Renowned businesswoman, impact investing trailblazer and philanthropist Jean Case will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s University Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12.

Case is the chairman of the National Geographic Society, CEO of the Case Foundation, and founder of For What It’s Worth.

She spent two decades of her career in the private sector, building innovative tech-driven businesses. Case was at the forefront of the movement to bring the internet to the masses, working as a top executive at AOL for nearly a decade, where she oversaw all marketing that established AOL as the No. 1 internet brand and the first internet company to go public.

After leaving AOL, Case and her husband, Steve, created the Case Foundation to address social challenges. Under her leadership as CEO, the Case Foundation has led cross-sector partnerships that have brought business, government, and nonprofits together to drive impact in areas including inclusive entrepreneurship, impact investing, citizen engagement, and the digital divide.  

Case has since furthered her leadership in impact investing with the launch of For What It’s Worth in 2021 focused on expanding interest in investing for social good and providing the resources, news, and trends new investors need to confidently invest for both profit and purpose. In all her endeavors, Case applies Be Fearless principles to her work, which call for taking risks, being bold and failing forward.

That philosophy is the foundation of Case’s bestselling book, “Be Fearless: Five Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose.” The book explores how to make a difference in work, community, and life by taking bold risks and also includes moments from Case’s own life and work.

Case has served on advisory boards at Harvard Business School, Stanford and Georgetown, and as an executive in residence at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. She was named as an advisor to the U.S. National Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investing Task Force, established by the G8.

Case also led the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, where she was appointed chair by President George W. Bush, and, in addition to chairing the board of the National Geographic Society, currently serves on the board of the White House Historical Association, the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, and on the advisory board of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

The University Commencement ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. on May 12 in Lane Stadium. A complete schedule of commencement ceremonies and additional commencement information can be found online at