Speaker Biographies

Renée S. Acosta
President & CEO, Global Impact

Renée S. Acosta is president and CEO of Global Impact, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to support humanitarian relief and development programs for the world’s most vulnerable people.

Ms. Acosta has held this position since 1993. During her tenure, Global Impact has grown in annual revenue from $12 million to $131 million, and has raised more than $1 billion for charitable organizations.

Ms. Acosta oversees policy development and implementation, fundraising and management for Global Impact. In addition to supporting critical international programs, Global Impact manages the two largest workplace giving campaigns in the world: the Combined Federal Campaign–Overseas (CFC-O), for all overseas commands of the Department of Defense, and the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA), for all federal workers in the Washington, DC region.

In fiscal year 2007–2008, Global Impact raised more than $131 million through workplace giving campaigns and funds raised through campaign management, strategic partnerships and the management of donor advised funds.

Under Ms. Acosta’s leadership, Global Impact was honored with the Arab American Institute Foundation’s 2007 Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Award for International Achievement; the E-philanthropy 2006 award for technology innovations in campaign management software; the National Alliance for Choice in Giving 2004 Excellence Award for distinguished performance, leadership and innovation in the field of workplace giving campaign management; Partnership Award from Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen; numerous awards from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for CFC innovation and leadership for management of the CFC-Overseas and the CFCNCA; and the Humanitarian Service Award, Heifer International.

Ms. Acosta also serves as president of Global Reach, which was incorporated in 2008 to address the challenge of maximizing the resources and harnessing the capabilities of the private sector and government to deliver services to people in crises.

Ms. Acosta’s career in the philanthropic arena includes previous positions as Director, Resource Development, United Way of America; Vice President, Strategic Development, United Way Sacramento Area; President, Diabetes Association of Sacramento; and a variety of program and administrative positions prior to 1980.

Born in Wisconsin and raised in Sacramento, California, Ms. Acosta was named Woman of the Year (Sacramento, California) and YWCA Young Woman to Watch. She is currently a member of the Bretton Woods Committee.


Rosemary Barker Aragon
Past District Governor, Rotary International

Rosemary served as the Rotary International District Governor in 2002-2003. District 5030 covers the Seattle-King county area.

The Rotary International President appointed her as a Membership Coordinator in 2005-2008 and as the Public Image Resource Coordinator in 2009-2011 for Rotary Districts in Washington, Oregon, Northern California & Nevada, and British Columbia Canada. She served the International President as the Water Resources Coordinator for this same geographic area in 2006-2007 and previously as Coordinator for the Health Concerns Task Force.

Rosemary served as the District 5030 Rotary Foundation Chair from 2005-2007, working with the District and with Rotary International’s Foundation. She is an expert in Rotary’s Matching Grant Program.  In November 2002, she participated in a Polio Immunization National Immunization Day.  She has participated in hands-on humanitarian projects funded by matching grants in Mexico and Guatemala, as well as attending both a Peace Conference in Guatemala. In 2002, she co-sponsored a Landmine Action Conference in Seattle, Washington with the US State Department. She is a member and former officer of Rotarians for Mine Action. She is a recent appointee to the Canadian Landmine Foundation

She has spoken at the 2007 Salt Lake City Rotary International Convention and the 2008 Los Angeles International Convention, numerous Rotary District Conferences and Governor Training events, Rotary Zone Institutes, and  at two 2007 Presidential Membership Conferences.

Rosemary is the Executive Director of the Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority in Seattle, which uses its funds to bridge gaps in healthcare access for low income, uninsured persons in King County.

Currently, she is the President of King County Project Access (KCPA), the Communications Committee Chair and Executive Committee member for Seattle BioMed, and a board member of the Executive Alliance-Alliance of Nonprofits.

Rosemary is a graduate of the University of Washington, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the UW Evans School.


Akhtar Badshah
Senior Director of Global Community Affairs, Microsoft Corporation

Akhtar Badshah is the senior director of Global Community Affairs at Microsoft Corporation, where he administers the company’s global community investment and employee programs. Through monetary grants, software and curriculum donations, technology solutions, and employee volunteer hours, Microsoft supports programs and organizations that address the needs of communities worldwide.  Since 1983, Microsoft and its employees have provided over $4.6 billion in cash, services and software to nonprofits around the world through localized, company-sponsored giving and volunteer campaigns.

Among his responsibilities, Badshah manages the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP), a global initiative that is designed to help narrow the technology skills gap; aid global work-force development; and create social and economic opportunity by providing technology training through community technology centers.  CTSP offers a comprehensive approach to broadening digital inclusion by bringing together critical components, including training grants, software donations, community learning curricula and a global support network.  Microsoft is working to broaden digital inclusion and to bring the benefits of technology to the next billion people by 2015.

Badshah also oversees programs aimed at helping nonprofit organizations improve their effectiveness through increased technology capacity. This includes Microsoft’s signature partnerships with organizations such as NPower, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, telecentre.org, TechSoup and NetHope.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Badshah was the CEO and president of Digital Partners Foundation, a Seattle-area nonprofit organization whose mission is to utilize the digital economy to benefit the poor. At Digital Partners, he established the organization’s core programs in India, Africa and Latin America. His work included development of the Digital Partners Social Venture Fund, designed to support the expansion of IT-based anti-poverty efforts around the world, and the Digital Partners Social Enterprise Laboratory (SEL), an initiative that provides mentorship and seed money to entrepreneurs whose vision and business models use ICT to empower the poor and their underserved communities.poo

Dr. Badshah is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Business Civic Leadership Center of the US Chamber of Commerce.  Dr. Badshah also serves on the Board of Council on Foundations, United Way King County, and Youth Entrepreneurship & Sustainability (YES). Badshah also serves on the Advisory Boards of the World Affairs Council (Seattle), Santa Clara University Center for Science Technology & Society, and UW Business School.  He also served on the Governor Gregoire’s New Americans Policy Council.

Dr. Badshah in an internationally renowned speaker, and he has given talks around the world and published articles on issues of technology and development; megacities and sustainability; and housing, and urban development.  He is the co-author of a new book “Technology at the Margins – How IT Meets the Needs of the Emerging Markets”, published by Wiley and Sons.  He has also co-edited “Connected for Development – Information Kiosks for Sustainability,” and authored “Our Urban Future: New Paradigms for Equity and Sustainability,”

Dr. Badshah is an architect by training, a doctoral graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, He and his wife are very active in the Seattle area community supporting various causes including the Arts.


John Beale
Director of Strategic Development, VillageReach

As Director of Strategic Development, John is responsible for creating opportunities for VillageReach’s social business development capability in support of the organization’s health system strengthening field programs. He also oversees VillageReach’s marketing and fundraising strategies.

