avatar for Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst

Taproot Foundation
President and Founder
Aaron is a globally recognized social innovator and leading architect of the growing pro bono services movement. He is known throughout Taproot offices for his striped socks, Post-it® doodling, and endless supply of bold ideas.Aaron’s career is dedicated to challenging and empowering the public and private sectors as well as individuals and organizations to drive our collective social, environmental and economic progress. He is the founder of the Taproot Foundation—a nonprofit organization building a national pro bono marketplace and leading the global service movement—and is a creative force behind the conception of the national Billion + Change initiative and the Service Enterprise model.A member of the Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50, Aaron is widely known for his thought-leadership in civic engagement, nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility. He is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and Stanford Social Innovation Review.An entrepreneur since 16, Aaron began his career as a social innovator at the University of Michigan, where he designed and led an educational program for local correctional facilities, subsequently becoming the first student to receive the Michigan Campus Compact Award. Upon graduating, he worked in inner-city education in Chicago before landing in Silicon Valley as an early employee at two venture-backed social venture companies.Aaron is one of the most recognized social entrepreneurs in the nation and a recipient of the Ashoka and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation fellowships. He has also been formally recognized as a leading social innovator by the Aspen Institute, Social Venture Network, Fast Company, Commonwealth Club, the Manhattan Institute, the State of California, and the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. In 2009, he received the LSA Humanitarian Service Award, the highest honor bestowed on University of Michigan alumni.Aaron currently sits on the International Advisory Board of Directors of CiYuan, a three-year initiative to increase social investment in China, and serves on the boards of Reimagining Service and BoardSource. He has co-authored the children’s book “Mommy and Daddy Do It Pro Bono” with his wife, Kara Hurst (@karahurst).Aaron, Kara, and their two children live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His favorite root vegetable is the radish.