GDI TEAM

Our core team spans the globe and includes people from a variety of backgrounds who share a track record of entrepreneurship, deep social sector experience, and a culture of doing — not talking.

  • Andrew Stern
    Andrew Stern
  • Warren Ang
    Warren Ang
  • Thomas Carroll
    Thomas Carroll
  • Alice Gugelev
    Alice Gugelev
  • Darin Kingston
    Darin Kingston
  • Chintan Maru
    Chintan Maru
  • Danielle Maxwell
    Danielle Maxwell
  • Jon Shepard
    Jon Shepard
  • Stuart Symington
    Stuart Symington
  • Elizabeth VanDerWoude
    Elizabeth VanDerWoude
  • Jason Wendle
    Jason Wendle
  • Steve Bergen
    Steve Bergen
  • Cyrielle Auffray
    Cyrielle Auffray
  • Joanne Ke Edelman
    Joanne Ke Edelman
  • Denis Slootsky
    Denis Slootsky
  • Nitish Narain
    Nitish Narain
  • Lauren Monahan
    Lauren Monahan
  • Tanmayata Bansal
    Tanmayata Bansal
  • Elizabeth Cottle
    Elizabeth Cottle
  • Inga Finkova
    Inga Finkova
  • Alexandra Greig-Duarte
    Alexandra Greig-Duarte
  • Meredith Husar
    Meredith Husar
  • Loretta Tackie
    Loretta Tackie
  • Pritham Raja
    Pritham Raja
  • Robert Rogers
    Robert Rogers
  • Andrea Zinn
    Andrea Zinn
  • Emmanuel Fondo
    Emmanuel Fondo
  • Andrew Gathecha
    Andrew Gathecha
  • Stanley Gichobi
    Stanley Gichobi
  • Peter Kibe
    Peter Kibe
  • Douglas Kiratu
    Douglas Kiratu
  • Phillippa Mary
    Phillippa Mary
  • Jackson Muraguri
    Jackson Muraguri
  • Ann Murage
    Ann Murage
  • Yvonne Mwende
    Yvonne Mwende
  • George N’dungu
    George N’dungu
  • James Ndung’u
    James Ndung’u
  • Dan Ouko
    Dan Ouko
  • Charles Wakaba
    Charles Wakaba
  • Jennifer Chan
    Jennifer Chan
  • Rainbow Cheng
    Rainbow Cheng
  • Rebecca Cohen-Lindfors
    Rebecca Cohen-Lindfors
  • Grace Chow
    Grace Chow
  • Lucia Choi
    Lucia Choi
  • Yoori Kim
    Yoori Kim
  • Wing-cee Tang
    Wing-cee Tang
  • Ziyi Wang
    Ziyi Wang
Andrew Stern

Andrew is the Founder and CEO of GDI, and also serves as an ex-officio member of GDI’s US Board, a member and the Chair of GDI’s Hong Kong Board, and a member and the Chair of the GDI Solutions fiscal sponsor entity Board. He shapes new opportunities for GDI to drive the global development sector forward and provides strategic guidance to select incubated initiatives. Andrew has played many roles within GDI initiatives, including Interim CEO of Convergence and of Emerging Public Leaders. He currently serves on the Boards of Aceli Africa, citiesRISE, and the Refugee Investment Network, as well as the Advisory Board of Upstart Co-Lab.

Prior to founding GDI, Andrew was the Global Operating Partner at Dalberg Global Advisors. During that time, he helped design and launch ANDE and served as the founding co-chairperson of mothers2mothers. 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 gardening, kayaking and chasing his young daughter around.

Warren Ang

Warren is the Managing Director, East Asia 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.

Thomas Carroll

Tom is currently a Senior Advisor at GDI, where he was instrumental in re-launching the organization nearly a decade ago. Tom focuses on GDI’s incubated initiatives in the Agricultural Finance and Technology space.  He serves as Chair of the board of ISF Advisors, and member and former Chair of Aceli Africa’s board.  His efforts aim to make the economics of environmentally sound, community-led rural enterprise development sustainable.

Previously, Tom was a Partner at Dalberg Advisors where he led a strategy consulting portfolio that advised the emerging / developing market efforts of Fortune 500 companies, multi/bi-lateral institutions, large private and corporate foundations, and social enterprises. Tom holds an MBA from Yale School of Management (Suthpin Fellow) and a BA in government from the University of Notre Dame, where he played varsity lacrosse.  When not working, Tom is plotting ways to spend more time in Vermont with his family, including the world’s mellowest lab, Bruno.

Alice Gugelev

Alice is a Managing Director of GDI US and the CEO of GDI Africa, where she works with large corporations, commercial investors and INGOs to integrate social impact, innovation and social entrepreneurship efforts into their portfolios, and helps philanthropists and social enterprises more effectively create systems-level change. Prior to joining GDI, Alice worked at Bridgespan, Bain & Co, the World Bank and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. She is the co-founder and executive director of The Muskoka Foundation, as well as the co-founder and chief strategy officer of AppMkr. Alice earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and has a double major BA in International Economics and East Asian Studies from Columbia University and Stanford Japan Center. Alice enjoys spending time at her cabin in Canada with her family – and lots of uninvited black flies.

Darin Kingston
Darin is a Director at GDI, where she works closely with the Development Frontiers focus area on building multi-stakeholder initiatives. At GDI, she has served as the Interim COO of Convergence, and an advisor to Unorthodox Philanthropy and Emerging Public Leaders. Darin 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, and is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. Darin loves fireworks and is pretty good at Knock-out.
Chintan Maru

Chintan is Managing Director at GDI, where he leads a portfolio of initiatives focused on human-centered health systems. He is Founder and CEO of Leapfrog to Value which is advancing the field of value-based care in low- and middle-income countries. He was on the founding team of Oxygen Hub; supported the growth phase of iDSI, and serves on the boards of GDI – India, Alignd and the Detroit Institute for Law and Organizing.

Chintan is a medical doctor and public health advocate. Prior to GDI, he was a leader in McKinsey & Co’s public and social sector practice. He started his career at Tower Street Prison in Jamaica, conducting ethnographic research on HIV.