John has worked for more than 20 years in business development, marketing, and communications both in the US, Europe and throughout Asia. Prior to joining VillageReach, John worked for eight years in the wireless industry, first at the wireless technology company, QUALCOMM, as vice president of marketing for its semiconductor division, and then as head of marketing with the venture capital-backed wireless software company, Volantis Systems, based in the UK.

In these roles he has developed extensive experience in defining market opportunities for businesses and their products and services, designing and executing go-to-market programs to capture the opportunities, and soliciting investor support for these ventures.


Nigel Biggar
Senior Advisor, Grameen Foundation

Nigel Biggar has over 17 years working with microenterprise and microfinance in developing countries. He began in this field working as a microentrepreneur with a street youth project he established in Quito, Ecuador in the early 1990s.  He has worked extensively with MFIs, microentrepreneurs and street youth in Latin America and Asia.

Nigel has been with Grameen Foundation since early 2000. He serves as Senior Advisor to Grameen for its social performance. He established and until recently was the Director of the Social Performance Management Center and the principal for the Social Performance/ Progress out of Poverty Index initiative. Prior to that he served as Grameen Foundation’s Regional Director for the Americas where he assisted start-up MFIs in Latin America to build and expand their programs based on the Grameen methodology.  He holds a masters degree in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University.


Julia Bolz
Founder & Board President, Ayni Education International

When Julia Bolz and her American colleagues first started working in north-central Afghanistan in January 2002, Afghanistan led the world in child and maternal mortality, homelessness, and landmine victims. Life expectancy was 43 years of age. And, in north-central Afghanistan, the literacy rate was 6.5%. Responding to the call “Build us schools!” from communities visited, government and religious leaders, Julia began work. To date, Ayni staff and supporters have equipped and built or repaired some 40 schools, serving some 25,000 students. Additional projects focus on teacher training, community development, and strengthening the Afghan education system.

AYNI Education International continues to foster interchanges between the United States and Afghanistan, and create quality educational opportunities that empower and inspire children and their families to build peaceful, just and life-affirming communities. The name “Ayni,” when translated into English means “sacred reciprocity.” From Julia’s development experience in Afghanistan, she learned that when you give and receive, it has to come from a place of love, gratitude, respect and humility – which symbolizes the essence of “Ayni”.

Before joining the grassroots movement for gender equality, Julia worked at one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms, Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland as a successful business immigration lawyer, representing Fortune 500 companies worldwide. . She received Seattle’s Tom C. Wales Citizenship Award for her combined humanitarian efforts.  Bolz graduated from Smith College.


Charles Brennick
Founder & Director, InterConnection

InterConnection was established in 1999 by Charles Brennick. The organization’s original focus was on developing and donating websites to nonprofits in developing countries. The program soon expanded to include computer donations and technology training. In 2004, the InterConnection Computer Reuse and Learning Center opened in Seattle as a hub to serve both local and international communities.

Charles has had a life-long personal and professional interest in technology, environmental education and community planning. This unique combination of interests and experience led Charles to create InterConnection in 1999. Prior to founding InterConnection, Charles worked as both a web developer and ecotourism planner in Costa Rica. Before that, he spent over two years as an environmental education teacher with the Peace Corps in Paraguay. Charles received a Masters degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon.


Bill Clapp
Founder and President of the Board, Global Washington and Seattle International Foundation

Bill is President of the Board and Co-Founder of Global Washington and the Seattle International Foundation — A businessman with more than 30 years of experience running a variety of companies in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. Bill Clapp co- founded Global Partnerships with his wife Paula Clapp in 1994. Bill retired from Matthew G. Norton Co., an investment holding company where he is still chairman, and became the CEO of Global Partnerships in early 2001. In 2002 he co-founded the Initiative for Global Development. In addition to serving on the boards of Weyerhaeuser and Alaska Airlines, he served on several community and nonprofit boards and has been actively involved in the micro-finance development areas since 1993 as an early investor. Bill has also served on many industry panels and advisory committees, speaking widely on development issues.


Christopher T. Coward
Founder, Principal Research Scientist, and Director of the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA), University of Washington Information School

Christopher T. Coward is the founder, Principal Research Scientist, and Director of the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School. Under his leadership, TASCHA has grown in size and scope over the last decade, encompassing research in 50 countries. Chris specializes in designing research programs that improve policy and practice. His work focuses on examining the social and economic impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs), with particular attention to the role of libraries and nonprofit organizations in developing countries. He is currently principal investigator for three major projects: a global five-year study investigating the impact of ICTs in libraries and other public venues, a multi-year study of the contribution of ICT training to the employability of disadvantaged populations, and a study of the public access computing environments in 25 countries. Chris holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in International Studies, both from the University of Washington.


Lisa Dabek
Senior Conservation Scientist
Director of the Papua New Guinea Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, Woodland Park Zoo

Lisa is Senior Conservation Scientist at the Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ), Seattle, Washington, and works as part of WPZ’s Partners for Wildlife program. She founded (in 1996) and is Director of WPZ’s signature field conservation program, the community-based Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). She and her team work in partnership with indigenous landowners, scientists, students, educators, government officials, and healthcare professionals from the U.S., Australia, and PNG to study and protect the wildlife and rainforest habitat of PNG. In 2009 TKCP and the local community created PNG’s first Conservation Area, protecting 180,000 acres of rainforest. She travels back and forth to PNG for this program.

Lisa earned her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior and Conservation Biology from the University of Washington where she first started studying tree kangaroos over 20 years ago.

Lisa is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island and James Cook University in Australia, and Affiliate Researcher at the University of Papua New Guinea.


David Edelstein
Vice President of Technology Programs and the Director, Grameen Technology Center

David Edelstein is the Director of the Grameen Technology Center (GTC) and the Vice President of Technology Programs at Grameen Foundation.  He guides the foundation’s efforts to create innovative and sustainable approaches for using technology to benefit the world’s poor.

The GTC develops tools and services that leverage technology to put information and capital into the hands of the poor and those serving their needs.  This includes an open source software platform (Mifos) which extends the scale and impact of microfinance institutions.  The GTC also has extensive experience working with mobile phones, delivering services that put vital information on health, agriculture and other topics directly to people with access to basic mobile phones.  Grameen Foundation’s Application Laboratory was recently awarded the Global Mobile Award for the “Best Use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development”.

Prior to joining the Grameen Foundation, David worked at Microsoft designing business models to provide affordable technology products for people in emerging markets. David also worked in Brazil for a number of years, with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he developed business strategies tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses in developing countries.  Previously, David conducted economic analyses and evaluated public policy with the White House Council of Economic Advisers and with Resources For the Future.


