Making A Difference

Making Things Right for Those Who’ve Been Done Wrong

Ariel Zwang (MBA 1990)

Ariel Zwang (MBA 1990) is CEO of Safe Horizon, a New York–based organization that provides services to victims of violent crime and abuse.

“I went to work at BCG right after I graduated. After a couple years, I realized that I did not want to look back on my career 50 years from now and say, ‘I helped clients gain market share.’ I wanted to look back on my career and say, ‘I did my part to make the world a better place.’

“I talked to a lot of people about work that they did and what they found satisfying, and I realized that the issue that was most important to me was urban poverty and how to alleviate it.

“In the last 23 years, I have been working in nonprofit and government settings that help with the issues I think are most important: housing, economic development, education. The work that I do now is running Safe Horizon, which is the nation’s largest provider of victim services. We work with victims of all crime and abuse, but we specialize in what we call ‘intimate partner’ and family violence. That’s child abuse, human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. We touch the lives of a quarter of a million people in New York City every year.

“People who have suffered from these issues have a wide variety of needs. We provide comprehensive services: housing, legal, psychological services, and general support for how to manage in the world for people who not only don’t have all the basics in life, but also have had done to them the worst things that people do to each other.

“Safe Horizon is almost a $60 million organization; we have about 600 staff in 60 locations. All of that requires the same excellent management that any for-profit enterprise needs. So the skills that I learned at Harvard Business School have been critical in helping me to lead and manage this organization.”

(Published January 2016)

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