Zia Khan

Senior Vice PresidentInnovation, The Rockefeller Foundation

Zia Khan is the Senior Vice President for Innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation where he leads the Foundation’s work at new frontiers of ideas, coalitions, and solutions. He joined the Foundation in 2009 and before his work with Innovation, previously led the Foundation’s global program, strategy, research, and evaluation teams.

Before joining the Foundation, Zia spent a decade working as a strategy consultant at Katzenbach Partners where he founded and led the San Francisco office. He advised a wide range of clients on senior leadership team effectiveness, strategy, innovation, and organizational performance. He also co-authored the book Leading Outside the Lines with Jon Katzenbach.

Since joining The Rockefeller Foundation, Zia has led global initiatives in clean energy, innovative finance, food systems, livelihoods, water, data science, and cross-sector partnerships to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. He regularly writes about strategy, innovation, and leadership.

Zia serves on the boards of Atlas AI, Benefits Data Trust, DataKind, and Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. He also serves on advisory boards for the University College London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and Stanford Social Innovation Review Books.

Zia holds a BS from Cornell University and a MS and PhD from Stanford University.

Authored Content

  • Jan 19 2021
    Perspective Let the Great Transition Begin Given the scale and shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is understandable that many leaders would seek a rapid return to the status quo ante. But now that vaccines have created a long-awaited opportunity to build anew, re-creating the conditions that led to the crises of 2020 would be a mistake. With Covid-19 vaccinations underway […] Zia Khan
  • Oct 27 2020
    Perspective Innovating for a Bold Future At The Rockefeller Foundation, we’ve always tried to stay one step ahead – imagining futures that inspire bold action and making catalytic bets that can lead to long-term change. As an institution deeply rooted in science and technology, we understand their transformational power to address today’s challenges – and help plan for those we haven’t […] Zia Khan
  • Jul 08 2020
    Perspective A Bretton Woods for AI: Ensuring Benefits for Everyone If “intelligence” helps us solve problems, we need as much as we can get right now. The Covid-19 virus, having killed over 500,000 people in just six months is also sparking a cascade of economic and social disruptions. And it’s only July. We benefit from intelligence when it helps us find a vaccine. But we […] Zia Khan
  • Jun 19 2020
    Perspective Rebuilding Towards the Great Reset: Crisis, Covid-19, and the Sustainable Development Goals The year 2020 will forever be associated with crises. First came the Covid-19 pandemic, a joint public health and economic emergency that spread around the world with unprecedented speed and scope.  Next came a crisis of international cooperation, as countries struggled to coordinate their efforts in tackling a common viral foe. Then came a compounding […] Zia Khan