Christopher J. Elias, MD, MPH
President & CEO, PATH

Dr. Christopher J. Elias is president and chief executive officer of Seattle-based PATH, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of people around the world by advancing technologies, strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors. PATH currently works in more than 70 countries in the areas of health technologies, maternal and child health, reproductive health, vaccines and immunization, and emerging and epidemic diseases.

Dr. Elias represents PATH at domestic and international forums, both as a spokesperson for PATH and as an advocate for innovative responses to global health challenges. He serves on the boards of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Global Health Council, InterAction, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Rural Development Institute, and Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, among others. Dr. Elias was honored as the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the United States in 2005 and named Global Health Research Ambassador by the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research in 2007. Under his leadership, PATH was awarded the Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2009. Dr. Elias received his MD from Creighton University and his MPH from the University of Washington.


Bernard Fils-Aimé
President of Voilà Foundation and the Executive Director of Communication Cellulaire d’Haiti S.A. (ComCEL)

Bernard Fils-Aimé is the President of Voilà Foundation and the Executive Director of Communication Cellulaire d’Haiti S.A. (ComCEL).  Since 1995, Bernard has returned to Haiti to pursue business interests.  His accomplishments included co-founding SabbAimé, SA , a commercial entity engaged in import and distribution of frozen poultry products, and establishing Communication Cellulaire d’Haiti.  At ComCEL, Bernard negotiated the first cellular license with the GOH in 1999 along with managing operations for the first five years.  He is presently leading efforts in the areas of CSR and Public Affairs.  Bernard earned his Master degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Florida International University.


Alonzo Fulgham
Chief Operating Officer and Former Acting Administrator, USAID

As the USAID Administrator’s Representative, Fulgham also served as a Commissioner of the bipartisan, Congressional Commission for Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People around the Globe (also known as The HELP Commission). The Commission was charged with examining U.S. Foreign Assistance and proposing actionable recommendations to strengthen U.S. Development Assistance as one of three essential foreign policy tools, along with Defense and Diplomacy, in support of U.S. national security, human progress, global economic prosperity, and peaceful societies.

Fulgham is a member of the Senior Foreign Service. He served as Mission Director in Afghanistan from June 2005 to July 2006. Prior to that, he served as the Director for South Asian Affairs in the Bureau for Asia and the Near East (ANE). In 2003, he joined the ANE Bureau as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near East, Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin.

In September 2001, Fulgham served as acting USAID Deputy Director for Serbia and Montenegro. From March 1993 to February 1998, he served in Jordan – initially as Private Sector Officer and then as Director responsible for economic policy and poverty re-duction. In March 1998, he was assigned to the Regional Mission for the Caucasus as Director for Economic Restructuring and Energy, responsible for Georgia and Azerbaijan. In June 2000, he was selected to study at the National Defense University (ICAF).

He is a member of the board of directors of the Society for Interna-tional Development (SID). He is the recipient of a Presidential Meritorious Rank Award for his work as Mission Director in Afghanistan and the Agency’s Superior Achievement Award for his accomplishments as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Secretary, and numerous other performance awards, notably for his work in Afghanistan, and – more broadly – in Eastern Europe and South Asia

Fulgham joined USAID in 1989 as Private Sector Advisor in Swa-ziland. In March 1992, he was selected as an International Development Intern (IDI). Fulgham has a Bachelor of Science from Fisk University and a Master of Arts from the National Defense University. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Haiti from 1984-1986 and speaks Creole and Spanish. He is married and has three children.


David Gadsden
Nonprofit Program Coordinator, ESRI

David Gadsden is an account executive for Esri focusing on Nonprofit, Native American, and International Development communities.  David began working with GIS technology at the University of Washington in 1992 before serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in East Africa.  David then enjoyed a diverse career applying GIS technology to environmental, social science, public safety, and construction engineering challenges while working for a number of commercial and non-profit organizations.  David joined Esri in 2002 and has since supported communities on topics ranging from disaster relief, environmental conservation, international development and diplomacy, energy transmission, and federal and tribal governance.  David coordinates Esri’s Nonprofit Organization Program, which aims to empower nonprofits and NGOs around the globe with GIS technology.


Renée Giovarelli
Director, RDI’s Global Center for Women’s Land Rights

Renée Giovarelli is the Director of the Global Center for Women’s Land Rights, an initiative of the Rural Development Institute (RDI).  One of the world’s foremost experts on women’s property rights, Renée has conducted fieldwork on women’s access and rights to land in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, the Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar, Russia, Tajikistan, Uganda and Uzbekistan. With over 15 years of legal experience in the areas of land tenure and property rights, Renée has designed interventions to ensure that women are included in the governance and implementation of property rights projects for USAID, MCC, and the World Bank. She led a year-long study evaluating the impact of World Bank land projects on women in four key geographic regions, and is called upon to train staff at USAID and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. Renée has a B.A. in English (with High Distinction) from the University of Arizona, a J.D. (cum laude) from Seattle University, where she was an adjunct professor, a master of law degree (L.L.M.) in International Sustainable Development from the University of Washington School of Law, and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Chris Glynn
Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, GIK and U.S. Programs for World Vision

As the senior vice president of Corporate Development, GIK Operations and U.S. Programs for World Vision, Chris Glynn is driven by his desire to make things better. “I look at ways we can be more focused, more effective in reaching out to donors, and more purposeful in our work here in the United States and around the world.”

Chris first developed a connection with World Vision as a child sponsor. An executive leader for more than 20 years, Chris has helped transform Fortune 500 companies and privately held enterprises to become more efficient, successful, and profitable. But in 2010 he began to feel that God was calling him to use his gifts for a greater purpose and joined the World Vision staff.  Chris loves his new role. “I’m proud to work with the amazing people,” he says. Every day he is able to use his experience from the corporate world to help improve World Vision’s productivity and effectiveness. “At World Vision, my job is to lead our division,” Chris explains. “But here the ‘customer’ is the poorest of the poor.”   Recently Chris had the opportunity to see those “customers” up close. He traveled to Niger, ranked by the UN’s Human Development Index as the world’s poorest country. There, he visited a community health center that World Vision had begun partnering with. “I saw 400 mothers with children suffering from acute malnutrition,” he shares. But instead of feeling despair, Chris experienced hope. “I saw opportunities to improve,” he continues, “…things we can be doing better now to make a greater difference.”

One of those ways Chris is helping World Vision improve is through his role as head of the Gifts-in-Kind department. He encourages corporations to donate their “first fruits,” not just their surplus products, to have a greater impact on people in need. “I want to show them that their donation will have even more value with World Vision than anywhere else because of the organization’s holistic approach to ministry,” Chris explains. “When they donate to us, their products are combined with other interventions that help meet fundamental needs.”

