GDI WAS BORN TO BUILD

We launch start-ups focused on social impact.

We incubate partnerships to spark collective change.

We lay the foundations for promising organizations to reach their potential.

We grow innovative ideas, build new initiatives, and scale existing
organizations to move transformative projects forward.

OUR UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH

GDI pushes beyond traditional consulting and bureaucratic incubation. We take a hands-on approach and partner with innovators to address urgent global problems.

We have a track record of taking on complex issues with many moving parts and always prioritize the collective vision to move the needle on important issues.

Break Silos

We listen closely, interrogate the process, and bridge sectors to arrive at the best solutions to specific problems.

Hold Ourselves Accountable

We work closely with our partners every step of the way and measure our success by the real-world impact we create, not simply the advice we deliver.

Make the Connections

We catalyze potential partnerships and connect opportunities for funders, individuals, and organizations to work together towards common goals.

Think Long Term

We engage and empower organizations and initiatives to stand on their own as influencers in their fields.

We develop scaleable and self-sustaining projects, initiatives, and organizations.

GROWTH ENGINEERING

GDI understands that lasting change requires a solid foundation. That’s why we work with partners over 2-3 years to support the achievement of critical step-changes needed to take their ideas, initiatives, and organizations to the next level.

We design structured pathways proven to transform ideas into lasting change. Our flexible approach helps our partners scale their impact, no matter their stage or sector.

Exit
Conduct a thorough and thoughtful review to get to the root problems. Explore potential solutions and find the breakthrough idea
Build
Collaborate with partners to iterate on solutions and integrate interdisciplinary approaches that generate momentum towards a solution.
discover
Develop the leadership teams, governance, systems, and processes needed to transform ideas into actions. Connect with funders and networks, create a voice through strategic communications, and provide a fiduciary function.
design
Launch entrepreneurs and innovators into the next phase of growth. Set future milestones and transfer knowledge in order to ensure that the idea, initiative or organization is ready to stand alone.

Transforming ideas into results requires seasoned specialists. We bring together expert voices to support exceptional teams implementing unconventional strategies.

OUR WORK

GDI’s work intersects with some of today’s toughest global development challenges. Select an initiative below to learn about how we’re creating actionable change.

Youth Resound

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What

An early-stage collective action platform seeking to amplify youth voice in order to build productive pathways in conflict hot spots across the globe.

Why

Because productive, community-specific solutions will come from harnessing youth as catalysts for social change, rather than seeing them as drivers of global conflict.

How

By identifying, activating, and scaling solutions from the generation at the forefront of social change. Once fully operational, Youth Resound expects to provide strategic research, programming innovations, and policy advocacy by partnering with best-in-class implementers.

GDI's Role

GDI is working with Youth Resound to define its strategy and business plan, secure founding partners, set a foundational research agenda, and develop key partnerships.

Key People

Neil Ghosh Founder and President, Youth Resound Darin KingstonManager, GDI

Focus Area

Development Frontiers

Stage

Ongoing

Donor Collaborative

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What

A new, replicable model of collaborative philanthropy to support bold, proven opportunities that drive systems changes in health, education, and livelihoods in underserved communities

Why

Few opportunities exist to efficiently and effectively aggregate resources, risk, and expertise in support of organizations with high impact potential. The most impactful and innovative organizations lack both capital and support to transform the systems in which they work

How

The Donor Collaborative connects philanthropists with proven opportunities poised to drive impact at scale. Selected organizations receive 5-year catalytic grants and world-class support from the donors, the Donor Collaborative team, and other advisors

GDI's Role

GDI is a strategic implementing partner to the Donor Collaborative. In this role, GDI provides strategic support and thought partnership in developing the Donor Collaborative's model and structure, and helps translate this into a pitch deck, a business plan, and other materials

Key People

Alice Gugelev Director, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

FHI360

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What

Technical assistance for FHI360's Catalyst Fund grantees - an internal fund that seeds employees to explore and build ideas

Why

Too often the ideas that are generated through field work are lost due to a lack of infrastructure to build and test them. This fund provides a cost-effective way to test ideas that have the potential to change the critical development interventions

How

By supporting high-potential grantees in the Catalyst portfolio to refine, build, and test their ideas through capacity and product planning, business planning, piloting, and business development

GDI's Role

GDI is working with selected grantees to  take ideas to the next level through a series of working sessions and tailored support. The program draws upon a number of approaches to meet grantees in their current phase of development including an organizational diagnostic, endgame thinking, human centered design for prototyping and piloting, and best practices in pitching.

Key People

Alice Gugelev Director, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

CGAP

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What

CGAP currently plays a central platform role for the community of practice implementing and working on Graduation approaches

Why

To support the scaling of the Graduation approach - a series of five interventions that are sequenced and delivered in a time bound manner to “graduate” people living in extreme poverty to more sustainable livelihoods

How

Through an adaptable, lean, and inclusive platform that will serve the Graduation community of practice and help scale the approach

GDI's Role

In collaboration with CGAP, GDI develops a pathway forward for the platform of the community of practice to ensure the momentum of Graduation is leveraged. This pathway was informed by interviews with stakeholders in the community of practice and a series of workshops with CGAP and the World Bank. The strategy includes a recommended governance structure, high-level work plan and budget, and a funding landscape.

Key People

Alice GugelevDirector, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

Finance and Innovation in Global Health

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What

An initiative bringing public, private, and philanthropic sectors together to play an active role in addressing the world’s most urgent health challenges

Why

To unlock new financial models, innovate novel technologies, and forge uncommon partnerships that will allow us to face the SDG financing gap head-on

How

By connecting global health investors from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors across all asset classes to build a new global health marketplace.

GDI's Role

GDI cohosted the FIGH 2016 forum with Convergence, supported by sponsorship from Johnson & Johnson, Dalberg, and PATH. The forum kicked off the broader FIGH initiative to spark the deployment of blended finance, creativity, entrepreneurship, and technology to drive effective and transformative global health investment.

Key People

Moitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Digital Data Divide

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What

A social enterprise that delivers digital content, data, and research services using an "impact sourcing" model

Why

To provide jobs and access to higher education for young women and men from poor families

How

By recruiting disadvantaged high school graduates to a work/study program which offers customers digital content services and youth training, employment, and opportunities to complete higher education

GDI's Role

Over an 8-month period, GDI supported DDD on strategy, scaling impact, and creating a sustainable business model. GDI created an investment pitch deck and circulated within GDI's network of advisors, investors, and donors. GDI also held a three-day workshop supporting DDD in Nairobi.

Key People

Alice GugelevDirector, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Exited

SuperYou FUNdation

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What

An education non-profit organization that aims to inspire people to value themselves and each other in order to be their most empowered superhero selves

Why

To empower children to become empowered, global citizens that create kinder, happier, empathetic, and caring communities

How

A curriculum, technology platform, and culminating events that use a blended approach to learning including writing, music, art, and technology

GDI's Role

In collaboration with Hearts on Fire, GDI is supporting SuperYou FUNdation to develop a business model, pitch deck, and operational support for an inaugural event taking place in May 2016 for disabled young people in New York City Public Schools. GDI helped identify and build relationships with supporters as well operationalize critical capacity needs to design and manage the event.

