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Michael Etzel

Partner, Bridgespan Group


Michael Etzel is a partner in The Bridgespan Group's Boston office. Since joining Bridgespan in 2006, Michael has focused on effectiveness across the full spectrum of social innovation financing, advising investors and philanthropist—including Texas Pacific Group's Rise Fund, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs.

Much of Michael's work explores what it takes to use tools of innovative finance and impact investing to solve pressing social problems. In 2014, he supported the work of the U.S. National Advisory Board to the Global Task Force on Social Impact Investing, leading a Bridgespan team that supported the development of a first-ever bipartisan policy agenda for the growing field of impact investing. In 2015, he supported Bain Capital in developing their strategy for entering the impact investment space. Since 2016, he has worked closely with Texas Pacific Group's Rise Fund in developing rigorous evidence-based impact underwriting.

His work and research in philanthropy also focuses on the question of what it takes to deliver results, looking at "Three Cases of Better Corporate Philanthropy" on, and exploring in the Stanford Social Innovation Review the concept of "Pay-What-It-Takes Philanthropy" and "Time to Reboot Grantmaking."

Presently, Michael serves on the board of, which provides clean water for kids, is a social justice organization committed to the poor, an international development agency disciplined around urban economies, a social enterprise dedicated to putting itself out of business, and a safe water company focused on children.

Michael is a long-time Massachusetts resident always looking for an excuse to get outside. He earned his AB cum laude with high honors in Social Studies from Harvard College, and his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was co-president of the Social Enterprise Club.

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