A motivating speaker, Chris challenges his audiences to take a closer look at the purpose of serving and to become more effective in the way they serve. It’s simple, he says: “We need to be more passionate and bold in helping lead and seeing [God’s] work being done.”

Chris holds an MBA with a focus on Strategic Quality Management from Eastern Michigan University and a BBA in Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Married with two children, Chris lives in Seattle and attends Grace Community Church, where he has been involved as a leader of the AWANA ministry. He also serves as a girls’ high school basketball coach at Seattle Christian School.


Lisa Graumlich
Dean and Virginia Prentice Bloedel Professor, College of the Environment, University of Washington

Dr. Lisa J. Graumlich joined the University of Washington’s College of the Environment (CoEnv) as its inaugural dean on July 1, 2010.

Graumlich came to the University of Washington from her position as Director of The University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE).  At SNRE, Graumlich focused the School’s engagement on challenges in environmental sciences and resource management, and successfully recruited new faculty in emerging fields such as ecological informatics, ecosystem services and ecohydrology.

Previously, Graumlich served for six years as the Executive Director of the Big Sky Institute at Montana State University, fostering partnerships between researchers and land managers to develop science-based knowledge on conservation of biodiversity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and other large protected areas.

A paleoecologist, Graumlich’s own research investigates how ecosystems and human societies adapt to climate change, with a special focus on severe and persistent drought.  She is a frequent speaker on climate change impacts and adaptation, and served as a member of the “Oxburgh Inquiry,” an investigative panel convened by the University of East Anglia to review the stolen e-mails which led to the “Climategate” controversy. Most recently, Graumlich testified before the U.S. House of Representative Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on long-term climate variability.


Steve Gunderson
President & CEO, Council on Foundations

Steve Gunderson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Foundations, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit membership association of some 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations.

Prior to joining the Council, Gunderson served as the Senior Consultant and the Managing Director of the Washington office of The Greystone Group, a Michigan-based strategic management and communications consulting firm. Gunderson’s areas of expertise included strategic planning and communications, with a strong knowledge of public policy. During his years with The Greystone Group, he also served in a management capacity for clients ranging from the Republican Main Street Partnership to The Mary Fisher AIDS Fund. He also created, led the design and implementation of The National Conversation on Youth Development in the 21st Century sponsored by The Mary Fisher AIDS Fund. He also created, led the design and implementation of The National Conversation on Youth Development in the 21st Century.


Geeta Rao Gupta
Senior Fellow, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Geeta Rao Gupta is internationally recognized for her expertise on gender and development issues, including women’s health, economic empowerment, poverty alleviation, and gender equality. She brings more than 20 years of experience in international development research and program development. She is frequently consulted on issues related to AIDS prevention and women’s vulnerability to HIV and is an advocate for women’s economic and social empowerment to fight disease, poverty and hunger.

Rao Gupta is former president of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She began working with ICRW in 1988 as a consultant, researcher, and officer, and headed the private, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. from 1997 through April 2010, when she joined the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a senior fellow.

As a senior fellow, Rao Gupta advises the Global Development Program’s president and senior team on their strategies and offers insight on how to manage projects to achieve the greatest impact. She also advises the program on learning from those it aims to serve, and offers guidance on a range of cross-cutting issues and projects.

Rao Gupta has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of Delhi, and a master’s degree and a doctorate in philosophy from Bangalore University in India.  She received the 2007 Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” Award. Her other commitments include serving as co-convener of the Social Drivers Working Group of Aids 2031, membership on the Moriah Fund Program Board, and the board of advisors for both the Nike Foundation and the Global Health Corps.


Fay Hanleybrown
Managing Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors

Fay leads FSG’s Seattle office.  She works with private foundations, corporate clients, community foundations and non-profits to discover better ways to solve social problems.  Since 2002, Fay has led over 40 consulting engagements for FSG in the areas of strategy, program design, operations, and evaluation.  She has published several articles and speaks regularly on the topics of corporate social responsibility and philanthropic effectiveness.

Prior to FSG, Fay was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she advised both Fortune 500 corporations and non-profit organizations.  Fay also worked with Harvard Business School professors Michael Porter and Allen Grossman on a research study, entitled “Optimizing the Value of Philanthropy” that examined ways to increase foundation impact.

She began her career at UBS Warburg in Hong Kong, where she was a Director and Co-Head of Regional Bank Research, leading an equity research team across nine Asian countries. Responsible for UBS Warburg’s investment strategy for Asian financial institutions, she was ranked by Institutional Investor as one of the best equity research analysts in Asia.

Fay holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A., cum laude, from Princeton University in Economics and Politics.


Stephen E. Hanson
Professor of Political Science, Herbert J. Ellison Professor, and Director, Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies

Stephen E. Hanson is the Vice Provost for Global Affairs and the Herbert J. Ellison Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington.  Hanson received his B.A. from Harvard University (1985) and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1991). He served from 2000-2008 as the Director of the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the Jackson School of International Studies. Hanson is the author of Post-Imperial Democracies: Ideology and Party Formation in Third Republic France, Weimar Germany, and Post-Soviet Russia (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Time and Revolution: Marxism and the Design of Soviet Institutions (University of North Carolina Press, 1997), which received the 1998 Wayne S. Vucinich book award from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.  He is also co-author (with Richard Anderson Jr., M. Steven Fish, and Philip Roeder) of Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2001), co-editor (with Grzegorz Ekiert) of Capitalism and Democracy in Eastern and Central Europe: Assessing the Legacy of Communist Rule (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and co-editor (with Willfried Spohn) of Can Europe Work?: Germany and the Reconstruction of Postcommunist Societies (University of Washington Press, 1995). His numerous articles analyzing postcommunist Russia in comparative perspective have appeared in such journals as Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Post-Soviet Affairs, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and East European Politics and Societies.

Hanson won the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2004 and the UW’s outstanding undergraduate mentor award in 2005.  He has also taught as a Visiting Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard, a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University, and a Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. From 2004-2008, he was the Academic Director of the Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS), based in Washington D.C.  Hanson has served on the editorial boards of Slavic Review, Comparative Political Studies, and Demokratizatsiya.  Since 2002, he has served on the editorial board of Cambridge University Press’s Studies in Comparative Politics; from 2002-2008, he worked with General Editor Margaret Levi as the Assistant General Editor of this series. He has received grant support from the Social Science Research Council, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. Hanson has been invited to lecture at a number of prestigious academic and policy-oriented institutions, including the Aspen Institute, Brown University, George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, Hamburg University, the Harriman Institute of Columbia University, Indiana University, the Institute for the Economy in Transition (Moscow), the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), and Yale University.


