Jim Shelton Trailblazer Award

Jim Shelton

Trailblazer Award Winner


James “Jim” Shelton is Chief Investment and Impact Officer at Blue Meridian Partners.

In this role, Jim leads Blue Meridian’s efforts to continuously increase the impact, reach, and influence of our investees and investments. This includes driving the evolution, expansion, and ongoing implementation of Blue Meridian’s regional investment strategy — integrating the work of expanding effective solutions nationwide with developing regional and local strategies that capture the compounding benefits of continuums of services — to produce the strongest possible outcomes for children and families and achieve community-wide impact.

Jim also oversees Blue Meridian’s efforts to investigate new areas where significant focused capital can help solve problems at scale. Areas Jim will explore include new approaches to economic and social mobility and racial equity; supporting comprehensive place-based and regional strategies; the roles of for-profits, policy and advocacy; and the potential to leverage targeted universalism to have broad impacts.

Before becoming Chief Investment and Impact Officer, he was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the organization, bringing to Blue Meridian deep multi-sector experience and expertise on the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, and systems change. Jim is currently a Senior Social Impact Advisor to KKR and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Prior to joining Blue Meridian, he founded Amandla Enterprises, an impact investment and advisory firm, and was President of Education for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, President and Chief Impact Officer at 2U, and Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Education.

*Biographies are considered current for the submission year only.