Meet the team on a mission: when it comes to purpose and participation, we’re the experts.
Co-founder & Chief Executive OfficerPronouns: he / him
Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and CEO of Purpose, a Public Benefit Corporation headquartered in New York with offices on six continents, that builds and supports movements for an open, just, and habitable world. He is co-founder of GetUp!, an Australian political organization with more members than all of Australia's political parties combined, and Avaaz, the world’s largest online citizens’ movement, now with more than 65 million members. Heimans has been building movements since the age of 8 when, as a child activist in his native Australia, he ran media campaigns and lobbied leaders on issues like children’s rights and nuclear non-proliferation.
Heimans has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, The Guardian has named him as one of the ten most influential voices on sustainability in the US and to its World Pride Power List of LGBT+ leaders, and The Monthly has observed that Heimans “might be the most influential Australian in the world”. With Henry Timms, Jeremy is co-author of the international bestseller “New Power”, praised by the New York Times’ David Brooks as “the best window I’ve seen into this new world” and by The Guardian as “a manual on how to navigate the 21st century”. The book was short-listed for the 2018 FT & Business Book of the Year Award and named a best book of the year by Bloomberg, Fortune, Inc, CNBC and others. Heimans and Timms’ thinking on new power has been featured as the Big Idea in Harvard Business Review, as one of CNN’s “ideas to change the world” and Jeremy’s top-rated TED talk on the topic has been viewed 1.5 million times.
He is a recipient of the Ford Foundation's 75th anniversary Visionary Award, the Foreign Policy Association Medal and the Performance Theater’s Inspired Leadership Award. He served as chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Civic Participation. Heimans has been a keynote speaker at venues such as the World Economic Forum at Davos, TED, the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival, the RSA, Chatham House, the United Nations, Blair House, The Economist Big Rethink, The Guardian Activate and Social Media Week.
The proud son of two first-generation immigrants to Australia, Jeremy was educated at Harvard University and the University of Sydney, and began his career with the strategy consultants McKinsey & Company. He lives in New York.
PresidentPronouns: she / her
Ilyse Hogue is a fierce advocate for justice and a leader, innovator and coalition builder across American and global progressive movements. As Purpose’s President, Ilyse supports the global team of passionate changemakers and steers strategic planning and development. A trained ecologist, she approaches social change from a systems perspective, looking to identify gaps and points of leverage at which to intervene and proactively anticipating trends where Purpose can apply knowledge and capacity to address emerging threats.
Ilyse, who has spent over a quarter century waging fights on behalf of humanity and our planet, most recently served in an eight-year tenure as president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, during which she helped transform the legacy organization into a modern-day organizing and political powerhouse. Under her leadership, NARAL tripled its membership, staff and annual budget in service advancing state and federal legislation to protect and expand abortion access, and fighting an unprecedented wave of abortion bans at the state level. She helped to position reproductive freedom as a central tenet of progressive politics and to engage organizations cross-movement in support of the full spectrum of reproductive freedoms being fundamental human rights. In doing this, they achieved what was said to be impossible: engaging the private sector in the fight to protect abortion access.
In 2016, Ilyse made history when she became the first speaker to share her abortion story at the Democratic National Convention. In 2020, she co-authored a best-selling book, The Lie That Binds, with former NARAL Research Director Ellie Langford on the history of the radical right, its authoritarian aims, and its reliance on white supremacy, misogyny and disinformation. Her commentary has been featured in The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Nation, Cosmopolitan, and ELLE. She is a frequent guest in the media, appearing as a progressive pundit on MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. She also spoke to popular New York Times podcast The Daily about the interlocking fights against dissolution of democracy, undercutting reproductive freedom and justice and disinformation.
Prior to her work for NARAL, Ilyse worked for MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Media Matters for America, and the Friends of Democracy PAC. She holds a BA from Vassar College, an MS from the University of Michigan, and was named as one of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Washington DC by Elle Magazine. She currently serves on the boards of Demand Justice, a court reform organization, and Governing for Impact.
When not at work, Ilyse can be found spending time with her husband, six-year-old twins, and two dogs Ranger Rooster and Little Yellin. She’s an avid hiker, biker, and home cook, and an aspiring gardener.
Partner & Managing Director, Purpose IndiaPronouns: she / her
Harpreet Bagga, as Partner & Managing Director at Purpose India, leads the India office with a focus on building our India presence, guiding India growth strategy, deepening partner relationships, overseeing projects and managing the India team.
She brings over 14 years of experience spanning business strategy, corporate finance, non profit management and philanthropy investments. She has previously worked at Dasra (Indian philanthropy foundation); KPMG and PwC. She has worked across social impact sectors including gender, adolescents, sanitation, education, health and climate.
