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Staff

Elisabeth Ballreich, Investment Specialist, Women’s World Banking Asset Management
Jaclyn Berfond, Specialist, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation
Diana Boncheva-Gooley, Manager, Product Development
Kathryn Glynn-Broderick , Manager, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation
Sarah Buitoni, Specialist, Leadership and Diversity
Molly Burns, Associate, Development and Strategic Partnerships
Tricia Callender, Director, Research
Marina Dimova, Managing Director of Design and Innovation
Yashmin Fernandes, Director, Development and Strategic Partnerships
Rachel Field, Director, Leadership and Diversity
Meghan Flaherty, Project Manager, Project Management Office
Sam Gagakuma, Manager, Administration
Ying (Susan) Gao, Associate, Consumer Insights & Engagement
Angie Goenaga, Private Equity Investment Analyst, Women’s World Banking Asset Management
Casey Gregory, Director, Accounting
Rokaya Helfer, Manager, Office of the President
Freeha Ihsan, Fellow, Project Management Office
Taharah Isa, Director, Human Resources
Christina “CJ” Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management
Veronica Karpoich, Project Manager, Project Management Office
Anjum Khalidi, Project Manager, Women’s World Banking Asset Management
Gil Lacson, Director, Business Development and Network Management
Andrew Landry, Director, Project Management Office
Yrenilsa Lopez, Investment Officer, Capital Partners LP
Hong Mah, Associate, Information Technology
Angelika Mendes-Lowney, Manager, Development and Strategic Partnerships
Mehrdad “Mehi” Mirpourian, Senior Data Analyst, Research
Thiviya Navaratnam, Associate, Compliance
Ryan Newton, Manager, Product Development
Fiona Okumu, Administrative Assistant, Executive Leadership Team
Jorge Ordonez, Manager, Information Technology
Gilles Renouil, Director, Product Development
Alejandra Rios, Manager, Product Development
Sabrina Lee Sanchez, Manager, Development and Strategic Partnerships
Maria Sanchez-Smith, Specialist, Leadership and Diversity
Nithyashri Sharma, Specialist, Strategy
Shilpi Shastri, Specialist, Product Development
Ana Singh, Associate, Knowledge and Communications
Kerry Stephens, Specialist, Development and Strategic Partnerships 
Praswistiadi Syamsuri, Project Manager, Southeast Asia, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development 
Ker Thao, Design Specialist, Design and Innovation
Manasa Yeturu, Specialist, Design and Innovation


 

Elisabeth Ballreich, Investment Specialist, Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Elisabeth Ballreich is an Investment Specialist at WWB Asset Management, a subsidiary of Women’s World Banking, which directs equity investment into inclusive finance institutions in the Women’s World Banking network. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Elisabeth was an Investment Officer with the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB) based in Washington, DC where she was responsible for sourcing, structuring, and executing debt investments in sustainable businesses and financial institutions serving the base of the pyramid in Latin America. Before joining the IDB, Elisabeth worked as a Project Leader for Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where she consulted a diverse set of institutional clients on their impact investment strategies. Previously Elisabeth also worked for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Mexico and the Boston Consulting Group in Vienna. Elisabeth holds a Master’s in International Economics and International Relations and has completed all three levels of the CFA Institute exam. She is fluent in German, English and Spanish.


Jaclyn Berfond, Specialist, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation

Jaclyn Berfond is a Specialist for the Research, Monitoring and Evaluation team of Women’s World Banking. She started working for the organization in 2011, managing knowledge and capacity building programs for the organization’s network of microfinance institutions. She also leads monitoring initiatives, including the analysis of network financial and social performance data, and the Women’s World Banking’s Gender Performance Initiative to create a framework of indicators in the subject. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and Economics from Boston University, and a Master’s of Business Administration in International Organizations from the University of Geneva. Jaclyn recently participated in Women Advancing Microfinance Network group in New York City event as an Industry Leader speaker. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, she worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management.

Diana Boncheva Gooley, Manager, Digital Financial Services

Diana Boncheva Gooley leads digital financial services initiatives for Women’s World Banking’s financial inclusion work in emerging markets. Previously, Diana headed Strategic Partnerships and Projects at Mondato as a management consultant specialized in digital finance/mobile Fintech. Diana also has launched and managed projects such as mobile parking, ticketing, and debt collection for Paythru, a Fintech startup in the UK. She began her career in digital finance as an analyst in mobile money developing some of the first research in the space including evaluation frameworks and market studies. At the same time, she also managed a remittance price comparison portal.

