DAI was founded in 1970 by three graduates of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government intent on providing a more dynamic and effective brand of development assistance. This entrepreneurial approach would look beyond traditional philanthropy to embrace the virtues of the private sector, and build a company that delivers social and economic development on a competitive, cost-effective, best-value basis—a social enterprise that is self-sustaining because it is profitable.
Employee-owned DAI is now a global development company with a record of delivering results in 160 countries. But it remains today what it was as a start-up: innovative, alert, self-critical, and forward-looking—and driven by a powerful sense of corporate purpose. Our mission remains essentially unchanged from the days of the founders.
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