Mentor Leader


Alan Harlam is the Founding Director of Brown’s Social Innovation Initiative (SII) at Brown’s Swearer Center. Over the past decade, Alan has supported dozens of entrepreneurs through all stages of their startup journey with a special focus on ventures designed to address social problems. These ventures are currently impacting 10’s of thousands of people in communities across the globe and collectively; they have raised more than $100 million to support the development and growth of their work; and this work has been recognized and supported by the most prestigous social entrepreneurship foundations including Echoing Green, Draper Richards, New Profit, Mulago, and Ashoka.

In 2019, Alan began another pioneering journey to develop programming using Purpose as a lens to guide students and adults through important life decisions and career transitions – with particular attention to the needs of students coming from marginalized backgrounds. After teaching a successful pilot course with a small group of students, he has developed college courses and corporate training around purpose, purposeful leadership, and the Purpose Economy.

Before coming to Brown, he worked at Amos House in Providence to launch and develop More Than a Meal, a workforce development social enterprise that provides skills and resources for people in my community to pursue greater opportunity in their lives. His work in social enterprise is informed by 20 years as a consultant and turnaround manager.

Alan is deeply involved in several great organizations that are making their own impact on problems impacting marginalized communities – as Board Chair of Eye to Eye, Board Member of City Year Providence, and Board Member and Treasurer for the RI Association of Infant Mental Health.

Alan and his wife, Bari, have three children including twin sons Jeremy & Gregory and daughter Sophie. When he isn’t working, he’d rather be scuba diving, watching beautiful sunrises, and snuggling with Gansett, his lovable chocolate lab.

Sign up for Alan’s office hours here.