In her previous life, Diana worked in free trade, more specifically on NAFTA-related topics. Diana has been supporting women-focused organizations as a volunteer and is the co-founder of GeekGirl LA chapter. She holds an international affairs and economics undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar College and a graduate degree from SAIS Johns Hopkins.  

Kathryn Glynn-Broderick, Manager, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation

Kathryn Glynn-Broderick is a Manager for Women’s World Banking Research, Monitoring & Evaluation team. She has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative research, having worked with leading academic institutions and local non-profits in the fields of policy innovation, economic development, entrepreneurship and globalization. She is charged with managing various programmatic research initiatives and designing and implementing key research questions and methodology. Ms. Glynn-Broderick has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and an MBA and BA from Emory University.

Sarah Buitoni, Specialist, Leadership and Diversity

Sarah is responsible for designing and delivering learning solutions that help global financial inclusion leaders better serve women customers and build diverse talent. As a certified trainer and facilitator she works with leaders and managers in the classroom, as well as virtually, to build their capabilities and achieve business objectives. She also leads Women’s World Banking’s efforts to understand the impact of its leadership and diversity work. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Sarah consulted on post-conflict and alternative education initiatives for UNICEF. She has also worked with the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York and Uganda, Innovations for Poverty Action in Mexico, and the United Nations Development Program.

Sarah holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a BA in Latin American studies and Spanish from Barnard College. She is trained in the Co-Active® coaching methodology and certified in the Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks® 360 Assessment Suite, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) and the Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI™).

Molly Burns, Associate, Development and Strategic Partnerships

Molly Burns joined Women’s World Banking as Development Associate. Prior to joining the Global Team, Molly worked at Mercado Global, a nonprofit that empowers women artisans through market access, providing connection to major retailers, community-based education, and microloans. At Mercado Global, Molly worked in development and community outreach (one year in New York, three years in Guatemala). Before that, Molly worked for Abriendo Mentes in Costa Rica and Della LA in Los Angeles. Molly has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a minor in History from Loyola Marymount University.

Tricia Callender, Director, Research

Marina Dimova, Managing Director of Design and Innovation

Marina Dimova is a designer with 12 years of experience developing, implementing and scaling innovative solutions to social problems. She uses insights from behavioral science and new technologies to build effective customer-centric products and services, and embed innovation into teams and organizations. As a Managing Director of Design and Innovation at Women’s World Banking, she focuses on transforming the strategic ideation and solution design processes of the organization, and identifying and designing innovative financial solutions for its clients.

Prior to that, she was a Vice President at ideas42, where she designed, tested and scaled products, processes and programs in consumer finance, international development and financial inclusion. Her designs have focused on increasing the take-up and usage of financial products and improving the financial management behaviors of low-income clients. Before that, Marina led strategy for a social enterprise developing a youth employment program in West Africa. She has also worked on agricultural value chains and private sector development at the World Bank, and in finance and healthcare consulting.

Marina holds an MPA in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School, and a BA in Economics and Government from Franklin & Marshall College.

Yashmin Fernandes, Director, Development and Strategic Partnerships

Yashmin Fernandes is a Director for the Development and Strategic Partnerships Team. She joined the organization in 2016. In this role, Yashmin develops and maintains strategic relationships with corporations, foundations, and government agencies to support Women’s World Banking in achieving its mission and expanding its funding base. She also works to identify the value proposition and areas for collaboration to build ongoing partnerships. Her previous experience includes marketing and strategy positions at the US Justice Department, CEB, Accenture, Wachovia and TD Ameritrade. She has also consulted for Malaria No More and the Clinton Health Access Initiative. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She has volunteered for Taproot, TEAK Fellowship and The Denan Project. She speaks fluent Spanish and conversational French. 

Rachel Field, Director, Leadership and Diversity

Rachel Field is the Director of Leadership and Diversity at Women’s World Banking. She joined the team in September of 2015 and is responsible for the design and implementation of programs that enhance leadership capacity and foster gender diversity in the financial inclusion sector. She and her team develop and deliver customized programs globally; supporting leaders of financial institutions as they face the demands of an increasingly complex environment and developing programs to create a pipeline of women leaders to better serve the women’s market.

