Mary Abdo


Mary is a former Young Foundation staff member living in Mumbai, India. She continues to work in the social innovation space.

While at the Young Foundation, Mary was the Venture Lead for The U. The U is a citizens university aiming to offer people the skills and confidence they need to be more effective citizens. Previously, Mary was the Practice Lead for Youth Transitions, with responsibility for The Youth of Today programme, a major initiative aiming to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of opportunities for young people as leaders of change in their communities. She also has a particular interest in innovation in higher education.

Before joining the Foundation, Mary was a consultant with a boutique McKinsey spin-off called Portas Consulting, providing advice to organisations involved in the world of sport, including the UK’s largest charities and governing bodies. Her prior experience includes directing a popular grassroots literacy programme in Los Angeles called Reading to Kids as well as working with Ashoka, Accion International, the Feminist Majority and a number of other U.S. foundations and non-governmental institutions.

Mary has a Masters of Public Policy (2007) from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she held the Pforzheimer Fellowship in Nonprofit Management. While at Harvard she chaired the International Bridge Builders Conference, which hosted grassroots leaders from developing countries. She has a Masters (2003) in European Studies from the College of Europe, which she attended as a Fulbright Fellow. She has a Bachelors summa cum laude (2002) in Cinema with minors in Politics and French from the University of Southern California.