Benjamin S. Allen is Catholic Relief Services' Technical Advisor for Microfinance Research & Learning. In 2018, he authored "State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Dynamics of Inclusion," published by the SEEP Network, and has led or supported learning initiatives related to CRS' Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC), Private Service Provider (PSP) model, and financial education curriculum in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining CRS in 2016, Ben served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay (2004-2006) and earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2015).
Catherine Alston is a consultant with 10+ years of experience in managing economic growth programs and leveraging public private partnerships. With this background and her Masters in Anthropology, Catherine integrates creative solutions and systematic approaches to field analysis. In 2018, she traveled to Iraq to conduct a livelihoods assessment- identifying private sector labor needs and opportunities for local organizations to support Iraqi internally displaced people and Syrian refugees in meeting market demands.
Matilda Asante-Asiedu is multi-skilled Corporate Executive with nearly two decades of experience spanning Retail Banking, Strategic Marketing, Corporate Reputation Management, Branding and Communications, Advocacy, Media and Journalism.
She is currently the Group Head, Retail Banking at Access Bank Ghana Plc. Her portfolio spans, Individual customers including Private Banking, Women and MSME customers. She manages half of the Bank’s Retail Business comprising 20 branches in the Greater Accra, Central, Western and Volta regions with a balance sheet size of nearly three quarters of a billion Ghana cedis.
Rhoda Avila is currently the Manager for Humanitarian Advocacy and Strategic Humanitarian Partner Relations of Oxfam Philippines. In the past two years, she managed six humanitarian responses in partnership with local humanitarian NGOs in the Philippines. Rhoda has more than twenty years of experience in humanitarian and development sector and has an extensive background on policy and advocacy for women’s human rights in the Philippines before joining Oxfam in 2014.
Esther joined World Vision Australia in 2018 as Financial Inclusion Lead within the Social Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (SEED) unit. Her portfolio includes providing technical support to World Vision’s informal and formal interventions in access to finance, from community-based Savings for Transformation (S4T) projects focused on inclusion of vulnerable community members, as well as developing and implementing innovative approaches to enable small and growing businesses to scale. Esther is passionate about promoting inclusive economic development and resilience through improved access to appropriate financial services and markets and currently supports projects in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Ghana and Laos.
Esther’s experience spans innovation, results measurement, social performance, project and commercial management in NGOs, private and international organisations. She holds a Masters degree in Public Administration (International Development) and is based in Australia.
Dan is co-founder and Vice President at Global Parametrics (GP) -- a specialized fintech firm focused on natural disaster risk mitigation and financial resilience in emerging economies. Dan plays a leading role in product design and structuring activities, which includes a range of climate risk financial products and analytical tools tailored to meet client needs. He led the structuring work for GP’s drought and tropical cyclone products in support of VisionFund’s ARDIS program.
Dan brings over 10 years of experience working in financial services in low and middle-income countries to catalyze economic growth through foreign investment and the development of local financial market infrastructure. He has extensive experience with start-ups through his own ventures in Haiti, Mongolia and Burkina Faso as well as his previous role at the University of Virginia's entrepreneurship center. Dan has a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and earned his BS in Physics from Duke University.
A founding member of the Food Economy Group, Tanya established and helped institutionalize the first operational Household Economy assessment and monitoring system in East Africa for Operation Lifeline Sudan in 1994 and has led HEA assessments throughout Africa and Asia. She was a senior advisor to USAID’s Famine Early Warning System (FEWS NET) for over 10 years, and brings a unique perspective gained from a combination of extensive field experience and headquarter-level engagement.
Margie is Founder and Director of the Institute for Systems Thinking and EcoVentures International. Margie has worked in value chain and market development contexts across multiple countries, with a focus on creating learning tools and capacity building opportunities for donors and practitioners working in this area. Margie chaired the recent global Market Systems Symposium. She played a leading role in the development of learning tools under the USAID/Leveraging Economic Opportunity (LEO) project, providing thought leadership and research for USAID on inclusive market systems approaches. Margie has developed curricula and tools that have been translated into over 15 languages and used in over 35 countries. Margie has worked in over 20 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe, with a focus on her home continent of Africa. Margie is South African, but is currently based in Washington, D.C.
Silvio is a Management, Audit and Information Technology professional with 10+ years of experience in corporate environments. Before joining FSDMoç, he worked for mcel - Mobile Operator as the Chief Audit Executive and as the Head of Revenue Assurance Department. He also worked for Alcatel-Lucent Malaysia and Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC). Sílvio holds a Masters’ degree in Management from St. Thomas University and a Bachelor’s degree in Information.