Key People

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

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What

A global partnership connecting a diverse set of stakeholders—across governments, international organizations, private firms, and foundations—to harness the data revolution to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

Why

To ensure that critical data gaps are addressed and open data is used to end extreme poverty, combat climate change, and ensure a healthy life for all, leaving no one behind

How

By galvanizing and sustaining political commitments, aligning priorities and technical norms, strengthening capacities, fostering innovation, and building trust in the booming data ecosystems of the 21st century

GDI's Role

GDI will support the GPSDD host, the UN Foundation, on strategy and governance development for GPSDD and as a thought partner with an emphasis on outcomes and accountability. GDI will develop a vetted and compelling theory of change that balances the objectives of different constituencies and provides an integrated vision and mission with implementable strategic pillars and outcomes. GDI will also develop a short-term 3-5 year strategic plan and a long-term 15-20 year plan given the 2030 target of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key People

Sanjeev Khagram Interim Director, GPSDDAlice GugelevDirector, GDI

Focus Area

Development Frontiers

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Visa Corporation

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What

This research explores the barriers to acceptance of cashless payments among micro and small merchants in 6 emerging economies

Why

To increase financial inclusion for micro and small merchants operating in marginalized markets

How

By conducting qualitative research with micro and small merchants in emerging economies to understand how they bank and access credit as well as with the ecosystem in which they exist

GDI's Role

GDI collaborated with Dalberg and VISA to carry out in-depth research and develop strategies to drive cashless acceptance among micro and small merchants. GDI worked with Dalberg on field research in six countries and is collaborating on the production of a report and other approaches to publicly share the insights from this research and ensure key players in the field understand how the findings affect their models.

Key People

Alice Gugelev Director, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Exited

Unorthodox Philanthropy

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What

A bottom-up “blue sky” approach to philanthropy that provides catalytic, finite funding to highly scalable but under-resourced organizations, ideas or initiatives, with no sector or geography-driven criteria

Why

To support the most promising pathways to social change through a targeted influx of seed capital, based on solutions designed by practitioners working at the ground level

How

Through a prize-like funding mechanism, enable great ideas from untapped networks to flow upwards toward capital, rather than allocating funding downwards based on predetermined issues, sectors, or geographies

GDI's Role

GDI helped launch Unorthodox Philanthropy in conjunction with a San Francisco-based family foundation. GDI continues to support the effort by providing strategic guidance, supporting communications around new and past awards, and facilitating connections to networks from which potentially transformative ideas may come.

Key People

Andrew Stern Founder and Executive Director, GDI

Focus Area

Development Frontiers

Stage

Ongoing

SOW Asia Foundation

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What

A charitable foundation based in Hong Kong that supports enterprises intent on scaling their social and/or environmental impact

Why

To help build the pipeline of investment-ready, high potential social enterprises and non-profits

How

By leveraging its impact investments and three-month capacity building accelerator programs

GDI's Role

Warren Ang is both GDI’s Associate Director and Chief Strategy Officer for SOW Asia. In his role with SOW Asia, Ang focuses on building the in-house capability of this SOW to deliver quality capacity building for the social impact sector. Additionally, Ang is powering the redesign and re-launch of SOW’s accelerator and refocusing SOW’s impact investments and portfolio.

Key People

Warren Ang Director, GDI East Asia

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Exited

Tendrel

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What

A platform for social entrepreneurs to connect, exchange, and change the social impact paradigm

Why

To network, learn from one another, and advocate for social entrepreneurs around the world

How

By establishing a localized professional association built on trust, consistent engagement, and openness

GDI's Role

GDI incubates Tendrel as it develops into a multi-stakeholder initiative, and fosters its evolution from an idea to a standalone non-profit organization that acts as a professional home for social entrepreneurs. GDI supports the strategic direction, organizational development, governance, fundraising, partnerships and branding of Tendrel, and empowers this organization to launch from a solid foundation.

Key People

Rodrigo Baggio CEO, Tendrel Valeria Merino Senior Manager of Community Engagement, Skoll Foundation Alice Gugelev Director, GDI Andrew Stern Founder and Executive Director, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Riders for Health

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What

A celebrated social enterprise that manages and maintains vehicles for health-focused practitioners in sub-Saharan Africa

Why

To enable health workers to deliver last-mile care to rural populations and reduce delays in diagnosing and monitoring patients

How

By delivering a systemic approach to healthcare transportation, including medical vehicle fleet management, health worker training, emergency referrals, sample transport, and supply chain distribution

GDI's Role

GDI helped Riders for Health assess the financial strength of its headquarters and in-country organizations and identify opportunities for structural improvements to support growth. To do so, GDI developed a clear plan that rationalized the organization's financial health. GDI also positioned Riders for Health for the next step in its expansion and growth by introducing strong strategic foundations and processes to fortify both its headquarters and in-country programming.

Key People

Andrea Coleman Co-founder + CEO, Riders for Health Moitreyee Sinha Associate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Exited

Partners

Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab

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What

A knowledge hub that houses research and facilitates connections within the rural and agricultural finance space

Why

Connecting organizations and resources within the agricultural market amplifies the voice of smallholder farmers

How

By fostering knowledge creation, sharing, and collaboration that leads to better financial solutions provided to more smallholder farmers and other rural clients

GDI's Role

GDI is incubating the Rural and Agricultural Learning Lab and jointly implementing it with with Dalberg. GDI is supporting key elements of the Lab’s launch, including financial and grant management, branding and web development, and sharing knowledge through the publication and dissemination of new insights for the Lab community.

Key People

Jason Wendle Director, RAF Learning Lab

Focus Area

AG-Enterprise

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

President’s Young Professionals Program

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What

A 2-year leadership program that recruits and prepares high-performing Liberian college graduates for a future in public service

Why

To establish a meritocratic pathway to civil service for promising Liberian youth, and increase public sector capacity for efficient service delivery and overall good governance

How

This cost-effective and replicable fellowship program recruits young professionals through a rigorous and transparent process. Selected individuals are placed in key government roles, paired with mentors and have the opportunity to participate in a monthly professional training program.

GDI's Role

GDI provides strategic, operational, and fiduciary support as PYPP transitions from a program managed by a US-based NGO to an independent Liberian entity in a public-private partnership with the Government of Liberia. With the support of President Sirleaf, GDI is also exploring expansion of the PYPP model to other countries in the region.

Key People

Hh Zaizay Executive Director, PYPP Betsy Williams Founder and International Advisory Board Chair, PYPP Darin KingstonManager, GDI

Focus Area

Development Frontiers

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Project Open Source

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What

An initiative to bring cutting edge digital technology to support distributed systems for clean water and other basic amenities

Why

To enable water operators to increase the reach of their operations through networked platforms and promote the creation of an open source platform that can be adapted for other retail services

How

By developing a scalable networked IT platform, designed to improve the reach and management of water kiosk operators

GDI's Role

GDI incubates Project Open Source, a multi-stakeholder initiative linking private water operators with information technology organizations and individuals. Project Open Source is creating a point of sale software designed to expand the reach and scale of clean water provision and other development projects. GDI supports the strategic direction, fundraising, partnership development and governance of this early stage initiative."

