Jean Oelwang

Jean Oelwang's bio

CEO and President, Virgin Unite
Board Member, Penn State Smeal College of Business Board of VisitorsJean Oelwang.jpg

Jean Oelwang '87 is the founding CEO and President of Virgin Unite, an entrepreneurial foundation that builds collaborations, incubates ideas and re-invents systems for a better world.  Over the last 15 years, she has worked with partners to lead the incubation and startup of several global initiatives, including: The Elders, The B Team, The Carbon War Room (successfully merged with the Rocky Mountain Institute), Ocean Unite, The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, 100% Human at Work, The Virgin Unite Constellation and The Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship.  She also played a key partner role in the incubation of many other initiatives such as The Audacious Project and The New Now. 

Over the last three decades, Jean has helped corporations put the wellbeing of people and the planet at their core, including working with over 25 Virgin businesses across 15 industries to help embed purpose in all they do.  Jean also served as a Partner in the Virgin Group leading their people strategy, the heart of Virgin.  Jean spent eighteen years living and working on six continents to start and lead mobile phone companies in South Africa, Colombia, Bulgaria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US.  She was the joint CEO of Virgin Mobile in Australia prior to starting Virgin Unite. Jean has long explored the overlap of the business and social sectors and has been involved in both, having worked for the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife in Australia, and in numerous volunteer roles, including a stint as a VISTA volunteer where she worked with – and learned from - homeless teens in Chicago. 

All of Jean’s work has led to a deep belief in (and lifetime obsession with) the importance of partnerships and purpose to inspire a better world and better lives.  She co-founded Plus Wonder several years ago as a journey to discover and share the secrets of long-lasting, life-changing partnerships of all types. 

Jean serves on several advisory board, including The Elders, The NewNow, the Sara Blakely Foundation and the Boards of Rocky Mountain Institute, The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, Ocean Unite, Ocean Elders and Just Capital.  For the last five years, she was also a Senior Partner helping to lead the B Team. 

Jean lives in awe every day at the wonders of this great planet and in hope that we will figure out how to stop screwing up the world for future generations by learning how to work together and with Mother Nature.