Fellows Directory

Katelyn Donnelly


Katelyn is co-founder and Managing Director of the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF), a venture firm focused on emerging market education companies. PALF was founded inside Pearson PLC, the world’s largest education company. Katelyn co-founded the fund and set investment parameters, raised commitments of up $65M, and directs all investment activity.

Katelyn has a particular interest in companies focused on addressing large societal challenges in traditionally highly regulated and government-dominated sectors. She is a board member of Omega Schools in Ghana, SPARK Schools in South Africa, Avanti Learning Centres in India, and APEC Schools in the Philippines. She the co-author of several industry-leading publications about the future of education including Alive in the Swamp, Oceans of Innovation, and An Avalanche Is Coming.

Outside of venture, Katelyn is a founding partner of Delivery Associates, the leading public sector advisory group focused on the implementation of large-scale reform and establishment of delivery units. The deliverology method has been successfully applied in 6 continents globally across education, health, economic development, infrastructure, and other areas of government.

Prior to PALF, Katelyn was a consultant with McKinsey & Company in their San Francisco and New York offices. While at McKinsey, she presented her work on credit market sustainability at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

Education, Personal, and Fellowship

Katelyn is a graduate of Duke University's Trinity, with High Distinction, in economics. At Duke she was president of the Duke University Union, the largest student organization on campus, and president of the debate team, competing internationally. In high school, Katelyn was a competitive slalom skier.

As a member of Class 21, Katelyn served her fellowship at the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund under the mentorship of Sir Michael Barber.