Chintan is a graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and majored in political science at Duke University. He was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Princeton University and a Fulbright Scholar to Jamaica. Chintan plays capoeira and dances.

Danielle Maxwell

Danielle is the Senior Manager of Human Resources at GDI. She has spent her professional career working at nonprofits in various roles, including human resources, administrative operations, event planning, fundraising, donor relations, and finance management. Before joining GDI, Danielle was Director of Talent and Administration at Independent Sector and Deputy Director of Human Resources and Operations at New America. Danielle has a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, an MPA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from American University, and is a senior certified human resource professional (SHRM-SCP) through the Society of Human Resources Management. In her free time, Danielle is either playing tennis or watching Premier League football.

Jon Shepard

Jon previously led GDI’s Climate and Ecosystems work. He is now the Chief Strategy Officer of Emergent, a non-profit focused on tropical forest protection and incubated by GDI. Emergent has convened a coalition of governments and major corporations willing to commit >$1bn to catalyse a carbon markets-based approach to the preservation and restoration of these priceless natural assets. Before GDI, Jon conceived and set up a global non-profit unit at EY that worked with leading impact entrepreneurs in low and middle-income countries. Earlier in his career, Jon worked for Accenture, The Prince’s Trust – a leading youth development NGO in the UK – and was an infantry officer in the British Army.

Stuart Symington

Stuart is the Senior Manager of Brand, Marketing, and Communications at GDI. His passion for social impact was ignited by experience across Latin America, Africa, Europe, and East Asia. Stuart launched his career in East Africa by leading social impact projects in Djibouti, working with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and researching the post-genocide legal system in Rwanda.

After a successful career in tech startups, he joined National Public Radio (NPR) to lead marketing, brand and digital strategy. Stuart partnered with the Programming, Digital, and Partnership divisions, among others, to serve 165 million monthly listeners. Highlights included launching new podcasts (Life Kit, Throughline, White Lies, and Peabody-winning Believed), along with key projects for the NPR newsroom and NPR Music’s Tiny Desk. In recognition of his work, Adweek selected Stuart for their inaugural Executive Mentor Program cohort.

Stuart is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, leading digital initiatives for D.C.’s official Capital Pride which has over 400,000 people attend annually. He grew the community online by partnering with platforms like Instagram, Giphy, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Stuart volunteers on the boards of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation and Seven United in Rwanda. He also served on the DC Board of Indego Africa.

Stuart earned his BA degree from Yale University in East Asian Studies. He is from Missouri and has lived, studied, and worked in Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, Spain, Niger, Djibouti, Rwanda, Nigeria, China, and Japan. He is fluent in Spanish, conversational in French and rusty in Japanese. After hours, Stuart enjoys eclectic live music, iced coffee, traveling with friends, and writing about pop culture.

Elizabeth VanDerWoude

Elizabeth is GDI’s CFO and the Treasurer of GDI U.S. and GDI’s subsidiary legal entities. In addition to leading finance and general operations across GDI, she also supports initiatives in launching their own organizations, and building policy, procedure, and systems to ensure they run effectively. Beyond her finance and operations roles, Elizabeth leads GDI efforts to identify and implement practical solutions to barriers to localizing development.

Elizabeth has experience managing finance, accounting, compliance, human resources, and planning at a range of non-profit organizations in positions focused on capacity development. Before joining GDI, she served as Senior Director of Finance and Accounting at NASTAD and as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Education for Employment. Elizabeth received her MBA from Georgetown University and studied both International Development and Accounting as an undergraduate.

Jason Wendle

Jason Wendle has been a Director at GDI for the past five years, designing and building initiatives in the AgEnterprise and Development Frontiers portfolios. In this capacity, he has most recently been acting as Director of Strategy and Programs for the recently launched Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. Jason has focused on the Fund’s overall organizational strategy, how to effectively deploy over $80M in seed funding from donor countries, and designing new programs that can secure additional funding. The fund prioritizes private sector engagement to develop ethical alternatives in sectors affected by forced labor, and its largest area of programming is in the area of forced labor among vulnerable migrants. Previously at GDI, Jason launched and directed the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, which advances the knowledge frontier in smallholder finance and advises the directors of $175M worth of programs on how to capture actionable learnings. Jason started designing the Lab as an Associate Partner in the Nairobi office of Dalberg Advisors, where he spent seven years providing strategic advice to clients across a broad range sectors – such as impact investing, agricultural development, energy, technology for development, and access to finance. His clients have included the world’s largest private foundations, bilateral and multilateral donors, African governments, and Fortune 100 firms. He also provided leadership to Dalberg’s evaluation work on the continent. Jason holds a Masters in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and has published and presented work on smallholder finance, SME banking, modern slavery, and impact measurement.

Steve Bergen

Steve is the Associate Director for Operations and Special Projects at GDI. He has over 13 years of experience in program and project management, international compliance, managing donor funding, and nonprofit leadership. He has supported international activities on behalf of the National Science Foundation, Department of State, National Institutes of Health, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Steve was previously at CRDF Global where he served as a Technical Advisor for the organization’s cybersecurity portfolio and the Acting Director for the Research and Innovation Practice Area. He has worked extensively in the Eurasia and MENA regions in basic research, higher education, professional exchange, agriculture, global health, and information and communications technology (ICT). Steve received his M.A. in International Affairs and a B.A. in International Studies from American University. In his free time he enjoys tennis, traveling, baking, and running (3 marathons and counting).

Cyrielle Auffray

As a Manager at GDI, Cyrielle leads projects and supports initiatives in GDI’s jobs and livelihoods portfolio, such as the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN), for which she provides strategic support and leads learning activities. Prior to joining GDI, Cyrielle was working as a Strategy Manager for the UK development finance institution (CDC Group), a government-backed investment fund deploying capital in Africa and South Asia to support private sector development and job creation. Cyrielle started her career as a management consultant with Accenture, delivering projects for private and public sector clients in France and in the UK.

