Jake Harriman graduated with distinction from the US Naval Academy in 1998, earning a BS in systems engineering. He then served seven and a half years in the Marine Corps as a platoon commander in both the infantry and a special operations unit called Force Recon. During his military career, Harriman led his Marines on four operational deployments, including two combat tours in Iraq and disaster relief operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Asian tsunami. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat during his second tour in Iraq.
From his experiences, Harriman came to believe that the “War on Terror” will not be won on the battlefield alone: the contributing causes of terrorism — disenfranchisement, lack of education and extreme poverty — must also be eradicated. Harriman left his career in the Marine Corps and dedicated himself to studying humanitarian development, organizational leadership and the problem of extreme poverty. He enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to build an organization focused on tackling extreme poverty. Harriman graduated with an MBA in June 2008 and, in the following September, led a team to launch Nuru International’s first seed project in Kuria, Kenya.