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Stephanie Cornell

Executive Director

Stephanie Dodson Cornell is a social entrepreneur, advocate and thought leader who has dedicated her career to tackling some of the world’s most complex challenges at mission-based organizations. Today, she leads the Walton Family Foundation as its executive director.

The Walton Family Foundation works with urgency and a long-term approach to create access to opportunity for people and communities. It focuses on three areas: Improving education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support and investing in its home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.

In her role, Stephanie works in close partnership with the Foundation Board to execute strategic priorities. Collaborating with more than 100 staff in four locations, she leads all aspects of day-to-day foundation operations, including grantmaking, strategic planning and evaluation.

Prior to joining the Walton Family Foundation, Stephanie served as Managing Director at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a venture philanthropy firm supporting early-stage, high-impact social enterprises.

She is the co-founder of several successful social ventures in the United States and internationally. These include Strategic Grant Partners, Project Healthy Children (now Sanku) and the Maranyundo Initiative. Currently, Stephanie serves on the advisory boards of The Elevate Prize and One8 Foundation.

A fellow with Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, she holds a BA in English and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and an MBA from Stanford University.

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