Cyrielle holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from SciencesPo Paris. She is currently based in Washington, D.C. In her personal time, Cyrielle enjoys hiking in the Appalachians and looking for new bird species in her neighborhood.

Joanne Ke Edelman

Joanne is a firm believer that every person should have an equal opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their families. This passion motivates Joanne’s work as Senior Manager at GDI, where she helps design, build, and launch social impact startups.

At GDI, Joanne serves as the COO of Refugee Investment Network, served as the former COO of Emerging Public Leaders, and has worked extensively with the Global Digital Health Index, President’s Young Professionals Program of Liberia, Precision Development, and Co-Impact. She is also the co-author of “Paradigm Shift: How investments can unlock the potential of refugees,” “State of Digital Health 2019,” and “More than the sum of its parts: Making multi-stakeholder initiatives work.”

Joanne joined GDI from the World Bank / IFC, where she specialized in private sector development in Sub-Saharan Africa. 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 traditionally-trained kintsugi artist.

Denis Slootsky

Denis serves as the Controller at GDI working within the finance and operation team and overseeing the accounting and finance. Denis has been working in accounting, finance, budget, and administration management both domestically and abroad for more than a decade. Prior to joining GDI, Denis served as an Accountant at ACDI/VOCA, and as a Finance and Information Manager at Fair Chance, a nonprofit consulting organization in Washington DC. He worked at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine as an Administrative Officer. Denis holds a Master of Science in International Economics from the University of Economics and Law Kyiv, Ukraine.

Nitish Narain

Nitish is an Associate Director within GDI’s Strategy and Build team. He has over 13 years of experience working on financial inclusion, and MSME finance and development. Before joining the Global Development Incubator, Nitish worked as a Senior Manager at MicroSave Consulting’s Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) domain and led the Asia Practice. He worked on projects on financial inclusion strategy development, digital transformation for financial institutions, market research, product development, financial capability development, and implementation and evaluation of government benefit transfer programmes. Nitish holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Forest Management from Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India.

Lauren Monahan

Lauren Monahan is a Senior Associate for Operations and Compliance at GDI. She has more than five years of experience supporting development projects and social impact initiatives across sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. While living and working in Egypt, Somaliland, Kenya, and Mozambique, Lauren held a variety of roles including those in monitoring and evaluation, project management, and business development and strategic partnerships. Lauren has worked with various bilateral and multilateral donors and non-profit and private sector implementing partners, and brings this knowledge to support GDI and its incubated initiatives. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston College. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys live music, running, and skiing.

Tanmayata Bansal

Tanmayata is a Senior Associate on GDI’s Strategy and Build team. She has an extensive background in development research, impact evaluations, and guiding evidence-based decision making. At J-PAL and 3ie, she worked with governments and NGO partners on randomized evaluations. More recently, she worked with Y Analytics and CRI Foundation, where she helped advance evidence-based decision making in investment and grant-making decisions.

Tanmayata holds an undergraduate degree in business studies from Delhi University, a master’s degree in financial economics from Gokhale Institute, and master’s degree in public policy from Duke University. Tanmayata is passionate about building local capacity to create sustainable solutions. Outside of work, Tanmayata loves cooking, hiking, and picking up new hobbies.

Elizabeth Cottle

Liz Cottle is the Special Assistant to the CEO for both Aceli Africa and the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF). Based in Washington, DC, Liz manages donor & external relations, and supports the team across communications, governance, and fundraising. She is inspired by financial inclusion for women stemming from her experience with microfinance in Malawi. She has also worked for Peace Corps managing strategic partnerships, the international advocacy organization Global Citizen supporting policy related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and The Work First Foundation providing economic opportunity in the US workforce development sector. Liz is a master’s student at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration and in her free time enjoys running, traveling, and reading.

Inga Finkova

Inga Finkova is the GDI’s Senior Accountant, CPA Candidate. Inga prepares the accounting work for GDI and Subsidiaries. She has experience working in Accounting, Taxation, and human resources for mid-size and large corporations. Before joining GDI, she worked for a large foreign corporation as a full-charge Accountant working on dual financial reporting and taxation. Moreover, she had experience in public accounting for more than 7 years, where she gained experience working for various sized companies in different industries. Inga holds a B.A. in Accounting, Analysis & Audit. Inga is a mother of two beautiful girls, loves to travel.

Alexandra Greig-Duarte

Alexandra is an Administrative Assistant and contributes across multiple teams at GDI. Her professional background is international administration including at EF International Language School, Davies Public Affairs Agency, and The Borgen Project where she worked as a volunteer. Alexandra has a B.A. in Global Studies and a certificate in International Affairs and Strategies with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Having spent her formative years living in Uganda greatly impacted her motivation to contribute to social impact projects within this region. In addition to global development, Alexandra is interested in nuclear nonproliferation strategies and food security initiatives. She’s experienced with leading small teams, creating efficient management systems, and assisting with overall interdepartmental organization.

Meredith Husar

Meredith is a Senior Associate on GDI’s Brand, Marketing, and Communications team. In her role, she helps GDI’s incubated initiatives build and execute digital communications strategies that drive real-world impact. She comes to GDI with a background in video production and storytelling, and previously worked in post-production for political campaign ads. Meredith earned her B.A. in Journalism and Politics from Ithaca College, where she focused on mass media’s influence on public opinion and policy. In her free time, you can find her hiking and camping in the mountains of North Carolina with her dog Jace.

Loretta Tackie

Loretta Tackie is GDI’s Senior Accountant and CPA candidate. She specializes in Accounting for GDI’s Subsidiaries and Initiatives. Before joining the GDI team, Loretta worked as an Auditor at a mid-sized accounting firm, providing assurance services for non-profits and commercial organizations. There, her main role was to audit the financial statements of organizations to ensure they were correctly stated and presented. Loretta holds a B.S in Accounting from University of Maryland. Loretta grew up in Ghana, West Africa and enjoys going back to Ghana, hiking, volunteering at food shelters, podcasts and exploring new countries.

