hero image
Nora L. Silver - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

Nora L. Silver Nora L. Silver

Adjunct Professor | Founder & Faculty Director, Center for Social Sector Leadership | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


Specialist in leadership and social impact


Areas of Expertise (4)

Multi-Sector Leadership

Networks for Social Impact

Next-Generation Social Sector Leadership

Cross-sector Collaborations


Nora Silver is Founder, Faculty Director, and Adjunct Professor of the Center for Social Sector Leadership. She teaches Social Sector Solutions, Impact Investing Practicum, and Large Scale Social Change: Social Movements, for which she is an Aspen Pioneer Faculty Award winner.

Silver is a serial entrepreneur, having founded a number of nonprofit social enterprises. She was founder of a unique collaboration of corporate, community, and family foundations united to strengthen and diversify volunteerism in the U.S. She also founded a groundbreaking enterprise that examined traditional notions of community service and taught a broad range of organizations to better engage volunteers. Early in her career, she served as Executive Director of a domestic violence organization, taught Spanish in an inner city school, and worked as a psychotherapist in private practice.

As an organizational consultant, she has worked with hundreds of organizations worldwide—including nonprofits, businesses, education, governments, foundations, and universities—on strategy and organizational development, cross-sector collaboration, community engagement, and board and executive development. She served as a senior trainer for the Peter F. Drucker Foundation.

Silver holds a Ph.D. in organizational and clinical psychology. She is the author of "Telling the Whole Story: Voices of Ethnic Volunteers in America," and "At the Heart: The New Volunteer Challenge to Community Agencies." She has also authored papers on multi-sector leadership, nonprofit networks, and next-generation social sector leadership.






2016 Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award Winner - Nora Silver, Berkeley-Haas Why Study Large-Scale Social Movements? Nora Silver Nora Silver and Paul Jansen: The Importance of Cross-Sector Affiliations


Education (3)

Professional School of Psychology: PhD, Psychology

San Francisco State University: MA, Human Relations

George Washington University: BA, Education and Spanish

Honors & Awards (1)

Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award


Selected External Service & Affiliations (2)

  • Provide strategy and organizational consulting to nonprofits, foundations, businesses, governments, and universities, including: American Red Cross, Consumers Union, Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps), Georgetown University, Government of Singapore, National Judicial College, Office of the Governor of Hawaii, United Way of America, UPS Foundation, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, YMCA of the USA and others
  • Boards and advisory boards: Greater Good Science Center, G2 Insurance, Learning by Giving Foundation

Positions Held (1)

At Haas since 2003

2014 – present, Faculty Director, Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business 2006 – present, Adjunct Professor, Haas School of Business 2003 – 2014, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business 2007, Visiting Professor, University of Klagenfurt, Vienna Dialogic 1990 – 2003, Founder and Director, The Volunteerism Project, San Francisco, CA 1998 – 2001, Senior Trainer, Peter F. Drucker Foundation 1985 – 1989, Founder and Director, PAVE Alameda County 1982 – 1985, Executive Director, Tri-Valley Haven for Women, Livermore, CA 1975 – 1982, Instructor, Chabot College, Hayward, CA

Media Appearances (4)

Haas pilots impact investing practicum

Poets & Quants  online


The eight-week investing session called on eight full-time MBA students to solve problems for companies like Patagonia’s Tin Shed Ventures and the SF Foundation. The session was co-taught by Adj. Prof. Nora Silver, faculty director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership, and Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse of the Haas Finance Group.

view more

Sal Khan creates online academy to educate anyone in world for free

San Francisco Chronicle  online


Khan exemplifies a trend in tech, with investors and entrepreneurs interested in making a difference rather than just making money, said Nora Silver, founder of the Center for Social Sector Leadership at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

view more

#morekidsonbikes: New youth cycling group works with university to 'map' existing youth programs

Bicycle Retailer  online


The Youth Cycling Alliance, which was formed last year following a meeting at Interbike, is working with UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business to map and assess existing youth cycling programs around the country.

view more

Berkeley-Haas Research on the Rewards, and Costs, of a Cross-Sector Career

Metro MBA  online


Paul Jansen and Nora Silver, both professors and members of Berkeley-Haas’ Center for Social Sector Leadership, studied the career paths of over 2,000 executives.

view more

Selected Papers & Publications (8)

The Multisector Career Arc: the role of cross sector affiliations and sector hopping in career acceleration

Berkeley Haas

Nora Silver and Paul Jansen


view more

Leveraging Social Sector Leadership

Special publication of GEO (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations) and Regents of the University of California

Nora Silver, Laura Callanan, and Paul Jansen


view more

Four Network Principles for Collaboration Success

The Foundation Review

Jane Wei-Skillern, Nora Silver


view more

Cracking the Network Code: Four Principles for Grantmakers

Scaling That Works

Nora Silver, Jane Wei-Skillern


view more

Telling the Whole Story: Voices of Ethnic Volunteers in America


Nora Silver


view more

Cultural Competency: Not a Lump Sum of Stereotypes

The Journal of Volunteer Administration

Nora Silver


The Promise and Pitfalls of Technology in Creating an Engaged Citizenry

The Grantmaker Forum on Community & National Service Session Highlights

Nora Silver


At the Heart: The New Volunteer Challenge to Community Agencies

The San Francisco Foundation

Nora Silver


Teaching (3)

Large Scale Social Change: Social Movements

MBA 292N

Social Sector Solutions – Nonprofit Consulting Projects

MBA 292S

Impact Investing Practicum

MBA 292N