About Root Cause

Andrew Wolk

Founder and CEO

Andrew Wolk is the founder and CEO of Root Cause. He has consulted to dozens of organizations in all sectors, including Open Society Foundations, uAspire (formerly known as ACCESS), Center for Urban Families, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, and State Street Foundation.

Andrew designed and taught one of the first courses on social entrepreneurship in the country at Boston University in 1999. He currently holds appointments in social entrepreneurship and innovation at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and MIT Sloan School of Management. To read about Andrew's reflections on performance measurement, investing in what works for black male achievement, and other emerging issues in the social impact sector, visit his blog.


Andrew is the author of a number of books and reports, including:

Speaking Opportunities

Andrew is available to speak at major conferences in the United States and smaller events in Boston and New York. Expert topic areas include:

  • Performance Measurement
  • Impact Investing
  • Funder Collaboratives

In June 2014, Andrew participated in “Scaled Impact through Movement Building: The Young Men of Color Movement,” a panel discussion at the Social Impact Exchange Annual Conference on Scaling Impact, with Shawn Dove of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at Open Society Foundations and William J. Snipes of Pipeline Crisis/Winning Strategies and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Click here to view the video. (The panel begins at the 39:00 minute mark). 

Blog Posts

  1. Life Outcomes: The Black Male Achievement Dashboard Root Cause 03-Nov-2014
  2. In the Aftermath of Michael Brown: Morality, Economy, or Security? Root Cause 18-Aug-2014
  3. 146 Years of Experience Root Cause 18-Jun-2014
  4. Root Cause CEO Andrew Wolk Shares His Thoughts on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Root Cause 03-Mar-2014
  5. Performance Insights: My Vision for the Next 10 Years Root Cause 15-Oct-2013
  6. A Social Issue-Based Approach to Finding and Funding Social Innovation Root Cause 10-Mar-2011
  7. Root Cause and Social Solution's Webinar: Social Innovation: From Demonstrating Effectiveness to Scaling Impact Webinar Root Cause 20-May-2008
  8. What the social innovator needs Root Cause 10-Apr-2008
  9. The role of the funder in building social impact markets Root Cause 04-Mar-2008
  10. Root Cause and The Open Society Foundation Launch Leadership and Sustainability Institute Website Root Cause 22-Feb-2008

Why do you do what you do?

I started Root Cause 10 years ago to combine the commitment to public service my grandfather had with the use of data and performance my father practiced into a simple premise—if we better allocate resources towards the performance of organizations pursuing social progress, we will see accelerated improvement in the lives of people across the country.

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Andrew’s assistant: Elizabeth Leberman, 617-299-2129


Boston University, MBA, Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management. Lehigh University, BA.

Favorite Books, movies, music

There Will Be Blood, Brett Dennen, Singing in the Rain


Skiing, television and movie watching