Jasper J. van Brakel

CEO and president at RSF Social Finance
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Bio

As president and CEO of RSF Social Finance, Jasper van Brakel sees firsthand the energy that mission-aligned, catalytic capital sparks. He guides RSF in revolutionizing how people relate to and work with money, leading a talented team that develops innovative giving, investing, and lending programs to address the significant social, environmental, and economic challenges of our time.

Areas of expertise
Van Brakel is highly engaged in building collaboration throughout the business and finance sectors and mobilizing talent and capital in ways that not only mitigate crisis situations but also start building a more resilient economy.

He is an expert source on:
• Integrated capital, which involves coordinating diverse financing tools (including loans, loan guarantees, investments, and grants) with network connections and advisory support to fuel enterprises that are solving complex social and environmental problems
• Mission-first businesses, which put profitability in service to the well-being of the company and its mission, investors, employees, customers, and suppliers collectively
• New ownership and governance models that shift the relationships between power, money, and the purpose of an organization
• Increasing transparency and integrity in financial transactions
• Reimagining donor-advised funds to catalyze solutions to systemic problems
• Community-led grantmaking strategies that shift decision-making and other forms of power to nonprofit and community leaders

He can also provide current RSF examples that challenge business and philanthropic orthodoxies and provide new strategies for advancing regenerative environmental practices and racial, gender, and cultural equity.

Experience
Van Brakel’s insights have appeared in publications including Stanford Social Innovation Review, Sustainable Brands, NextBillion and Triple Pundit, and he’s been a podcast guest on In the Business of Change. Nonprofit Quarterly quoted him extensively in a 2019 feature on RSF. RSF also has been covered by outlets including ImpactAlpha, Inside Philanthropy, USA Today, Financial Times, GreenBiz, Civil Eats, San Francisco Chronicle, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Manager blog.
Prior to joining RSF in March 2018, van Brakel was a partner at Newpark Capital, a private equity firm for impact-driven companies. He served as an operating partner with Armonia, an impact investor and regenerative field builder, where he initiated collaborative partnerships and provided strategic leadership support to several portfolio companies, both as an adviser and as a board member.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, van Brakel worked for 14 years with the Weleda Group, advancing from sales positions in Germany to leading global strategy, branding, and marketing initiatives. He moved to the U.S. in 2008 to lead Weleda North America as president and CEO in New York, a position he held for 7 years. As chair and interim CEO for Weleda’s Dutch and Belgian subsidiaries from 2013 to 2014, van Brakel restructured the company and positioned it for growth while maintaining the culture of the venerable natural, organic, and biodynamic consumer product company.

A graduate of Harvard Business School’s general management program, van Brakel also holds a master’s degree in economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam. He chairs the board of Gaia Herbs in Brevard, North Carolina; serves on the board of directors of Teton Waters Ranch in Denver; and sits on the advisory board of Flock, an accelerator focused on regenerative and natural food.