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Dennis has worked for 30 years in international aid and philanthropy. He is currently Executive Director and a founder of Feedback Labs, a network of 200 aid, philanthropy, and government organizations that ask "What do regular people want to make their lives better? Are we helping them get it? If not, what should we do differently?"
Earlier Dennis co-founded (together with Mari Kuraishi) GlobalGiving, the first global crowdfunding website, and was CEO from 2000 to 2010. GlobalGiving has mobilized over $250 million from 500,000 individual donors and 190 leading companies and foundations to support 16,000 projects in 166 countries.
From 1986-2000, Dennis was an economist at the World Bank, where he worked in Indonesia, Russia, Papua New Guinea, and Niger on agriculture, housing reform, energy efficiency, structural adjustment, and innovation. His New Products Team at the Bank created the Innovation and Development Marketplaces in the late 1990s.
He has also been Executive Chairman of Ashoka Changemakers; Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University; Professor of the Practice and Entrepreneur in Residence at UNC-Chapel Hill; Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development, and economist at USAID and the Asian Development Bank, in the Philippines (where he was an extra in one of Chuck Norris's best movies, "Missing in Action”). He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.
In his formative years, Dennis was a short-order cook and busboy at several restaurants, including the late Oasis Restaurant in Leitchfield, KY and the late Porthole Restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC.