Dr. Lily Yu is a Senior Advisor in the Gender Investment and Innovation Department at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), one of the largest philanthropic organizations in Asia. As a founding team member of the Asia Women Impact Fund, an initiative to invest up to US $ 100 million from the Foundation to pursue gender lens investments that achieve favorable outcomes for women in Southeast Asia, she currently leads research and program design to advance gender equality, women’s entrepreneurship, angel investments, and inclusive business development in the region.
Dr. Yu has experience leading a range of public and private sector initiatives at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, behavioral design and social innovation in Japan, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Before joining SPF, she worked as a management consultant at a boutique consultancy specializing in the application of big data and machine learning techniques to the strategic design and measurement of business and social innovation projects. As research partnerships manager and consultant at the British Council, she managed multilateral programs to strengthen social entrepreneurship and innovation, education, research and funding links between universities, government agencies, Foundations and the private sector in the UK, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
She was a Fellow of the University of Tokyo and holds a PhD in Neuroscience from University College London, UK. She has completed courses on impact measurements and applications of behavioral economics to policy design at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School.