Sahara Dahir is on secondment from CARE Somalia to CaLP where she is the Regional Program Manager for East and Southern Africa. At CaLP, she leads capacity-building efforts for the region and serves as focal point for market-related initiatives. Before joining CaLP, her work involved program management, representation, and leading the Somaliland Cash Working Group.
Jennifer Denomy is the Technical Director for Vulnerable Populations at MEDA, developing and leading MEDA's economic inclusion strategy for vulnerable populations, particularly youth, women and rural populations. She has expertise in incorporating women and youth into markets, supporting entrepreneurship, promoting financial inclusion and training and facilitation. She managed the GROW value chain project in northern Ghana impacting over 23,000 women. She brings experience in Egypt, Morocco, Uganda, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Mongolia and Afghanistan.
Babajide Fatinikun is a Direct Sales Channel Specialist with over 14 years experience in the Nigerian Financial Service Space. Babajide is currently the Agent Banking Manager at FCMB, providing the overall supervision for the Agent Network Management Structure. In his role as Agent Banking Manager, Babajide has been part of the core teams that have developed and distributed very key products targeting rural small holder farmers and micro entrepreneurs in Nigeria. One of the products is the EASY CLUB in partnership with WSBI Scale2save program, a revolutionary product aimed at empowering 150,000 Small Holder Farmers by providing them knowledge, support and connection to buyers and suppliers thereby improving their incomes and growing their savings.
Michael Field has over 25 years of designing, assessing, implementing and training on systems based approaches to market, educational, health and enabling environment challenges. Through his work, Mr. Field has played a key role in setting learning and research agendas in the field of systems approaches. He is currently a Senior Technical Advisor at EcoVentures International. Previously, Mr. Field led USAID’s Agricultural Value Chain project in Bangladesh. Other recent experience includes advising and training donor and project staff in Mozambique, Kenya, Thailand, Nigeria, Stockholm and Zimbabwe on applying systems concepts to private sector, resilience, and enabling environment challenges. Mr. Field continues to provide guidance on improved practice on systems approaches via various learning platforms.
Ellen Galdava has four years of experience in project management, proposal writing, and managing programs in international development and international education. A Program Officer at FHI 360, she manages a multi million program under the Digital Development Feed the Future (D2FTF) initiative and leads research related to digital financial services in education and health programs. Ms. Galdava has extensive expertise managing programs funded by public and private agencies including the U.S. and State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Carnegie Corporation, U.S.-Russia Foundation and U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Her work in higher education included managing a multi million program and training higher education specialists and government officials. Ms. Galdava brings expertise in online class design and strategic planning, international exchange programs, youth, leadership training, conflict resolution in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and identity politics.
As Director of Gender, Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods, Sarah Gammage leads the organization’s work on women’s economic empowerment with a particular focus on the care economy, time use and time burdens and intra-household processes. She has more than 25 years of experience as researcher and feminist economist, providing policy advice and supporting strategic advocacy on gender equality in Latin America, Africa and Asia. She has written about and led research and policy innovation on gender, economic empowerment, livelihoods, labor markets, violence, migration, unpaid care and poverty. Sarah has a PhD in Development Economics from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and a Masters’ and Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Anna Garloch is senior director of market systems at ACDI/VOCA, advancing technical learning and application of systems approaches and CLA across ACDI/VOCA’s global portfolio of agricultural market development programs. Currently, she provides technical support to the Honduras Transforming Market Systems Activity, a major livestock system development program in northern Kenya, and the global learning and service delivery contract Advancing Women’s Empowerment. From 2013-2016 was a component manager and then Chief of Party on USAID’s Leveraging Economic Opportunities contract, and has participated in a variety of action research and learning initiatives throughout 15 years of experience.
Laura Glaeser is a food security, early warning, and livelihoods analysis expert with more than 15 years of experience providing technical support to food security-focused projects in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Ms. Glaeser currently serves as the chief of party for the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). Ms. Glaeser holds a B.A. in anthropology, international studies, and French from Macalester College.
Bobbi Gray is Research Director at Grameen Foundation. She has over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and coordinating research and evaluation in finance, health, and agriculture for underserved communities across Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. Her recent research focuses on integrating gender-transformative approaches into these programs.
Dun Grover is the Director of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for the USAID Honduras Transforming Market Systems Activity. In this role, he leads monitoring and measurement of market systems change, manages project analytics and performance reporting, and supports learning and adaptation with project technical teams and co-creation partners. Dun has over 10 years experience in the fields of enterprise development and financial services and implementation of market systems and value chain development projects. Dun holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in public policy from Washington and Lee University.
