Jennifer Li Shen holds an undying belief in our democracy, and cares most about making strategy real in the pursuit of lasting social change. She brings over 20 years of consulting experience to her role as Co-founder and Senior Partner of Blue Garnet, a social purpose company that helps to transform organizations from good enough to truly great.
Jennifer is comfortable pushing for innovation and asking the tough questions, and channels her inner maximizer to realize the potential in others and help them succeed. Where markets fail, opportunities for social change abound. She enjoys helping clients create clarity on answering “So What?” – which means defining tangible impact, the “secret sauce” of each client, and the core economics behind the work of social change.
Jennifer brings deep strategic facilitation, capacity building, and evaluation experience, particularly for complex organizations and initiatives. Recently, she led a multi-year developmental evaluation and learning effort for a multi-agency collaboration to help first-generation college students pivot into sustainable careers. Jennifer builds partnerships with clients as a trusted advisor and has recently worked with leading nonprofit and philanthropy clients in arts, education, and health and human services.
Previously, Jennifer served Fortune 500 clients as a strategy consultant at Boston Consulting Group, where she developed and implemented business and market strategies, and organizational change. She has also worked at TCC Group and The Fannie Mae Foundation.
Jennifer serves as a board member of ExED and is a Founding Partner and former board director of Social Venture Partners Los Angeles. She has served on the Social Impact Exchange Contributions Review Team and the Terry McAdams Book Award Committee, and is a member of the American Evaluation Association. As adjunct faculty, she co-taught “Impact Thinking, Measurement and Evaluation” at Pepperdine University’s Masters program in Social Entrepreneurship and Change. Jennifer holds an MBA from Yale University and a BA in Political Science with concentration in Public Policy from Swarthmore College. As a loving wife and mother of four, she lives life to the fullest, and always strives to catalyze social change to create impact.
Get to know Jenni
Top five strengths: Strategic, Learner, Relator, Individualization, Maximizer
What’s your “why”?
I grew up watching my immigrant parents earnestly strive to achieve the American Dream in our democracy, despite the socioeconomic barriers including biases and discrimination they faced. I also saw and now benefit from the power of education as a great though not perfect “equalizer.” Perhaps this sounds cliche and idealistic, but I am motivated by my privilege and the opportunities I have to truly make the world a better place.
Perhaps not so secret, but I’m a slightly competitive learner and maximizer! I have been known to win paper airplane competitions, pirate ping-pong tournaments, or even summer book reading competitions (wait, it was a competition, right)?
Podcast that always gets me thinking:
As a learner, Freakonomics, which helps me “discover the hidden side of everything ”
A quote that inspires your work:
“Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.” Proverbs 31:8