Ross Baird, JS '07, explores how investors and entrepreneurs can work together to solve major real-world problems

May 11, 2016

When Ross Baird, JS ‘07, graduated from U.Va. nearly ten years ago, he exemplified all the qualities of a true leader, scholar and citizen. His many contributions to the University community included his leadership on student council as class president and a member of the minorities and women concerns committee. He served as a volunteer at Madison House, he was involved in Reformed University Fellowship, acted as an instructor in the Center for Politics and worked as an intern for the International Youth Democracy Summit. After winning the Gray-Carrington Leadership Award and the Ernest H. Ern Distinguished Student Award, he was named both a Marshall and a Truman Scholar in his Fourth Year and ended up pursuing his Master of Philosophy at Oxford after graduation.

Today Ross continues to distinguish himself as a leader and citizen of his community. As the co-founder and CEO of Village Capital, a venture firm that invests in solving real-world problems critical to the future of society, Ross is leading the way in social impact investing. In seven years, his firm has backed 600 companies that provide solutions to the world’s biggest problems–from inequalities in education and health to environmental concerns such as food, energy, and water.

In a recent op-ed he wrote for The Washington Post, Ross makes the case for investing in these types of efforts and urges both investors and entrepreneurs to take the long view and to consider their social impact. Read his op-ed here. Read about his recent efforts at Village Capital here.  



The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

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The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, like its namesake, knows that virtue and talent come from all walks of life. Indeed it is this knowledge that drives the Foundation to search the world over for its recipients.

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