Rachel’s previous experience spans the corporate and non-profit sectors. At Avon, Rachel managed a global executive-sponsored women’s strategy across multiple markets to position the company as a preeminent employer and brand of choice for women around the world. Prior to Avon, Rachel established the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at AXA US and developed and delivered a multi-year diversity plan for AXA Spain. In the non-profit sector, Rachel implemented programs that addressed the needs of at-risk youth and their families in foster care, the juvenile justice system, and community-based youth programs.

Rachel holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and a BA in Psychology. She is trained in the Co-Active coaching methodology and certified in the Lominger 360 assessment tool and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). She currently serves on the board of Harlem Link, an elementary charter school in New York City.

Meghan Flaherty, Project Manager, Project Management Office

Meghan Flaherty serves as a Project Manager in Women’s World Banking’s Project Management Office, where she collaborates across teams to generate insights and drive results towards greater financial inclusion for women. Since joining Women’s World Banking as a Fellow in 2015, her work has focused on developing digital and savings solutions to enable partner institutions to better serve the women’s market. She also managed the organization’s strategy evaluation and design of a new strategic plan, and engaged 100+ stakeholders through the network’s 2015 Global Meeting. Her previous experience includes women-focused economic development work with the Peace Corps and FINCA International. Meghan earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MPA from the University of Washington Evans School, and speaks Spanish and French.

She can be found on Twitter @megflhrty.

Sam Gagakuma, Manager, Administration

Sam Gagakuma serves as Office Manager at the Administration’s team of Women’s World Banking. He has been part of the organization since 1992, managing the general workspace of the organization and providing logistical and administrative support onsite and for external events. He graduated from New York University as a Certified Translator, and as Legal Secretary from Lehman College at the City University of New York. Before joining Women’s World Banking, Sam worked with the University of Ghana, Air Afrique and Gaseteria Oil Corporation.

Ying (Susan) Gao, Associate, Consumer Insights & Engagement

Ying (Susan) Gao joined Women’s World Banking through the “Women for the World” post-graduation internship created between the organization and her alma mater Bryn Mawr College in 2013. She is now the Associate of Business Development within the Product Development Team. She provides support for different aspects of product development as part of technical assistance to partner financial institutions, with a focus on strengthening and growing the network. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. She is a native English and Chinese (Mandarin) speaker.

Angie Goenaga, Private Equity Investment Analyst, Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Angie Goenaga joined Women’s World Banking as Private Equity Investment Analyst with Women’s World Banking Asset Management. In this role, she conducts financial analysis on portfolio companies and prospective investments and sector and market research and provide general support to the investment team. She previously worked as an investment banker for Dinamo, a boutique investment bank in the Andean region, where she executed several transactions focused on development projects and agriculture. She also worked for Titularizadora Colombiana, the largest securitization company in Colombia, as a market development and investment analyst. Angie has an MS Sustainability Management from Columbia University and a B.E. Industrial Engineering at Universidad de los Andes. She received a Merit Scholarship SPS from Columbia University in Spring 2018. She was also the president of the Latin America Sustainability Management student club at Columbia University.

Casey Gregory, Director, Accounting

Casey Gregory is the Accounting Director at Women’s World Banking, responsible for maintaining Women’s World Banking’s financial records as well as developing and implementing systems for collecting, analyzing, verifying, and reporting financial information. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Casey worked as a public accountant for ten years, serving both for-profit and non-profit entities throughout New York City. She holds a BS in Accounting and an MBA in Management from Wagner College.

Freeha Ihsan, Fellow, Project Management Office

Freeha Ihsan joined Women’s World Banking as a Fellow in the Project Management Office. She supports project implementation for our market solutions work, coordinating with different teams for optimal utilization of resources to drive better results for financial inclusion of women. She previously worked as a Program Officer at World Learning Inc., in Pakistan, a USAID-funded project for women empowerment via technical training and entrepreneurship. She holds a BA in Public Administration from Fatima Jinnah Women University, Pakistan and a Master’s Degree of Science in Management from University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan.