Lina Guzman has worked in the microfinance industry for 11 years. She joined Opportunity International Colombia in 2011 as the Risk and Credit Director and took on the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2016. She currently leads the organization’s branch operations in empowering impoverished communities through adequate microfinance products, services, and training. Lina holds a Bachelors of Economics from Universidad del Rosario and a postgraduate degree in Risk Management from Universidad de Los Andes.
Mwajuma Hamza is currently working with the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) as acting Executive Director. She holds Masters of International trade from University of Dar es Salaam Business School, and has over 7 years of experience promoting women’s economic empowerment. She has initiated several mentorship programs focusing on supporting young women to enter into economic activities and training them in different fields. She has been a focal member of VSO’s T-LED project since 2015, working on gender responsive services under TWCC.
Claire Hancock is the Global Livelihoods Specialist for Tearfund, UK. Her experience in the development sector spans over 12 years and she has worked in over 20 countries globally in the last 9 years with Tearfund. In her current role she is responsible for the strategic direction of Tearfund’s Livelihoods programming, of which women’s economic empowerment is a core component, and the provision of technical advice and support in entrepreneurship, microfinance and cash programming.
As Trickle Up’s Senior Director of Refugee Affairs, Shoshana Hecker leads the team in providing technical assistance and building organizations’ capacities to deliver the Graduation Approach with refugees, host communities and other Person of Concern. She has over 20 years of broad range technical and management experience in international economic development, having managed and supported programs around the world, including in Chile, East Timor, Georgia, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Kosovo, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. She has an MBA from ESADE in Barcelona, Spain and completed her undergraduate studies at Grinnell College in Iowa. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jennifer Himmelstein is ACDI/VOCA's Director of Corporate Analysis & Technical Assurance. She produces reports and knowledge management products and interfaces that aggregate data across development projects, promoting evidenced-based project management. Jennifer provides technical oversight of monitoring and evaluation for a portfolio of programs. Additionally, she promotes the used of advanced analytics and data visualization through staff training and assistance. Previous roles range from work as the Assistant Director of Virginia Tech's Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Lab to Biological Scientist at the USDA. Her doctorate is in Plant Science, with a focus in Plant Pathology.
David Hircock, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs Global Communications, Estée Lauder Companies, has worked extensively around the globe as a respected expert on issues related to human rights, conservation of biodiversity and working with Indigenous Peoples. Particularly related to the supply chains of raw materials and services. A passionate advocate for human rights, David has worked closely with Kailash Satyarthi (Nobel Peace Laureate) in India since 2005 committed to the eradication of child labor and slavery.
Kazi Eliza Islam is an Advisor of Programme Development and Monitoring at BRAC International (BI). She manages international programs, fundraising, and monitoring. She provides strategic guidance and technical support to program and fundraising teams, in addition to ensuring quality of existing programs. She is also responsible for strengthening BI’s monitoring system.
Sana Khan is the Research and Development Adviser for the Economic Recovery and Development Technical Unit at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). In this position, she spearheads research, learning and global dissemination activities for IRC’s Cash Relief in Emergencies organizational research priority. Prior to joining the IRC, Sana managed Prof. Dean Karlan’s research portfolio at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). Sana has 10 years’ experience of undertaking research in development and humanitarian contexts, first beginning her work with IPA in 2009 as a Project Coordinator in Ethiopia on two livelihoods projects. She subsequently worked with the World Bank in Tanzania focusing on education before rejoining IPA in 2013. Sana holds a Master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with a concentration in International Development and Economics and a BA in Economics and Psychology from Trinity College in Connecticut.
Angela Kohama is the Inclusive Livelihood Policy Lead at Humanity & Inclusion; where she designs and coordinates technical assistance on inclusion to mainstream economic development organizations, and provides internal technical support to inclusive economic development project globally. Prior to her role at HI, Angela worked for Disabled People’s Organizations and NGOs in India, Timor-Leste and the U.S. Angela hold a MPA in Development Practice from Columbia University and a BA from University of Oregon.
Ann Koontz, Senior Vice President -Technical Assistance for Relief International brings 30 years of private sector and NGO-based experience in leveraging market systems to increase incomes and jobs for households, communities, and industry value chains in fragile settings. For the past 10 years she has worked across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to address livelihood needs and market access of forcible displaced persons, including the development of “Systems Approach in Fragile Settings” Training Kit.
