including her most recent venture, ApplyWise an education technology company providing high school students with college planning tools. Liz was a member of the founding management team and director of the board of Vimpel Communications, a leading international cellular operator and the first Russian company listed on the NYSE. 

Liz received an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. from Brown University. She attended the Executive Education program in Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford Business School, and is the 2011 winner of the Stevie Awards for Women in Business for best mentor/coach. A New York native, Liz currently resides in Manhattan, and her favorite root vegetable is celery root.