Rokaya Helfer, Manager, Office of the President

Rokaya Helfer serves as the Manager of Executive Communications and Board Relations in the Office of the President. In this role, she works closely with Women’s World Banking’s Boards of Directors and Leadership Team to ensure the successful delivery of all governance obligations and board initiatives, in addition to leading the development and dissemination of various strategic communications from the Office of the President/CEO. Rokaya also manages Women’s World Banking’s Africa and Southeast Asia Advisory Councils, and acts as a liaison for the Women’s World Banking Capital Partners, LP fund.

Rokaya previously worked at Richards, Kibbe & Orbe LLP and Thomson Reuters. She holds a B.A. in History and International Affairs from Boston University.

Taharah Isa, Director, Human Resources

 

Tharun Jarugumalli, Quantitative Data Analyst, Research, Monitoring & Evaluation

Tharun Jarugumalli is a Quantitative Data Analyst for Women’s World Banking’s Research, Monitoring & Evaluation team. He joined the organization in 2017. In this role, he serves as primary resource for data analytics/reporting needs, including reporting, building dashboards, segmentation, trends analysis, predictive modeling, inferential and regression analysis and advanced analytics. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Tharun worked as a Research Associate at Oklahoma State University. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from SCSVMV University, Kanchipuram (India) and a Master’s in Industrial Engineering and Management from Oklahoma State University.  

Christina “CJ” Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Christina (CJ) Juhasz is the Chief Investment Officer of Women’s World Banking Asset Management. She has worked for the organization since 2007, managing the Capital Partners Fund, directing equity investment into Women’s World Banking’s network members and other women-focused microfinance institutions, in order to provide responsible growth capital and demonstrate the business case for investing in women. Prior to joining the organization, she worked for the Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, and the U.S. Army. CJ holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy (West Point) and a Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She is also a 2013 Eisenhower Fellow.

Follow CJ on Twitter: @cjjuhasz

Veronica Karpoich, Project Manager, Project Management Office

Veronica Karpoich serves as a Project Manager in Women’s World Banking’s Project Management Office, where she collaborates across teams to generate insights and drive results towards greater financial inclusion for women. Since joining Women’s World Banking as a member of the Finance Team in 2013, her work has focused on managing compliance and reporting for the organization. Additionally, she has been involved in projects focused on developing credit solutions to enable partner institutions to better serve the women’s market. Her previous experience includes economic development work with a local Community Development Financial Institution and at an academic research institute focused on development in Brazil and Cuba. Veronica was awarded a Ricci Fellowship by Fordham University to complete a Master’s degree in International Political Economy and Development, which she completed in August 2016. She also completed a certificate program in Emerging Markets and Country Risk Analysis.

Anjum Khalidi, Project Manager, Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Anjum Khalidi is a Project Manager, Fund Launch for Women’s World Banking Asset Management, a subsidiary of Women’s World Banking, which directs equity investment into inclusive finance institutions. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Anjum was a Client Relationship Manager at MIX where she deepened MIX’s relationship with its premium clients and users including donors and investors in the financial inclusion sector. Previously, she has worked for the New America Foundation, MicroFinance Transparency, UNDP, CARE India, the MicroCredit Summit Campaign, CECOEDECON (an MFI in rural Rajasthan) and Project Enterprise (a CDFI in Harlem) with responsibility for strengthening relationships with partners, clients and donors. Anjum holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Syracuse University. She is fluent in Hindi/Urdu and English.

Andrew Landry, Director, Project Management Office

Gil Lacson, Director, Business Development and Network Management

Gil Lacson is the Director of Business Development and Network Management at Women’s World Banking. He started working for the organization in 1999 and is currently responsible for ensuring that network members find value-adding connection and engagement with Women’s World Banking and the rest of the network. His work focuses on finding and creating opportunities to strengthen and grow the network. He earned a B.S. in Business Economics from the University of the Philippines School of Economics and a Master’s in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management. Before joining Women’s World Banking, Gil worked for TSPI Development Corporation in the Philippines.

Yrenilsa Lopez, Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Yrenilsa Lopez is an Investment Officer of Women’s World Banking Asset Management, a subsidiary of Women’s World Banking which directs equity investments into inclusive finance institutions in the Women’s World Banking network. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Yrenilsa was an Investment Officer with BlueOrchard Finance based in Lima, Peru and prior to BlueOrchard, Yrenilsa had been the Relationship Manager for Latin America for Developing World Markets based in Stamford, Connecticut. Yrenilsa began her career with SME Finance Department of the Overseas Private Investment Corporations (OPIC). She has completed all three levels of the CFA Institute exam series and speaks fluent English, Spanish and conversational Portuguese.

