Last Mile Health is a best-in-class example of how nonprofits can achieve impact at scale and over the long term. It embodies seven essential components of strategic leadership that set high-achieving organizations apart from the rest of the social sector. Laura Hattendorf, head of investments at the Mulago Foundation, led a discussion between Dr. Raj Panjabi, co-founder/CEO of Last Mile Health, and Kim Jonker, co-author of the new book, Engine of Impact. They provided real-world examples of his organization’s successful journey applying many of the principles of strategic leadership espoused in Engine of Impact.
Dr. Rajesh Panjabi is CEO and a co-founder of Last Mile Health and an Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Raj grew up in Liberia and fled the civil war with his family when he was nine years old, but he returned to Liberia in 2005 as a medical student to work with the Liberian Ministry of Health, advising the country’s National Health Plan while serving as a clinician in rural government health facilities for three years. Raj is a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2017), the TED Prize (2017), and the Global Citizen Movement Award (2013). He was named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” (2016), one of Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” (2015, 2017), a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Social Entrepreneur, and an Echoing Green Fellow (2011). Raj holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and received a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also served as a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Last Mile Health’s mission is to save lives in the world’s most remote communities. The organization has worked for more than a decade to support governments to build national community health systems. Last Mile Health supports over 3,000 community health workers and nurse supervisors to serve over 700,000 people in partnership with the Government of Liberia. For more information, visit www.lastmilehealth.org.
Kim Starkey Jonker brings 25 years of expertise in equipping philanthropists, nonprofit leaders and board members to achieve more impact. She is president and CEO of King Philanthropies, a Lecturer in Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and co-author, with Bill Meehan, of Engine of Impact: Essentials of Strategic Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector (Stanford University Press, 2018).
At King Philanthropies, Kim directs the organization’s ambitious initiatives to alleviate extreme poverty by magnifying the impact of high-performing leaders and organizations. As a lecturer at Stanford GSB, Kim teaches the course “Social Ventures Practicum,” in which students develop plans for establishing new ventures with a social mission. Her and Meehan’s book, Engine of Impact, distills extensive research into what drives excellence in the social sector, providing actionable guidance for donors, nonprofit leaders and board members to maximize their personal impact.
Kim’s work has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), McKinsey Quarterly, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Stanford Business. She served as a visiting practitioner at the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society and has advised a wide range of philanthropists, foundations, and nonprofit organizations. Previously, Kim advised business leaders as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.