The Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility has named Mark Hanis '05 and Pukar Malla' 02 — alumni with a track record of successful innovation — as its Lang Senior Fellows.
As senior fellows, Hanis and Malla will engage students as mentors, internship hosts, and co-instructors or guest lecturers in Swarthmore courses during the 2021 calendar year.
At a time when social impact projects must take place remotely and societies strive to shift from exclusion to inclusion, guidance from those with experience doing so is vital to the continued growth of Swarthmore social innovators.
“Teleconferencing opens up new possibilities even when we are fully back on campus,” says Executive Director of the Lang Center and Associate Professor of Political Science Ben Berger, noting that crises can also present new opportunities. “Mark and Pukar will help us to expand the bridges between curricular work and innovative change-making around the world, and to strengthen the ties between alumni and current students.”
The pair will receive a stipend and project funding for their more recent innovations. Malla will receive funding for a municipal leadership course on economic governance and an initiative to enhance youth employment in Nepal via Daayitwa. Hanis will receive funding to advocate for policies to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the U.S. government and to elevate and amplify underrepresented people for appointments within the Biden Administration via Inclusive America.
“We are always grateful for the robust engagement of Swarthmore College alumni, but are especially thrilled to have two social innovators actively supporting current Swarthmore students in both curricular and co-curricular ways,“ says Jennifer Magee, Senior Associate Director of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. Building upon the Lang Center’s foundation of Engaged Scholarship and success in engaging change-makers around the world in the classroom via Zoom, Hanis (in Washington, D.C.) and Malla (in Nepal) will be guest speakers and mentors of students enrolled in PEAC14 course: Systems Thinking for Social Change during spring 2021 and other classes in Fall 2021.
Mark Hanis '05
As a graduate with a major in political science and a minor in public policy, Hanis is a serial social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of two startups: Inclusive America, a nonprofit to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in government, and Progressive Shopper, a technology company to harness conscious consumption.
Hanis is also an associate fellow at the European campus of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies . He helped found the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University; the Organ Alliance (now Organize) to address the unnecessary deaths due to a shortage of transplantable organs; and United to End Genocide, an organization that superseded a Swarthmore student-led group, Genocide Intervention Network, which he co-founded. Hanis also served as a White House fellow working in the Office of Vice President Joe Biden as the National Security Affairs Special Advisor for South America, Africa, and Human Rights and was a Research Fellow with Stanford University's Center for Human Rights and International Justice.
Hanis has been awarded fellowships for social entrepreneurship, including Ashoka, Echoing Green, Draper Richards Kaplan, and Hunt Alternatives Prime Movers. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors and was raised in Quito, Ecuador.
On being named a Lang Senior Fellow, he says, it “will enable Inclusive America to accelerate our efforts to make our democracy truly representative of the American people.”
Pukar Malla '02
Pukar Malla is a community organizer, leadership coach, and policy entrepreneur who has been leading with a vision of an enterprising Nepal. He spearheads the Daayitwa Campaign, which promotes youth employment in Nepal through collaboration among 4 startups that he co-founded: Daayitwa which empowers rural microenterprises to create jobs and young policy researchers to influence innovative policies; Governance Lab which supports the government to devise and implement evidence-based economic policies; Nepal Leadership Academy, which grows leadership capacity in change makers to instill an enterprising mindset in Nepali communities; and Nepal Rising which mobilizes diaspora to contribute to social innovations in Nepal. As a member of the Gender Think Tank at the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen, he advocates for women’s economic empowerment.
Malla was an Honors major in engineering with an Honors minor in economics and a concentration in computer science. “The Lang Senior Fellowship will enable me to build shared clarity, commitment, and capacity among key municipal enterprise ecosystem stakeholders in Lumbini Province in Nepal so that they can collectively accelerate growth of rural youth-led microenterprises and boost generation of domestic youth employment,” says Malla. “While Nepal has been facing the critical youth unemployment challenge, which has been exacerbated further by COVID-19, the nation’s recent transition to federal governance has created opportunities to engage local governments and communities towards improving the dire situation.”
During the fellowship year, Malla will design and deliver a course, “Leadership for Economic Governance,” to municipal governments and subsequently provide leadership coaching to them in creating and implementing youth employment strategies. He also plans to lead a Rural Enterprise Innovation workshop for Swarthmore students and faculty.