Economist and Vice President of TANGO International, Mark is an expert in the microeconomic analysis of rural households with over 25 years of international development experience. He has contributed to program design, implementation, and evaluation of community-based economic development projects. And has substantial background in quantitative methods and analysis of the economic and livelihood impacts of projects. Mark was the research coordinator for the El Niño Recovery Lending Programs in Kenya and Zambia for Vision Fund International.
Mark has published numerous journal articles, papers, and books on microeconomic analyses of factors affecting household livelihood strategies. His current research interest involves the study of local community resource management institutions, commodity value chains, and household and community resilience. He holds a PhD from the Food Research Institute of Stanford University.
As Regional Technical Advisor for The BOMA Project, Erin supports program design, technical quality, and replication of BOMA’s poverty graduation model. Erin has over 10 years of experience with design and implementation of development and relief programs focused on livelihoods, financial inclusion, and food security. Erin holds an M.A. in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University, and a B.A. in Development Studies from Brown University.
Anabela is a Knowledge, Monitoring and Learning Manager at FSDMoç. She brings over 15 years of experience as M&E on economic development areas, with speciality on agricultural market information system in Mozambique. Before joining FSDMoç, Anabela worked for six years with USAID Agribusiness Trade Project. Anabela obtained a Masters in Agriculture Economics from The Ohio State University in the USA and holds the FSD Africa Academy Certificate in M4P.
Annah Macharia is a market systems development technical specialist with over 15 years of specialized experience in project management and development of businesses. She is currently the Value Chain Manager for the Mozambique Feed the Future Agricultural Innovations Activity (FTF Inova), funded by USAID . Most recently Annah has worked in M4P/ MSD programming in Mozambique and Kenya for USAID, Sida, Visa, and DFID/ Gatsby Trust/ Dutch-funded programs. Annah has a Master’s Degree in International Business Management with a major in Strategic Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Social Sciences.
Grace Majara is a Senior Advisor on Financial Inclusion at CARE International UK. Previously, she led the Women and Youth Financial Inclusion program for CARE International in Uganda, where she provided strategic direction and leadership for a number of financial inclusion, enterprise development and market access programs. She has partnered with banks microfinance institutions, mobile network operators and others in the private sector to adapt financial services to meet the needs of poor and marginalized people, especially women and youth
Brett Matthews is the founder and director of My Oral Village, an NGO building trusted, usable financial solutions for illiterate and semi-literate adults. Based on direct field research in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, he has designed, tested and documented solutions that span multiple retail interface types and financial services. These include a mobile wallet, cash calculator, financial numeracy games, and a financial numeracy indicator for CGAP. Brett envisions a day when every adult feels safe and confident using formal financial interfaces.
Megan McDermott is a Technical Manager at LINC where she provides technical leadershiand support across LINC’s diverse project portfolio. Megan’s technical focus is on the use and transfer of systems tools and approaches to support local development initiatives. She has worked in a variety of sectors – including market systems, WASH, education and civil society development – and geographies throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia. She holds a M.Sc. in Anthropology and Development Management from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Anthropology, a B.S. in Finance, and a B.S. in Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Judith McFarlane is a research technical advisor, guiding an innovative, 5-year, 3-arm, cluster randomized controlled trial in Pakistan, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, titled “Preventing Family Violence and Empowering Poor Women with Couples Life Skills Building and Cash Transfer”. The intervention is a 12-week economic skill building program offered only to women, as compared to the 12-week economic skill building program offered to couples, compared to $15 monthly government cash transfer only.
Anna Mecagni is the Senior Director for Program Design and Development at Women for Women International, guiding integrated programs supporting marginalized women in conflict-affected countries, including cash, business and vocational training, savings and lending groups, and men’s engagement. She brings 20 years of experience supporting inclusive development with marginalized populations. She earned a Masters degree at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and has enjoyed life and work experience in Senegal, Chad, Burundi and Mozambique.
Ndumiso is an agricultural economist and microfinance specialist with extensive experience in the use of financial products and services to enhance the economics of rural agricultural famers across Africa and Asia. He led VisionFund’s Pan-Africa response to the El Nino disaster, using insurance and recovery lending tools and techniques to mitigate the effects of climate change induced floods and droughts for rural farmers.
Ndumiso’s work focuses on the application of lending methodologies for clients who have been affected by disasters to help rebuild their businesses and help them repay loans without being over indebted. He is currently leading the rollout of the “Climate Change Response Programme” consisting of a Group Multi-Peril Insurance Scheme and the Financial Disaster Risk Management Scheme (FDRM), a specialized programme that provides capacity building and financing for recovery lending for MFIs affected disasters.
