Dennis Whittle

Dennis Whittle helps groups, companies, and sectors ask what if? and why not? 

He combines experience in senior leadership at large analog organizations with 20 years as founder and CEO of new, digital-based organizations. He believes equal opportunity is key to a thriving equitable economy and society, and that diversity is vital to creativity and progress.  

Whittle began his career in 1984 at the Asian Development Bank and USAID in the Philippines, where he worked on rural and agricultural development projects. Subsequently, he joined the World Bank, where he worked in Niger and Papua New Guinea before moving to the Bank’s Indonesia office, where he worked for five years on rubber, palm oil, coconut, and forestry projects. After the Soviet Union’s collapse, Whittle joined the Russia department of the Bank and led projects related to housing reform, energy efficiency, and structural adjustment.  

In 1998, he was appointed senior partner of the World Bank’s Innovation and Strategy Groups, and his team created the Innovation and Development Marketplaces, which gave Whittle and a colleague the idea to start the first global crowdfunding website, GlobalGiving. Since its founding in 2002, it has facilitated nearly $500 million of funding to 26,000 projects in 170 countries, fueled by a million individual donors and 300 of the world’s most innovative companies and foundations. 

After stepping down as CEO of GlobalGiving, Whittle was a professor of practice and social entrepreneur in residence at UNC-Chapel Hill and a visiting lecturer at Princeton University.  In 2014, he launched Feedback Labs, a consortium of leaders from 600 non-profits, for-profits, foundations, and government agencies developing new frameworks, tools, and processes to gain a richer understanding of what people need to make their lives better.

Whittle has been the recipient of scholarships that allowed him to attend UNC-Chapel Hill (where he was a Morehead Scholar); and Princeton University. Along the way, excellent professors, bosses, mentors, colleagues, family members, friends, and funders challenged him to think different, not accept things as they are, and try to make the world a better place. Foremost among these has been his wife (and cofounder of GlobalGiving), Mari Kuraishi.