Ariel Schwartz, MPA, PhD
Technology & work
Ariel Schwartz (she/her) is Managing Director at the Center for Social Impact Strategy (CSIS) at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her current position, Ariel was a postdoctoral research fellow at CSIS, 2016-2018.
Ariel has taught in Penn’s Nonprofit Leadership master’s program since 2018, including classes in Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, and International Development, Research Design in CSIS’ executive programs, and residential classes in Social Impact in Grand Canyon and Acadia national parks. Ariel also teaches Leading Social Change at Penn’s Law School, with Ben Jealous.
Ariel’s research interests include how staff and volunteers in grassroots social sector organizations can make good use of donor-funded computing technology in the workplace. During her dissertation data collection, Ariel was based at the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft Research, India, to study women community health workers’ use of mobile phones. Previously, Ariel was Research Development Specialist at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and Program Manager at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, both at Columbia University. In 2008, Ariel co-founded Maria’s Libraries, a US-based not-for-profit organization striving in Kenya for information access and social, political, economic, and cultural development through community libraries.
Ariel received her BA and MPA degrees from Cornell University, and her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Ariel enjoys riding her bike, cultivating plants, and enjoying forested and other outdoor spaces.