Jessamyn Shams-Lau

Executive Director
Peery Foundation
Jessamyn Shams-Lau

High school dropout turned MBA, Jessamyn currently co-creates and stewards the Peery Foundation's Grantee-Centric approach to philanthropy in her role as Executive Director. 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 staff member in 2009. She 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. After realizing she's definitely not alone in being frustrated by the status quo in philanthropy Jessamyn co-wrote and illustrated the book, 'Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits & Foundations Can Build EPIC Partnerships', with Jane Leu and Vu Le.

Jessamyn has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Arts London and an MBA from Brigham Young University. She lives in Mountain View, CA with her ridiculously funny husband and two headstrong house rabbits.