David Bonbright

CEO, Keystone Accountability


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David Bonbright is founder and chief executive of Keystone(formerly ACCESS), an initiative to transform the fields of social investing and sustainable development through the introduction of systems for performance management and giving/social investing that realize accountability for learning in social change processes.

Before founding Keystone, David directed the Aga Khan Development Network’s Civil Society Programme. Founded and guided by His Highness the Aga Khan, the

AKDN brings together a number of development agencies, institutions, and programmes that work primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa. Under David’s leadership, AKF’s Civil Society Programme defined three areas of focus: the laws and policies that delimit state-civil society relations; management and leadership capabilities in civil society organisations (including the development of an innovative e-learning methodology); and the promotion of indigenous philanthropy (notably, through the creation of the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy).

Trained as a lawyer, David is an experienced designer and manager of citizen-led development services and programmes, with an emphasis on strengthening organizational capabilities and promoting on societal learning. In the early 1990s, he founded and led two African citizen sector resource centers: one relating to organizational development (the Development Resources Centre, Johannesburg) and one relating to information and technology (SANGONeT, Johannesburg). From that base in South African civil society, he also conceived and guided the processes that gave birth to the Southern African Grantmakers Association (SAGA) and the South African NGO Coalition (SANGOCO) and led the first Africa program of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public.

As a grantmaker and manager with Aga Khan Foundation (1997 – 2004), Ford Foundation (1983 – 87), Oak Foundation (1988 – 90), and Ashoka: Innovators for the Public (1990 – 1997), David has sought to evolve and test innovative approaches to strengthening citizen self-organization for social justice and sustainable development as an alternative to prevailing bureaucratic, top-down models.

He has authored and co-authored a number of reports and books, including, Creating an Enabling Legal Framework for Nonprofit Organizations in Pakistan (Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy, 2003), Enhancing Indigenous Philanthropy for Social Investment (Aga Khan Development Network, 2000), Philanthropy in Pakistan (Aga Khan Development Network, 2000), Leading Public Entrepreneurs (Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, 1997).

He sits on the boards, advisory councils and knowledge networks of The Constant Gardener Trust, AccountAbility Forum, Alliance magazine, Allavida, Goldman Foundation Environmental Awards, the Johns Hopkins University Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, and the CIVICUS Civil Society Index.

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