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While much of Silicon Valley is busy signing "Decency Pledges" and wondering how it can curb sexual discrimination, one woman is taking action. Sarah Kunst, an entrepreneur and investor who recently made headlines for publicly sharing her story of being harassed by 500 Startups' Dave McClure, has joined the board of a fund affiliated with her alma mater, Michigan State University.

Who? Kunst is currently the founder and CEO of fitness startup ProDay, and has spent time at VC firms Mohr Davidow Ventures and Fortis Partners.

Why it matters: It's becoming increasingly clear that institutional investors in VC funds—known as limited partners—can play a huge role in whether firms prioritize diversity and ethical behavior. "Universities, in particular, have an obligation to be on the right side of history," Kunst tells Axios.

The job: As one of 19 members of the board, Kunst plans to introduce the Michigan State University Foundation to venture capital funds in Silicon Valley, New York City, and Los Angeles — areas where she has deep networks. She wants to help steer the organization's investments into funds that will both yield returns and prioritize diversity and ethical behavior.

Due diligence: As some of the recent scandals have shown, a lot of misconduct remains hidden, even when limited partners ask around. This is one area Kunst believes she can help with. "As a woman, I think you hear a lot of information that a lot of guys don't hear," she told Axios. "Funds can drive outsized returns as well as outsized headaches," she added in reference of recent scandals that have put some limited partners in difficult positions, including having to consider shutting down some funds.

More opportunities:

Kunst's existing relationships in the venture capital means she'll be able to introduce the Foundation to firms beyond the top few outsiders usually know. Another important approach, according to Kunst, is helping VC funds identify their potential blind spots when it comes to startup investments they may be dismissing. Startups whose products are geared toward female consumers often face male investors who struggle to personally connect with the business, for example, adding to their fundraising challenges.

Go deeper

UN warns of "catastrophic" climate change failure without more emissions cuts

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10% of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.