CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2021 ECONOMICS MAJORS!  ENJOY YOUR DIGITAL CEREMONY!

Katrina Ngo

Why econ? It is a truly versatile major that touches many aspects of life. I was thinking about keeping future career options open and added Economics as my second major while keeping Biology (and abandoning pre-med) for my personal interests.

What is impact investing? What do you do as senior manager at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)?

Impact investing is a relatively new field, although global interest is growing. The GIIN is a global champion for growing the scale and effectiveness of impact investments, which are investments that are made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial return. Examples of impact investing occur in affordable housing, microfinance, and renewable energy. I travel overseas (to place such as Mumbai, Singapore, Copenhagen, and Nairobi) often for my work, attending external meetings and conferences related to impact investing. I’ll either present at conferences or host GIIN conventions with key stakeholders in the financial industry, talking about the GIIN’s research or impact measurement and management resources. Impact investors span across public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and include banks, pension funds, governmental agencies, and nonprofits. When I’m not travelling, I live in NYC, mainly engaging GIIN stakeholders virtually.

How did you find your way to impact investing?

After graduation, I volunteered with the Peace Corps in Central Asia. I worked on sustainable economic and organizational development. In this area, I helped to identify areas of need with the community, and pursued grants to support some of those projects, including funding a new health center. Afterwards, I pursued my international affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

As an employer, what do you like to see in applicants?

  • Strong project management skills
  • Professionalism in managing important internal and external stakeholder relationships
  • Knowledge of impact investing, sustainable finance, or ESG
  • Personable, engaging presence, with diplomacy, tact and good humor