History & Founders

The IMPAQ Story

In 2001, Jacob and Sharon Benus founded IMPAQ International based on their simple belief that exceptional people committed to rigorous research can improve lives.

Shortly after Jacob and Sharon founded IMPAQ, a self-employed contractor who IMPAQ had hired to wire the new office asked a simple question: “What does IMPAQ do?”

Since IMPAQ was brand new at the time, a staff member replied by describing the Unemployment Insurance Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) demonstration, a research project that Jake had conducted. SEA was an innovative program funded by the Department of Labor that investigated whether it is possible to train those who are unemployed to become entrepreneurs.

The contractor—who still works with IMPAQ, and whose business has grown alongside IMPAQ’s—interrupted, “Wait! I was trained by SEA; SEA helped me to start my business!”

Jacob and Sharon’s belief in the power of bringing together exceptional people to do rigorous work to improve people’s lives remains the driving force behind IMPAQ, even today.

However, what was once a boutique firm is now a company of nearly 400 employees. Today, IMPAQ’s teams collaborate with public sector clients, such as the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as private sector clients such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to address some of the most critical challenges of our time—from the shift to value-based medicine to reducing the unemployment rate.

IMPAQ has been recognized as one of the best places to work in our region and is known for its hallmark entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to diversity.

As IMPAQ continues to grow, diversifying our offerings and services and expanding into new sectors and industries, there remains one constant: exceptional people committed to evidence-based solutions can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives across the globe.