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
  • Alice Gugelev
    Alice Gugelev
  • Warren Ang
    Warren Ang
  • Thomas Carroll
    Thomas Carroll
  • 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
  • Habtamu Agaje
    Habtamu Agaje
  • Steve Bergen
    Steve Bergen
  • Craig Courtney
    Craig Courtney
  • Joanne Ke Edelman
    Joanne Ke Edelman
  • Andrew Gathecha
    Andrew Gathecha
  • Denis Slootsky
    Denis Slootsky
  • Ann Murage
    Ann Murage
  • Charles Wakaba
    Charles Wakaba
  • Cyrielle Auffray
    Cyrielle Auffray
  • Grace Chow
    Grace Chow
  • Ruofei Chen
    Ruofei Chen
  • Lucia Choi
    Lucia Choi
  • Jamilah Corbitt
    Jamilah Corbitt
  • Inga Finkova
    Inga Finkova
  • Stanley Gichobi
    Stanley Gichobi
  • Alexandra Greig-Duarte
    Alexandra Greig-Duarte
  • Kelly He
    Kelly He
  • Meredith Husar
    Meredith Husar
  • Mallika Kirti
    Mallika Kirti
  • Yvonne Mwende
    Yvonne Mwende
  • Robert Rogers
    Robert Rogers
  • Wing-cee Tang
    Wing-cee Tang
  • Loretta Tackie
    Loretta Tackie
  • Is This You?
    Is This You?
Andrew Stern

Andrew is the Founder and CEO of GDI, and also serves as an ex-officio member of GDI’s US Board and a member and the Chair of GDI’s Hong Kong 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, and currently serves on the Boards of Aceli Africa, citiesRISE, the Institute for Transformative Technologies, and the Refugee Investment Network, and the advisory board of Upstart Co-Lab.

Prior to founding GDI, Andrew was a Global Operating Partner at Dalberg Global Advisors. During that time, he helped design and launch ANDE and served as the founding chairman 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 pruning cedar groves in his backyard.

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.

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 a Senior Advisor at GDI, where he works directly with rural enterprise development efforts. Tom focuses on GDI’s incubated initiatives in this space: ISF Advisors, Aceli Africa, the Rural & Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, and the Council on Smallholder Finance (CSAF). This includes the development and application of products and services for small agricultural enterprises, including finance, digital technology, and education. His efforts aim to make the economics of environmentally sound, community-led rural enterprise development sustainable. 

Previously, Tom was a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors where he led a strategy consulting portfolio that included efforts such as comprehensive investment/market entry analyses of global and regional commodity markets; the development of public-private partnerships across a host of those markets; the commercialization of agriculture technologies; and the design of innovative financing mechanisms in frontier markets. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Aceli Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya, and EarthEnable, based in Kigali, Rwanda. Tom holds an MBA from Yale School of Management and a BA in government from the University of Notre Dame.

 

Darin Kingston
Darin is Managing Director at GDI, where she works closely with the Development Frontiers focus area on building multi-stakeholder initiatives. She currently serves as the interim Director of Operations for the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. At GDI, she has also 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 the Founder and Executive Director of Leapfrog to Value which is advancing the field of value-based care in low- and middle-income countries. He is also Director at GDI, leading a portfolio of initiatives aimed at improving the value of health systems. Chintan is a medical doctor and public health advocate. Prior to founding L2V, he was a consultant in McKinsey & Co’s health systems practice, where he led value-based care reforms for payers, providers, and state governments in the United States; and advised on public sector delivery transformations in Africa. He also co-wrote a report for WHO/PAHO on financing primary care in Latin America. Chin 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. When he isn’t geeking out on health systems, he plays Capoeira Angola.

Danielle Maxwell

Danielle is GDI’s Talent Manager. 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. She has also worked at the Employment Policy Foundation, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Close Up Foundation. Danielle has a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and an MPA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from American University. When she’s not in the office, you can find Danielle on her yoga mat, watching the Premier League football, or playing tennis.