Pritham Raja

Pritham is a Manager within GDI’s Strategy and Build team. He has worked as a social entrepreneur, a strategy consultant, and a technology consultant. Before joining the Global Development Incubator, Pritham worked at Dalberg Advisors on designing strategies across topics such as livelihoods, gender, education, energy access and financial inclusion in East Africa, South Asia, and South-East Asia. Before joining Dalberg, Pritham set up and ran an anti-trafficking nonprofit – Threads of Freedom – that focused on livelihoods and reintegration of survivors of trafficking. Pritham has a Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Robert Rogers

Rob Rogers is a Senior Associate on GDI’s Strategy and Build team. Rob brings 7 years of experience in research, policy, and strategy roles. He is fluent in English and French and has worked and lived in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Vietnam, France, and the US. Rob holds an M.P.P. from SciencesPo Aix and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Rob’s interests are in the potential of scalable innovations to change lives, especially in the areas of Education, Health, and Labor Markets. He is excited about simple ideas that can sustainably shift systems with the right leverage and support. Outside of work, he enjoys cooking and all kinds of adventure sports.

Andrea Zinn

Andrea Zinn holds a dual role as the Project Developer for Aceli Americas and the Global Coordinator the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF). Based in Costa Rica, Andrea leads the design of Aceli Americas, which aims to adapt the Aceli Africa model to Latin America. Prior to joining GDI, Andrea consulted on various donor projects focused in agriculture and specifically coffee, including supporting IFAD’s implementation of its new private sector engagement strategy, developing digital price risk management training for coffee cooperatives, and other initiatives funded by USAID, IFAD, GIZ, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Trade Centre. Through her previous work with Oikocredit, a CSAF founding member, she focused on investments to high-impact agri-SMEs in sustainably-sourced value chains. Andrea is a former Fulbright Grantee to Malaysia and a graduate of Villanova University School of Business. Outside of her professional career, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, surfing, scuba diving, and painting. Andrea is a volunteer Board Member of Bean Voyage and Victor’s Vision.

Emmanuel Fondo

Fondo is the County Program Manager for Taita-Taveta in the GDI Nairobi office. Before joining GDI, Fondo worked as Project Manager for the Food Assistance project in Dadaab and as Project Manager for the Drylands Development program for the World Vision Kenya-Machakos Site. Fondo has also worked as the Project Manager for Governance, Environmental Conservation and Livelihoods, which was funded by World Vision Canada. Prior to that, he worked with Kenya Seed Company as a Field Officer in the North Rift – Kenya for over 17 years with World Vision in their livelihoods, food security and emergency aid programs, and with the Ministry of Agriculture. Fondo is a trained Agricultural Engineer from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) – Kenya. He also holds a certificate in Project Management from JKUAT and is a member of the Rain Water Harvesting group.

Andrew Gathecha

Andrew serves as Director, Finance on the GDI Africa team. He is a finance and project management professional with several years experience managing large, complex, multi-stakeholder grant programs, combined value of over $200 million, ensuring prudent investments in agriculture, health, and education; Worked cross-culturally – Kenya, Mozambique, Jordan, Liberia; Recent roles include: at Tanager, worked as global director for compliance and operations, and as team leader for AgResults, a private sector-driven pay-for-results project which helped improve grain storage capacity for smallholder farmers in Kenya; Was the technical grants manager for a USAID Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project implemented by Fintrac; was grants management specialist with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kenya. Previously managed country finance and operations with various international development organizations, in addition to stints in the private sector as chief accountant. Andrew holds MBA from Edinburgh Business School (Heriot Watt Univ, UK), is a certified public accountant & member of ICPAK. Andrew resides in Nairobi with his wife and their five year old boy. He loves farming, traveling and playing Scrabble.

Stanley Gichobi

Stanley Gichobi Mwangi is an Associate on GDI’s Impact Escalated Portfolio team. Gichobi is a business design strategist, user researcher, and design thinker with more than 6 years of experience. As a design strategist, he has contributed to the development and execution of strategic frameworks and organizational processes. He focuses on discovering, researching, ideating, and testing new strategies, programs, and product concepts.

Prior to joining GDI, he worked for Volkswagen as a Business Analyst in Digital Transformation and Process Innovation. His other experiences include working for Kuza Biashara as Manager of Strategy and Partnerships, and as a Strategy Consultant for Reapra (Singapore), JUXTOPIA (US), BCD International (US), Taqdam (Lebanon). He also worked at Growth Africa, a premier accelerator, as a Growth Catalyst (Product Innovation), and Senior Innovation Analyst at Wylde International. Gichobi sits on the Board of Italian Kitchens (Kenya).

Peter Kibe

Peter is the Tourism and Hospitality Lead for the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) Mombasa Initiative. Peter is passionate about new innovations in hospitality and tourism practice and training. Previously, he worked at Strathmore University, where he spearheaded executive education in the hospitality and tourism sectors. He is also the founder of Hoteliers Kenya, an online community that serves as a platform to share knowledge and opportunities for Kenya-based hospitality and tourism professionals. Peter received his master’s degree in Hospitality Management from Kenyatta University, Kenya. During his free time, he enjoys spending time at his small Hass avocado orchard in the village.

Douglas Kiratu

Douglas is the County Program Manager – Muranga in the GDI Nairobi office. Douglas has over 23 years of extensive experience in youth empowerment, agricultural production, agribusiness research and humanitarian development work within commercial, food security and livelihood projects. He has participated in and managed implementation within complex, multi-sectoral cross-organizational, multi-stakeholder projects with multiple stakeholders.

Phillippa Mary

Phillippa is the Lead Partnership and Employer Engagement for the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN). Phillippa is particularly passionate about creating employment for sustainable solutions to youth unemployment.

Prior to joining GDI, she helped design and operationalize programs like the Ajira Digital Program, where she led a countrywide team to implement a nationwide hybrid training program, coordinated strategic partnerships that created market linkage opportunities for youth absorption, and designed mentorship solutions that supported the youth pipeline towards technical upskilling. She hopes one day to become a thought leader in the digital learning and labor markets ecosystem to help solve the unemployment crisis at a regional and global level.

