Nathaniel Heller

Managing Director

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As Geneva Global’s Managing Director for Philanthropic Services, Nathaniel oversees all of the firm’s client-facing work and deliverables.

Those services range from supporting philanthropists as they identify priority areas for investment, including potential co-funders and implementing partners; developing operational strategies to execute high-impact philanthropic programs; running programs in high-need geographies; and distilling successes, failures, and insights to inform future philanthropic giving. Nathaniel works closely with all of Geneva Global’s delivery teams to ensure that our clients’ philanthropic investments achieve maximum impact and return on investment.

Prior to joining the firm, Nathaniel served as an Executive Vice President at Results for Development (R4D), where he oversaw many of the organization’s technical teams aimed at strengthening health, education, and nutrition systems in low-income countries. He originally joined R4D as a managing director, leading the organization’s work on citizen engagement and governance reform in countries. In both roles, Nathaniel spent significant time on strategy and work plan formulation, partnership development, thought leadership, and resource mobilization across the international development philanthropic spectrum.

Earlier in his career, Nathaniel co-founded and led Global Integrity, an international non-governmental anti-corruption organization working in more than 100 countries to strengthen government transparency and accountability safeguards. From 2017 to 2019, he co-chaired the Open Government Partnership (a multi-stakeholder partnership spanning governments and civil society) and was the catalyst behind the establishment of the OpenGov Hub, the world’s first thematic co-working space focused on open government issues. He began his career working at a non-profit investigative journalism organization (the Center for Public Integrity) and at the US Department of State.

Nathaniel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and completed his graduate work at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

 

What brings you joy?

Bicycles! I’m an avid cyclist (road and gravel cycling) and have been fortunate to explore several countries and regions by bike throughout the past twenty years.

What book, film, or quote has shaped the way you think?

My first job was as a James R. Soles fellow at the Center for Public Integrity, named after one of the University of Delaware’s most distinguished political science professors and an overall outstanding human being. He once said, “It’s not the work you do, but the lives you touch.” That simple but profound insight has stuck me with throughout my professional career.

 

 

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My colleagues! Being able to work with other tireless optimists, despite the day-to- day challenges associated with this line of work, brings me immense fulfillment and motivation.

What’s your favorite travel site or project to visit and why?

I’ve always had a soft spot for Mexico City despite its enormous challenges and complexities (perhaps it’s because I have family who live there!). With most capital cities around the world feeling eerily copy-paste these days, there’s something uniquely authentic and original that endures in Mexico City.