Eliya Mtupile has been the Head of the Tanzania Local Enterprise Development (T-LED) project at VSO Tanzania since 2016. Prior to this he managed VSO’s Improving Market Access for the Poor (IMA4P) project. Eliya holds a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Assessment and Management, and over the past 6 years his main focus has been facilitating positive change in agri-based Value Chains as well as supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to grow their businesses.
Building on a successful career in the Marine Corps, Kevin participated in Columbia Business School’s Eugene Lang “Greenhouse” Entrepreneurship Program where he launched Power 7 Corporation, a technology and data company focused on developing previously undiscovered groundwater resources for water-starved markets. In 2018, Kevin brought his deep experience to the USAID Bureau of Food Security / Center for Resilience Team, as a Program Adviser supporting the East and West Africa Regional Missions, as well as several bilateral Missions.
Rosita Najmi has been a financial inclusion and fintech specialist since 2001. She joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2015 to advance digital financial services access and usage by those living under $2.25/day. She leads a range of fintech-related work, including advocacy for women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment. Rosita previously served as a financial sector specialist at the World Bank, impact investor at the Omidyar Network, international development practitioner at leading NGOs, and as a social entrepreneur.
James has significant economic development expertise from private, non-profit sectors and academia with experience working in 19 countries. James is currently working on an technically focused investment and trade portfolio. James has deep expertise in facilitating, structuring and catalysing investment into East Africa through blended finance and private investment. James has an academic development background and is presently undertaking a PhD course in Economics focused on the evolution of concessional lending and the macro implications on trade and investment.
Pendo Ndumbaro is a female entrepreneur based in Iringa, Tanzania. She is an economist and the founder of Mama Asili, a Roselle wine processing company. Pendo joined T-LED project in 2018, and has since grown her business and increased production. Mama Asili is one of the many SMEs who have received T-LEDs Technology Innovation Fund grant. Her dream is to expand her business to other locations like Dar es Salaam and beyond Tanzania.
Mr. Asdrubal Negrete has over 25 years of experience in microfinance, credit risk analysis, and financial inclusion. As chief of party of the USAID Colombia Rural Finance Initiative, he works with banks, anchor firms, and producers to design and pilot innovative finance mechanisms to help producers access credit. Previously, Mr. Negrete spearheaded business operations and portfolio development in the financial sector. Mr. Negrete holds a degree in Engineering Systems from the Universidad Piloto de Colombia.
Chris Nicoletti leads iDE’s global evidence & analytics efforts, including rigorous impact evaluations and designing and deploying dynamic custom-built ICT solutions across iDE’s portfolio to overcome operational challenges and catalyze iDE’s social enterprises and market facilitation programs – spanning agriculture, WASH, women’s empowerment, food security and climate-change adaptation and resilience programs. Chris has extensive experience leading randomized and quasi-experimental impact evaluations, as well as statistical and econometric analysis. He enjoys skiing, climbing, cycling and trail-running, while residing in Boulder, Colorado.
Eva Noble is the Associate Director of Research and Learning at Women for Women International, where she oversees the organization’s research portfolio. Eva has conducted research and evaluations for nine years with academic teams and within non-profits on topics including women’s economic and social empowerment, child protection in emergencies, violence against women and girls, and maternal, neonatal and child health. She has an MPH from Columbia University with focus on public health and humanitarian assistance.
Tim has focused most of his 20-year career on the financial and economic inclusion of vulnerable and underserved populations. He has managed microfinance institutions and country-wide inclusive finance programs; designed economic recovery programs for refugees and IDPs; and developed economic inclusion programs for youth, women, and smallholder farmers. At Making Cents, Tim serves as President, managing Making Cents' overall operations and implementing the company-wide strategic plan. Beyond international development, Tim is part of the local food movement, supporting the growth of his family’s 300-year old farm in Massachusetts.
Mr. Victor Nsunwara is the Economic Empowerment Manager for Women for Women International – Nigeria. He leads the Nigeria team’s work on women’s economic empowerment in Plateau (head office), Bauchi, Enugu and Kaduna states. He has dedicated his career to supporting marginalized women in Nigeria, and is an expert in agribusiness, financial inclusion, VSLAs, and cooperative development. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with specialty in General Agriculture from the University of Calabar.
Courtney O’Connell is World Relief’s Senior Technical Advisor for the global Savings for Life program. She authored World Relief’s faith-based savings group training manual and believes in the power of working with the local Church as an implementing partner in international development. Courtney spent nine years living in Rwanda, Zambia and South Africa and loves doing qualitative and quantitative field research among savings group members and volunteers.
