Claire Rafson ’19 Named Knight-Hennessy Scholar

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 She will pursue an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Claire Rafson
Claire Rafson ’19 has been a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar and a contestant on Survivor. (Photo courtesy of the Knight-Hennessy program)

Claire Rafson ’19 has been named a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, joining more than 80 other top students from around the world to pursue graduate study at Stanford University in the sixth Knight-Hennessy cohort since the program began.

Rafson, a double major in history and Native American and Indigenous Studies at Dartmouth, says she plans to apply her degree toward democratizing access to capital, making essential services more accessible, and embedding environmental, social, and governance, aka ESG, principles into companies.

It is a “dream come true” being selected for the scholarship, she says.

“I feel so fortunate to have been given this incredible opportunity to pursue my MBA at Stanford University, and to be a part of a community of scholars who are passionate about making a difference in the world,” Rafson says. “I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.”

Knight-Hennessy scholars receive up to three years of financial support to pursue graduate studies at Stanford “while engaging in experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders who address complex challenges facing the world,” according to the Knight-Hennessy release announcing the 2023 cohort of scholars.

At Dartmouth, Rafson was a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar and was active in the SHEBA Dance Troupe and the Dartmouth Outing Club. Rafson says important influences as an undergraduate included the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Department and mentor Ed Miller, associate professor of history and Asian studies.

After graduation her professional experience included two years as an associate consultant for Bain & Co., serving as chief of staff to the head of ESG and Impact investing at Silver Later Partners, and most recently, investing in early stage tech companies at the venture capital fund Eniac Ventures in New York.

And in the realm of popular culture, Rafson appeared on three episodes of the current season of the CBS reality show Survivor before being voted off the island.

The Knight-Hennessy scholarship is named for Stanford’s 10th president, John L. Hennessy, and for Nike co-founder and philanthropist Phil Knight, a 1962 graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, who donated $400 million dollars to the program in 2016.

For information about applying for Knight-Hennessy Scholarships and other programs, visit Dartmouth’s Fellowship Advising Office.

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