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Jennifer Nelsen

Chief of Staff to the President and Chief Executive Officer

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Headshot of Jennifer Nelsen
Todd Spoth

In her role as chief of staff, Jennifer provides strategic and operational support to the president and chief executive officer to further advance Arnold Ventures' mission to employ strategic entrepreneurial philanthropy to address some of society's most persistent and complex problems.

Jennifer previously served as assistant general counsel for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and prior to that, was a litigator with Winston & Strawn and Weil, Gotshal & Manges. While in private practice, Jennifer provided pro bono legal services to those in need, working alongside organizations like Houston Volunteer Lawyers, Human Rights First, Tahirih Justice Center, and Disability Rights Texas. She began her career as a judicial law clerk for The Honorable Melinda Harmon, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas.

Jennifer has been actively involved with a variety of nonprofit organizations in Houston. She is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors for the Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center, and she previously served on the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Grants Committee, Houston Advisory Council for Tahirih Justice Center, and Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University.

Jennifer holds degrees from Washington and Lee University and New York Law School.

Headshot of Jennifer Nelsen
Todd Spoth
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