Faith Osazuwa-Ojo is an astute lawyer and a certified microfinance practitioner. She has attended several international trainings including Programme for Leadership Development (Alumni Status) organized by Harvard Business School and the Boulder Microfinance Training Programme. She has over twenty two years of experience in the microfinance sector with rich pedigree in risk management. She joined LAPO in February, 1997 as client support officer and rose through various ranks to become Executive Director in LAPO Microfinance Bank in December, 2014. She is currently the head of Operations and IT Department of the Bank. Faith is 46 years old and married with four children.
Alberto joined IYF in 2015 as a Program Director for the Key for the Future initiative based in the Mexico City Field Office. He has since participated in the deployment of workforce readiness initiatives such as Networking for the Future, Skills for the Auto-Industry, and Pathways for Success, among others. Prior to joining IYF, Alberto’s career path included 15 years of experience in the design of public policies for education and employment within Mexico´s Labor and Education Ministries. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and an Master of Arts in Business Administration, both from Universidad Iberoamericana. In addition, he earned a specialty in Senior Management of Public Policy from the National Institute of Public Administration (INAP), and a specialty in Innovation and Technological Development from the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE). Alberto dedicates some of his spare time to teaching innovation, research, and development strategies at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico City.
Elise Perrin joined Advans Côte d’Ivoire in 2017 as a project manager. Firstly she worked on diverse projects (launching 3 loan products in 3 agricultural value chains, working on a staff digital reporting tool and on a customer centric strategy). Then, she took over the agricultural financial inclusion programme reinforced by WSBI support aiming at scaling up the crop payments digitization for farmers, developing tailor made products & services for farmers, improving clients financial literacy and further developing alternative delivery channels in rural areas.
Ms. Post has worked in international economic development for over 13 years. She worked with MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) as their Senior consultant/Project Manager covering West Africa/MENA and youth financial services. Ms. Post also worked with Freedom from Hunger (now Grameen Foundation USA) as a Technical Advisor, and with the IMF before getting her MS in Economic Development from NYU. Nicki began her international career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.
Tatiana Pulido is the market systems measurement lead at USAID's Bureau for Food Security. She has developed guidance on applying system measurement tools to the US Government’s Feed the Future initiative and co-authored guidelines for monitoring, evaluation and learning in market systems development. Ms. Pulido also serves as the unit lead for the monitoring, evaluation and learning field support team, which provides technical assistance to over 35 Feed the Future USAID missions in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. From 2014-2017, she managed the implementation of U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative surveys in 7 countries in Africa and Asia. She also designed and executed impact evaluations on water and land productivity in Tajikistan and input adoption in Uganda. Ms. Pulido has a B.A. with honors from Brown University, and a M.Sc. from Georgetown University.
Mikaela Rabb is a Policy Associate at J-PAL, where she supports both the Gender and Finance sectors. In this position, she writes policy publications and connects with policymakers to support the use of evidence in development practices.
Prior to joining J-PAL, she interned in management consulting with a focus on the public sector. As an undergraduate, she worked with the Liberian Ministry of Health and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to improve medical education in Liberia.
Mikaela holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University with a double major in global affairs and ethnicity, race, and migration.
Jeff Ratcliffe, currently the chief of party on the USAID Mali Climate Change Adaptation Activity, is an adaptation and resilience expert with over 20 years of experience, including 10 years leading donor-funded activities in West Africa. His expertise includes establishing robust M&E systems, building capacity, and working with local counterparts in insecure and rural areas. Mr. Ratcliffe holds a M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and a M.P.A. and B.A. from the University of Utah.
Ali Regah Ahmed is country WASH coordinator, Oxfam Somalia. Before this, he worked as a WASH specialist for UNICEF and WASH coordinator in Oxfam Ethiopia. In Somalia, Ali is leading Oxfam’s work on WASH and Cash interventions for drought affected communities. He has also contributed to in the revision of the Cash for Water guideline which is currently in use in Somaliland.
James Robinson is a Principal Consultant and the Theme Lead for Itad’s Private Sector Development, Markets and Trade work. A specialist in monitoring, evaluation and learning for economic growth projects, he has a particular interest in resilience and environmental sustainability within these projects. James is also the Project Director for the Mastercard Foundation funded Savings Learning Lab that works with Savings at the Frontier and Scale 2 Save programmes that work in partnership with Advans, Access, FCMB and LAPO.