Cole Hoover
Outreach Coordinator, Lumana

Cole Hoover works as Lumana’s Outreach Coordinator to build Lumana’s partnerships on the ground, in Ghana and abroad. Recently he is working with universities in the states to develop hands on curriculum for students interested in learning how to use business principles to address some of the toughest challenges our world faces today. This past year Cole lived in Atokor our pilot village for two months working to implement a community needs assessment geared towards gauging financial need and collecting relevant health demographic information for our development partners. When Cole is not working with Lumana to build programs he is working doing business development for Birds Eye Media based out of Seattle WA.


Brad Horwitz
Founder, President, and CEO, Trilogy International Partners

Brad Horwitz, in partnership with John Stanton, founded Trilogy International Partners in 2006 following the sale of Western Wireless Corporation to Alltel and currently serves as president and chief executive officer. Trilogy International is a leading wireless provider in the Caribbean, Latin America and New Zealand.  Prior to forming Trilogy, Mr. Horwitz served as president of Western Wireless International, having founded the company in 1995, and also served as executive vice president of Western Wireless Corporation.  Earlier, Mr. Horwitz was founder and chief operating officer of SmarTone Mobile Communications, based in Hong Kong, while under secondment from AT&T Wireless Services (then McCaw Cellular Communications).  Previously, Mr. Horwitz worked in various management capacities for McCaw Cellular, including serving as vice president of international operations.


Scott Jackson
Vice President, External Relations, PATH

Mr. Jackson is Vice President of External Relations for PATH, and is responsible for developing and strengthening relationships with partners and donors and maximizing the visibility of PATH’s work. Before joining PATH in 2006, Mr. Jackson was senior vice president at World Vision U.S., where he was responsible for supporting external relations, key partnerships, community relations, and strategic initiatives for fundraising, programs, and constituency-building. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Jackson served as president and managing director of APCO Seattle, a worldwide public affairs and strategic communications consulting firm. In 1989, he founded TRADEC Trade and Development Consortium, one of the first marketing and communications firms in North America to specialize in international trade promotion, technology transfer, and market access. Mr. Jackson is an active member of Rotary International and serves on several national boards, including that of Global Impact. He was a founding member of the management committee of the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History.


Susan Jeffords
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Dr. Susan Jeffords joined the University of Washington Bothell in September of 2007 as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Jeffords has led delegations abroad in community-university strategic partnerships and was appointed by the UW president as the Chair of the International Task Force in 1995, which resulted in a university-wide report on the UW’s international expertise and current activities. Jeffords has written and taught broadly in the area of American popular culture, with a particular emphasis on Hollywood film, the Vietnam War, and feminism. She is particularly committed to increasing opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented communities to participate actively in higher education, including expanding opportunities for international engagement.


Dean Karlan
Professor of Economics at Yale University/ President, Innovations for Poverty Action

Dean Karlan is a Professor of Economics at Yale University.  Karlan is President of Innovations for Poverty Action, a non-profit organization that creates and evaluates solutions to social and development problems, and works to scale-up successful ideas through implementation and dissemination to policymakers, practitioners, investors and donors.  Karlan is on the Board of Directors of the M.I.T. Jameel Poverty Action Lab.  As a social entrepreneur, He is Founder and President of stickK.com, a website that uses lessons from behavioral economics to help people reach personal goals, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, through commitment contracts.  Karlan received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.  His research focuses on microeconomic issues of financial decision-making, specifically employing experimental methodologies to examine what works, what does not, and why in interventions in microfinance, health, behavioral economics and charitable giving.  In microfinance, he has studied credit impact, interest rate policy, savings product design, credit scoring policies, entrepreneurship training, and group versus individual liability.  Karlan received a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T., an M.B.A. and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia.


Nadia Eleza Khawaja
Co-Founder & COO, Jolkana Foundation

Nadia Eleza Khawaja graduated with a degree in Business/Economics and a minor in Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA.)  She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in nutrition from the University of Washington.

While she was at UCLA she was a tutor and board member for the Student Initiated Outreach Committee that tutors and mentors at-risk high school students in Southern California.  After she graduated she worked for two years at a non-profit called the Academy of Business Leadership that teaches financial literacy to at-risk students throughout Southern California.  Now, while doing her masters, she has co-founded her own non-profit, Jolkona Foundation which aims to mobilize today’s youth in philanthropy.  She currently serves as the Director of Programs and Operations for Jolkona Foundation and as a member of the Seattle Public School District Nutrition Advisory Committee.


Jessica Markowitz
Founder, IMPUWE/Richard’s Rwanda

Jessica Markowitz is a 15-year-old sophomore at Garfield High School. She founded Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE in October of 2006 and designed the organization to empower women, develop friendships and connect cultures across the globe. The organization’s focus is to support educational opportunities for Rwandan girls and a “never again” genocide awareness campaign in the US. Richard’s Rwanda currently has six chapters in Seattle, two on the east coast and one in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali.

Jessica was the first place recipient in Education for the 2010 Parade Magazine’s “All America Service Team” and was honored last June at the White House by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. She is passionate about making a difference in the world by spreading her message at conferences and venues across the country. Her speaking engagements have included: the CARE International Conference (Washington DC); the National Press Club (Washington DC); a Global Action week presentation with Queen Rania of Jordan; City University (New York City); World of Children; UNICEF, NYC World of Children Awards; Seattle International Rotary; University of Washington, Social Entrepreneurship Key Note speaker; Urban League Young Professionals Conference panelist (Seattle); and the TEDx TALKS on the Microsoft Campus.


Dipika Matthias
Project Director, Ultra Rice, PATH

A new social enterprise effort is helping reduce malnutrition around the world by introducing Ultra Rice—a technology that fortifies traditional rice—into people’s diets. Dipika Matthias is project director for Ultra Rice at PATH, an international nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. In addition to Ultra Rice, Dipika has led the commercialization efforts of several PATH technologies, ranging from diagnostics to immunization delivery. Dipika has extensive experience in market development and building public/private partnerships to advance, commercialize, and ensure global access to  technologies for populations in need.

Before joining PATH, Dipika was the director of Business Analytics for a subsidiary of Merck.  Prior to that, she worked for several years at the World Bank.  Dipika earned her MBA from Yale and her BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.


Rick McKenney
Executive Director, Water for Humans

Rick is passionate about implementing large-scale change in our society for social and economic justice, as well as, the interaction between economics, politics, and local and developing world economies. He is the co-founder and executive director of Water for Humans, a social venture enterprise that strives to provide clean water solutions to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who lack adequate sanitation and the 884 million without access to safe drinking water.

