Asheesh Advani is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker at universities and business schools, where he shares his passion for entrepreneurship and purpose-driven business leadership with students. He currently serves as the President and CEO of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, one of the largest NGOs in the world dedicated to preparing youth for employment and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Advani is a graduate of the Wharton School and Oxford University, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar, and conducted his doctoral research on the delivery of essential public services with an entrepreneurial market orientation. He started his career as a consultant at Monitor Company and at the World Bank, where he conducted research on industrial clusters as a source of entrepreneurship and innovation in promoting economic growth. Raised in Canada, Dr. Advani served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto in his early career. Since then, he has delivered guest lectures at several universities including Harvard, McGill, MIT, Oxford, Penn, Stanford, and Yale.
Dr. Advani is an accomplished entrepreneur, having led two venture-backed businesses from start-up to acquisition. His first venture, CircleLending, helped pioneer the business of peer-to-peer finance was acquired by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in 2007. Subsequently, he served as CEO of Covestor, a financial technology company that was acquired by Interactive Brokers in 2015. His experiences as an entrepreneur and founder have been chronicled in case studies at Babson College and Harvard Business School.
While running his first venture, Dr. Advani served as a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine for five years and wrote two books about business finance which received positive reviews in the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. More recently, he has been a guest contributor for books on organizational leadership, including Leading in a Time of Crisis (Rosetta Books, 2020) and Work is Love Made Visible (Wiley, 2019). As a member of Marshall Goldsmith’s cohort of 100 Coaches, he is committed to sharing leadership lessons and mentoring the next generation of leaders.
Dr. Advani is an active keynote speaker and has served as a panelist and moderator at major conferences and venues including: the World Economic Forum (panel speaker in Davos on multiple occasions); the United Nations (Economic and Social Committee Chamber); Collision; Web Summit; Young Presidents Organization regional and global events; Great Hall of the People, China (World Philanthropy Forum); JA Global Leadership Conference (Berlin, Germany), and G20 meetings (Mendoza, Argentina).