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.  She has spent the past 20 years working in partnership and leadership with philanthropies, nonprofits, and corporations to make sustainable social change, thriving particularly in tackling issues related to impact, strategy, and performance.

Outside of Blue Garnet, Way-Ting serves on the Steering Committee of National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG), the Executive Committee of the Swarthmore College Alumni Council, and advisory board of Pacific Asian Counseling Services (PACS). She was a Founding Partner and co-chair of the board for Social Venture Partners (SVP) Los Angeles and Vice-Chair of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). As adjunct faculty, she co-taught “Impact Thinking, Measurement and Evaluation” at Pepperdine University’s Masters program in Social Entrepreneurship and Change. 

Prior to starting Blue Garnet, she led projects involving business strategy and organizational design and transformation at Booz Allen Hamilton (now Strategy&) in New York; she also conducted economic development research and country risk analysis at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She holds an International MBA 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, often at the same time.

Get to know Way-Ting
What’s your “why”? (ex: the first cause you connected to, what inspires you to work in social impact)
I’ve always cared about poverty and equity. As a child, I dreamt 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… (see BG founding story)

My top 5 Strengths: Strategic, Analytical, Responsibility, Learner, Intellection

A movie that never gets old: “The Princess Bride!” Also, “Best in Show,” “It’s a Wonderful Life”

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??

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

Way-Ting can be reached by phone at (310) 439-1930