Jeff Snell serves as Special Advisor to the Dean of Continuing Studies & Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves as a facilitator for public and private sector meetings that need to identify key questions, working groups, and timelines for making necessary changes.
Prior to UW-Madison, Jeff served as Chief Executive Officer at the International Folk Art Market Santa Fe, the largest artisan-enterprise accelerator globally and voted “best arts festival” by USA Today readers, and recognized by American Express as a top-20 must see event, covered by PBS, CBS, Global Times (China) and Fortune magazine.
As founder of Midwest Social Innovation, LLC, he has provided regional executive education in social enterprise models. Start-ups have garnered best new business awards by local chambers of commerce; individual recognitions include honors from the Manhattan Institute, selection as a Fellow for Ashoka, and receipt of a MacArthur “Genius” Award.
Jeff’s social innovation projects include serving as Entrepreneurial Lead for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program and a partnership with the New York Times to embed Social Innovation as an interdisciplinary learning tool across the curriculum (selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as one of 10 winners in a field of 1,000 proposals from 15 countries). His work designing the first graduate and undergraduate interdisciplinary social innovation courses at Marquette University resulted in an ongoing university-wide platform and receipt of the inaugural Most Innovative Instructor award.
Jeff served as Special Advisor to the President at Marquette University, as Chief Operating Officer at the Argosy Foundation, and President & CEO at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, working with a dynamic board to become the largest chapter nationally by surpassing 25,000 members and raising nearly $100 million.
He completed a Ph.D. at Marquette University where he later received a Distinguished Alumni Award, was elected in 2011 to Alpha Sigma Nu, the international honor society for Jesuit colleges and universities, and was appointed in 2018 as a Fellow at the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity at Southern Methodist University. In 2019, Jeff was appointed a senior fellow in social innovation at ASU’s Lodestar Center.
His family lives in Madison, Wisconsin. When they’re not working on their 110-year-old Prairie home, they enjoy entertaining friends with hikes, skiing, and rafting at their second home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.