Prior to obtaining his MBA in Sustainable Business Practices from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) in June 2007, Rick was a physicist and materials scientist for eighteen years at Boeing, working on many classified projects. More recently, he spent four years in Vancouver, B.C. at Ballard Power Systems, as a senior materials engineer developing hydrogen fuel cell technologies. Rick has also successfully operated his own business that he started while in high school and sold to focus on his undergraduate degree in Solid State Physics and Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation from the BGI, he is now committed to applying his engineering and business skills to environmental, economic and social justice causes.


Ian H. Moncaster
President & CEO, World Affairs Council

Ian H. Moncaster is currently the President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Puget Sound. Prior to joining the World Affairs Council, Ian spent over 10 years living and working overseas in a variety of sectors including international relief and development, foreign policy, and diplomatic relations.

In 1982, he was involved with the post-independence primary education-for-all initiative in Zimbabwe. From 1985-1991, Ian headed projects for the international relief and development organization CARE, first in Bangladesh as the Project Coordinator for the Rural Maintenance Program and then in Haiti managing the Haiti Food Program. After leaving CARE in 1991, Ian spent two years in Sri Lanka as the Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance Advisor to the Canadian Government and the Donor Secretary to a consortium of international donors who funded Sri Lanka’s largest non-profit.

In 1993, Ian moved to the United States and rejoined CARE, spending the next eight years in organizational and fiscal management. While based in CARE’s headquarters in Atlanta, he provided management backstopping and oversaw strategic planning for CARE’s operations in South Asia and became part of a management triumvirate overseeing CARE’s major gifts operations. In 1997, Ian moved to Seattle with CARE, with responsibilities in public education, fundraising and social corporate responsibility. Most recently, he joined the World Affairs Council in 2001 as President and CEO to promote international understanding and discussion in the Puget Sound area.


Jane Nelson
Director, Harvard’s Kennedy School CSR Initiative

Jane Nelson is Director of Harvard’s Kennedy School CSR Initiative and Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government.

Born in Zimbabwe, Nelson graduated from University of Natal, South Africa with a BSc in Agricultural Economics. She completed her MA in Politics and Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes student.

She started her career as a lecturer in agricultural economics at University of Natal in 1983. She then worked for the UN Environment Programme, leading a global research project on business and sustainable development. Nelson worked for the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Africa preparing a report for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and for FUNDES (Fundación para desarrollo sostenible) in Latin America undertaking research on small enterprise development.


Jodi Nelson
Interim Director & Senior Specialist, Global Development Impact Planning & Improvement, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Jodi Nelson, Ph.D. is the Interim Director of Impact Planning and Improvement and Sr. Officer specializing in the Global Development Program. Prior to joining the foundation, Nelson was founder and first Director of the Research and Evaluation Department at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). There for almost ten years, Nelson advocated and fundraised for the creation of a headquarters team dedicated to measurement. As its director, Nelson led an organizational process to strengthen the agency’s program design capacity, streamline data collection and analysis across country offices, and prioritize evaluations for learning and decision making.

Prior to this, Jodi worked at several nonprofit organizations with international missions, including the Asia Society, the Society for International Development, World Resources Institute, and the Committee for Economic Development. She has taught graduate courses on international aid and evaluation at Princeton University and New York University.

Jodi has a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. Jodi was a Term member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 2000 to 2007 and currently serves on the board of Innovations for Poverty Action and two small organizations dedicated to secondary education in Malawi and western Kenya.


Andrea Newton
Executive Director, Imaging the World

Andrea Newton joined Imaging the World in January 2009 as a consultant hired to lead organizational development, and became the Executive Director in October 2009. From 2005 until 2008, she held the position of Vice President of the Western Region at Resource Real Estate in Philadelphia, where she directed a 17-state territory. In this position, she raised over $150 million in capital and traveled extensively through the western United States speaking at major events and conducting educational investment seminars. Prior to her position at Resource Real Estate, Andrea held numerous positions at Kennedy Associates, a pension fund advisory firm, from 1996 until 2004. There she held positions in marketing, finance and asset management, helping to raise and effectively invest institutional capital in commercial real estate. Andrea has served on numerous boards and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the PCC Farmland Trust, an organic farmland preservation organization. She has a BA from the University of Montana, and graduated from the Fundraising School at the Center of Philanthropy at University of Indiana, Purdue. She lives in Seattle with her husband and enjoys mountain climbing and cycling.


Nandie Oosthuizen
Founder and Executive Director, Hand and Heart

Born and raised in South Africa, Nandie is a young social entrepreneur dedicated towards creating lasting positive social change in our world. As early as high school, Nandie started her first venture, which successfully raised money and awareness for the crisis in Darfur. For her efforts, Nandie received the Youth Philanthropist of the Year award for 2007, and in 2008 was recruited to work along-side His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to find ways in which to encourage compassion among young people in our world. Nandie also serves as board member for several organizations in the US, all working towards creating sustainable change and empowering young change-makers. Recently Nandie was awarded the 2009 Young Immigrant Achievement Award for her humanitarian efforts. Currently a full-time student at The University of Washington, Nandie is pursuing a double degree in Business and Sociology. She plans to also pursue a graduate degree in Public Administration and South African Law in the future.

Nandie values education highly and sees it as integral to the future success of Hand & Heart, a 501(c)(3) organization. For the next three years, while she is still a full time student, Nandie plans to focus mainly on researching and strengthening Hand & Heart’s foundation and structure, so that when her education is complete, she can jump right in and devote her full energy and time towards carrying out Hand & Heart’s vision! She is also using this time to identify future board members and investors for Hand & Heart, to put together the team of brilliant and determined changemakers that will guide, manage and grow Hand & Heart in the future.


Christopher Pankkuk
Director, WSU’s International Programs/Research and Development

Christopher Pannkuk is the director for Washington State University’s International Programs/Research and Development.  He has over 20 years experience in agricultural extension and research and international development projects.  Dr. Pannkuk has designed and implemented projects to monitor and alleviate water use and soil degradation, and researched soil and water conservation practices.  He has completed assignments for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR), the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS), the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.  As a project lead, he monitors, evaluates, recommends and identifies resources for developing better agricultural strategies.  Dr. Pannkuk has published many peer reviewed journal articles on his research and development projects and has taught “World Agricultural Systems” at Washington State University.  He has carried out agricultural development activities in Afghanistan, Syria, Romania, Armenia, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Georgia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, and Tanzania.  He has been elected to the Policy Board of Directors for the Board on Agricultural Assembly of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), is Chair of the International Committee on Organization and Policy for NASULGC, member of the Strategic Programs on Agricultural Research and Education (SPARE), and Vice President of the Association of International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD).


Will Poole
Social Technologist and Co-Chairman, NComputing Inc.

