After he witnessed the War on Terror, Jake was overcome with the initiative. He wanted to combat what he saw as the largest source of terrorism, insurgency, and global instability: extreme poverty. While deployed in Iraq as an Infantry and Special Operations Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps, Jake Harriman was troubled by the inability of many civilians to direct their lives, due to extremely oppressive governments. To address this, Jake returned to business school and took on the challenge to alleviate extreme poverty. From this effort, Nuru was launched in 2008, aiming to implement an innovative sustainable and scalable model for ending extreme poverty. This model’s most unique attribute is in addressing the “who” instead of the “what” - rather than pouring economic aid into a targeted nation, Jake’s vision is to find and train leaders who will be able to make community decisions and problem solve as the district evolves. With a dedication to empowering people, Jake Harriman and Nuru hope to eradicate extreme poverty within this lifetime.
Jake Harriman, MBA ‘08, graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and served seven and a half years as an Infantry and Special Operations Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps. He led four operational deployments and was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat. From his experiences, Jake came to believe that the “War on Terror” won’t be won on the battlefield alone: the contributing causes of terrorism – disenfranchisement, lack of education, and extreme poverty – must also be eradicated. Jake left his military career and enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to build an organization focused on tackling extreme poverty. He graduated with an MBA in June 2008 and led a team to launch Nuru International in Kenya in the same year.