Meet Megan Golden



Megan headshot formal small croppedMegan Golden

Co-founder, Mission: Cure

Megan Golden is the co-founder of Mission: Cure, which is using outcome-based financing and impact investing to demonstrate a new model for curing disease, beginning with chronic pancreatitis, a devastating disease afflicting her younger brother.

Megan is a leader in innovative, outcome-based financing to solve social problems in the U.S. Until March 2017, she was the Director of Pay for Success Financing at the Institute for Child Success, a South Carolina-based nonprofit research and policy organization that works to ensure the success of all children by strengthening early childhood systems. Megan led ICS’s technical assistance on Pay for Success (“PFS”) financing, an innovative way of funding effective preventive programs. She works with states and localities across the U.S. to explore ways to improve their children’s health, education and well-being through large-scale expansions of effective early childhood programs. She conducted ICS’s feasibility study on Pay for Success financing for the Nurse-Family Partnership in South Carolina, which resulted in a $30 million expansion that will serve thousands of low-income first-time mothers. This Pay for Success project was the largest in the world and the first to use Medicaid funding as part of the financing package. She served on the advisory group for McKinsey & Company’s work on “social impact bonds,” and has published extensively on PFS financing and performance measurement. She also served as a Fellow at the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

From 1999-2011, Megan was the Director of Planning and Government Innovation at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she worked in partnership with government to implement innovations in criminal justice, juvenile justice, child welfare, school safety, mental health, and eldercare. In addition to creating and launching eight innovative programs, she led a major reform of New Orleans's criminal justice system and helped Chinese academics and officials pilot criminal justice reforms. In addition to her work at Vera, Megan directed the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service from 2006 - 2009. Megan practiced law from 1992-1994 as a Skadden Fellow at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. In 1994, she was awarded a White House Fellowship. Megan began her career working for New York City government as an Urban Fellow. She has a BA in political science from Brown University and a JD, magna cum laude, from the New York University School of Law.


Contact Megan


Mission: Cure Home




Select Publications


A Focus on Cost Savings May Undermine the Influence of Outcomes-Based Funding Mechanisms (with Jitinder Kohli and Samantha Mignotte, Monitor Deloitte), chapter in What Matters: Investing in Results to Ensure Strong, Vibrant Communities,Nonprofit Finance Fund and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, June 2017.

From Cashable Savings to Public Value (with Luke Bo’sher, Joe Coletti, Jitinder Kohli), Center for American Progress, Sept. 1, 2015.

How Pay for Success Funding Might Help Low-Income Students, Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct 6, 2014.

Pay-for-Success Financing: A New Vehicle for Improving Population Health?, Population Health News, March 2014.

Taking Pay for Success Financing to the South (with Joe Waters), Stanford Social Innovation Review online, Jan 21, 2014. Edit publication Pay for Success Financing for Early Childhood Programs: A Path Forward

Using Pay for Success Financing to Improve Outcomes for South Carolina's Children: Results of a Feasibility Study, Institute for Child Success, September 2013.

Next mayor must be an adept manager: Bloomberg's successor must focus on outcomes (with Liana Downey), Crain's New York Business, July 29, 2013.

Using Performance Management to Attain a Better New York City For All, chapter in Towards a 21st Century for All (with Liana Downey) (2013).

Experimentation and Reform: Empirical Methods for Improving Justice Systems (with Guo Zhiyuan, Jim Parsons, Monica Thornton), Beijing University Press (2006). 试点与改革 : 完善司法制度的实证研究方法



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