Mission Investors Exchange Names James Wahls Senior Vice President of Programs and Initiatives
(New York, NY – May 26, 2021) – Mission Investors Exchange (MIE), the leading impact investing network for foundations, has named James C. D. Wahls as Senior Vice President of Programs and Initiatives.
Working with MIE’s diverse philanthropic membership base, Mr. Wahls will ensure the development and execution of best-in-class, peer-to-peer educational opportunities and investment-specific initiatives that leverage the experience, expertise, and innovation of MIE’s vibrant network. With MIE’s signature National Conference, Virtual Learning Opportunities, and other field-building projects, Mr. Wahls will oversee efforts that reflect the diverse needs and interests of MIE members and the broader impact investing community across a range of social and environmental issues. This includes leading key MIE programs and initiatives around racial equity, endowment investing, and more.
“MIE is poised for this moment as we mobilize more capital to address the social and environmental challenges of our time. James brings deep impact investing experience to MIE as we work with our members to tackle COVID, racial injustice, climate change, and more. His knowledge and experience greatly complements our team and will be invaluable to the impact investing community,” said MIE President and CEO Matt Onek.
“I look forward to joining the MIE team to further advance its mission and develop more ways to deploy impact capital toward the issues that matter most,” said Mr. Wahls.
Mr. Wahls brings nearly 15 years of experience in the philanthropic, impact investing, and legal sectors. Most recently as portfolio manager of social investments for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland, he co-managed a $140+ million impact investing portfolio allocation comprised of equity, debt, and direct investments. Impact areas included financial inclusion, affordable housing, quality job creation, and community development. While there he also spearheaded Casey’s small business strategy in Baltimore, including the Baltimore Small Business Support Fund, a multi-funder collaborative designed to address gaps within the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This work led to a partnership with the city’s Baltimore Development Corporation as part of its COVID-19 response efforts to support entrepreneurs of color.
Previously, Mr. Wahls was an impact investing manager at W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he co-managed a $100 million market-rate, mission-aligned portfolio and helped to double the program-related investments portfolio. He is also credited with architecting the Detroit Entrepreneurs of Color Fund that became a model for similar programs around the country.
Mr. Wahls has an extensive record of expanding racial equity in social finance and supporting entrepreneurs of color. He has supported CDFIs in the U.S. South, led affordable housing investments nationally, and deployed private equity capital via managers of color. As managing director of the Revolve Fund, he directs catalytic capital to businesses, financial intermediaries, and nonprofits led by people of color.
Mr. Wahls holds a J.D. from University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Michigan. He serves on the board of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative and on the impact investing subcommittee for the Baltimore Community Foundation. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Wahls resides in Baltimore with his wife, Dr. Maria S. Johnson, and daughter.
Mr. Wahls will report directly to MIE’s CEO.
About Mission Investors Exchange
Mission Investors Exchange is the leading impact investing network for foundations dedicated to deploying capital for social and environmental change. With over 200 members, we provide resources, inspiration, and connections to help our members increase the scale and impact of their impact investing practice. Members come to Mission Investors Exchange and each other for best practices, new investment opportunities, deal partnerships, and innovations in impact investing around the world. Learn more at https://missioninvestors.org/.