Key People

Jim ChuCEO, dloHaitiMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Exited

Partners

Precision Agriculture for Development

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What

An intelligent platform that provides farmers with individualized agricultural recommendations through their mobile phones

Why

Low-cost agricultural technologies have the potential to improve the livelihoods for one hundred million smallholder farmers by advancing farm productivity and increasing profits

How

By using environmental monitoring, weather forecasting, satellite imagery, remote sensing, and machine learning to make personalized recommendations that improve production and increase profit for farmers

GDI's Role

GDI is helping Precision Agriculture for Development launch as a global startup built on a strong foundation. We are supporting various angles of incubation, including connecting the PAD team with the right agriculture and technology networks, creating an initial brand and web presence for PAD, and advising the initiative strategically.

Key People

Michael KremerProfessor, Harvard University and Senior Fellow, Brookings InstitutionShawn ColeProfessor, Harvard Business SchoolHeiner BaumannDirector of Global Programs, Barr FoundationTom CarrollDirector, GDI

Focus Area

AG-Enterprise

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

mhNOW

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What

A comprehensive platform to address the global mental health gap at scale by challenging global cities to create and nurture collaborations that cut across formal and informal sectors, and to accelerate the most innovative global solutions

Why

To close the mental health gap, one of the world’s most devastating and under-resourced problems that affects people far beyond the narrow boundaries of health care

How

By engaging 30 cities by 2030, mobilizing and channelling support to exceptional city projects that address mental health by providing resources, recognition, and technical assistance for outstanding initiatives in three target areas

GDI's Role

GDI is incubating mhNOW, serving as the neutral broker to bring the strengths of diverse organizations towards a shared goal. Incubation includes support with program design, landscape analysis, strategy and organizational development, stakeholder engagement, communications and branding, and partnership building.

Key People

Chris UnderhillFounder and President, Basic NeedsMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Non-Profit Incubator

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What

A first of its kind, nation-wide accelerator for growth-stage social enterprises in China

Why

To help high potential social enterprises in China get ready to scale their impact and attract the right investors and partners

How

By harnessing nine months of strategy development and implementation support, grant-funding for priority projects, and connections to networks of impact investors and partners

GDI's Role

GDI is the lead advisor and implementation partner for Non Profit Incubator's 'Kunpeng program' that seeks to help social entrepreneurs in China scale their impact. GDI led the design of the program and curriculum, and co-implements the program together with NPI.

Key People

Warren AngDirector, GDI East Asia

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Initiative for Smallholder Finance

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What

A multi-donor initiative seeking to close the global smallholder financing gap

Why

Helping smallholder farmers to access the right forms of finance so that they can continue to invest in their farms, increase productivity and improve their overall livelihoods

How

By acting as a design catalyst to mobilize additional investment and seed replication of innovative models

GDI's Role

GDI established this initiative after identifying a need for multi-stakeholder collaboration to close a gap in financing for smallholder farmers. An action plan was created and launched in the landmark report Catalyzing Smallholder Agricultural Finance. Most importantly, GDI brought together key players from across the smallholder farmer value chain- from banks to agricultural non-profits- parties who otherwise may have never collaborated despite their shared goals.

Key People

Tom CarrollDirector, GDIMatt ShakhovskoyExecutive Director, ISFDan ZookDirector of Investments, ISF

Focus Area

AG-Enterprise

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

International Lifeline Fund

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What

An entrepreneurial non-profit with innovative solutions for access to clean water and improved livelihoods for rural communities

Why

To ensure ustainable clean water access to rural areas in Uganda and local capacity to maintain water points, drive income generation activities, and build access to other basic needs such as cookstoves

How

By building self-sustaining ecosystems of prosperity centered around clean water and basic amenities, and supporting local ownership over core community infrastructure

GDI's Role

GDI has helped Lifeline develop its forward-looking strategy based on its core strengths and deep experience with cookstoves and clean water in refugee camps and rural settings. GDI helped Lifeline bring on its first CEO, supported the transition to build a strong leadership team, and develop core processes and organizational capacity for the next phase of growth. GDI also worked with Lifeline to implement its new strategy, develop a strong brand and new partnerships, scale the model through Northern Uganda, and become a thought leader in the field of community-led development.

Key People

Wayne FirestoneExecutive Director, ILFDaniel WolfFounder + President, ILFMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDIAndrew SternFounder and Executive Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Exited

Huiling

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What

China's largest non profit providing quality services to adults with developmental disabilities

Why

99% of adults with development disabilities in China do not have access to proper services and require additional support

How

By running an expanding network of Huiling centres providing services in 20 cities, supporting the Government in developing standards and policies and training other organizations to replicate their services in new locations

GDI's Role

GDI has helped Huiling to clarify its “endgame” strategy and scale its impact through replication of its services and government adoption of its standards. Now, GDI is now assisting Huiling to restructure their organization, build new capabilities for growth in the coming years and serve an expanded demographic of adults with development disabilities.

Key People

Warren AngDirector, GDI East Asia

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Ongoing

Hearts on Fire

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What

A family foundation focused on social entrepreneurs and the ecosystem in which they exist

Why

To democratize the social impact sector and make it more inclusive

How

To democratize the social impact sector and make it more inclusive

GDI's Role

By transforming strategy into action, GDI is helping bring the Hummingbird Foundation's Hearts on Fire initiative scale its impact. As implementation partners, GDI supported Hearts of Fire with a market landscape and investigation of partnership opportunities to create value for its network of social entrepreneurs. GDI supports day-to-day programmatic activities, identifies and shapes partnership opportunities, builds feedback loops, and guides strategic direction for the initiative.

Key People

Alice GugelevDirector, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

HealthEnabled

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What

A multi-donor initiative to accelerate the integration of life-saving digital health interventions in national systems

Why

To modernize national health systems with life-saving digital health tools and to ensure the maximum use of evidence-based information technologies

How

By partnering with governments to shape and operationalize their digital health strategies and aggregate global data to evaluate the state of digital health worldwide

GDI's Role

In collaboration with founding partners, GDI designed, built, and launched HealthEnabled as an independent non-profit with headquarters in South Africa. GDI helped the development of the organizational and business strategy, and is supporting HealthEnabled to build its independent operations. GDI continues to be key partner for HealthEnabled's operational, strategic, and communication pillars, and helped shape key initiatives such as concept of the Global Digital Health Index. GDI is also working with HealthEnabled to develop its board and executive leadership for long-term sustainability of the organization.

Key People

Patricia MechealPrincipal and Policy Lead, HealthEnabledPeter BenjaminSouth Africa Country Director, HealthEnabledMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Grassroot Soccer

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What

A world-renowned platform that uses the power and passion of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize adolescents to address HIV and other adolescent health issues

Why

To stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among sub-Saharan adolescents, promote adolescent health, and encourage youth leadership

How

By harnessing the universal language of soccer and the engagement it stimulates among adolescents

GDI's Role

GDI helped Grassroot Soccer identify and define the pathways to scale the impact of its work as it reached a critical inflection point in its growth. As a result, Grassroot Soccer is exploring new partnerships to address the rise of HIV/AIDS in adolescents and build off its platform to engage youth on other subjects of social significance.