Jon Shepard

Jon leads GDI’s Climate and Ecosystems work. He acts as the Chief Strategy & Operations Officer of Emergent, a non-profit market catalyst incubated by GDI which is focused on the protection of tropical forests at national scale and backed by the Government of Norway, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Environmental Defense Fund. Jon also leads our exploration of game-changing initiatives in waste plastic and alternative fuels. 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 Director of Finance and the Treasurer of GDI U.S. In addition to leading finance and general operations across GDI, she also supports initiatives in building policy, procedure, and systems to effectively run their organization.

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. Elizabeth aspires to grow a flourishing garden.

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.

Habtamu Agaje

Habtamu Agaje is GDI’s Development Impact Bond Compliance and Project Manager. 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).

Steve Bergen

Steve is Senior Manager of Operations and Special Projects at GDI. He has over 11 years of experience in program and project management, international compliance issues, and nonprofit leadership roles. 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 comes from CRDF Global where he was most recently 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). Before joining CRDF Global, Mr. Bergen worked at American University, where he also received his M.A. in International Affairs in 2006 and a B.A. in International Studies in 2003. In his free time he enjoys tennis, traveling, baking, and running.

Craig Courtney

​Craig is a Senior Advisor to the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, specializing in innovative solutions for international development finance. Previously, he was Director, External Relations at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), where his duties included overseeing all resource mobilization matters, strategic communications/advocacy and private sector partnerships. Prior to his development finance work, he acquired extensive experience raising capital and providing strategic advice to governments and corporations while working for over 20 years in investment banking in Asia and Europe. Craig holds a MBA from Cornell University and a BA in Economics and Viticulture/Enology from the University of California, Davis.

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 to change traditional practices of global development.

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 IndexPresident’s Young Professionals Program of LiberiaPrecision Agriculture for 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 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.

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.

Denis Slootsky

Denis is a member of GDI’s finance and administration team, where he ensures effective accounting management for the organization. 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 Staff Accountant at ACDI/VOCA, and as a Finance and Information Manager at Fair Chance, a nonprofit consulting organization in Washington DC. Prior to moving to the United States, 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 Kiev, Ukraine.

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.

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).

Cyrielle Auffray

Cyrielle is an accomplished strategy and project management professional, with significant experience in the international development space. Prior to joining GDI, she 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.

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.

Ruofei Chen

Ruofei is an Associate at GDI and works in GDI’s China portfolio. Currently she focuses in work with Huiling, Narada and the Model district initiative. She brings over 5 years corporate experience as a brand and marketing manager at Colgate Palmolive in China, Peru and Colombia. Prior to GDI, Ruofei was the teaching and external relationships manager for Teach for China and a summer consultant with UNICEF in Jakarta. She holds a Masters in International Development with a Double Concentration in Program Evaluation and Corporate Social Responsibility from Emory University, and a B.S. in Biotechnology from Sun Yat-Sen University in China. Ruofei is native Chinese with business fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Spanish. Ruofei spent her childhood in both Peru and China and in her spare time loves doing long treks, diving, and watching sunrises/sunsets!

Lucia Choi

Lucia is an Associate at GDI. She brings two years of experience as a Creative & Marketing Manager at Leftbrain Creative, managing CSR projects in Taiwan & mainland China. She also founded the “Student Take Initiative Rally” in 2014 to promote efficient volunteering and “learn before you serve” principle. She works with universities across the Greater China Area to develop a comprehensive training, execution, and exit model for student-initiated volunteer projects.  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.

Jamilah Corbitt

Jamilah is a brand strategist, marketer, and community builder with over a decade of experience in managing people, creating processes to increase productivity, and effective problem solving. She comes to GDI’s Brand, Marketing, and Communications team after a successful career in digital marketing as an agency owner for seven years before exiting. Jamilah is a startup enthusiast, award winning speaker, and a DC Top 30 Under 30 alum who believes in cultivating the next generation of leaders and defying the status quo. She has participated in TEDx events and has been featured in several media outlets over the course of her career. After hours, Jamilah loves creating content and spending time with family.