Jackson Muraguri

Jackson is the County Project Manager for Makueni in GDI’s Nairobi office. Prior to joining GDI, he worked with the Zero Grazing Society of Kenya as a Project Manager, where he supported dairy farmers to improve their production. Jackson also worked with World Vision Kenya for 17 years as an Agriculture Extension Development Facilitator and Project Coordinator, supporting livelihoods and resilience projects. Jackson holds a BSc in Organic Agriculture from Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) and a Diploma in Disaster Management from the Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development (KISWD). He is passionate about working with rural farmers and building their capacity on smart agriculture farming for sustainable livelihoods. In his free time, Jackson enjoys nature walks.

Ann Murage

Ann Murage is the Operations Manager for GDI in Africa and the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance (RAF) Learning Lab. Ann has a background in project management, with a focus on international development. She was involved in setting up GDI in Africa where her current responsibilities involve institutionalization of policies and procedures, development and operationalization of the talent strategy, financial management and stakeholder engagement.

Prior to joining GDI, Ann worked as a Project Manager at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. She was responsible for partner engagements, research implementation, and coordination of key projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier in her career she was instrumental in supporting regional finance project teams in setting up systems including providing onsite support to project offices in DR Congo, Sudan and Southern Sudan. Ann holds an MBA from the University of Liverpool, she is a Certified Public Accountant and has qualifications in Microfinance, SME Finance. She is passionate about promotion of improved livelihoods and uplifting of the less advantaged in society.

Yvonne Mwende

Yvonne serves as Operations Associate and Programs Support in the Nairobi office. Before joining GDI, she worked with the USAID-funded project, Financial Inclusion for Rural Microfinance, as a project coordinator, supporting the technical and operations teams. There, her main role were partnership identification and relationship building, planning and coordinating project activities, event organization and administration support. Yvonne holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from East Carolina University and an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems (MIS). She is passionate about supporting small businesses and enjoys traveling and exploring different countries.

George N’dungu

George serves as the National Technical Assistance (TA) Coordinator at the GDI Nairobi office. He is a renowned development and humanitarian practitioner with 16 years of experience working with various governments, inter-governmental organizations and charities working in the larger Eastern Africa region.

Prior to joining GDI, he served as a technical government advisor in cash transfer programming in Kenya, Nigeria as well as for the UK Government on Afghanistan. He has also consulted for UNICEF Kenya, UNDP Kenya, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD), DANIDA-funded Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT-Kenya), BOMA PROJECT, Wasafiri Consulting and East Africa Grain Council on various development programmes. His work has been presented and published in reputable international conferences, including in Kenya, South Africa, Germany and the UK. He is a beneficiary of the Firoz & Lalji Foundation’s Africa Leadership Programme and graduated from The London School of Economics (LSE) and Harvard University.

James Ndung’u

James is the Youth Engagement Manager for the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN). He has over 7 years of experience implementing international development programs focusing on youth. A trained partnership development professional, James has managed partnerships with a variety of stakeholders across 14 different countries within East and Central Africa. Prior to GDI, James was previously a Youth Engagement Officer at VSO Kenya, where he supported the embedment of youth engagement across the VSO Kenya programs area. He also previously served as a Program Manager at the organization.

Dan Ouko

Dan serves as the County Program Manager – Kisumu in GDI’s Nairobi office with extensive work experience in project management, micro enterprise development, partnership management and sustainable rural development projects for improved livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. He previously worked at Village Enterprise where he was the Senior Technical Manager for livelihoods and enterprise support and prior to that, he was the organization’s Senior Program Manager – Innovations (Kenya and Uganda). He has also worked in different management positions managing grants from USAID/GIZ and DFID with awards in agri-business development in Nyanza Region of Kenya. He is also a beneficiary of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship to Thessaloniki, Greece for job shadowing to support Syrian refugees. He holds a degree in Development Studies and post-graduate diplomas in Project Management, Business Management and Strategic Management.

Charles Wakaba

Charles is the Finance Manager at the GDI Nairobi Office and is tasked with strategy and leadership in all financial related matters concerning GDI in the Africa region; driving strategic improvements to regional operations, including country-specific tax-efficient structures and transactions between GDI Africa and GDI US; finance planning, budgeting, expenditure tracking, and auditing; and accounting and cash management. Charles has a strong background in Financial Management across a wide range of social impact organizations. Prior to joining GDI, Charles worked as a Finance Manager at Greensteds International School, Pan African Federation of Film Makers, and Health Education Africa Resource Team (HEART). While at HEART, he was actively involved in small businesses’ set-up from identification, verification, growth, and support through regular monitoring and training of the business holders on entrepreneurship, grants writing, sub grants contracting, and international accounting. Charles is a qualified Public Accountant in Kenya (CPAK), holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance, Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance (BCOM).

Jennifer Chan

Jennifer is a Manager at GDI. Prior to joining GDI, she spent 5 years on the Swire Management Programme (assigned to Cathay Pacific), leading projects in branding, digital & analytics, and people development. As part of her international rotations, she worked in the Philippines to localise the corporate strategy, and led a team of 30 across sales/operations in mainland China as Area Manager – Henan & Shaanxi. Jennifer is a native Chinese speaker with business fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. She holds a B.A in History & Spanish from Durham University.

Rainbow Cheng

Rainbow is an Associate at GDI. She was involved in several strategy design projects in education and mental health with the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Prior to joining GDI, she served as a Program Assistant at Philanthropy in Motion (Beijing), a social enterprise promoting youth social impact and facilitated the running of the Millennial Impact Summit held at Yale Center Beijing. She also interned at the Hong Kong Government Home Affairs Bureau and Asia Society Hong Kong Centre. Rainbow is a native Chinese with business fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. She holds a B.A in History from University College London.

