Harlan has managed debt and equity investments in over 50 news outlets on five continents. He has extensive experience of working in emerging and frontier markets as an impact investment manager and attorney. He was MDIF’s Deputy Managing Director from 1998 until his appointment as CEO in 2011. Before joining MDIF, Harlan served from 1996 to 1998 as Deputy General Counsel of the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundations Network. Prior to that, he practiced law in the New York and Los Angeles offices of Morrison & Foerster, specializing in international litigation, intellectual property and new media law. He received his JD from Columbia University School of Law in 1989, and holds a BA in International Relations and Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Harlan is based in New York.
Harlan is a frequent speaker at impact investing and media development events, and has been interviewed by numerous media outlets. Watch a video of Harlan discussing with the Center for International Media Assistance how, with media in a state of flux, building relationships with audiences lies at the heart of sustainability, and a discussion with ImpactAlpha about managing political risk when investing in Ukraine and other conflict zones (at 15m30s). Listen to a podcast of Harlan in conversation with VideoWeek discussing MDIF's mission and global media freedom. Read an interview with the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association on generating and measuring impact, a Q&A with the Global Forum for Media Development on MDIF’s funding strategies, and an interview with CIMA on Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media.