Inga Finkova

Inga Finkova is GDI’s Accounting Assistant, CPA Candidate and Certified Bookkeeper. Inga 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 has experience in public accounting for more than 5 years, where she gained lots of experience working for various sizes companies in different industries. Inga holds a B.A. in Accounting, Analysis & Audit from Ulyanovsk State Technical University in Russia and A.A. in Accounting from Montgomery College in Maryland, USA. Inga is a mother of two beautiful girls, loves traveling and yoga.

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).

Alexandra Greig-Duarte

Alexandra is an Administrative Assistant at GDI. She is a recent graduate in the field of Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and spent her senior year abroad in France where she earned a dual degree in International Affairs and Strategies. Alexandra has worked as an administrative assistant since 2016 for an international school in Southern California focused on language and travel. She’s experienced with leading small teams, creating efficient management systems, and assisting with interdepartmental organization.

Kelly He

Kelly is a Senior Associate at GDI in East Asia.  She works in the realm of social service and strategic philanthropy.  She was a researcher at the Center of Ageing, Hong Kong University, focusing on scientific community elderly service in China.  She also served as a Deputy Director at Shenzhen Innovation Corporate Social Responsibility Development Center to conduct philanthropic advisory and impact investment.  Kelly is a clinical supervisor of social work postgraduate students in Beijing Normal University.  She holds a BA with honors in Social Work from Nanjing Finance and Economy University and a Master in Social work from the University of Hong Kong.  Kelly is Chinese and fluent in Mandarin, English, and Cantonese.  She is also a bookworm and photography enthusiast in her free time.

Meredith Husar

Meredith comes to GDI with a background in video production and storytelling campaigns. In her role as Senior Associate on GDI’s Brand, Marketing, and Communications team, she helps GDI and its incubated initiatives build digital communications strategies that drive real-world impact. Prior to joining GDI, she 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 training her new dog Jace or listening to NPR podcasts.

Mallika Kirti

Mallika brings four years of strategy consulting experience across multiple sectors in social impact. Prior to joining GDI, she was a Senior Consultant at Dalberg Advisors where she provided insights and strategic guidance in areas as diverse as access to energy, ICT for development, and education, among others.

She was part of the team that wrote the 2018 Global Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report for IFC’s Lighting Global Team and the team developing a sector strategy for the clean cooking sector. She worked with a large multinational firm to identify viable investment options for them to increase clean energy access in refugee and other displaced settings. In other projects, she drove research and analysis to identify agriculture finance mechanisms suitable for different contexts ranging from mechanization to risk-mitigation, worked on digital strategies, including a project with large technology firm where she evaluated their digital literacy program for rural women and highlighted ways of using digital technology to improve gender outcomes, and conducted human-centered design research in Indonesia to understand the users’ experience with the national digital identity card.

Prior to joining Dalberg, she has gathered and analyzed microfinance data in Mali, assisted terminally ill patients as a hospital chaplain and helped design the process and evaluation metrics for Ashoka University’s admissions office. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College, and a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard University.

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.

Robert Rogers

Rob comes to GDI with over five years of experience in global development, working with research organizations, UN agencies, and governments. Most recently, he worked with J-PAL at MIT to support the scale up of anti-poverty programs backed by randomized control trials. Rob is fluent in English and French and has worked and lived in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Vietnam, France, and the US. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Sciences Po Aix. Rob aspires to be an average mountain biker and an above-average maker of craft cocktails.

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.

Loretta Tackie

Loretta Tackie is GDI’s Project Accountant and CPA candidate. She specializes in Accounting for GDI’s projects. 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.

Is This You?

INITIATIVE LEADERSHIP

Our work would not be possible without the experienced leaders behind our incubated initiatives. Learn more about the work they are doing by browsing our initiatives or navigating to initiative websites through these leaders’ bios.

  • Margo Carlen
    Margo Carlen
  • Mikael L. Clason Höök
    Mikael L. Clason Höök
  • Timothy Docking
    Timothy Docking
  • John Kluge
    John Kluge
  • Patricia Mechael
    Patricia Mechael
  • Brian Milder
    Brian Milder
  • Christopher Neilson
    Christopher Neilson
  • Moitreyee Sinha
    Moitreyee Sinha
  • Dan Zook
    Dan Zook
Margo Carlen

Margo is the Project Director of Business for Health Solutions. She has enjoyed a diverse career in corporate & development finance, training and CSR and is experienced working in large multinationals and the non-profit sector.  She is passionate about doing business for social good.  She has a Diploma in CSR from the University of Geneva (thesis – Opportunities to increase Swiss Private Sector Engagement in Global Health), is a Chartered Accountant and is a board member of the Swiss non-profit Terre des Hommes Schweiz.

