Vanessa Wilkins


Founder, Future School Lab

Sisters, OR

Served on the National Board March 25, 2005 – October 13, 2022

Vanessa Wilkins is a strategic advisor with a history of driving innovation in high-growth purpose-driven companies and leading organizational change. She is recognized as a thought leader in corporate social responsibility, education, and social enterprise.

Currently, Vanessa serves as a Venture Partner at the Oregon Venture Fund, where she was a recent recipient of the Crystal OVFie award, as an Expert-in-Residence at Harvard Innovation Lab, and as a Founder of Future School Lab, where she advises social ventures and purpose-driven start-ups.

As Secretary of the Board of Oregon Community Foundation, a $3.5B statewide foundation, Vanessa serves on the Executive Committee and Nominating Committee, and chairs the Education Committee and the Central Oregon Leadership Council. She also chairs Friends of the Children’s Emeritus Board and co-chairs the Racial Equity Committee. Previously, she served as vice-chair of the board of Black Butte Ranch, a resort/hospitality community, and helped create Google and NIKE funded equity design challenges as a board member of Construct.

At NIKE, Wilkins developed and executed a highly acclaimed innovation fund to raise graduation rates and close the opportunity gap in Oregon, amplifying NIKE’s reputation and building relationships with key stakeholders. As co-founder of Partners in Scale, Vanessa advised global nonprofits on leadership, innovation, and scale.

As Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources at EF Education, Wilkins created talent, culture, and management development programs to enable rapid growth. Early in her career, Vanessa worked in Venezuela for Empresas Mendoza on a global financial restructuring and then liquidated the group’s trade finance bank in NYC.

Wilkins holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston University.

View all Board Members