 

Rebecca Cohen-Lindfors

Rebecca is the current Brand, Marketing, & Communications Intern at GDI. Prior to joining GDI, she worked in marketing and partnerships for a start-up legal nonprofit based in NYC and for a digital wellness company. Rebecca received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College, where she focused in international development, geography, history, and sociology. She’s particularly passionate about food, agriculture, and nutrition and ways in which marginalized communities resist oppressive structures of power. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, drinking a good cup of coffee or tea, going to see live music, modern dance, and theatre, reading, and trying new ethnic food. She speaks French, is working on improving her Spanish, and hopes to learn Brazilian Portuguese in the not-so-distant future.

Grace Chow

Grace is Personal Assistant and Office Manager at GDI East Asia.  Grace has more than 30 years experiences in the position of Secretary, Personal Assistant, Administrative Officer. She spent 17 years in Cisco Sales Organization as Administrative Assistant, Operations Manager in supporting Managing Directors and Vice President.  Grace has experience in operations, office management, and event organizing. Grace was born in Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese, English and Mandarin. She likes living a healthy life, yoga, movies, and traveling.

Lucia Choi

Lucia is a Manager at GDI. She brings two years of experience as a Creative & Marketing Manager at Leftbrain Creative, managing CSR projects in Taiwan & rural revitalization projects in mainland China. She is passionate in promoting strategic philanthropy since she was an undergraduate. She founded the “Student Take Initiative Rally” in 2014 and worked with with universities across the Greater China Area to promote efficient volunteering and the “learn before you serve” principle. Lucia is a native Chinese with business fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. She holds a B.A in Social Sciences with a major in Psychology and a minor in Social Policy & Community Building from The University of Hong Kong; and finished a Human Rights Law course at The Koc University in Istanbul.

Yoori Kim

Yoori is a Senior Associate at GDI. Currently, her work focuses on the education and health sectors in Hong Kong. Before joining GDI, Yoori spent three years as a strategy consultant at Dalberg Advisors in Kigali, Rwanda, where she supported government agencies, donors, and private sector companies with strategic planning and investment opportunity identification and assessment in agriculture, education, and ICT sectors across East Africa. Yoori is from South Korea and holds an M.A. in International Economics and International Development with honors from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in Sociology and Economics from Wellesley College.

Wing-cee Tang

Wing-cee is a Senior Associate at GDI who works in GDI’s China portfolio. Her current focus is with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Narada Foundation, Disability Impact Fund, and the Model District Initiative. She has nearly 6 years of experience across strategy and economic consulting, entrepreneurship, and NGOs in the U.S., China, and India. Wing-cee has a diverse background having worked for Groupon U.S., KPMG Economics Valuation Department, and Stax Inc., a boutique strategy firm. While at Stax she has led commercial due diligence and strategy engagements for top global private equity firms and fortune 100 companies. Prior to that, she served as a pro-bono consultant for the Acumen+ Chicago Chapter and Médecins Sans Frontières. Wing-cee earned a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame with honors in Economics and Psychology. A native Chinese and travel enthusiast, she is most proud of her spicy food tolerance and luggage packing skills.

Ziyi Wang

Ziyi is an Associate at GDI. Her passion lies in addressing inequality and opportunity gaps, as well as tackling climate change. Prior to GDI, she has mainly been working on capacity building and ground support for social organizations in Singapore and mainland China. As one of the early members of Temasek International’s impact investing team, she helped in the development of the state investor’s impact measurement and management framework. Ziyi is a Singaporean Chinese with business fluency in English and Mandarin. Ziyi graduated from the National University of Singapore with a B.Soc.Sci in Sociology. With a keen spirit towards diverse societal contexts and cultures, you can find her volunteering in local grassroots with underserved communities in each city she has resided in.

BOARD

Each of GDI’s regional offices in the US, Kenya, and Hong Kong, as well as our fiscal sponsorship subsidiary GDI Solutions, are overseen by their own boards. These boards include business, nonprofit, and government leaders who share a passion for entrepreneurship and a commitment to social impact.

  • Andrew Stern
    Andrew Stern
  • Sewit Ahderom
    Sewit Ahderom
  • Habtamu Girma Agaje
    Habtamu Girma Agaje
  • Xi Chen
    Xi Chen
  • Ernest Darkoh
    Ernest Darkoh
  • Grant Gordon
    Grant Gordon
  • Dr. Liow Chee Hsiang
    Dr. Liow Chee Hsiang
  • Wadzi Katsidzira
    Wadzi Katsidzira
  • Kate Montgomery
    Kate Montgomery
  • Bilha Ndirangu
    Bilha Ndirangu
  • Elchi Nowrojee
    Elchi Nowrojee
  • Dr. Omchand Mahdu
    Dr. Omchand Mahdu
  • Dr. Bernard Olayo
    Dr. Bernard Olayo
  • Gretchen Phillips
    Gretchen Phillips
  • Bethlehem Shiferaw
    Bethlehem Shiferaw
  • Brian Trelstad
    Brian Trelstad
  • James W. Wert, Jr.
    James W. Wert, Jr.
Andrew Stern

Andrew is the Founder and CEO of GDI, and also serves as an ex-officio member of GDI’s US Board, a member and the Chair of GDI’s Hong Kong Board, and a member and the Chair of the GDI Solutions fiscal sponsor entity Board. He shapes new opportunities for GDI to drive the global development sector forward and provides strategic guidance to select incubated initiatives. Andrew has played many roles within GDI initiatives, including Interim CEO of Convergence and of Emerging Public Leaders. He currently serves on the Boards of Aceli Africa, citiesRISE, and the Refugee Investment Network, as well as the Advisory Board of Upstart Co-Lab.

Prior to founding GDI, Andrew was the Global Operating Partner at Dalberg Global Advisors. During that time, he helped design and launch ANDE and served as the founding co-chairperson of mothers2mothers. 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 gardening, kayaking and chasing his young daughter around.