Mikael L. Clason Höök

Mikael is the Director of the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning LabRural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, and is tasked with providing strategy support, engaging with partners, coordinating research, and managing the lab’s day-to-day workstream. Mikael is a development professional and entrepreneur with experience in agriculture, nutrition, private sector development, rural finance, renewable energy, technology for development, and fragile states.​ ​Prior to joining the Learning Lab, Mikael launched a successful business providing sustainable materials for the green building industry in New York, and a social enterprise providing solar solutions for humanitarian organizations in Africa. Previously, he led the design and implementation of an innovative World Bank survey to collect real time social and economic data in South Sudan. Mikael ​also ​spent three years in Afghanistan with Chemonics International supporting USAID agriculture programs​.​ Mikael holds an MPA/ID from Harvard’s Kennedy School where he was awarded the Public Service Fellowship.

Timothy Docking

Timothy W. Docking, Ph.D. is a Managing Director at the Refugee Investment Network. He is a Washington, D.C.-based business executive with twenty years of emerging market and public sector experience. As an intrapreneur, he worked at the intersection of business, technology and development and built a new $100M revenue stream at IBM; as a public sector executive and manager, he helped start up the MCC (U.S. government agency); and as a scholar, he directed Africa research at a D.C. think tank. Docking has testified before Congress, published and commented widely in the media, is a member of multiple national and international boards including the current co-Chair of the Private Sector Advisory Council at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and has helped form and implement policy at highest levels of government as a White House Fellow. Docking holds a Ph.D. in comparative politics from Boston University and has lived and worked in more than 40 countries.

John Kluge

John W. Kluge is the Founder and Managing Director of the Refugee Investment Network. He is a systems entrepreneur and committed social justice activist. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Alight Fund, an investment and financing company for refugee and host country entrepreneurs. Previously, he co-founded Eirene, a multi-family-office impact investing fund, Toilet Hackers, a social enterprise dedicated to scaling access to dignified sanitation for the 2.5 billion people without a toilet. Kluge currently serves as a Trustee of Babson College, as a member of the Center for Strategic International Studies’ Taskforce on Global Forced Migration, as a Director of the Fonderie 47 Foundation, as the Co-Chair of the Virginia Policy Entrepreneurship Lab, and as a member of the Human Rights Commission of Charlottesville. He is the co-author of the book, Charity & Philanthropy for Dummies (Wylie, 2013), the author of John Kluge: Stories (Columbia University Press, 2008) and has written about the intersection of business and social impact for Forbes and Conscious Company Magazine. Kluge holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an MBA from the Babson F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.

Patricia Mechael

Dr. Patricia (Patty) Mechael has dedicated over 20 years to catalyzing global health movements, including 15 years to harnessing the power of mobile technology to drive groundbreaking innovation to improve health outcomes and strengthen health systems.  Patty is a co-founder, principal and policy lead at HealthEnabled and the Global Digital Health Index (GDHI).

Patty is celebrated for her roles as a digital health thought leader, writer, researcher, professor and former executive director of the mHealth Alliance. She is a British Council UK Education Social Impact Award Recipient, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow and Resident, Johns Hopkins University Knowledge for the World Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipient, member of the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and co-editor of the book: mHealth in Practice: Mobile technology for health promotion in the developing world. Her writing focuses on translating science, technology, innovation, and public health for the general public as well as women in leadership.  She is a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and visiting professor at Princeton University.

Dr. Mechael holds a PhD in Public Health and Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Masters in Health Science in International Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.

