Vanessa Wilkins


Central Oregon

As the Founder of Future School Lab, Vanessa speaks globally about innovation in education, consults with purpose-driven brands and leaders, and serves as an Expert-in-Residence at Harvard Innovation Lab.

Previously, Vanessa served as North America Community Impact Director at Nike, leading a statewide education initiative in Oregon, managing key partnerships, and engaging Nike leaders to innovate in education. Her work on the Nike School Innovation Fund was recently documented in a Harvard case used to teach scaling impact and shared value in a joint program between the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Business School.


Prior to Nike, Vanessa co-founded the consultancy Partners in Scale (now Impact Giving Advisors), served as VP for Worldwide Human Resources at EF Education, and was Managing Director at Friends of the Children where she now serves on the National Board of Directors and is Co-Chair of the Racial Equity Committee. She also serves on the board of Construct, Oregon Community Foundation’s Central Oregon Leadership Council, and Hundred.org's Advisory Board. Early in her career, Vanessa worked in Venezuela for Empresas Mendoza on a global financial restructuring and then liquidated the group’s trade finance bank in NYC.


Vanessa lives in Sisters, Oregon where her daughters both attended Sisters High School. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Portland Public Schools before receiving a BS from Boston University and an MBA from Harvard.