She has a masters from SOAS and Oxford University, in addition to being a CFA holder.
In her spare time, Harpreet loves to spend time with her two kids.
Partner & Chief Financial OfficerPronouns: he / him
Jon Damon is a Partner and the Chief Financial Officer at Purpose. He brings over 15 years of Corporate Finance and Strategy experience in the advertising, consulting, media, and technology industries. Jon oversees Purpose’s Finance, Accounting, IT and Legal functions and works with the Leadership Team to drive growth, expand internationally and promote business performance.
Prior to joining Purpose, Jon was the Head of Finance and Accounting at AccountAbility, a consulting company specializing in sustainability and corporate responsibility.
Earlier in his career, Jon was the Director of Finance at SourceMedia, a business-to-business media company focused on the financial services industry.
Jon holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester and an M.B.A in Finance from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.
Outside of the office, Jon enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and reading.
Partner & Chief Experience OfficerPronouns: he / him
Keno brings over 20 years of experience as a social entrepreneur creating and implementing innovative programs in education, leadership development and social justice. With a background that blends military service, classroom teaching and organizational development rooted in diversity, equity and inclusion, he delivers senior-level leadership and guidance to multi-disciplinary teams delivering social impact globally. At Purpose, he has worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support their effort to elevate diverse voices that can help broaden the conversation about the issues inhibiting economic mobility and generate deeper awareness and actionable understanding.
Before Purpose, Keno served as Vice-President of Programs at the Echoing Green Foundation where he provided strategic leadership to Echoing Green’s flagship Fellowship programs designed to identify, develop and support early stage social justice and climate change leaders. A 1997 Echoing Green Fellow himself, Keno also created the Breakthrough Atlanta program, an empowering educational experience that has resulted in equitable access to higher education for over 2,000 Atlanta middle school students and prepared over 400 college-aged teaching fellows for education sector roles. An educator at heart with a passion for leadership development, Keno also co-created and taught the Resilient Leadership course at Yale University and has served as an Executive Coach to a wide range of impact leaders around the world.
After hours, you will find Keno enjoying New York’s restaurant scene, hunting for a bike trail to explore or working towards his next belt in Karate and Jiu Jitsu.
Partner & Chief Operating OfficerPronouns: he / him
Simon has deep experience working on some of the world’s most complex problems - crafting new ways to channel the power of culture toward positive social change. Through his career he has built unique partnerships to harness the potential of powerful storytelling to mobilize people to action. At Purpose, Simon has contributed to the growth and expansion of our international offices in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. He has developed and led projects with clients including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the LEGO Foundation, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, Google, Luminate Group, Unilever, the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, AGL, and The Fred Hollows Foundation on issues including early childhood development, digital rights, climate change, avoidable blindness, and women's empowerment.
Prior to Purpose, Simon spent over a decade working at the intersection of media and social change. After joining Viacom International in London to work on MTV’s social responsibility initiatives, Simon co-founded the MTV EXIT Foundation, an independent non-profit organization based in London and Bangkok committed to ending human trafficking and exploitation, becoming its Chief Executive in 2009. In 2013, Simon became Executive Director of FilmAid International, an organization that uses the power of film and media to bring life-saving information, psychological relief and empowerment to refugees.
Simon completed a degree in Engineering and Business Finance from University College, London, which somehow led to making a television program about his journey across the Caucasus and Central Asia in search of Xanadu. He hopes the resulting program remains buried in the archives.
He is a native of Brighton, England, and has lived in London, Bangkok, and Sydney.
Alex Hammer Ducas
Senior Director, Private Sector LeadPronouns: she / her
As the Private Sector Lead at Purpose, Alex brings 15 years of global experience partnering with leading brands, civil society organizations and philanthropists to drive social change.
Alex joined Purpose from Girl Effect where she served in a range of roles across partnerships, program leadership and most recently as a Chief of Staff. During her tenure, she led expansion into new markets including Malawi, Tanzania and the US as well as partnerships with organizations including PEPFAR, the Vodafone Foundation and Nike. Before Girl Effect, she was part of Nike’s Social Impact team in Europe. She started her career at SustainAbility advising corporate clients on sustainability and social impact strategy.
Alex graduated from Brown University with a BA in Development Studies and holds a Masters in Food Policy from City University in London.
When not at her desk, Alex tries to be outside and is more likely than not chasing around or being chased by her two young children.
Global Head of Impact, Measurement & LearningPronouns: he / him
As Global Head of Impact, Measurement & Learning, Bernard melds evaluative research design and digital campaign strategy to design and implement measurement and evaluation tools for the Voices for Economic Opportunity Incubator Lab. He uses data and information from the Incubator to develop products that can increase the program’s potential and impact. Additionally, his work translates research analysis and testing results into key findings, best practices, and actionable insights for organizational partners, stakeholders, policymakers, and other audiences.