Key People

Tommy ClarkFounder + CEO, Grassroot SoccerKirk FreidrichCo-founder + Executive Director, Grassroot SoccerMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI Andrew SternFounder + Executive Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Exited

Global SDG Partnership

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What

A multi-stakeholder mechanism designed to catalyze commitments between governments and private initiatives at country and global levels

Why

To ensure the 2015- 2030 Sustainable Development goals achieve their desired impact

How

Through proposed Country Mutual Accountability Mechanisms, which include commitment-based initiatives, a robust open-source data platform, citizen accountability, and an independent peer review system

GDI's Role

GDI provided cutting-edge thought leadership and undertook strategic advocacy to make the case for a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development as a mechanism to ensure mutual accountability. Our foundational work with Paul Zeitz on this issue laid the groundwork for the newly forming Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, a global network of governments, NGOs, and businesses working together to strengthen the inclusivity, trust, and innovation in the way that data is used to address the world’s sustainable development efforts.

Key People

Paul ZeitzDirector, Data Revolution for Sustainable Development Team, U.S. Department of StateAndrew SternFounder and Executive Director, GDI

Focus Area

Development Frontiers

Stage

Exited

Global Impact Investing Rating System

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What

A rating and analytics platform for impact investing

Why

To drive quality and accountability in impact impact investing

How

By providing investors with a rating of the social and environmental impact of an individual company or fund

GDI's Role

GDI helped design and test the rating standards for small businesses in emerging markets as part of the Global Impact Investing Rating System, which is now a subsidiary of B Analytics and fully integrated into B Analytics’ search features. GIIRS Ratings are now considered the gold standard for rigorous, comprehensive, and comparable ratings of a company or a fund’s social and environmental impact.

Key People

Andrew SternFounder and Executive Director, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Exited

Partners

Fossil

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What

A Fortune 500 company designing watches, leather goods, and accessories

Why

To increase sustainability and impact of core business operations

How

By working with social enterprises that can generate commercial as well as social and/or environmental returns in their core business strategy and operations

GDI's Role

Through the GDI network of experts, investors, and incubators, GDI works with Fossil to assess the social enterprise landscape and identify opportunities for strategic partnership, investment, and collaboration. GDI supports on due diligence of opportunities to determine viability and fit, and also provides operational support to design and test pilots within Fossil.

Key People

Warren Ang Director, GDI East AsiaAlice Gugelev Director, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Exited

Feeding Hong Kong

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What

One of Hong Kong's largest food bank and delivery services, taking surplus food and delivering to charities that serve the poor

Why

To support the 1 in 5 people in Hong Kong who live under the poverty line and find meals to be the largest expense

How

By collecting food donations from various corporations, sorting the food through a central warehouse, and delivering the food to charities already supporting the poor and needy

GDI's Role

GDI works to help Feeding Hong Kong scale its impact. GDI provides regular analyses on the factors driving the organization’s growth both on the supply side with food donations and on the demand end by looking at their partnering charities. This is coupled with constant testing and implementation of new strategies that allow Feeding Hong Kong’s staff to rescue more food and deliver it to the needy more efficiently.

Key People

Warren AngDirector, GDI East Asia

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Ongoing

EYElliance

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What

A multi-stakeholder initiative to connect 100 million pairs of new eye glasses to people who need them by 2020

Why

To empower individuals to reach their full potential and prevent blurred vision from interrupting the pursuit of educational achievement and economic independence

How

By harnessing low-cost technology, new business models, and public-private partnerships for resource-poor settings and leveraging adjacencies such as education and labor to increase overall reach and impact

GDI's Role

GDI helped develop the strategy and supported the development of the organization and business plan to launch the EYElliance. GDI is currently helping EYElliance activate, support, and mobilize funding through advocacy and research, in addition to strengthening the sector and facilitating an inclusive eyeglasses industry.

Key People

Jordan Kassalow Founder and Co-Chairman, VisionSpring Liz Smith Interim COO, EYElliance Andrew SternFounder + Executive Director, GDIMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Exited

Partners

NeuroInnova

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What

A Kenyan technology start-up providing point of sale services and short-term financing for small and medium sized enterprises in Africa

Why

To increase access to business tools, financing, and technology for entrepreneurs with the aim of growing their business and financial sustainability

How

By providing innovating, user-friendly, and comprehensive software and hardware solutions for day-to-day business challenges

GDI's Role

GDI will collaborate with NeuroInnova to pilot in Kenya and expand to East Africa by supporting investor and partnerships relations, business model development, and impact evaluation plan. GDI will also provide day-to-day operational support as needs arise throughout pilot and expansion.

Key People

Edward WambuguBusiness Development, NeuroInnovaShelia BoreAdvisor, NeuroInnovaAlice GugelevDirector, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Ongoing

Center for Public Health and Development

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What

A ground-breaking Kenya-based non-profit that improves the health outcomes of people through innovative training programs, new social enterprises, and public-private partnerships to close the gaps in delivery and service

Why

To eliminate preventable deaths by equipping frontline workers at health facilities with essential knowledge and equipment

How

By deploying proven facility-and community-based interventions and combining local leadership with global best practices to incubate social enterprises, build a trained workforce, and develop public policies to address critical areas of need through technology and training

GDI's Role

GDI and CPHD are working together to create a business plan that increases social impact and builds financial stability. We recognize the need for broader collective action and public-private partnerships in key areas such as medical oxygen for children and repair and service models in resource poor settings. GDI is working with the teams at CPHD and other partners on pathways to scale CPHD's innovative solutions to these critical and urgent problems.

Key People

Bernard OlayoFounder and Executive Chair, CPHDAlice GugelevDirector, GDIMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Convergence

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« Back to Development Frontiers

What

This ground-breaking global investing platform connects public and private investors with opportunities in emerging markets, increases the capacity of these investors by bringing them together, and catalyzes co-investment in large-scale infrastructure and other development projects

Why

Harnessing the power of joint public and private “blended financing” investment increases social, environmental and economic impact in emerging business and market communities

How

Convergence builds opportunity pipelines by matching credible investors with sound opportunities, granting competitive funding towards the design and scale of blended finance instruments, and providing aggregate top knowledge tools that expand capacity.

GDI's Role

In collaboration with the Government of Canada, the World Economic Forum and Dalberg, GDI designed, built and launched Convergence as an independent non-profit with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. GDI developed Convergence’s initial organizational and business strategy, and built its financial model. GDI acted as interim staff across operational, technical and strategic pillars, and spearheaded Convergence’s core technology platform. GDI also put together the initial Steering Committee and later the Board, and ran an executive search for the organizations first CEO.

Key People

Andrew Stern – Founder and Executive Director, GDI
Andrew SternFounder and Executive Director, GDIDarin KingstonSenior Manager, GDIJoan LarreaCEO, Convergence
Joan Larrea - CEO, Convergence

Focus Area

Development Frontiers

Stage

Ongoing

Partners

Climate Central

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What

A non-profit organization comprised of scientists and journalists researching and reporting about the changing climate

Why

To educate the American public about the impact of climate change

How

By collecting, analyzing, and packaging big data sets into clear and compelling materials for the public and key decision makers

GDI's Role

To assess the opportunity for Climate Central to scale its impact, GDI conducted a feasibility study for the non-profit on opportunities to monetize their communications and analysis. This process included identifying potential customer markets, sense testing value propositions with market leaders, and developing a roadmap for Climate Central to build the internal capabilities required for monetization.

