About Jessamyn Shams-Lau
High school dropout turned MBA, Jessamyn currently co-creates and stewards the Peery Foundation's Grantee-Centric approach to philanthropy. Jessamyn is an advocate for interdisciplinary approaches, thoughtful risk taking, and bold ideas developed through apprenticing with a problem.
Jessamyn joined the Peery Foundation as its first non-family staff member in 2009, helping to shape the Foundation’s initial approach and portfolios. Currently, as Executive Director, Jessamyn shapes and supports the Peery Foundation team, develops and guides overall strategy, and brings the Foundation Board's vision to life. Jessamyn utilizes her experience as part of the founding Ashoka U team in her hands-on role as a Board
Member of BYU’s Ballard Center, where she has created curriculum now taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Jessamyn serves as an advisor to Ashoka U and GrantAdvisor.
Jessamyn has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Arts London and an MBA from Brigham Young University. Everyone knows that she lives in Palo Alto with her ridiculously funny husband, defiant house rabbit, and two tiny hamsters. But you might also be interested to learn that she used to have a mohawk haircut, she met her husband on Tinder, and her favourite Christmas movie is Die Hard 2.