Isabelle Hau

Location: Redwood City, CA, US
Focus Area: Littlest Learners / Adult Learners
Regional Focus: United States

Meet Isabelle, who joined Omidyar Network in 2012, and is a partner at Imaginable Futures, where she leads the firm's US education initiative, focused on a two-generation approach.

Prior, Isabelle has spent her career across the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She served in the non-profit sector at ImpactAssets, to align capital with meaning. Isabelle was previously an executive director at Morgan Stanley in venture capital and in advisory. Isabelle has held numerous board and governance roles in education.

Isabelle was honored as 100 Harvard Business School Women in the Bay Area.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

One of my professional accomplishments is the *multi-million impact club*. Several of my portfolio organizations have reached millions of lives: d.light just reached 100 million lives, Khan Academy Kids 60 million children and families, Genius Plaza 50 million children, Handshake over 10 million students---and all continuing on their remarkable trajectories. Behind those numbers, there are countless human stories of positive change, upward mobility, empowerment and hope.


Why do you love coming to work?

Impact first, impact second, impact third.

What lessons did you learn early in your career that you keep with you today?

As an immigrant woman navigating the venture capital and investment banking and now the impact investing world, I learned that one has to light his/her own path. Success does not come from conforming to models that do not look like us.

Where is your happy place?

Enjoying a meal with family and/or friends. Cuisine is such an integral part of my culture.

If someone narrated your life, who would you want it to be?

Simone de Beauvoir has shaped my outlook; if she were still alive, it would have been an honor for her to narrate my life.

Favorite season?


If you didn’t work at Imaginable Futures, what would you be doing?

I would be a teacher, a diplomat, a philosopher, a martial arts instructor or maybe a journalist…

If you could be one character from a book, who would you choose and why?

Tintin, the intrepid global investigative explorer- because of his deeply curious nature, his global perspectives and resonance, and his slight irreverence.

What’s the closest thing to real magic in this world?

Snorkeling with turtles in warm waters, falling asleep under the sun or under the stars, or reading a good novel.

Favorite quote:

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” -- Mahatma Gandhi