Corinne Gray

Innovation Operations Officer, UNHCR


Corinne Gray is a Fulbright Scholar from Trinidad and Tobago who works at the forefront of the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) innovation initiatives. As a core member of the Agency’s dynamic Innovation Unit she leads efforts to engage staff and refugees in open innovation. Corinne is based at UNHCR’s Headquarters in Geneva, but travels frequently to the field where she works on programs that foster ‘bottom-up’ innovation and self-reliance among displaced populations. She spearheaded and serves as Lead for a joint project with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D Lab that trains vulnerable communities to design and build their own appropriate technologies.

Corinne first became passionate about local innovation and entrepreneurship while working in Southern Africa, traveling around townships in Johannesburg and Cape Town, giving micro-entrepreneurial training and mentorship to asylum-seekers in South Africa and Zimbabwe. She brings a wealth of knowledge as a former marketing executive in the private sector where she worked closely with product innovation teams to help translate audience needs into dynamic user experiences.

Corinne holds a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Public Policy and Management, where she concentrated on social innovation/enterprise. Her capstone project led to the creation of a tool that could calculate the ROI of US government investment in social innovation. Corinne draws on a wealth of diverse professional experiences – from working in HIV/AIDS education with rural communities in Ghana to managing community education programs for ‘at-risk’ young people in her native home of Trinidad and Tobago – to build communities that are sustainable and self-sufficient.

Corinne is currently pursuing a career in social impact investing and humanitarian financing. She hopes to be able to accelerate and scale community-owned innovations with the potential for large-scale social impact through new approaches to financing in the humanitarian sector.

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