Wenda Tai has been active in progressive advocacy since participating in anti-war demonstrations in high school in the ’70s. She also worked with community organizations, labor unions, and the nuclear disarmament movement in New York City during the ’80s. Since earning a graduate degree in pubic policy and settling in the Boston area, she has served on boards and advisory committees of the Boston Women’s Fund, Resist, and New Repertory Theatre, and is a founding member of the Jasmine Asian Women Giving Circle, part of the Building Democratic Philanthropy program of the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy organization.
Over the last 20 years, Wenda has focused on developing best practices for capacity-building, resource management, and sustainable growth for start-up social enterprises as well as interdisciplinary programs and initiatives in educational institutions. She served first as the Managing Director, then as the capacity building consultant, of Emerald Cities Collaborative – a consortium of unions, community organizations, social justice advocates, businesses, local government officials, and development intermediaries working to “green” our cities in ways that advance equal opportunity, shared wealth, and democracy for all involved. She is currently Assistant Director at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, which is founded on the belief that economic progress and good governance in low-income countries emerge from entrepreneurship and innovations that empower ordinary citizens.