DANIELLA BALLOU-AARES

Senior Advisor, Dalberg Advisors

Daniella is the CEO & Co-Founder of the Leadership Now Project and a Senior Advisor to Dalberg. She has been a leader in advancing data-driven approaches to solving the world’s toughest problems for over 20 years as an entrepreneur, and an advisor to CEOs and political leaders. 

Daniella started the Leadership Now Project in 2017 in response to a democracy in crisis. It is now a national membership organization of business and thought leaders committed to fixing American democracy beyond a single political cycle. Leadership Now drives change by pairing sophisticated analytics and perspectives from leading thinkers with capital and action by its members. Leadership Now’s 2020-21 priorities include driving systemic changes – like growing voter participation, ending gerrymandering and increasing campaign finance transparency – and supporting highly qualified leaders who are committed to strengthening democracy and evidence-based policy.

Daniella began her career at one of the top global management consulting firms, Bain & Company, working across the firm’s offices in the US, South Africa and the UK. From there she became a founding Partner at Dalberg, where she led the Americas business, and transformed it from a seven-person startup to the largest global social impact strategy firm with 25 offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the US.

Daniella went on to spend five years in the Obama Administration as the Senior Advisor for Development to the Secretary of State, serving under Secretaries Clinton and Kerry. She was instrumental to negotiating the 192-country agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals and reorienting the $10 billion US government global HIV initiative toward data-driven programming.

Daniella’s perspectives have been featured in the Harvard Business Review, the World Economic Forum, and Morning Consult, among others. Daniella is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a 2014 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from the Kennedy School and graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a BS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering.

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