Before joining Purpose, Bernard was a campaign manager at Color Of Change, where he spearheaded successful digital campaigns that pressured companies like Airbnb to take action against racial discrimination and lobbied U.S. government agencies to improve lead poisoning prevention policies in the wake of the Flint Water Crisis. Prior to entering the digital advocacy sector, Bernard taught at the University of Brasilia as a Fulbright Scholar and served as an interrogator in the U.S. Army.
Bernard holds a M.A. in Geography from the Ohio State University. He also holds a B.A., with High Honors, in International Relations and Global Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
Outside of work Bernard is usually busy chasing his toddler around the house, reading, or playing Magic: the Gathering.
Founder, Racial Equity Impact Practice & Senior Strategy DirectorPronouns: she / her
Catherine joined Purpose in 2016 to lead impact strategy on projects fusing culture, brand, messaging, and activation. While at Purpose, Catherine has served in roles ranging from a leader on the Strategy team, to the creator and lead of Purpose’s first Equity Team, to the Co-Head of Office for the company’s New York City office.
Catherine is the Founder and head of Purpose’s Racial Equity Impact Practice, which leads the company and its partners in prioritizing equity for people of color and other marginalized groups in its social impact work. Catherine’s Purpose portfolio covers issue spaces including criminal justice, public health, the arts and media, access to play and sport, housing insecurity, and more, all with a mindful equity lens.
Prior to her role at Purpose, Catherine worked in the music industry in a range of marketing, communications, and management roles.
Senior Campaign Director & Head of Office, AustraliaPronouns: he / him
As Senior Campaign Director & Head of Office, Australia, Chris brings over a decade of experience in strategic communications, advocacy and content production to our work on digital rights, public health, international development and climate change.
Through the combination of his early career in media production and cultural anthropology, he has worked with communities to leverage culture and storytelling to shape behaviours and systems, enable change and drive progress. He has a strong commitment to participatory approaches and is driven to work that enables vulnerable and marginalised communities to self-advocate and design their own progress. With this approach and throughout his career, Chris has co-designed, built and implemented issue-driven programs and campaigns across numerous continents and issue areas.
Chris brings to Purpose experience working across the corporate, NGO, and activist sectors, and continues to drive innovative work at the intersections of these areas. After having spent years working in Kenya, Iceland, the UK and Indonesia, Chris is now based in our Sydney office.
Senior Campaign DirectorPronouns: he / him
As Senior Campaign Director, and co-lead of the Purpose Climate Lab, Daniel drives our climate work across the world.
With a background in community-based and faith-based campaigning, as well as non-profit management and leadership, he makes sure Purpose’s climate campaigns deliver across the political spectrum from hyper liberal to deeply conservative.
Daniel’s campaigning with Purpose includes our work with Catholics in Poland and Brazil, Evangelical Christians in Brazil and Australia and Muslims in Indonesia and the UK. He led our work with communities of colour in London, nature friendly farmers in Cornwall, rural women in Poland, and even renewable first-movers in Bulgaria.
His portfolio includes leading the development of a major global campaign for Bloomberg Philanthropies, election-focused campaigning for Environmental Defense Fund, and climate disinformation campaigning for the KR Foundation. His private sector clients include IKEA and Capgemini.
Before arriving at Purpose, Daniel led the campaigning at Catholic development agency CAFOD, driving action on net zero and refugee rights by reaching a younger and more diverse audience. He ran ActionAid UK’s successful women’s rights campaign. Daniel also co-founded a youth empowerment non-profit.
Daniel holds a PhD in geography from the University of Leeds and an MBA from the Open University. He’s a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Pope Francis once met Daniel at the Vatican. And despite living in Central London he’s surprisingly outdoorsy.
Global Head of AccountingPronouns: he / him
As the Global Head of Accounting at Purpose, Edward Smith helps manage the Finance and Accounting functions.
Prior to joining Purpose, Edward spent over a decade working in a range of Finance roles, most recently as Accounting Manager at Avenues: The World School, an international system of private schools for pre-K-12th grades.
Earlier in his career, Edward was a Senior Analyst, then Delivery Lead in Project Accounting at National Australia Bank, the largest business bank in Australia. Prior to this, Edward was Corporate Accountant at IRESS Limited, a leading supplier of innovative technology solutions for financial markets, after starting as a Graduate Accountant in Business Services at Grant Thornton. Edward holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Edward also used to sing opera professionally in his native Australia, before he and his wife moved to the Big Apple.
Outside of the office, Edward enjoys sports, movies, Broadway shows and singing bass in his pop a-cappella group, Crosstown Vocal.
for Equity & Evidence