ideas42’s Board of Directors enthusiastically announced the selection of Bridgette Gray as the nonprofit’s new CEO. Effective immediately, she will lead ideas42, one of the world’s top applied behavioral design firms. As the organization celebrates 15 years of creating social impact with behavioral science, the Board is thrilled to welcome Bridgette’s fresh vision and deep expertise in driving social change to lead ideas42 through its next phase of development and growth.

Bridgette has a 30-year track record of success as an executive leader in the nonprofit industry, including as an Executive Director. She comes to ideas42 from several high-profile nonprofits, including the Points of Light Foundation, Year Up, Per Scholas, and most recently, Opportunity@Work. Bridgette is an innovator, strategist, fundraiser, organization builder, and recognized workforce development and social impact leader. Bridgette is deeply committed to improving the lives of those with the fewest opportunities, least access, and least resources, having spent her career striving to create a more equitable world.

Her arrival marks a milestone in the organization’s evolution as it doubles down on its commitment to creating a more equitable world using behavioral science. She offers the organization and its talented team key opportunities to reimagine and deepen ideas42’s partnerships and impact in its issue areas of focus.

"After thorough succession planning and a comprehensive search, we are beyond pleased to welcome our top choice to lead our world-class nonprofit," said George Overholser, Chair of the Board of Directors of ideas42. “We are delighted that Bridgette has embraced ideas42’s mission to make the world more equitable using behavioral science, and we will benefit greatly from her leadership. Alongside extensive professional expertise, she brings additional strength through her lived experience, which makes her uniquely qualified to lead ideas42 successfully into the future."

Since 2008, ideas42 has been at the forefront of pioneering a new approach to solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. The Board is confident that under Bridgette’s stewardship, with her extensive network and experience in nonprofit innovation, ideas42 will solidify its position as a cutting-edge leader in the growing field of applied behavioral science.

“The field of behavioral science has evolved since I co-founded ideas42 with Sendhil Mullainathan and Antoinette Schoar, and ideas42 has evolved with it. More than ever, I am convinced that insights into people’s perception, motivation, capabilities, and behaviors are a prerequisite to designing effective approaches in many important domains, ranging from education and the law to the environment, poverty, and reducing inequality,” said Eldar Shafir, Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor at ideas42, and the Class of 1987 Professor of Behavioral Science and Public Policy and Director of the Kahneman-Treisman Center at Princeton University. “By bringing on Bridgette as CEO, ideas42 is signaling a commitment to continue evolving our approach to addressing complex challenges. I am confident that Bridgette's vision will allow the organization to push further the boundaries of applied behavioral science as it explores solutions to societal problems."

“As I step into the role of ideas42’s CEO, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this unique organization and excited to shepherd it into its next phase. ideas42 has had great success in its first 15 years, and like myself, it is hungry to do more while building new capabilities,” said Bridgette. “Even more than most industries, behavioral science does not admire tradition. It admires innovation rooted in marked change, solutions, stability, and sustainability. This is a critical time to reimagine our work and seek greater impact than ever before–and I look forward to achieving this with ideas42’s talented team of vested stakeholders.”

Bridgette succeeds long-time Executive Director Josh Wright, who is beginning a fellowship at Princeton’s Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy, where he will work on a book about applied behavioral science, drawing from the extensive track record ideas42 established under his leadership. Josh will join ideas42’s esteemed list of advisors.

“I have been fortunate to lead such a talented group in building and growing ideas42 over the last 12 years,” said Josh Wright. “I am incredibly pleased to pass the baton to a leader of Bridgette’s caliber and excited to see ideas42’s future evolution and growth.” 

About ideas42

ideas42 is a nonprofit that applies insights from behavioral science—the study of how people make decisions and act in the real world—to improve lives and drive social change. Working globally, we reinvent the practices of institutions and create more effective products and policies that can be scaled for maximum impact.

We also teach others, ultimately striving for a future where the universal application of behavioral science powers a world with optimal health, equitable wealth, and environments and systems that are sustainable and just for all.

For the past 15 years, we’ve been at the forefront of applying behavioral science to create a more equitable world. And as we’ve developed our expertise, we’ve helped to define an entire field. Our efforts have extended to 50+ countries as we’ve partnered with hundreds of governments, foundations, NGOs, private sector entities, and philanthropic leaders.

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