Our Team

Way-Ting Chen

Co-Founder & Senior Partner

Way-Ting is driven by a head for problem solving and a heart for ending poverty and inequity. For over 20 years, she has partnered with leaders across communities and sectors of our ecosystem to make sustainable social change. She loves tackling issues related to impact, strategy, and performance, and thrives in seeing those she works with realize their capacity to do so, as well.

Since co-founding the firm in 2002, Way-Ting has touched almost every Blue Garnet client engagement. From direction-setting to business model alignment, evaluation and learning to impact storytelling, she supports Blue Garnet’s teams and engagements with her broad and varied content knowledge, expert project management, behind-the-scenes thought partnership, and individualized leadership coaching.

Outside of Blue Garnet, Way-Ting serves as Steering Committee Chair of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG), and advisory board of Pacific Asian Counseling Services (PACS). A founding partner of Social Justice Partners LA (formerly Social Venture Partners LA, or SVPLA), she is proud to have served as its board co-chair, as vice-chair of CalNonprofits, and member of the executive committee of the Swarthmore College Alumni Council. As adjunct faculty, she co-taught “Impact Thinking, Measurement, and Evaluation” at Pepperdine University’s Master’s Program in Social Entrepreneurship and Change.

Prior to starting Blue Garnet, she worked on business strategy and organizational design and transformation at Booz & Company (now Strategy&). She also conducted economic development research and country risk analysis at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She holds an International MBA in strategy and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a BA with honors in economics and political science from Swarthmore College. When not out making the world a better place, she delights in spending time with her family and feeding her curiosity, ideally at the same time.

Get to know Way-Ting

Top five strengths: Strategic, Analytical, Responsibility, Learner, Intellection

What’s your “why”?
I’ve always cared about poverty and equity. As a child, I dreamed of being a professional pianist. I used to say that I’d go around the world and give concerts, charging rich people a lot of money and performing for free for poor people. So, I guess I cared about a sustainable business model, too!

On a more sober note, 9/11 jolted me into an awareness that, in my pursuit of professional success, I had completely dropped the ball in the other areas of my life. I was an excellent consultant, teammate and employee, but I was no longer the daughter, sister, friend that I wanted to be. That awareness sparked a need to find something that I could be passionate about professionally, while giving me the opportunity to be my best whole person. And thankfully I was at the right place at the right time on that fateful Labor Day weekend in 2002

A movie that never gets old?
“The Princess Bride!” Also, “Best in Show.” Okay… also “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

What do you wish people knew about you, but might not see at first?
I am an introvert.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Easy. Flight…without my fear of heights! Who wouldn’t want to be able to zoom over the 405 on a Friday afternoon?