JEFF LEITNER is a founder and managing director of GreenHouse, where he leads efforts related to the organization's original methodology for social innovation.
Jeff is Innovator in Residence at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. He is advising in the development of the field’s first professional doctorate in leadership, innovation and advanced practice; the first graduate nursing program housed in a school of social work; a training academy for the nation’s largest child welfare system; the field’s first academic conference on innovation; a master’s-level fellowship in social innovation; and new methodologies and pedagogies for teaching social innovation and problem solving.
He is a Fellow at New America, a nonpartisan think tank and social venture fund founded in 1999 to nurture a new generation of public intellectuals. His work is focused on initiatives to strengthen democratic governance and civil society around the world.
He is also a founder and director of UX for Good, an initiative to leverage experience design to solve social challenges. In the past three years, UX for Good has partnered with the Dalai Lama Center for Peace + Education to advance social-emotional learning in public schools; with Aegis Trust to boost the impact of genocide memorials in Africa and Europe; and with the GRAMMY Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative to raise the standard of living for professional musicians in New Orleans.
Previously, he developed and led Insight Labs, which partnered with more than 50 governments and institutions to advance complex social initiatives. He also developed and launched social sector initiatives related to job training, youth development, public policy and basic human needs; and private sector consultancies oriented to public affairs and cause marketing. He worked for fourteen years as a political strategist, lobbyist and public affairs consultant, and for seven years as a political and government affairs reporter.
Jeff holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and an undergraduate degree in government from the University of Texas. He lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and daughter.