Analysis and News



Democracy Market Map

Using public data and a machine-learning approach, the Leadership Now Project mapped the “democracy market” to identify the scale and role of political actors — public charities, private foundations, political committees, and candidates — and the flow of funds among them. This effort sheds light on threats to democratic function and viable solutions for reform. Click below to review our initial findings.

In the News


Your Vote Counts? How the Leadership Now Project Wants to Get Your Skin in the Game (June 20, 2019)

Leadership Now member Patrick McGinnis, who coined the term “FOMO,” interviews CEO Daniella Ballou-Aares on his Harvard Business Review podcast FOMO Sapiens.


Leadership NOW CEO PROFILED IN hbs aLUMNI mAGAZINE (mAY 23, 2019)

Harvard Business School Alumni Magazine profiles Co-Founder and CEO Daniella Ballou-Aares on her journey from business to government to democracy reform. Read about Leadership Now’s origins story and where this vital start-up is headed.


Leadership NOW CEO Discusses Future of Democracy at davos 2019 (January 23, 2019)

Leadership Now CEO Daniella Ballou-Aares took our democracy reform agenda to Davos as part of panel on Shaping the Future of Democracy. Joining her on the panel were moderator Martin Wolf (Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times), Ivan Duque (President of Colombia), Nikol Pashinyan (Prime Minister of Armenia), K P Sharma Oli (Prime Minister of Nepal), and Arthur Gregg Sulzberger (Publisher, The New York Times).

Check out the highlights below.


World Economic Forum - Meet the Young World-Changers Coming to Davos 2019 (January 17, 2019)

More than 3,000 leaders from around the globe will be in Davos for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019.

Contrary to the idea that Davos is just a gathering of leaders - the so-called global "elite" - there is in fact a diverse and exciting group of radical world-changers, from champions of democracy to educators of the underprivileged, coming to share ideas and find new ways to make the world a better place.

Daniella Ballou-Aares, US

Through her organization Leadership Now Project, Daniella Ballou-Aares is contributing to renewing democracy. She is focusing on its fundamental threats, including low voter turnout, gerrymandering, campaign finance rules and a lack of highly qualified candidates.


Wall Street Journal - These Harvard Business Grads Are Putting Politics Above Profits (December 6, 2017)

“Fifteen years ago, government was seen as instrumental for business—these were the people who make decisions on whether or not I get a good tax break,” said Daniella Ballou-Aares, a partner with strategic advisory firm Dalberg Advisors and M.B.A. from the class of 2001.

She and fellow Harvard M.B.A.s formed the nonprofit Leadership Now after the 2016 election to recruit fellow alumni and other business leaders to enter politics and to help fundraise for their campaigns.

With a reach of around 300 high-level business leaders, Leadership Now is one of a cluster of organizations formed by HBS graduates in the past year to encourage a new generation to enter government. With Honor, co-founded by class of 2009 M.B.A. Rye Barcott, was formed in November to support veterans running for office and plans to spend around $30 million campaigning for 25 to 35 congressional candidates in 2018.


Harvard Business School - Daniella Ballou-Aares: From State Department to Leadership Now (June 29, 2017)

Five years ago I moved from New York to Washington to become an appointee at the State Department. I was humbled by the importance of the issues at stake but also saw significant need for innovative thinking and new perspectives. The 2016 election solidified for me that all of us need to play an active role in our democracy, and attracting a more diverse group of experienced professionals to serve in government and run for office is an important part of that. I quickly found many in the business community shared this sentiment though had previously given little thought to engagement in policy and politics.  In January, an event organized with fellow HBS alums on the sidelines of the Women’s March in Washington helped galvanize early members of what would become the Leadership Now Project.