Key People

Alice GugelevDirector, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Exited

BasicNeeds

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What

A global social enterprise championing mental health and a pioneering new mental health models

Why

To provide treatment and livelihoods to those living with mental illness, while breaking the associated stigma

How

By training mental health professionals, establishing local self-help groups and livelihood opportunities, and encouraging the reintegration of mentally ill individuals into society

GDI's Role

GDI worked with BasicNeeds on the development of its impact scaling strategy. Together, we tackled the key challenge of BasicNeeds’ new organizational structure. This involved the redesign of BasicNeeds into a global association network, integrating new operating models such as a franchise for mental health and prioritizing key pathways for national scale-ups.

Key People

Chris UnderhillFounder and President, Basic NeedsMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Exited

Partners

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

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What

A global support network for propelling entrepreneurship in emerging markets

Why

To create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits

How

By providing critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses

GDI's Role

GDI helped build a community of practice around small and growing businesses by connecting previously disparate actors in business and international development and encouraging others to enter the market. ANDE became this “connective tissue” both through convening in-person meetings as well as through creating shared terminology and points of reference regarding the meaning of a development entrepreneur. Together with Dalberg, ​GDI developed the theory of change, strategy, initial offerings, business plan, and core starting team for ANDE's launch in 2009. Today, ANDE stands as an independent entity with over 200 members in more than 150 countries

Key People

Andrew SternFounder and Executive Director, GDI

Focus Area

Impact Escalated

Stage

Exited

Partners

Collaborative Innovation Platform

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What

In partnership with the Tata Trusts and its ecosystem of partners, GDI is helping develop a methodology to connect technology innovations to platforms for delivery and scale

Why

To accelerate the adoption and sustained use of technology where it can have transformative impact on issues such as health, WASH, and energy

How

By working with the portfolio of partners for Tata Trusts, GDI is developing insights into roles, support and structures that are most needed to foster genuine and ongoing collaborations between field and technology partners

GDI's Role

GDI helped the Tata Trusts and MIT Tata Center identify opportunities to support the incubation of different types of partnership models within the Trusts' ecosystem of partners. This work helped develop actionable ideas to prove out the models and accelerate specific applications in health and water.

Key People

Manisha BhingeHead of Partnerships, Tata TrustsMoitreyee SinhaAssociate Director, GDI

Focus Area

Beyond Health

Stage

Exited

Partners

AG-Enterprise

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To The Point

We improve lives and livelihoods in rural communities by integrating novel financing solutions and information technology.

Overview

The world’s 270 million smallholder farmers in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia have the potential to help lift developing countries out of poverty and meet the mounting global demand for food, but they face many challenges to realizing this capacity for change. One of the most critical and complex of these barriers is financing.

GDI addresses farmers’ lack of access to financial resources. We pair different finance models with new technologies and agricultural data to enable farmers to invest in their farms, increase productivity, and connect to markets.

We forge close relationships with donors, banks, technical assistance partners, and NGOs to form a supportive platform for actors interacting with smallholder farmers across the agricultural value chain. Working with these partners, GDI fuels a foundation of critical research, facilitates new collaboration, strategically guides start-ups, and creates investment opportunities.

Beyond Health

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To The Point

We build healthy communities by scaling up multi-sectoral innovations, accelerating the impact of social enterprises, and catalyzing the use of technology to unlock human potential.

Overview

GDI encourages sustained impact and healthier communities by examining the institutions and networks that support healthy lives, addressing neglected issue areas, and unearthing new solutions by dissecting the ways in which health interacts with other global problems.

We know that building healthy communities requires thinking beyond the boundaries of the health sector. That’s why we work with our partners to search for ways to “connect the dots” by identifying cross-cutting solutions to complex problems. GDI supports high-potential social enterprises to unlock the hidden capacity in local systems, access dark data, and link community-led efforts to systems-level impact. We pair technology and business models to create new public-private partnerships and distributed infrastructure.

We are always looking to partner with like-minded funders and changemakers who are ready to take on these challenges and think beyond health.

Development Frontiers

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To The Point

We advance the global development architecture by introducing unorthodox funding, unconventional policy, and creative capacity-building ideas to the conversation.

Overview

GDI transforms the “business as usual” approach to global development.

Over the last several decades, the global development community has begun to recognize the limits of approaching the world’s problems with a model that is top-down, driven by public funding alone, and led by the global North. We believe that creating impact at scale calls for continuing to flip the traditional model upside-down. To make this vision of global development a reality, GDI pursues outside-of-the-box approaches to financing, policy, and capacity-building.

GDI works with new and existing multi-stakeholder initiatives and organizations. The ideas and initiatives we help implement are often complex, requiring cross-sector coordination and introducing new actors to the global development space. Our partners in these efforts come from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and locations, but are all social agitators interested in driving transformative impact and doing development differently.

Impact Escalated

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To The Point

We unlock business opportunities toward social impact for individuals, small and medium enterprises, and corporates by challenging traditional structural and financing pathways.

Overview

GDI believes that private sector actors have the potential to reinvent how we think about profit. Entrepreneurs at all levels have demonstrated an appetite for incorporating social impact into their operations, but sometimes lack the know-how to take this desire from idea to action.

Regardless of whether the entrepreneur is a small business, social enterprise, or corporate leader, we work with our partners to find new ways of doing business that are financially and socially sound. We seek out creative financing, unique investment opportunities, and work within emerging markets to build and implement strategies with sustainable social and environmental impact. By working outside of traditional financing and structural norms, GDI realizes untapped potential and encourages us to rethink the idea that creating change and creating profit are diametrically opposed.

SELECT A PROJECT TO LEARN MORE.

Ag Enterprise

We improve lives and livelihoods in rural communities by integrating novel financing solutions and information technology.

We improve lives and livelihoods in rural communities by integrating novel financing solutions and information technology.

The world’s 450 million smallholder farmers have the potential to help lift developing countries out of poverty and meet the mounting global demand for food, but they face many challenges to realizing this capacity for change. One of the most critical and complex of these barriers is financing.
GDI addresses farmers’ lack of access to financial resources. We pair different finance models with new technologies and agricultural data to enable farmers to invest in their farms, increase productivity, and connect to markets.
We forge close relationships with donors, banks, technical assistance partners, and NGOs to form a supportive platform for actors interacting with smallholder farmers across the agricultural value chain. Working with these partners, GDI fuels a foundation of critical research, facilitates new collaboration, strategically guides start-ups, and creates investment opportunities.

Development Frontiers

We advance the global development architecture by introducing unorthodox funding, unconventional policy, and creative capacity-building ideas to the conversation.

We advance the global development architecture by introducing unorthodox funding, unconventional policy, and creative capacity-building ideas to the conversation.

GDI transforms the “business as usual” approach to global development.
Over the last several decades, the global development community has begun to recognize the limits of approaching the world’s problems with a model that is top-down, driven by public funding alone, and led by the global North. We believe that creating impact at scale calls for continuing to flip the traditional model upside-down. To make this vision of global development a reality, GDI pursues outside-of-the-box approaches to financing, policy, and capacity-building.
GDI works with new and existing multi-stakeholder initiatives and organizations. The ideas and initiatives we help implement are often complex, requiring cross-sector coordination and introducing new actors to the global development space. Our partners in these efforts come from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and locations, but are all social agitators interested in driving transformative impact and doing development differently.

Beyond Health

We build healthy communities by scaling up multi-sectoral innovations, accelerating the impact of social enterprises, and catalyzing the use of technology to unlock human potential.

We build healthy communities by scaling up multi-sectoral innovations, accelerating the impact of social enterprises, and catalyzing the use of technology to unlock human potential.