Tom is an agricultural economist with more than 20 years in academia and the humanitarian industry specializing in building and strengthening livelihoods, and the improving women’s access to social, economic, and political rights. After 13 years with World Vision, Tom has demonstrated expertise in successful multi-disciplinary project implementation and team management, and project delivery. Exceptional ability to construct and facilitate cohesive teams, interface with public and private partners, and liaise with key stakeholders.
Amongst his significant previous positions, Tom served as Regional Director, Food Security and Livelihood Southern Africa Regional Officer, Chief of Party in Somalia and Sierra Leone. Tom holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics specializing in agricultural development and marketing.
Richard is Global Sector Leader for Livelihoods at World Vision (WV) International with oversight for a $200 Million portfolio of programmes across 66 countries. He is responsible for promoting productive and resilient livelihoods and access to financial services for the most vulnerable families in partnership with Vision Fund International (VFI).
Richard is an agr. engineer with a Masters in economic development. Richard has held senior positions in WV leading both development and relief programmes at global, regional and national levels in rural livelihoods and disaster risk reduction / resilience.
Meera Sawkar is a Business Development Manager at GeoPoll in the International Development practice. She works with international development implementors to support the use of digital tools for agriculture, public health, and economic development programs. Previously, Meera worked at MicroGraam, a financial inclusion technology platform in India, and Sevatec, a consulting firm in Virginia. She has an M.A in International Development Studies, a B.A in Economics and in International Affairs from George Washington University.
Julian is the Global Livelihoods Programme Development Manager at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) where he is responsible for developing and implementing NRC’s Global Livelihoods Strategy. Julian is passionate about creating innovative partnerships between humanitarian and development organisations to develop market-based livelihoods programmes for displaced people.
Richard Shumann is Chief Risk Officer of Vitas Group, a for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies. He started his thirty-year career in international economic development after his dream of pitching for the Baltimore Orioles was derailed by a complete lack of talent. Mr. Shumann’s work focusses on risk management, coordinating Vitas Group’s internal auditors, and governance. He joined the Board of Vitas Palestine in 2015, and became Chair in 2018.
Casper has been responsible for building the Mozambican and Malawian PAYGo operations from the ground up to where it is now, more than 30.000 active customers, more than 400 people employed. Casper has a background in Corporate Finance, M&A and Business development. He is strong believer of wholistic business models, integrating healthy business models with social and financial inclusion.
Amy Sink Davies leads RTI’s programs in food security and agriculture, which work to help decrease hunger and improve economic and nutritional wellbeing for populations around the world. She is an expert in global food security, humanitarian assistance, and resilience, with extensive experience in sub-Saharan Africa. Ms. Davies joined RTI in 2015 after more than 15 years at USAID, where she served most recently as director of strategic planning and performance management in the Bureau for Food Security.
Kate Skingley is the Process Lead for VSO’s Resilient Livelihoods Core Programme Area, and has experience delivering global youth programmes through DFID’s International Citizenship Service scheme. Before joining this role at VSO, Kate was a youth volunteer in Ethiopia on a Resilient Livelihoods programme.
Mar Lar Soe holds over 12 years of experience working in the NGO and Private sectors. As Knowledge Transfer Manager for East West Seed Myanmar, she is currently leading programs to equip smallholder farmers with skills aimed at increasing their income from vegetable production. In this role, she works with local and international partners to implement programs across the country, including in conflict areas such as Kachin, Kayin , Shan, and Rakhine States. Prior to this, she served as lead for design development and trained national staff for Proximity Design, Myanmar, where she also introduced drip irrigation systems. She has written over 10 publications and holds over 14 years of experience in research regarding the biological control of IPM in Plant Protection for the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in Myanmar. She is an alumna of Yezin Agricultural University (B.S.) and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Thailand (MSc).
Shelley Spencer is the CEO of Strategic Impact Advisors, www.siaedege.com, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing technical consulting on the use of mobile technology for development including digital payments, financial inclusion and a regional economic impact practice. Her firm holds a cooperative agreement with USAID on agent strengthening and e-payments. Shelley started her career practicing telecommunications regulatory law in Washington, D.C. in the 1990s where she landed in the mobile space and became an accidental entrepreneur founding several successful mobile companies. A consulting gig with NetHope, Inc. in 2011 set her on the path to work with USAID to understand the mobile money space as a tool for enabling development outcomes. She has supported market developments in Indonesia and the work of USAID to advance the digital payments movement across its portfolio. Most recently her work has taken her to Ethiopia, Nigeria and Indonesia. Shelley’s dream is to see digital payments become the bridge to financial inclusion for the 1.7 billion in the world without a bank account. Shelley received her law degree from Georgetown and a B.A. in Economics from Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio.
