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John Whalen

Founder & Partner


John has over 30+ years of professional cross-sectoral experience in technology entrepreneurship and social enterprise development; government service abroad in economics and trade policy in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps; and most recently for the last 12 years focusing on innovating thriving hybrid business models for dynamic reputable international development NGOs (INGO’s).

After serving three years as a director on Pact’s Board (2007-2010), John was recruited off the Board and spent six years as President of Pact Institute (PI), a Pact 501(c)(3) subsidiary from 2010 to 2016.  At PI, John architected and led the collective implementation of a new social enterprise business model that catalyzed PI to grow 50% year-over-year for five straight years from $2.5M to over $20M in annual gross revenues and helped generate new substantial unrestricted income streams (see FSG Case Study).  While at PI, John also managed the Pact Microfinance Program in Myanmar in 2011-12 and was part of a team that created the business plan that spun off the Pact Global Microfinance Fund (PGMF), a new Pact subsidiary formed out of PI in 2012 (it is one of the largest non-profit microfinance programs in the world serving over 1M women with a revolving fund greater than $100M).


In 2015, John co-founded the INGO Impact Investment Working Group through his role with Pact along with Mercy Corps, Goal, Humentum, and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).  Through John’s leadership, Pact funded, and was the primary driver for publication of the Amplify Report in 2016, the first survey of INGO initiatives in social entrepreneurship and impact investing.  Later, through his new consulting firm, Kito Global, John subsequently provided support to publish the second Amplify Report in 2018 with FHI360, Humentum, and ANDE.  Prior to leaving Pact in 2016, John spent his last year positioning Pact to launch its first for-profit subsidiary, Pact Ventures, which launched in 2017.


John co-founded Kito Global in 2017 and has focused on cross-sectoral innovation and co-creation of improved hybrid business models using the best contributions from each sector: impact capital, discipline, and "know-how" from business and investors; innovative ideas, energy and passion from thoughtful social entrepreneurs; and local knowledge and social impact thought leadership from philanthropic actors such as foundations, and large INGOs.  Kito Global establishes long-term partnerships with forward-leaning INGOs to strengthen existing traditional development portfolios while concurrently improving unrestricted fundraising as well as developing innovative market-based and blended-finance initiatives.  Under John’s leadership, Kito Global has had extended partnership engagements with the American Refugee Committee (now Alight), Project Concern International, the Aga Khan Foundation East Africa, Helen Keller International, Rare, and the Asia Foundation, among others.  John is committed to respecting the traditional grant-based funding model and portfolio development while also working with internal stakeholders to progress a stronger complementary business model engaging new actors in social entrepreneurship and impact investing.



John holds a bachelor’s degree from NYU in Computer Science & Mathematics, and a Masters in International Business Diplomacy and Trade Policy from Georgetown University.  John grew up in New York City but has anchored himself in New England, north of Boston, for the last 20 years raising two adventurous globally minded adult children.  John has lived abroad working or studying in six countries including Japan, Ecuador, New Zealand, Germany, Guinea, and Kosovo.  In addition, he has been very fortunate to have traveled extensively for business or learning trips to over 60 countries globally, including all seven continents.

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