Justin Finnegan of Darien, the co-founder of a social entrepreneurship program, was named Tuesday to the 2013-2014 class of White House Fellows, a program that offers direct experience working at the highest levels of government.

His bio as provided by the White House:

Justin Finnegan, Darien, CT, is Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Mountain Hazelnuts Group (MHG).  As Bhutan’s first 100% foreign direct investment, MHG takes a systemic approach to creating reliable income generation opportunities for Bhutan’s poorest families while restoring ecosystem health and maintaining community cohesion.  Justin oversees the operations of the social venture, which is planting 10 million hazelnut trees on degraded and fallow mountain slopes and connecting subsistence farmers to valuable international markets.  With nearly ten years of operations experience in Asia, he previously helped open and manage WestPoint Home’s Asia head office in Shanghai.  WestPoint Home was the world’s second largest home textile company with extensive manufacturing operations throughout Asia.  Justin was both a Fulbright and Trustman Scholar and spent two years conducting research in rural villages near China’s border with Tibet and Myanmar, focusing on the effects of agricultural policy on subsistence farmers.  He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.  He received a BA from Harvard College in East Asian Studies, where he was named a Harvard-Yenching scholar, and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  Justin is fluent in written and spoken Chinese and proficient in French, Spanish, and Yunnanese.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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