GDI encourages sustained impact and healthier communities by examining the institutions and networks that support healthy lives, addressing neglected issue areas, and unearthing new solutions by dissecting the ways in which health interacts with other global problems.

We know that building healthy communities requires thinking beyond the boundaries of the health sector. That’s why we work with our partners to search for ways to “connect the dots” by identifying cross-cutting solutions to complex problems. GDI supports high-potential social enterprises to unlock the hidden capacity in local systems, access dark data, and link community-led efforts to systems-level impact. We pair technology and business models to create new public-private partnerships and distributed infrastructure. We are always looking to partner with like-minded funders and changemakers who are ready to take on these challenges and think beyond health.

Impact Escalated

We unlock business opportunities toward social impact for individuals, small and medium enterprises, and corporates by challenging traditional structural and financing pathways.

We unlock business opportunities toward social impact for individuals, small and medium enterprises, and corporates by challenging traditional structural and financing pathways.

GDI believes that private sector actors have the potential to reinvent how we think about profit. Entrepreneurs at all levels have demonstrated an appetite for incorporating social impact into their operations, but sometimes lack the know-how to take this desire from idea to action.

Regardless of whether the entrepreneur is a small business, social enterprise, or corporate leader, we work with our partners to find new ways of doing business that are financially and socially sound. We seek out creative financing, unique investment opportunities, and work within emerging markets to build and implement strategies with sustainable social and environmental impact. By working outside of traditional financing and structural norms, GDI realizes untapped potential and encourages us to rethink the idea that creating change and creating profit are diametrically opposed.

GDI works across sectors and knocks down barriers to create lasting change. We are always on the lookout for new opportunities.

GDI IDEAS

ALL IDEAS
BIG IDEAS
  • Rethinking the Global Development Convening

    This year marks the last Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. How might future global development convenings build on the meeting’s success to create even greater impact?

    Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • Are You Sure You Should Be Launching Another Partnership?

    For funders and founders thinking about launching a multi-stakeholder initiative for social impact, the question of "whether" is just as important as "how."

    Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • No Exit: The Case for Nonprofit Holding Companies

    Applying the structure of a holding company to the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors could help both small, high-potential organizations and larger anchor organizations flourish.

    Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • More than the Sum of Its Parts: Making Multistakeholder Initiatives Work [PDF]

    Multi-stakeholder initiatives can help address challenging global problems. But when are they the right solution, and what makes them succeed or fail?

    GDI Report

  • Innovative Financing for Development [PDF]

    Innovative financing that blends public and private capital can unleash scalable business models with economic, social, and environmental outcomes.

    GDI Report

  • What's Your Endgame? [PDF]

    Nonprofits each play a specific role in the overall solution to a social problem. To scale impact, they must define and pursue one of six "endgames."

    Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • Convergence Looks to Convert Risk into Reward for Global Development Financing

    GDI's Andrew Stern discusses the first and only deal sourcing platform for blended finance.

    NextBillion

  • Direct-to-Farmer Innovation Spaces Playbook [PDF]

    How lenders can adopt a human-centered design approach to delivering finance to smallholder farmers.

    The Initiative for Smallholder Finance

  • Small Farms, Big Funding Gap

    Local bank financing for smallholder farmers meets only 3 percent of overall demand – why this matters and what we can do about it.

    NextBillion

  • Joining Forces Through ‘Mutual Accountability’ to Achieve the SDGs

    As the UN approves the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mutual accountability can help ensure achievement.

    Huffington Post

  • How Much is Being Done for the World's 450 Smallholder Farmers?

    An infographic exploring the smallholder financing gap, and what else technical assistance providers and donors can do to close it.

    The Initiative for Smallholder Finance

  • Rickshaw or Battleship: Should Nonprofits Work Themselves Out of A Job?

    Willy Foote on how his organization Root Capital has defined and pursued its endgame, and what the concept can mean for other NGOs in the field.

    Forbes

  • From Idea to Action: How Far We’ve Come in Catalyzing Smallholder Finance

    How the Initiative for Smallholder Finance has driven key progress in closing the financing gap for smallholders.

    Inclusive Business Hub

  • Funding Impact at Scale Through Market Segmentation [VIDEO]

    Innovators and their funders can use market segementation of underserved customers to create a meaningful impact in their target areas.

    Skoll World Forum

  • Partnering for Innovation: Helping Customers Afford My Product [VIDEO]

    How to bridge the gap between smallholders and agricultural companies through a financing and affordability framework that works for both parties.

    USAID Feed the Future

  • How Good Coffee Becomes Good Business for African Farmers

    What happens when thousands of small-scale farmers in East Africa participate in an initiative to connect coffee producers to the global market?

    Impatient Optimists

  • What you may have missed from Barack Obama's Africa trip

    Press coverage of Obama’s trip to Africa missed an important piece of the story: the power of community-led initiatives to improve livelihoods in a lasting way.

    Devex

  • Understanding Smallholders' Financial Needs is Key First Step

    How banks can learn from one another to improve the way they serve smallholder farmer clients.

    CGAP

Our unique perspectives shape unconventional ideas that drive the global development sector forward.

THE GDI TEAM

The GDI team comes from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences, but we’re united by a proven track record of entrepreneurship and a culture of doing whatever it take to get things done. Below is GDI’s portfolio team. Visit specific program pages to see deployed program staff.

  • Andrew Stern
    Andrew Stern
  • Thomas Carroll
    Thomas Carroll
  • Alice Gugelev
    Alice Gugelev
  • Moitreyee Sinha
    Moitreyee Sinha
  • Warren Ang
    Warren Ang
  • Darin Kingston
    Darin Kingston
  • Charles Feutray
    Charles Feutray
  • Joanne Ke
    Joanne Ke
  • Erika Boll
    Erika Boll
  • Pippy Qiao
    Pippy Qiao
  • R. McKinley Sherrod
    R. McKinley Sherrod
  • Sara Wallace Beatty
    Sara Wallace Beatty
  • Monica Kuo
    Monica Kuo
  • Malia Bachesta
    Malia Bachesta
  • Sarah Music
    Sarah Music
Andrew Stern

Andrew is the Founder, President + Executive Director of GDI. He leads the team across focus areas and crafts unconventional perspectives to drive the global development sector forward. Prior to founding GDI, Andrew was a Global Operating Partner at Dalberg Global Advisors. Andrew holds a joint MBA/MPP from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in Economics from Princeton University. When he isn’t urging nonprofits toward their “endgames,” Andrew can be found pruning cedar groves in his backyard.

Thomas Carroll

Tom is a Director at GDI, working closely with AgEnterprise. He supports the Initiative for Smallholder Finance and leads GDI’s role as the learning partner for the MasterCard Foundation’s Fund for Rural Prosperity. Tom is also the Treasurer of GDI’s board. Before joining GDI, Tom was a partner at Dalberg Global Advisors, where he developed public-private partnerships across commodity markets in the global and sub-Saharan horticulture markets. He also has strategic advisory experience in health, media, consumer goods + financial services. Tom earned a MBA from Yale School of Management and a BA in government from University of Notre Dame. After years as a global consultant, Tom remains a thrill-seeker: a recent adventure involved three children, a dog, and a month in a minivan.