Will is an independent Social-Technologist, supporting ICT for Development projects and startups, and promoting Creative Capitalism.  He is also Co-Chairman of NComputing, which in 2010 shipped its two-millionth unit, 75% of which are deployed in schools.  Will was previously corporate VP of the Unlimited Potential Group at Microsoft, co-leading efforts to bring social and economic opportunity to the “next billion”.  Will also ran Microsoft’s Windows Client business, delivering 30 percent of corporate revenues. Before Windows, Will headed up New Media Platforms and other internet and digital media groups.  Will joined Microsoft in 1996 with the acquisition of eShop, an internet e-commerce pioneer which he co-founded in 1991. Before that, he spent five years in marketing and engineering roles at Sun Microsystems. Will received a degree in Computer Science from Brown University in 1983.


Joseph P. Ritzman
Vice President, Business Development, Carrix/SSA Marine

Mr. Ritzman’s 15 years of port industry experience include positions in marine terminal operations, steamship line logistics & marketing, and environmental, human resource and project management related to “greenfield” port project development. His international experience in the maritime sector includes work in Panama, Mexico, Chile, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam on project management for large-scale port system planning programs, including master planning and feasibility and environmental impact assessments, operation strategic planning, cargo forecasting, port and off-dock logistics, and conceptual design of facilities.

He has worked at SSA Marine since 1998 as a project manager, analyst, and currently Vice President, Business Development.  His extensive international work with SSA includes serving as Team Leader and Project Manager for social and environmental issues related to SSA Marine’s two greenfield container terminal projects in Vietnam located at Cai Mep (South Vietnam) and Cai Lan (North Vietnam).


Frank Schott
Global Program Director, NetHope

Frank Schott has spent almost 25 years in the technology sector. Since 2005, Frank has served as a NetHope Global Program Director in charge of the Field Capacity Building and Emergency Response initiatives and has spearheaded NetHope’s response in Haiti. During his time with NetHope, Frank has worked closely with humanitarian agencies, corporate partners and NetHope staff to design, develop and deliver ICT related programs which are shared by the humanitarian sector.

Frank graduated from the University of Washington many years ago.


Gretchen Shanks
Director – Design, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mercy Corps

As Director of Design, Monitoring and Evaluation, Gretchen Shanks leads Mercy Corps’ strategic initiative to strengthen results measurement systems in order to more effectively serve beneficiaries and manage performance.  During her five years in this role, Ms. Shanks has provided technical and human resource support to ensure that Mercy Corps’ 30+ field offices have robust M&E systems in place, and has used innovative techniques to promote organizational learning.  For example, Mercy Corps now has a comprehensive M&E toolkit, online trainings for new staff, and a network of more than 140 DM&E-focused field staff linked together through a web-based platform.  Ms. Shanks is also leading Mercy Corps’ Mission Metrics initiative — an agency-wide effort to better articulate overall results from the agency’s global work.  Where Mission Metrics looks at agency results broadly, Ms. Shanks is now launching plans to advance the agency’s state of practice for more rigorous evaluations into strategic programming questions, ensuring that we have in-depth lessons that can inform both agency learning and broader development practice.

Before joining Mercy Corps, Ms. Shanks designed and managed the program planning, monitoring and evaluation systems for Children International, which included overseeing a year-long external evaluation of core global programs and ensuring that findings were effectively incorporated into agency strategic planning and new program initiatives.

She began her career implementing nutrition and HIV/AIDS programming in the Dominican Republic and over the past ten years has travelled extensively to the field to support and establish M&E systems in over 15 countries.  Ms. Shanks holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.P.H. from Tulane University with an emphasis on evaluation of international health programs.


Anita Sharma
North America Coordinator,
United Nations Millennium Campaign
Anita Sharma has more than a decade’s worth of experience working on issues related to U.S. foreign policy, and in particular development assistance, humanitarian response and conflict prevention.

Sharma is currently the North America coordinator for the United Nations Millennium Campaign. In this capacity she engages with civil society, government leaders, the private sector, faith groups, and individuals in an effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

She was previously the executive director of ENOUGH, an initiative of the Center for American Progress and the International Crisis Group to abolish genocide and mass atrocities. She also served as governance advisor in Indonesia with the Office of the United Nations Recovery Coordinator and has held international posts in Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan and Kosovo with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe.

In the United States, she directed the Conflict Prevention Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has also worked as research director for the Role of American Military Power Project and the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. She was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is on the board of Citizens for Global Solutions, and holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Syracuse University and a master’s degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.


Christopher Shore
Director of Natural Environment and Climate Issues, World Vision International

Christopher Shore is World Vision International’s Director of Natural Environment and Climate Issues.

A serial “intrapreneur”, Chris has led this relatively new part of World Vision’s work since 2006 when he began investigating if and how to harness the emerging markets for carbon credits for poverty alleviation.  As World Vision began understanding better the issues involved in climate change, Chris changed roles and began leading this work full-time.  His team works on issues of environmental restoration and protection, as well as climate change adaptation, mitigation, and advocacy.

Through 2008 Chris led World Vision’s work in Economic Development.  In this capacity World Vision laid out a strategy of ensuring sustainable access to financial services, markets, technology, information, and know-how.  Chris led the development of World Vision’s first work in economic recovery, and into innovative ways of raising microfinance capital.  In the area of microfinance, under Chris’ leadership, World Vision grew its work in microfinance from $18 million to $175 million in lending capital, working in 47 countries.  Chris was the founder of VisionFund International which is World Vision’s holding and operating company for its microfinance operations. VisionFund has continued to grow and now has over $340 million in lending portfolio.

Prior to moving to California in 2000, Chris led World Vision’s work in Romania.  Chris not only led the organization into rural economic development, innovative partnerships, and large social movements, but expanded the work he helped begin in microfinance, in reforming the governmental system of care for special needs children, and was instrumental in leading World Vision’s work which modeled in three counties the restructuring of the entire system of care for children for the nation, moving it from an institutional basis to a family basis.

Chris got into international development in 1990 when he took leadership of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates’ work in the Soviet Union.  Chris and his family lived in Moscow, where he started Russia’s first small business incubator, which was integrated with microfinance and business training for the rapidly emerging small and micro-business sectors..

Chris has also worked in the corporate world, with a background in strategic and corporate planning, acquired while working with a multinational company and in consulting.  Chris has run a number of his own small businesses, worked behind the Iron Curtain for a number of years, and holds both an MBA and an undergraduate degree in finance.  He enjoys cycling, woodworking, and classic literature.

Chris is married to Dr. Susan Shore, and they have 2 children who are now finishing university.


Marla Smith Nilson
Founder and Executive Director, Water 1st International

Marla brings 20 years of hands-on field experience with community-managed water supply, sanitation, hygiene education and water-source protection projects in developing countries. Marla has overseen the implementation of over 450 community water and sanitation projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa benefiting nearly 200,000 people. Marla is a civil engineering graduate of the University of North Carolina and the University of Arizona.