Hong Mah, Associate, Information Technology

 

Angelika Mendes-Lowney, Manager, Development and Strategic Partnerships

Angelika Mendes-Lowney’s background is in fundraising and communications in international development and humanitarian assistance. Her experience includes strategically working with international private donors to increase income for programs supporting refugees in Asia, Africa and Europe, developing and implementing strategic fundraising and communications strategies, delivering training and coordinating a global media program.

Before joining Women’s World Banking, Angelika worked for Jesuit Refugee Service in eastern Africa and their head office in Rome, Italy and for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin, Germany. She holds a Masters in Philosophy and Theology from University of Munich, a Certificate in Fundraising from New York University and a Certificate in Development Studies from Munich School of Philosophy.

Angelika volunteers for the Refugee Immigration Fund, serves on the advisory board of Voices of Faith, sings in the Choral Society of Grace Church and is a German native.

Mehrdad “Mehi” Mirpourian, Senior Data Analyst, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation

Mehrdad (Mehi) Mirpourian joined Women’s World Banking as a Senior Data Analyst with the Research team. In this role, Mehi deploys advanced analytics to build predictive modeling, customer and market segmentation, and provide better insight into the data to support different projects and teams within Women’s World Banking. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, he was a Statistician (Fraud Data Scientist) with the New York City Department of Finance. Mehi holds the following degrees: MS in Statistics (Baruch College), MS in Management (Polytechnic University of Milan), BS in Industrial Engineering (K.N.Toosi University of Technology), Non Degree Graduate Studies in Mathematics and Computer Science (ongoing program – Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU). He is a member of the Social Innovation Group of Polytechnic University of Milan and the Iranian Society of Industrial Engineers.

Ryan Newton, Manager, Product Development

Ryan Newton is a Manager on the Product Development team at Women’s World Banking. She has been with the organization since 2011, responsible for growing the savings practice at Women’s World Banking, specifically in the areas of youth and adult savings product development, financial education, and alternative delivery channels. In this role, she delivers technical assistance to network members; manages project deliverables; and positions and promotes Women’s World Banking’s savings work across the industry.

She has prior experience developing financially inclusive products and promoting financial capability both in the nonprofit and private financial services sectors. Ryan holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a B.A. in International Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Spain. Ryan is a native English and Spanish speaker and fluent in French.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanNewton_

Thiviya Navaratnam, Associate, Compliance

Thiviya Navaratnam joined Women’s World Banking in 2016 as Compliance Associate in the Finance Team. In her role, Thiviya enforces procurement guidelines and negotiates and executes agreements such as contracts and memoranda of understanding. She also facilitates financial transactions with vendors and consultants. Prior to joining the organization, Thiviya worked at the Ralph Lauren Corporation. She earned her BA in Political Science and Economics at Skidmore College and is currently pursuing a Masters in Development Economics at Fordham University’s International Political and Economy Development program. She also volunteers with PEARL, a non-profit organization that promotes the advocacy of rights of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.

Fiona Okumu, Administrative Assistant, Executive Leadership Team

Fiona Okumu joined Women’s World Banking in 2017 as administrative assistant to the Executive Leadership Team. In this role, Fiona provides critical support to the most senior members of the team, managing calendars, processing expense reports, handling travel arrangements, ensuring proper document management, coordinating donor communications, as well as other providing other support and participating in projects as assigned. Fiona is formerly a Legal Assistant at Silverstein & Saperstein Attorneys. She has a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Forensic Psychology and M.A in Criminology and Justice from St. John’s University and is fluent in Swahili and English. 

Jorge Ordonez, Manager, Information Technology

Jorge Ordonez is the Information Technology Manager for Women’s World Banking. He joined the organization in 2012, assisting with the installation, maintenance, and operation of local area networks and associated computer hardware and software. His work allows staff to reliably use this web of networking technology to communicate, share, store, and process information. He holds a BS on Computer Information Systems. Before becoming part of Women’s World Banking, he was Staff Sergeant at the USARMY. He is fluent in Spanish.