Brian Milder

Brian brings 13 years of experience as an innovator and field builder in agricultural finance to his dual role as the CEO of Stawi Africa and Director of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF). He previously served as Chief Innovation Officer at Root Capital, a pioneering impact lender for agriculture enterprises in Africa and Latin America. In this role, he co-founded CSAF to promote industry standards and best practices for lending to agricultural enterprises globally and to disseminate data and learning for this growing sector. He also formed the impact team to align mission objectives with investment decisions; managed advisory services related to financial training and mobile technology; and developed new initiatives, including an innovation fund to finance staple food crops in Africa, a multi-stakeholder initiative to address the coffee leaf rust outbreak in Latin America, and a pay-for-results mechanism to reward high-impact loans. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Harvard University.

Christopher Neilson

Christopher A. Neilson, the Founder and CEO of ConsiliumBots, is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and holds a PhD in Economics from Yale University. Professor Neilson led the research that serves as the basis for ConsiliumBots’ educational search products – focusing particularly on how consumer knowledge and beliefs affect choices and how policy interventions can generate shifts in consumer and provider behavior at the individual level by shifting these beliefs or by making choices and participation easier.

Moitreyee Sinha

Moitreyee is the Chief Executive Officer of citiesRISE. She brings extensive experience working across sectors to address the root causes and complex interdependencies that stand in the way of healthy communities. Through her work at the GE Foundation and the Global Development Incubator, she has shaped multiple national programs through scaling innovations and public-private partnerships for emergency care, maternal and child health, clean water, mobile technology, and education. Moitreyee has a PhD in Physics, has received GE’s highest technical team award and the Kingdom of Cambodia’s Highest Award for Philanthropy.

Dan Zook

Dan is the Executive Director of ISF at the Global Development Incubator and has a passion for bringing inclusive agriculture and supply chain financing solutions to market. Based in New York, Dan directs ISF’s portfolio of projects related to investment advisory, financial inclusion, and enterprise strategy in the rural finance sector. This includes managing complex stakeholder partnerships, supporting early stage development of blended finance structures, and engaging on technical design of novel rural financing models. He also contributes to ISF’s research agenda and is a published thought leader in the inclusive finance space. He previously worked as a strategy consultant specializing in financial services for Dalberg and Booz & Company where he led dozens of engagements focused on inclusive financial services, social impact, and organizational transformation in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Dan has also worked for Standard Chartered Bank in the UAE and he started his career working on a microfinance program for Plan International in Vietnam. Dan holds an MBA with honors from Cornell’s Johnson Business School and a BA from Princeton University in neuroscience.

BOARD

Our board includes 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
  • Nazanin Ash
    Nazanin Ash
  • Xi Chen
    Xi Chen
  • Robert E. Duggins
    Robert E. Duggins
  • Kate Montgomery
    Kate Montgomery
  • Bilha Ndirangu
    Bilha Ndirangu
  • Elchi Nowrojee
    Elchi Nowrojee
  • 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 and a member and the Chair of GDI’s Hong Kong 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, and currently serves on the Boards of Aceli Africa, citiesRISE, the Institute for Transformative Technologies, and the Refugee Investment Network, and the advisory board of Upstart Co-Lab.

Prior to founding GDI, Andrew was a Global Operating Partner at Dalberg Global Advisors. During that time, he helped design and launch ANDE and served as the founding chairman 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 pruning cedar groves in his backyard.

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.

Nazanin Ash

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

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.

Robert E. Duggins

Robert (Bob) Duggins is a member of GDI’s Hong Kong Board. Bob retired as Deputy Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Asset Management Limited, the London based holding company for all global asset management businesses within the HSBC Bank Group. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific of HSBC Asset Management Asia Pacific Limited and Managing Director of the global retail (mutual fund) business. He also served on a number of boards for the group, including the board of HSBC Investment Bank plc. Bob joined the HSBC Group in 1993 as Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Life Group where he had responsibility for all life insurance, pension, and retail investment funds. He lived and worked in Asia for more than 9 of his 26 years in financial services. Previous to joining HSBC, he worked in the insurance industry in senior management positions in the United States and Asia. He continues to serve on boards for organizations involved in non-profit work in China and mentors several individuals in the USA and Asia. He and his wife, Charla, have been married for 50 years and currently reside in The Woodlands, Texas, just north of Houston.

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. 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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