Rosa is an experienced manager currently working on an economic growth portfolio that includes programmes spanning investment promotion, market systems development and business environment reform. Rosa has helped to deliver results in challenging contexts, having managed programmes in several fragile conflict-affected states with technical expertise in research surrounding delivering market systems in thin markets and deepening financial intermediation in fragile states. Rosa has also led multi-stakeholder research projects in Uganda.
Aldo has over eight years of experience in the Insurance sector and in the corporate environment for over ten years. Aldo is the CEO and founder of the First Mozambican Pension Funds Management Company (Moçambique Previdente) and was responsible for the development and inception of the company in Mozambique. He championed this project in engaging NBC Moçambique, S.A. (a group with roots in South Africa – NBC Holdings PTY) with Mozambican State-Owned insurance company – EMOSE, S.A.; IGEPE – States Share Management Company and GETCOOP – Emose Employees Association. Moçambique Previdente, S.G.F.P., S.A. Since its inception in 2013, has doubled the client base and continues to grow to become the main Pension Fund Administration Company in Mozambique.
Dorcas Thorpe is an aspiring Digital Finance Specialist. She pioneered and leads the Alternative Delivery Channels Group at LAPO Microfinance Bank with focus on providing its services anytime, anywhere and in any amount. She is passionate about financial inclusion specifically providing financial products and services to the last mile through technology. Her work at LAPO MfB has birthed an organically-growing agency banking network, a branchless banking solution for data capturing by field officers, a deposit mobilization solution for roving staff, PoS terminals for merchants, payment cards (Prepaid and Debit), a savings product with Micro-Insurance benefit as well as mobile solutions for quick access to other financial services.
Jaya Tiwari joined the BOMA Project in 2015 as Director of Strategic Partnerships. She brings over fifteen years of experience in research, writing, fundraising, advocacy in international development and global health field with focus on Africa. Jaya previously served as the Executive Director of South Africa-Washington International Program, the Executive Director of Suffolk Partnership for Healthy Community, Director of Global Health Programs at Physicians for Peace, and the Director of Research for Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Neeraj Trivedi is the Assistant Director, Core Programmes and Capacity Building, at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) India at IFMR. He leads the capacity building portfolio of EPoD in India that focuses on building capacities of policymakers and government agencies to use evidence and economic theory for decision-making. Neeraj also leads EPoD India’s policy-research engagements in the financial inclusion portfolio. Prior to joining EPoD India, Neeraj was with Pratham, a leading educational non-profit in India, for around seven years.
Theophile Twahirwa is the Head of Strategy and Donor Relations for CARE International in Rwanda. He provides leadership in developing country office strategic plans and coordinates Resource Mobilization. Prior to this role, Theophile served as the Director of Program Quality and Learning for the CO for eight years, managing research & M&E, partnership, information and communication and economic empowerment teams. He holds a Masters’ degree in Development Finance Economics from Amity University, India.
Jean-Michel Voisard is a senior advisor for RTI based in Dakar, Senegal. For over 20 years, he has worked with private sector actors, banks and grassroots rural organizations to build sustainable market systems that benefit smallholder farmers. His work with USAID’s Feed the Future Senegal Naatal Mbay project directly enabled 35,000 cereal farmers to access agricultural index-based insurance that led to improved productivity and incomes, as well as more stable commodity prices.
George Wamae is a Senior Market Systems Specialist for Kenya Livestock Market Systems (LMS)program at ACDI VOCA. He has over 11 years of experience working on diverse livestock market systems and development projects and seasoned in facilitating agricultural financing linkages. He has provided technical leadership on various USAID, Gates Foundation and DFID funded programs. He’s passionate about youth agri-preneurs and holds an MBA on strategic business management, and a BVM in Veterinary Medicine.
Wes Wasson is CEO and Co-Founder of DreamStart Labs, a social impact technology startup that helps people in the developing world achieve their dreams of a better life. Wes has 20+ years of experience building successful tech companies and was voted “Top Executive Leader in Silicon Valley” in 2010. He also spent several years running an award-winning microfinance non-profit in rural Africa. His company’s DreamSave app for savings groups is operating in multiple countries.
Holly Welcome Radice is the Cash and Markets Technical Advisor at CARE. She leads the NGO’s global cash and voucher assistance strategy, capacity building and technical assistance globally. Holly has over 20 years’ experience in humanitarian and development contexts with experience Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.