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IDS alumna Ann Wang to speak at International Institute commencement in JuneWang graduated in 2013 with an international development studies major and will become a UC Regent in July 2024. (Photo provided by Ms. Wang.)

IDS alumna Ann Wang to speak at International Institute commencement in June

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Ann Wang has pursued a career that combines her passion for equitable development, entrepreneurship and service.

UCLA International Institute, May 22, 2024 — Ann Wang (UCLA 2013, international development studies), social entrepreneur and current president of the UCLA Alumni Association, will be the featured speaker at the 2024 commencement ceremony of the UCLA International Institute.

The ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. in Royce Hall; tickets are required for admittance and can be obtained solely through graduating students.

While a student at UCLA, Wang worked in the newly created UCLA Volunteer Center, and later, as an external affairs intern under Vice Chancellor Rhea Turtletaub. She honed her skills at both units, she said, “by watching these powerful women move people forward toward impact. This set me up to be an entrepreneur.” Turtletaub, together with Julie Sina, associate vice chancellor of alumni affairs and chief financial officer of UCLA Foundation, remain her treasured mentors to this day.

Wang also benefited as a student from the training and mentorship offered by Startup UCLA, an incubator that offers potential UCLA student entrepreneurs a 10-week intensive Summer Accelerator on how to establish and fund a start-up business. In her senior year, the young Bruin co-founded a business with Jessica Wilson (UCLA 2013) that focused on socially engaged entrepreneurship.

After a brief period working as an assistant director with Alumni Scholarships, Wang and Wilson won a pitching contest for their fledgling company at the first-ever Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia in 2014. The two UCLA alumnae then used the $400,000 prize from the competition to formally launch Enrou, an online marketplace that matches socially conscious consumers with products made by artisans and other producers in developing countries, with purchases functioning to support producers’ sustainable livelihoods.

“UCLA, Startup UCLA and our community of Bruins prepared us every step of the way without us even knowing it,” said Wang.

“Without the knowledge and support we gained from UCLA, we could not have told that story on stage. I credit this accidental catalyst that happens at UCLA when you are passionate, optimistic, impact-driven and you can bring people together,” she added.

Wang’s ties to UCLA run deep. In 2015, the trailblazing IDS alumna won the UCLA Award for Recent Graduate Achievement. She joined the board of directors of the UCLA Alumni Association a year later and in July 2023, she became president of the board for a two-year term. She is the first Asian American woman and Millennial to serve in the position. Wang also sits on the UCLA Foundation Board and will become a UC Regent in July 2024.

The young entrepreneur left her position as CEO of Enrou several years ago. She has since founded Pathos, a consulting practice and investment fund that advises businesses on technology and social impact. Her client roster spans S&P 500 corporations, musicians, Hollywood performers and universities. Wang is also is a contributing writer for Forbes magazine, which named her to its "30 Under 30" list three years after she graduated from UCLA. 

Her work with Bruin alumni over the past seven years gives her unique insight into what UCLA graduates are up to in terms of work and social engagement, including their efforts to drive impactful change in our global world.

Read her interview with the UCLA Alumni Association (2023).