Alison Gold

Optimistic Anthropology LLC

Alison Gold is passionate about sharing her unique combination of skills and experiences as an anthropologist, systems changemaker, culture-builder, emergent learner and strategist, and facilitator with organizations and collaborations seeking to create a positive and equitable world. 

After 15 years of working in nonprofits, philanthropy, and government, she founded Optimistic Anthropology LLC in 2017 to help organizations and multi-sector partnerships understand how complex social, economic, and environmental challenges came to be and develop the cultures, processes, and strategies to move systems that produce these outcomes to healthier states. Additionally, Alison an adjunct professor at the Presidio Graduate School where she teaches the course, Multi-Sector Strategic Partnerships.  

Alison has a degree in anthropology from Columbia University and business and nonprofit management certificates from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where she was a UPS Foundation Fellow.  A lifelong learner, she has built on her formal education through ongoing learning focused on adaptive leadership, emergent learning (in which she is a certified advanced practitioner), emergent strategy, facilitative leadership, and undoing racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia. A native of Glencoe, IL and lifelong White Sox fan, Alison is proud to call Washington, DC and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina her homes. Learn more about Alison and her work at: