Aaron Hurst

Taproot Foundation, President & Founder

July 20, 2010
Aaron has been widely recognized as a leading social entrepreneur for his work in civic engagement, nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility. As the Founder and President of the Taproot Foundation, he received the Draper Richards Foundation's Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship and was elected into the prestigious international Ashoka Fellowship. He has received numerous awards for his vision and leadership, including the Manhattan Institute Award for Social Entrepreneurship, Social Venture Network's Innovation Award, and Commonwealth Club's 21st Century Award. He was also recognized by Fast Company as a 2006 Rising Star – ”a social capitalist with extraordinary potential.”

Aaron founded the Taproot Foundation in 2001, 40 years after his grandfather, Joseph E. Slater, wrote the original blueprint for the Peace Corps. Inspired by the Peace Corps' model for getting people to work together, Aaron created the Taproot Foundation to engage this country's millions of business professionals in pro bono work building the infrastructure of the nonprofit sector.

As president of the Taproot Foundation, Aaron leads the development of the organization across the nation, as well as sets the strategy and vision behind the Foundation's work. Under his direction, the Taproot Foundation has become the national leader in pro bono work, serving over 300 nonprofits each year across the country and setting the agenda for the development of the field.

Aaron graduated from the University of Michigan, where he was recognized for his volunteer work teaching creative writing at local correctional facilities. He has served on the boards of Public Architecture and Repair the World. He is also a frequent speaker to the nonprofit and for–profit sectors on civic engagement, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management.