Sewit Ahderom

Sewit Ahderom is a member of the GDI Kenya Board and the Co-Founder and COO of Gro Intelligence. Previously, Sewit was a Vice President at Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private investment fund with more than $1.7 billion in capital under management. She joined Helios after working with IPS, an investment arm of the Aga Khan Development Network focused on food and agro processing as well as infrastructure development. Before moving to Nairobi, Sewit was a VP at Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division in NY where she worked in the leveraged finance and global portfolio management teams. Sewit holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Connecticut and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Habtamu Girma Agaje

Habtamu Girma is currently a Local Partner Transition Advisor at USAID. He previously served as the GDI Development Impact Bond Compliance and Project Manager and the Executive Director of GDI Solutions, LLC. Prior to GDI, Habtamu served as a Senior Manager for Compliance at NASTAD. In this role, he was responsible to provide technical guidance and monitor procurement, contract and grant management practices, and compliance matters of the organization. Prior to this position, he has served as an Associate Director for the NASTAD Global Program and was responsible for leading the planning, implementation, monitoring, and successful transition and close-out of several USG funded projects in Eastern and Southern Africa region (Ethiopia, Botswana, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa). Prior to joining NASTAD, Habtamu served as a Technical Officer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-PEPFAR program in Ethiopia where he was responsible for overseeing multiple cooperative agreements, grants, and contracts of several local and international development partners.  Habtamu received his BA in Management and MA in International Relations from Addis Ababa University and his MPH from the University of Maryland. Habtamu is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Federal Contract Manager (CFCM).

Xi Chen

Xi Chen is member of GDI’s Hong Kong Board and Associate Director at Deloitte Sustainability & Climate Change team advising corporates, governments and NGOs on topics of transitioning to low carbon economy, developing corporate climate change strategy and measuring social impact. Prior to Deloitte China, Xi was Finance Director at Blue Ventures Conservation, a UK based environmental NGO that engages the coastal communities in alternative wealth creation and responsible fisheries supply chain to reduce their reliance on marine resources. Xi also has over 9 years of Finance & Strategy consulting experience from Accenture and PwC UK with expertise in managing sustainable change programs.

Xi worked with the Accenture Development Partnership, a not for profit arm of Accenture and advised a microfinance network to improve their outreach and impact in Africa. Xi is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has a master’s degree in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Warwick in the UK. Xi is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, French and Romanian.

Ernest Darkoh

Ernest is a member of the GDI US board and a co-founder of the BroadReach Group of companies which focuses on using innovation and technology to improve the health and well-being of populations around the world. He is an internationally renowned expert in strategic planning, systems and large-scale program implementation in the health and social sectors. Ernest’s recent work has focused on the intersection of using new 4th Industrial Revolution technologies, big data analytics and organizational behavioral psychology to improve population and individual healthcare outcomes. He has worked with the private sector, governments, international normative organizations and non-governmental organizations across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and North America.

Ernest was selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was named one of eighteen “Global Health Heroes” by TIME Magazine for his leadership in launching Africa’s first HIV public sector treatment program in Botswana. He is on the board of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and has previously served on the board of the Medicines for Malaria Venture and on the advisory board of Gilead Health Sciences. He was a member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV & AIDS during President Obama’s term. He is a frequent plenary speaker on strategies for implementing large-scale health and social sector interventions.

Before co-founding BroadReach, Ernest worked for ACHAP (funded by the Merck & Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations) in Botswana. Prior to that he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Ernest earned his BS with honors in Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his MD from the Harvard Medical School, his MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and his MBA from the Said School of Business at Oxford University (Balliol College) as a Fulbright Scholar.

Grant Gordon

Grant Gordon is the Founder and CEO of Essential, a non-profit that leverages advances in basic science to create the next generation of cost-effective lifesaving products to tackle malnutrition. Prior to launching Essential, Grant was the Senior Director of Innovation Strategy at the International Rescue Committee, where he supported the organization’s 50+ R&D team to design, test, and scale new breakthrough products and services for humanitarian response. Grant has worked in leadership positions at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and has helped a number of UN agencies and NGOs establish new research and innovation units. He has worked and lived in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, West Africa, Somalia, and Haiti. Grant holds a Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in applied statistics from Columbia University and has a BA in public policy from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Liow Chee Hsiang

Dr. Liow Chee Hsiang is a member of GDI’s Hong Kong board and a senior lecturer in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (National University of Singapore) since 2016. He currently lectures both Master and undergraduate students in global health, programme design/ implementation/ monitoring / evaluation (DIME).

Prior to that, Chee Hsiang worked in Bless China International (a US-based NGO in Yunnan Province) China for 14 years where he was the Managing Director of Operations and chairman of the General Management Team overseeing about 20 public health and global health projects including village doctor training, medical and dental clinics, HIV prevention and care, sex-workers projects, physical rehabilitation centres for the disabled and cerebral palsy children, autism centres, orphan prevention, orphan foster care projects and disaster relief. He has also been involved in several global health programmes in the Greater Mekong Region including HIV prevention, TB, and community-based healthcare. He has undertaken various evaluations in the region including China and Cambodia.

He advises a number of Singapore-based and International VWOs/NGOs and agencies in programme monitoring, evaluation and research (including the National Council of Social Services, Lien Aid, TOUCH Community Services, Children’s Cancer Foundation). He is also on the board of Bless China International.

Wadzi Katsidzira

Wadzi Katsidzira is a member of GDI Solutions fiscal sponsor entity Board. Wadzi is a sustainable finance specialist with over a decade of experience in private equity, government, and international development. She is passionate about building collaborative initiatives and organisations that are aimed at solving persistent global challenges such as enabling sustainable economic development, eliminating social injustice and enabling innovative finance models.

Wadzi is the founder of Taumba Advisory a strategy consultancy advising businesses, governments and investors on how to achieve growth and allocate capital in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also a Board Trustee at Feedback a campaign group that works to regenerate nature by reducing the demands placed on it by the food system.

Prior to founding Taumba, Wadzi was Vice President at Greenoaks, a private equity fund investing in Asian and African insurers. She was previously a Director at African Leadership Academy and an analyst at the Western Australian Treasury. She holds an MBA from INSEAD and undergraduate degrees in Commerce (with honours in Finance) and Science from the University of Western Australia.

