Samantha Fennell

Partner & Managing Director, North America

Samantha Fennell is Partner and Managing Director at Purpose, based in New York. She is North America’s principal market-facing leader, focused on the strategy and growth of Purpose’s impact, best-in-class project delivery, and business development. She is a member of the global senior leadership team at Purpose.

Samantha brings over 15 years of cross-functional leadership experience to her role, having held managing director positions at global agencies and leadership roles at the world’s largest media enterprises, including Condé Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., and Huffington Post. She has built and led highly matrixed partnerships with Fortune 500 clients while leading multidisciplinary teams toward growth.

Before joining Purpose, Samantha founded and operated Athari Collective, an equity-driven social impact consultancy focused on inclusive marketing, community outreach, and corporate and nonprofit partnerships. During this time, she worked with partners such as Uber, Airbnb, and The Bruce Museum, forging connections with diverse communities to achieve meaningful change.

In 2008, Samantha took a hiatus from her business endeavors to dedicate herself to fundraising and organizing for the Obama ’08 campaign. She inspired a wide audience of first-time political activists through her regular blog on while securing hundreds of campaign contributions and mobilizing scores of volunteers in key swing states.

She continues to be actively involved in campaigning and fundraising for candidates who prioritize social justice issues. 

Samantha holds a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Italian from The University of Michigan. She lives in Manhattan with her son, Addison James who is teaching her to play pickleball and take regular breathing breaks.

Choose Both: A Digital Guide
for Equity & Evidence