Alice Gugelev

Alice is a Director at GDI where she often works with large corporations to integrate a social impact approach into their portfolios and helps philanthropists more effectively create systems-level change. Prior to joining GDI, Alice worked at Bridgespan, started Bain + Company’s pro-bono practice in Asia, and worked with the World Bank on their regional HQ strategy. She is the co-founder and executive director of The Muskoka Foundation, as well as the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Infinite Monkeys. Alice earned a MBA from Harvard Business School and a double major BA in International Economics and East Asian Studies from Columbia University. Alice enjoys spending time at her cabin in Canada with her family – and lots of uninvited black flies.

Moitreyee Sinha

Moitreyee is a Director at GDI where she works with social enterprises, foundations, and the private sector to bring a “customer focus” + multi-sectoral lens to development. Moitreyee is also the Secretary of GDI’s board. Prior to GDI, Moitreyee managed large interdisciplinary teams to develop new technologies for GE across multiple businesses. She later led the GE Foundation’s global health portfolio in 22 countries and shaped national programs for emergency care, maternal + child health, clean water, repair + maintenance, and education. Moitreyee earned a PhD in Physics from the University of Cincinnati and has received the Kingdom of Cambodia’s highest award for philanthropy. Moitreyee’s passion for the arts inspires her involvement in movements such as Bach in the Subways.

Warren Ang

Warren is a Director at GDI, where he spearheads GDI’s work in East Asia from Hong Kong. He works alongside the leadership of mission-driven businesses, non-profits and initiatives, as a long-term partner to design, incubate and implement strategies that achieve large-scale social impact. Warren brings strategic consulting and nonprofit management experience to GDI. He has worked at Dalberg Global Development Advisors (Asia), PwC Strategy (Australia), and was the Executive Director of a 170+ employee NGO in Yunnan, China. Warren holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD. He has also developed a comprehensive personality assessment that he can occasionally be persuaded to administer to his colleagues.

Darin Kingston

Darin is Senior Manager at GDI, where she works closely with the Development Frontiers focus area. She oversees GDI’s work on Convergence and co-authored “More than the Sum of Its Parts: Making Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Work.” Darin has experience designing and implementing social performance strategies at a range of mission-driven organizations, specializing in monitoring and evaluation and economic development. Before joining GDI, she led the social impact measurement work of the top solar energy provider for developing markets, d.light. Darin earned a MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and a BA in International Relations from Brown University. Darin loves fireworks and is pretty good at Knock-out.

Charles Feutray

Charles works closely with GDI’s Beyond Health focus area where he guides social enterprises in scaling their impact and supports strategy and operations for multi-stakeholder initiatives. In particular, he focuses on mental health and the intersection of healthcare and technology. Before joining GDI, Charles worked in investment banking, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions and building financial models for private-sector businesses (particularly start-ups). Charles holds a BBA with Honors in Finance from HEC Montreal at the University of Montreal. His success investing in thoroughbred horses leaves his colleagues amazed.

Joanne Ke

Joanne helps launch and scale unconventional technology, policy, and capacity-building ideas to change traditional practices of global development. At GDI, she has worked extensively with the President’s Young Professionals Program of Liberia, Precision Agriculture for Development, and co-authored “More than the Sum of Its Parts: Making Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Work.” Joanne joined GDI from the World Bank Group, where she specialized in monitoring and evaluation at the IFC and provided private sector development advisory services to the Governments of Nigeria, Tanzania, Swaziland, and Sudan. Joanne earned an MA in Applied Economics from Georgetown University and a BA/MA in Economics and Management from Oxford University. She is GDI’s resident foodie and a former ballroom dancer.

Erika Boll

Erika’s area of interest is at the intersection of for-profit organizations and social impact, where she supports on research, strategy, and business development. At GDI, she has worked on projects such as emerging market strategies, inclusive investing, and financial inclusion for start-ups and corporations like Fossil and VISA. Before joining GDI, Erika worked with Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood, the United Nations Population Fund, Chevron, and the Uganda Investment Authority. Erika holds a MPA in International Policy and Management and a BA in Political Economy from New York University. In her free time she enjoys riding her yellow bike around New York City, reading about foreign direct investment in Africa, and Nicolas Cage.

Pippy Qiao

Pippy supports GDI’s presence in East Asia, where she works to develop high-potential social enterprises and non-profits and change the landscape of social impact throughout the region. She is based in Bejing. Pippy previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ management consulting practice in China, where she specialize in mergers and acquisitions, focusing on due diligence, project management, and post-merger integration. Pippy holds a MA in Enterprise Management from Southeast University in China and a BA in Business Administration. She is native Chinese and business fluent in English, and a jigsaw puzzle aficionado.

R. McKinley Sherrod
McKinley is a member of the communications team at GDI. She contributes to GDI’s branding and marketing efforts and provides communications, visual design, and web support across focus areas. McKinley has worked on domestic policy issues in women’s health and LGBTQ rights at organizations like the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, and Planned Parenthood. Prior to joining GDI, she conducted interviews, focus groups, and secondary market research for Hanover Research’s education clients. McKinley holds a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s + Gender Studies from Kenyon College. Off the clock, she can be found playing trivia at bars throughout D.C. (specialties: pop music and the Civil War) and planning epic road trips.
Sara Wallace Beatty

Sara is the communications lead at GDI. She guides communications efforts across all focus areas, advances GDI thought leadership in external media, and oversees the branding process for new initiatives. Before joining GDI, Sara was part of the communications team at Dalberg Global Development Advisors and supported communications + fundraising at AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation. She has also worked at an array of journalism outlets including Media Matters for America, Philadelphia Magazine, and the Olive Press in Andalucía, Spain. Sara holds a BA in Sociology from Princeton University. When she isn’t convincing her colleagues to write articles, Sara can be found making progress on her quest to eat food from every country in New York City.

Monica Kuo

Monica oversees financial and administrative affairs for GDI. She supports financial management and operation processes across GDI’s focus areas, as well as the overall organization. Prior to GDI, Monica worked at the California Franchise Tax Board where she was responsible for conducting income tax audits in cooperation with business operations across different tax jurisdictions. Monica holds a MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, and a BA in Business and Administration from California State University, Fullerton. Monica has an affinity for spontaneous road trips and completely unplanned travel itineraries.

Malia Bachesta

Malia supports communications for GDI’s AgEnterprise focus area, providing marketing, social media, and web management. Prior to GDI, Malia worked was a member of Root Capital’s communication team, where she focused on systems improvements and communication collateral management. Malia has previously worked on issues including energy poverty, domestic health policy, and smallholder financing. A graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, she holds a BA in Communication Studies with a focus on International Affairs and Social Entrepreneurship. Malia jumps at the chance to travel internationally, but you’ll most often find her running and hiking closer to home.

Sarah Music

Sarah is a member of GDI’s finance and administrative team. She manages grants and financial reporting for the AgEnterprise portfolio and provides operational support to all of GDI. Prior to joining GDI, she worked as an Account Manager for an eCommerce startup committed to streamlining the government procurement process. In this role, she focused on analyzing government spend and worked with her clients to implement improved efficiencies. Sarah holds a BA in History from the University of Virginia and an MBA with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from George Washington University. In her spare time, she loves exploring DC’s different neighborhoods and taking advantage of all the (free!) art and cultural events DC has to offer.