Gilles Renouil, Director, Product Development

Gilles Renouil joined Women’s World Banking in 2015 to lead the insurance practice for the Product Development Team. In this role, he is responsible for managing all insurance related engagements, replicating existing products with network members and associates, developing new services and providing strategic direction in the insurance area. Gilles brings more than 15 years of international insurance and reinsurance expertise. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, he served as a Director at Swiss Re Company Ltd. where he held different roles in risk management and group underwriting strategy. In his last role he was head of market dynamics and opportunities where he developed Swiss Re’s approach to Cyber risk insurance with a team of 15 experts and worked as an operational consultant on the design of an innovative microinsurance product in Nicaragua. Prior to Swiss Re, Gilles worked for Allianz in Germany and Spain, where he developed several innovative products. He holds a MSc. from École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and is a Civil Engineer by training. He speaks fluent French, German, English, Spanish and conversational Modern Greek.

Follow Gilles on Twitter: @faqingwa

Alejandra Rios, Director, Product Development (Credit)

Alejandra Ríos joined Women’s World Banking in 2016 to lead the credit area for the Product Development Team. In this role, she is responsible for managing all strategic credit related engagements, replicating existing products with network members and associates, developing new services and providing strategic direction. Alejandra has over 20 years’ experience in project management, institution-building, strategic planning and credit management in the field of MSME finance. She began her professional career in 1995 with International Project Consult (IPC) where she participated in and managed a number of short and long-term projects in Latin America and Albania. In 1999 she took up a consultancy position with Women’s World Banking for whom she carried out a wide array of projects in Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. These projects consisted of advice and assistance given on such areas as housing programs and housing loans; credit department organisation and management; individual lending methodology; rural lending; staff training and incentive schemes; and IT management. Alejandra joined Sparkassenstiftung fur Internationale Kooperation (SIK) from 2000-2004 as a short-term consultant, responsible for several assignments in the Philippines.

Alejandra holds a Master’s and a Bachelor degree in Economics from the University of Rennes, France, as well as an advanced post-graduate degree on the study of agricultural and industrial projects (University of Rennes). She speaks English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German.  

Sabrina Lee Sanchez, Manager, Development and Strategic Partnerships

Sabrina Lee Sanchez joined Women’s World Banking in June 2015 as a Manager of Development and Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Sabrina manages and develops opportunities for strategic alliances, joint initiatives and public private partnerships, particularly with corporations, as well as Foundations, NGOs and government agencies, which leverage the strengths of all participants and allow Women’s World Banking to simultaneously advance its mission and expand its funding base. The Development team also works cross-functionally with other departments to ensure that the needs of Women’s World Banking and its clients are represented both internally and externally.

Previously, Sabrina worked for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (formerly known as the Partnership for a Drugfree America) where she led the transition of the Above the Influence campaign from the federal to the public sector. Sabrina also worked with over 80 partners for the Medicine Abuse Project, a communications and education campaign. She has also worked at Girl Scouts of the USA where she developed multi-million dollar programs and cultivated corporate and strategic partnerships that provided opportunities for healthy peer social and identity experiences. She holds a bachelor’s degree on Economic Development and Public Policy from New York University volunteers as the Vice President of Programs for Cre8tive YouTH*ink. She is fluent in French.

Maria Sanchez-Smith, Specialist, Leadership and Diversity

Maria Sanchez Smith is a Specialist for Women’s World Banking’s Leadership and Diversity Programs and a Relationship Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.  With over 12 years in the financial inclusion sector, she supports senior executives of microfinance institutions as they face the demands of an increasingly complex environment.  She is currently responsible co-designing, delivering, and customization of in-house leadership and diversity programs that help create a pipeline of women leaders in the financial inclusion space to better serve the women’s market. As a certified trainer, she conducts Management Development Trainings globally to microfinance practitioners.

Prior to joining the Leadership and Diversity Programs team, Ms. Sanchez was a Senior Associate in Women’s World Banking’s Network Engagement Group.  She managed the delivery of knowledge transfer through best-practice workshop, cutting-edge trainings, and technical exchanges among Women’s World Banking’s networks members and other industry players.  She was also responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of these activities.  She has conducted market and client research to enable network members to better understand their customers, and tailor services and products that meet their needs.

Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Ms. Sanchez conducted market research for Arc Finance and the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE).  As a member of the research team on financing sustainable energy through remittance flow in Haiti and the Dominican Republic she assessed whether there is a link between remittances and the purchase of sustainable energy products. Her research led to over $2 million in funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, 2 projects in Haiti and a replication in Bolivia and Africa.

She has a double degree from Columbia University in Economics and Latin American Studies. Ms. Sanchez is fluent in Spanish and English.

Nithyashri Sharma, Specialist, Strategy

Nithyashri Sharma joined Women’s World Banking in 2016 as a Specialist on the Strategy team. In this role, Nithya supports the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Nithya worked as a Senior Consultant at BluePrint Research Group and as a consultant at IMS Consulting Group. She received her BA in English and Economics from Dartmouth College, her MBA from the Yale School of Management and her MA in International Development Economics from Yale University.  

Shilpi Shastri, Specialist, Product Development

Shilpi Shastri joined Women’s World Banking in 2015 as a Microinsurance Specialist for the Product Development team. In this role, she supports partner institutions on market and client research, institutional diagnostics, product design, insurance partner selection and negotiation, product piloting and rollout, across Women’s World Banking’s microinsurance projects globally. Shilpi also helps conduct feasibility studies of insurance products in select markets. Prior to joining the organization, she worked as an Operations Officer at the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group).

Shilpi received her Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Malviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur (India) and her Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India. Shilpi is fluent in English, Hindi and Marathi.

Ana Singh, Associate, Knowledge and Communications

Ana Singh is the Social Media Associate for the Women’s World Banking’s Knowledge and Communications Team. She joined the team in 2017 and contributes to the creation and curation of digital content. Prior to working at Women’s World Banking, she held communications positions at the Columbia School of Social Work and the Princeton Club of New York. She holds a BA in American Studies from Carleton College and a Master’s in Journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism.

Kerry Stephens, Specialist, Knowledge and Communications

Kerry Stephens is a Marketing and Proposal Writing Specialist for the Development and Strategic Partnerships team at Women’s World Banking. She joined the team in 2016. In this position, Kerry leads grant, marketing and proposal writing initiatives and manages the related processes for the organization. She tells our compelling story of helping low-income women build stronger financial futures for themselves and their families to potential partners and funders. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Kerry worked at Verint Systems, Inc. as a Proposal Manager and at Xerox Corporation as a Strategy & Communications Manager. She received her undergraduate degree from Alfred State College.

Praswistiadi “Tio” Syamsuri, Project Manager, Southeast Asia, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development

Praswistiadi “Tio” Syamsuri joined Women’s World Banking as Project manager, Southeast Asia, to help our financial inclusion agenda in Indonesia and to help expand Women’s World Banking’s presence in Southeast Asia. Tio comes to the organization with deep knowledge and experience working with the Indonesian government. For the last 4 years, Tio was engaged by the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Economic Governance to provide support in planning and coordinating the workplan between the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs (CMEA) officials, including the Minister. Furthermore, he was responsible for daily coordination of task forces under the Secretary Minister of CMEA, including providing support for project implementation./p>

Ker Thao, Design Specialist, Design and Innovation

Ker Thao joined Women’s World Banking as a Design Specialist with the Design and Innovation team. In this role, Ker uses a spectrum of design techniques and methodologies to develop high effective innovative financial inclusion solutions for women, in order to establish Women’s World Banking as a thought leader and industry expert. He has a BFA, Graphic Design from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons School of Design.

Manasa Yeturu, Specialist, Design and Innovation

Manasa Yeturu joins Women’s World Banking as a Specialist on the Design team joining the design team to drive design for Incubation Lab and other solutions development projects, develop and help teach the Innovation curriculum for the Leadership and Diversity for Innovation Program, and shape design implementation at Women’s World Banking.

Manasa comes to Women’s World Banking with a diverse experience in strategy and design. A highlight of her professional experiences includes positions at the California Department of Justice where she launched the first innovation unit, a fellow at Good Worldwide Inc, a strategy manager at Good/Corps, a social innovation consultancy that aligns business strategy with social impact, and a teaching fellow at Teach for India. Manasa holds a B.A. in International Development Studies from University of California, Los Angeles, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and an MS in Design Innovation from the Segal Design Institute from Northwestern University.

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