Former Congressman Ben McAdams Joins the Sorenson Impact Center

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Salt Lake City (Feb. 18, 2021)

Former Utah Congressman Ben McAdams has started two new public service endeavors, including one as a Senior Fellow at the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. The Sorenson Impact Center, founded in 2013 by pioneering impact investor and philanthropist Jim Sorenson, brings data science and innovative finance into the public policy arena to design solutions for challenges facing communities, nonprofits and governments. As Salt Lake County Mayor, McAdams worked with the Sorenson Impact Center on several “Pay for Success” projects tackling homelessness and criminal justice reform.


Before being elected to serve Utah’s 4th Congressional District, McAdams developed a national reputation as a leader in evidence-based decision making and data analysis as part of his work to build partnerships between the private sector and government. He began with a focus on homelessness and lowering the recidivism rate in Salt Lake County and the state. As a member of Congress, McAdams founded the bipartisan “What Works” caucus to advance evidence-based policy and data-driven decision-making at the federal level.


At the Sorenson Impact Center, McAdams will bring together individuals and groups to explore opportunities for public-private partnerships seeking solutions to challenges facing local communities and the federal government. He will also create opportunities for students to develop experience in fields related to impact investing, data science, impact measurement, innovative finance and initiative building.


Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Impact Center said, “We are honored to have Ben McAdams join the Sorenson Impact Center. His expertise and commitment to social impact will be an exceptional resource for students and the team. He will contribute to the mission of the Center to advance and accelerate the field.”  

“The opportunity to join the Sorenson Impact Center as a Senior Fellow and the creation of the Common Ground Institute will allow me to continue to give back in new ways. My work at the Center will allow me to continue working to advance private sector solutions for the public good,” said McAdams.


Geoff Davis, CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center said, “Ben’s leadership and track record of creating social innovation by harnessing market forces is needed now more than ever, and his role as a Sorenson Impact Senior Fellow will augment our ability to creatively solve important social, economic and environmental issues. We expect his impact on our students to be even more profound as he helps us prepare the next generation of impact leaders.”

Media contact:

Grant Baskerville

Director, Sorenson Impact Center | 801-910-1442

About the Sorenson Impact Center:

The Center serves as a catalyst for solving social problems through the use of data, evidence, and innovation. Housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, the Center works with public, nonprofit, and private sector stakeholders across the globe to develop and implement outcome-driven solutions to problems. Its 25-person staff includes experts in data science, finance, policy, investment, and storytelling. These professionals are augmented by the talents of 50 graduate and undergraduate students from diverse disciplines. Together, the Center works with clients to marshal capital for social good, empower data-driven programs, break down silos across sectors, and equip the next generation of leaders with social purpose.

About the Common Ground Institute:

McAdams’s second role will be heading an organization he created—the Common Ground Institute—to use his experience as a public servant who worked effectively to build consensus. McAdams said the Institute will assist clients in conflict resolution, community and stakeholder engagement and problem-solving, and policy consensus-building. The Common Ground Institute is organized around the principle that complex problems often require creative solutions that grow from intense listening and continuous stakeholder engagement.