BOARD AND OFFICERS

  • Katherine Cousins
    Katherine Cousins
  • Nazanin Ash
    Nazanin Ash
  • Shashi Buluswar
    Shashi Buluswar
  • Elchi Nowrojee
    Elchi Nowrojee
  • Bethlehem Shiferaw
    Bethlehem Shiferaw
  • Andrew Stern
    Andrew Stern
  • Thomas Carroll
    Thomas Carroll
  • Moitreyee Sinha
    Moitreyee Sinha
Katherine Cousins

Katherine is the Vice President of Licensing and Accessories at Timberland LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of VF Corporation (VFC). Katherine oversees global strategy development and long-range planning, and is responsible for bringing Timberland’s licensed and direct accessories to market. Following Timberland’s acquisition by VFC in 2011, Katherine co-led the integration effort, delivering more than $40M in synergies to shareholders. Prior to Timberland, Katherine worked in management consulting, government affairs and financial services at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Teledesic LLC, and JP Morgan Chase.

Nazanin Ash

Nazanin is currently the Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee. From 2007 to 2012, she served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, designing policy initiatives to strengthen the effectiveness of U.S. government aid. Nazanin also served as principal advisor and chief of staff to the first Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Nazanin worked for ActionAid-Kenya, one of the largest rights-based NGOs in Kenya.

Shashi Buluswar

Shashi is the Executive Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies, which he joined from Dalberg Global Development Advisors. Over the past year, he has worked to shape the idea of LIGTT. Previously, Shashi has worked with the UN’s Peacekeeping Department to restructure global operations, with the Bill + Melinda Gates Foundation to launch large-scale agricultural development programs in Africa and Asia, and with dozens of NGOs fighting for human rights and economic empowerment. Before his career in global development, Shashi was an Associate Partner at McKinsey. Shashi teaches International Development at UC Berkeley.

Elchi Nowrojee

Elchi is a Principal at the Carlyle Group in New York City. Prior to joining Carlyle in 2014, Elchi was Director and Counsel at Credit Suisse, where he served as head of Alternative Investments Legal for the Americas. Elchi also worked at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen + Hamilton LLP specializing in complex financial transactions, including private investment fund formation and private acquisitions. Elchi currently sits on the Sub-Committee on Africa of the Advisory Committee of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice. He is also a past Chair of the Committee on African Affairs of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Elchi has worked and lived in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.

Bethlehem Shiferaw

Beth is the Founder and Managing Director of Lucid Capital, an investment company focused on investing in and creating value in companies located in eastern and southern Africa. Prior to establishing Lucid Capital, Beth worked for ONCAP Management Partners L.P., a $575 million middle market private equity fund established by Onex Corp. in Toronto, Canada to invest in North American small and mid-size companies. Beth was responsible for identifying, analyzing, negotiating, executing, and monitoring private equity investments. Beth holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a native of Ethiopia.

Andrew Stern

Andrew is the Founder, President + Executive Director of GDI. He leads the team across focus areas and crafts unconventional perspectives to drive the global development sector forward. Prior to founding GDI, Andrew was a Global Operating Partner at Dalberg Global Advisors. Andrew holds a joint MBA/MPP from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in Economics from Princeton University. When he isn’t urging nonprofits toward their “endgames,” Andrew can be found pruning cedar groves in his backyard.

Thomas Carroll

Tom is a Director at GDI, working closely with AgEnterprise. He supports the Initiative for Smallholder Finance and leads GDI’s role as the learning partner for the MasterCard Foundation’s Fund for Rural Prosperity. Tom is also the Treasurer of GDI’s board. Before joining GDI, Tom was a partner at Dalberg Global Advisors, where he developed public-private partnerships across commodity markets in the global and sub-Saharan horticulture markets. He also has strategic advisory experience in health, media, consumer goods + financial services. Tom earned a MBA from Yale School of Management and a BA in government from University of Notre Dame. After years as a global consultant, Tom remains a thrill-seeker: a recent adventure involved three children, a dog, and a month in a minivan.

Moitreyee Sinha

Moitreyee is a Director at GDI where she works with social enterprises, foundations, and the private sector to bring a “customer focus” + multi-sectoral lens to development. Moitreyee is also the Secretary of GDI’s board. Prior to GDI, Moitreyee managed large interdisciplinary teams to develop new technologies for GE across multiple businesses. She later led the GE Foundation’s global health portfolio in 22 countries and shaped national programs for emergency care, maternal + child health, clean water, repair + maintenance, and education. Moitreyee earned a PhD in Physics from the University of Cincinnati and has received the Kingdom of Cambodia’s highest award for philanthropy. Moitreyee’s passion for the arts inspires her involvement in movements such as Bach in the Subways.

 

Our team works with some of the leading partners and funders in the world to create lasting change.

OUR STRATEGIC ADVISORS

GDI works with a team of advisors to bring cutting-edge expertise on a wide variety of disciplines to the ideas, initiatives, and organizations we support.

Strategy
Communications
Finance
Leadership
Design
Fundraising
Metrics
Organization

Represented by Dan Berelowitz

  • Social franchising models
  • Replication strategies
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Organizational development

Represented by Annie Simonds

  • Executive recruiting
  • Board development
  • Leadership and succession advisory

Represented by Raj Pannu

  • Communications and positioning
  • Brand identity
  • Public relations and thought leadership

Represented by Mark Heffernan

  • Financial management
  • Nonprofit financial operations
  • Cost models
  • IRS filings, accounting

Represented by Vicky Hausman

  • Global development strategy advisory
  • Research and analysis
  • Partnership development

Represented by Susan McPherson

  • Thought leadership and media strategy
  • Digital and social engagement
  • Strategic partnership development
  • Fundraising strategy

Represented by Robert Fabricant

  • Human-centered design
  • Design lab facilitation
  • Service and program design
  • Innovation strategy

Represented by Carolyn Bess

  • Fundraising strategy
  • Fundraising leadership training
  • Donor management
  • Organizational development


Represented by Stace Lindsay

  • Leadership mentoring
  • Entrepreneur coaching
  • Organizational development


Represented by Chloe Holderness

  • Legal support for nonprofits
  • Governance and organizational structure advisory
  • Organizational development


Represented by James Weinberg

  • Leadership coaching
  • Organizational development
  • Efficient systems development




Represented by Dan Berelowitz

  • Social franchising models
  • Replication strategies
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Organizational development

Represented by Raj Pannu

  • Communications and positioning
  • Brand identity
  • Public relations and thought leadership

Represented by Mark Heffernan

  • Financial management
  • Nonprofit financial operations
  • Cost models
  • IRS filings, accounting

Represented by Annie Simonds

  • Executive recruiting
  • Board development
  • Leadership and succession advisory

Represented by Vicky Hausman

  • Global development strategy advisory
  • Research and analysis
  • Partnership development

Represented by Susan McPherson

  • Thought leadership and media strategy
  • Digital and social engagement
  • Strategic partnership development
  • Fundraising strategy

Represented by Robert Fabricant

  • Human-centered design
  • Design lab facilitation
  • Service and program design
  • Innovation strategy
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Represented by Carolyn Bess

  • Fundraising strategy
  • Fundraising leadership training
  • Donor management
  • Organizational development

Represented by Chloe Holderness

  • Legal support for nonprofits
  • Governance and organizational structure advisory
  • Organizational development

OUR FUNDERS

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