Kate Montgomery

Kate Montgomery is a member of the GDI Kenya Board and Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships at Acumen. She leads business development and partner engagement for our Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative and Africa.

Prior to joining Acumen, she was d.light’s Director of Global Partnerships for five years, developing d.light’s strategy for engaging with the public sector and other key partners globally. A key part of this work is the institutionalization of d.light’s strategy to rigorously measure and communicate their social impact. Prior to that, she was in the humanitarian aid sector working for Tuft’s Feinstein International Center and the International Rescue Committee in Pakistan and Haiti.

She holds a BA with honors in Political Science and East Asian Studies from Colgate University and a MS in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Bilha Ndirangu

Bilha Ndirangu is a member of the GDI Kenya Board and the Chief Operating Officer at Africa’s Talking (AT), a Pan-African mobile technology company that provides technology infrastructure and support to software developers with the aim of building a viable, entrepreneurial technology ecosystem for Africa. Bilha oversees the company’s operations across seven African markets including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Malawi.

Prior to joining AT, Bilha was a senior project manager at Dalberg Global Development advisors in its Nairobi office where she advised varied clients including national governments, multilaterals, foundations and private sector companies. As the first employee of the Dalberg Nairobi office, she helped grow the office from one consultant to a team of forty consultants advising clients across Africa. Bilha also worked as a business analyst with the Mitchell Madison Group in New York.

Bilha holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Elchi Nowrojee

Elchi is the Chair of GDI’s US board and 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.

Dr. Omchand Mahdu

Dr. Omchand Mahdu is a member of GDI Solutions fiscal sponsor entity Board and an international development practitioner with experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Tunisia, Uganda, and other parts of Africa. In his current role as Local Capacity Development Advisor at USAID/Uganda, he supports accountability, risk management, and system strengthening by coordinating and overseeing capacity building activities of local implementing partners.

Prior to joining USAID/Uganda, Omchand planned, coordinated, and led in-country project financial compliance reviews and pre-award surveys in support of USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (legacy Office of Food for Peace), and brings extensive experience advising and managing large donor-funded projects with responsibility for overall financial, operation, compliance, and risk management.

He holds a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance, and Globalization, a Master of Natural Resources (MNR), and an M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech. Additionally, he holds an M.S. in Industrial Technology and an MBA in Finance from Morehead State University. His undergraduate degree is in Accountancy from the University of Guyana.

Omchand is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and holds several other professional certificates. He is an Associate Professor of Practice at Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment where he teaches Global Issues in Environmental Sustainability in the Online Master of Natural Resources program.

Dr. Bernard Olayo

Dr. Bernard Olayo is a member of the GDI Kenya Board and a Kenyan physician and public health specialist with more than 14 years’ experience as an Africa based Public Health Practitioner. He is also an entrepreneur and is the founder of a non-profit organization (Center for Public Health and Development) and three social enterprises working toward improving access to quality healthcare in Africa.

He currently serves as the Chair where he provides strategic direction, thought leadership and oversight of the CPHD programs and subsidiary social enterprises. Dr. Olayo is also a technical team member for several World Bank programs in East Africa and an advisor to several ministries of Health in the region- with the main focus on enhancing the role of private sector in improving access to health services and goods through public private partnerships.

He previously worked for Columbia University’s Earth Institute as a health specialist in the Millennium Villages Project, and Italian Development Corporation as a Health Advisor. He started his career with the Ministry of Health in Kenya as medical officer of health.

Gretchen Phillips

Gretchen is a member of GDI’s US board and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of GenerationHope, Inc., a consumer products company that reinvests its profits in innovative programming for the economic advancement of Filipinos.

Gretchen is passionate about building organizations that drive innovative, market-oriented solutions to enable inclusive growth, and has worked with a range of organizations to that end, including Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Company, the US Department of State, TechnoServe and PRADAN. Gretchen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in addition to GDI, she currently serves on the Boards of GenerationHope and Friends of Hope in the Philippines.

She holds a Masters in International Development from Harvard University and has an A.B. in Economics, Spanish and Latin American Studies, summa cum laude, from Duke University.

Bethlehem Shiferaw

Beth is a member of GDI’s US board and 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.

Brian Trelstad

Brian Trelstad is a Partner and Board Member of Bridges Fund Management, an investment fund that has raised and invested $1B in impact and sustainable investments. He is currently investing out of the U.S. Sustainable Growth Fund, and a director of ABIC, an impact-focused special purpose acquisition corporation formed in partnership with private-equity firm AEA. He is also a co-chair of the Impact Capital Managers, a network of over 60 market rate impact investors in the United States managing over $5B in AUM.

Brian began his career in impact investing in 2004 when he joined Acumen, where he was the Chief Investment Officer, overseeing the investment of more than $50M into portfolio companies in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana. Prior to Acumen, Brian was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, a program officer at the Corporation for National Service and on the founding team of several for-profit and non-profit social enterprises. He serves on the boards of several of the portfolio companies at Bridges and two non-profits: VisionSpring and Candid.

He is a Kauffman Fellow and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He has a BA from Harvard, an MBA from Stanford University, and a MA in City and Regional Planning from UC-Berkeley.  He teaches courses in social entrepreneurship and systems change and leadership for corporate accountability at Harvard Business School.

James W. Wert, Jr.

Jim Wert is member of GDI’s Hong Kong Board and the managing director of Wert & Associates, a consultancy focused on building strategic clarity and organizational health for a wide array of clients spanning from Fortune 500 businesses to nonprofit clients, including single-site agencies and national and international networks.

Prior to Wert Associates, Jim gained more than 20 years of experience as a strategic consultant with McKinsey & Company and Triaxia Partners. Jim also spent seven years in national and multinational corporate environments. He served as the Chief Financial Officer at National Service Industries’ (NSI) Atlantic Envelope Division, directing strategic planning, performance management, sourcing, and merger and acquisitions efforts. Prior to NSI, Jim served as the Vice President of Marketing for Mead Coated Board, where he led market assessment, customer service, logistics, and product development teams.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with majors in political science and German, Jim earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar.

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