Jake Harriman, founder and CEO of Nuru International, will visit West Virginia University as part of this year’s David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas on Oct. 17. His talk, “The End: Nuru’s Vision for a World Without Poverty,” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. It is free and open to the public.

Harriman, a West Virginia native and former U.S. Marine, came home from touring the Middle East, Africa and Asia with one mission: eradicate extreme poverty. While attending the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he founded Nuru International, a social venture committed to ending extreme poverty in remote, rural areas across the globe. Nuru works to lift communities out of poverty and into a cycle of self-sustainability by avoiding handouts and, instead, giving people concrete opportunities to grow, become self-sufficient and build sustainable futures.

Harriman and Nuru have developed a working model that provides rural communities with the tools they need to achieve self-sufficiency. By focusing on the practical and mentoring local leaders on the principles of leadership, Nuru enables communities to build the humanitarian programs and infrastructure thriving communities need: healthcare, education, agriculture and water sanitation – on their own.



During his military career, Harriman led his Marines on four operational deployments, including two combat tours in Iraq and disaster relief operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Asian tsunami. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat during his second tour in Iraq.

Harriman graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1998, earning a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. He then served seven and a half years in the Marine Corps as a Platoon Commander in both the Infantry and a special operations unit called Force Recon. He earned an MBA from Stanford University in 2008.

Festival of Ideas is an annual speaker series that hosts high-profile intellectuals and public figures—along with WVU’s own academic superstars—in a series of lectures that engage the University community in important issues of the day. It’s organized by the Office of University Events. For more information, visit http://festivalofideas.wvu.edu and follow the conversation on Twitter at #wvuideas.

Arrangements for the appearance of Jake Harriman were made through the Lavin Agency.

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ld/10/07/13

CONTACT: Liz Dickinson, Office of University Events
304-293-8025, liz.dickinson@mail.wvu.edu

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.