Senior Director, Impact Investments
Kimberlee Cornett joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2020, bringing her extensive investment expertise to her role as director, Impact Investments. “RWJF has the important assets of deep content knowledge, sector focus, brand, and grantmaking resources which positions it to be an influential investor in health and community development. By adding investment tools we can accelerate progress toward the Foundation’s program goals and have an even greater impact in communities by using the Foundation’s capital to take risks, partner with other investors, and capitalize organizations in the business of investing in communities.”
Previously, Kimberlee led the Social Investment Practice at the Kresge Foundation, which dedicated $350 million to impact investments. During her tenure at Kresge, the foundation leveraged $1 billion from other investors toward Kresge’s programmatic priorities. She oversaw the foundation’s adoption of a full spectrum of investment tools—from grants to guarantees.
At Kresge, she also directed several co-investments with RWJF, including the Strong Families Fund, the largest pilot pay-for-performance project to finance social-services coordination and quality, affordable housing for low-income families. Her work on this investment strategy, and others, provided her with an opportunity to work with many RWJF staff and to understand some of the Foundation’s priorities.
Prior to joining Kresge in 2010, Kimberlee worked at Maryland-based Enterprise Community Investment, a real estate investment services company for affordable housing and community development. From 2000 to 2007, she served as vice president of the firm’s investment management division and later, as vice president of national equity initiatives, she led business development efforts for the company’s debt and equity products.
Appointed a White House Fellow by President Clinton, she served at the Small Business Administration. Earlier in her career, she started a Habitat for Humanity affiliate and worked at a shelter for homeless women and children in Washington.
Kimberlee serves on the boards of Habitat for Humanity International and The Conservation Fund and is a commissioner on the City of Annapolis Housing Authority. A graduate of Hood College, she resides in Annapolis, Md. with her husband Paul, their three children, and “the most spoiled rescue dog ever.” A weekend-warrior athlete who is trying to perfect a handstand, she also enjoys boating and paddle boarding on the Chesapeake Bay.
Commentary by Kimberlee
How impact investments are helping build healthy communities