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In Memory of Greg Dees


The staff and board of MACED are greatly saddened by Greg Dees' passing. Greg worked tirelessly and generously to advance the academic understanding and practical application of social entrepreneurship. He joined MACED's staff in 1997 and spent 18 months advancing the cause of entrepreneurship to promote economic opportunity in rural Appalachian Kentucky.


"I was fortunate to witness Greg in action several times during his tenure at MACED," current MACED President Justin Maxson said. "He uniquely combined the gifts of intellect and compassion. He was always searching for strategies that would make the most difference to people and Appalachian Kentucky even when it meant questioning popular assumptions, sometimes even his own, or making difficult assertions. It is a measure of who Greg was that he would leave a position at Harvard and come to eastern Kentucky to put his ideas to the test in real and meaningful ways. His work to clarify what 'social entrepreneur' means—someone who holds mission impact central, engages in continuous learning, seeks new opportunities not constrained by resource limitations and has a sense of heightened accountability—continues to shape MACED's work."  


Don Harker, the former MACED president who recruited Greg to come to Kentucky, reflects: "Greg was insatiably curious and intellectually generous. A philosopher engaging the world in a business suit. He believed theory and practice must inform each other. He had the personal authenticity and humility to engage with anyone, including business, academia, and nonprofits, working in the complex arena of Appalachian development. His time at MACED was a rich experience for all involved."  


Greg's legacy touched many people and institutions. Our deepest regrets and sympathies go out to his family, friends and the broader social entrepreneurship community. We take comfort in the fact the Greg's legacy lives in the hearts and minds of many. 


MACED is honored to be named as a recipient of contributions to honor Greg's life and work.


To donate in memory of Greg, please click the Donate Now button below and note that your donation is in memory of Greg Dees. 






Greg Dees



MACED Newsletter Articles by Greg Dees.