Sara Olsen is the founder of SVT Group, an impact management firm that provides investors, companies and social enterprises support to measure, manage and communicate their social and environmental impact (e.g. theory of change, impact metrics, impact IT systems onboarding and support, retrospective impact analyses and more). A pioneer in the social capital markets, Olsen and SVT’s team of subject-matter experts have measured the social and environmental value of approximately $9.08 Bn in private equity, debt, and grants in dozens of countries and issue areas. Recent clients include Yo Yo Ma, Restore the Earth Foundation, Fair Trade USA, Global Fund for Women, Beneficial State Bank, and CalPERS’ Environmental Investment Advisor.

Olsen has been recognized twice as one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Businessweek for her work defining the impact management discipline. She is a founding board member of Social Value United States, and an adjunct faculty member at Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Hult International Business School. There and in collaboration with SVT clients, she has educated over 5,000 people in-person and tens of thousands virtually on impact management. Olsen is also the co-founder of the Global Social Venture Competition which recently celebrated its 18th year.

Areas of Interest

Teaching at MIIS has a quality of intimacy and human-ness that many other programs lack. It’s a special place. I’m passionate about making impact management standard business practice: when the world sees your impact, it pays to do good. My interests include: impact management, integrated reporting, impact investing, social entrepreneurship, CSR.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA, University of California, Berkeley
  • MASW, University of Chicago
  • BA (thesis honors), Dartmouth College

Professor Olsen has been teaching at the Institute since 2011.


  • The Pulse of Impact Management, CSIL and SVT Group, 2017
  • The Next Frontier in Impact Measurement Isn’t Measurement at All, Stanford Social Innovation Review 2015
  • A Blueprint for Impact Measurement for Venture Philanthropists and Social Investors in Asia, AVPN 2013
  • Catalog of Approaches to Impact Measurement for Private Equity Investors, The Rockefeller Foundation 2008
  • Social Return on Investment: Standard Guidelines, California Management Review 2003