  • M.S. Environmental Engineering, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • B.S. Civil Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, University of Arizona
  • Registered Professional Engineer

Phillip Thompson
Associate Professor and Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Seattle University

Phillip Thompson is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. He is also the current Thomas J. Bannan endowed chair of engineering. Dr. Thompson joined Seattle University after receiving his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1997. He also earned an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Iowa and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Washington.

Dr. Thompson is currently studying the stability of anaerobic digesters during periods of high loading. He is also evaluating the effectiveness and life-cycle costs of alternative drinking water treatment systems for developing countries. His previous research interests have focused on the use of plants to restore soil and groundwater contaminated with hazardous wastes. Professor Thompson is the faculty advisor for the Seattle University student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and the Steel Bridge team.


Karen D. Turner
Director, Office of Development Partners, USAID

Ms. Turner is Director of USAID’s Office of Development Partners, which has responsibility for private sector alliance building, liaison with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and relationships with bilateral and multilateral development institutions. Ms. Turner has served at USAID since 1985, working initially as a legal advisor in the General Counsel’s Office and then as a regional legal advisor in USAID Missions in Egypt and India. She has also served in USAID management positions as AID Representative for the West Bank, Deputy Mission Director in USAID/Indonesia, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Asia Near East Bureau, and most recently as the Mission Director for USAID/Jamaica. Prior to USAID, Ms. Turner was in private law practice with Shearman & Sterling in New York. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University, and a Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from Harvard University. In 2007, she was promoted to CareerMinister, USAID’s highest career Foreign Service level.


Melanne Verveer
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large, Global Women’s Issues

President Barack Obama appointed Melanne Verveer as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. The President’s decision to create a position of Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues is unprecedented, and reflects the elevated importance of these issues to the President and his entire Administration. In her capacity as director of the Department of State’s new office on Global Women’s Issues, Ambassador Verveer coordinates foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women around the world. She mobilizes concrete support for women’s rights and political and economic empowerment through initiatives and programs designed to increase women’s and girls’ access to education and health care, to combat violence against women and girls in all its forms, and to ensure that women’s rights are fully integrated with human rights in the development of U.S. foreign policy.

Ambassador Verveer most recently served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit she co-founded. Vital Voices invests in emerging women leaders and works to expand women’s roles in generating economic opportunity, promoting political participation, and safeguarding human rights. Prior to her work with Vital Voices, Ambassador Verveer served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration and was chief assistant to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in all her wide-ranging international activities to advance women’s rights and further social development, democracy and peace-building initiatives. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women. Prior to her time in the White House, Ambassador Verveer served in a number of leadership roles in public policy organizations and as legislative staff.

Ambassador Verveer has a B.A. and M.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and numerous other organizations.


Kari Vigerstol
Hydrologist, Global Freshwater Team, The Nature Conservancy

Kari Vigerstol is a hydrologist on The Nature Conservancy’s Global Freshwater Team, with a decade of water resources experience.   Kari worked for several years as a water resource engineer in Norway and Washington and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington.  She has been with The Nature Conservancy for two and a half years, spending the first two years on the Ecosystem Services Team before moving on to the Global Freshwater Team.  Kari’s work at TNC has focused in the past on assessing ecosystem service impacts due to land use changes, ecosystem services modeling, and working with field programs interested in developing payment for ecosystem services programs.  Kari’s current work with the Global Freshwater Team is focused on Corporate Water Sustainability and developing a hydrological monitoring plan for the South American Water Funds.  Kari holds a B.S. and B.A. in Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Engineering from Rice University and a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington, with a focus in Water Resource Planning and Management.


Rogers Weed
Director, Washington State Department of Commerce

Rogers Weed was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire as Director of the Department of Commerce in March 2009. As director, Rogers is charged with fulfilling the Governor’s clear mission to grow and improve jobs in Washington State.

Rogers earned a degree in Computer Science from Duke University and an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He started his career as a management consultant focused on strategy and planning for companies in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and high tech industries. Rogers joined Microsoft in 1990, managing teams in the Windows, Mobile Devices, On-line Content and Consumer Software Divisions and rising to Vice President over his 15 years with the company. Rogers has also been a board member and volunteer for several Seattle-based non-profit organizations. He lives in Seattle with his wife and three sons.


Laurie Werner
Director of Program, Agros International

Laurie Werner has worked at Agros International since June 2003, and currently serves as Director of Program. Her previous experience includes working with orphaned and abandoned children in Honduras and consulting for a microcredit program in El Salvador through Global Partnerships. Laurie has a Bachelors Degree from Whitworth College (1994) in Sociology and Religion, and attended graduate school at UW at the Evans School of Public Affairs. She graduated in 2002 with her Masters in Public Administration, emphasizing in nonprofit management and international development. In her spare time Laurie sits on the board of the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, and loves to spend time playing in the mountains surrounding the Seattle area.


Joseph Whinney
Founder, Theo Chocolate

Joseph Whinney has deep roots and profound expertise in the global realm of cacao. After working with cacao growers in the tropics of Central America and Africa for many years, Joe recognized that the environmental degradation of the tropical rainforest and accompanying economic adversity endured by cacao farmers could only be addressed via economic solutions. In 1994, as a bullishly resolute 25 year old, Joe pioneered the importation of organic cocoa beans into North America, paving the way for the manufacture and supply of organic chocolate products in the United States. Combining his passion for cacao, with a desire to foster the fair trade cause, over a decade later, Theo’s manufacturing process and products reflect Joe’s long-term vision and tenacity. The same integrity and creativity that have consistently characterized Joe’s commitment to supporting growers worldwide are echoed in Theo’s flavor profiles, packaging and ultimately taste.

Theo’s doors are open 7 days a week for public tours, during which tour guides unlock the magic and mystery of cacao, satisfy every conceivable chocolate desire, and most importantly, educating and inspiring the public regarding the imperative to protect the planet we all share.


Samuel Worthington
President & CEO,
InterAction

Samuel A. Worthington is the President and CEO of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations.  InterAction’s 193 members manage over $9 billion to promote development and help vulnerable populations.  With over forty working groups, InterAction helps its members coordinate, establish best practices, and develop policy and advocacy positions on the wide range of topics that shape the US international NGO community.

He currently is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and among various advisory roles for the United Nations and U.S. Government serves on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) at the UN, the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance at USAID, the White House Task Force On Global Development and Poverty, the Board of The Alliance to End Hunger, and he is an International Trustee of Religions for Peace.  Mr. Worthington’s numerous leadership roles include Chairing the global NGO Impact Initiative on behalf of the office of the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery (President Clinton) and as a founder of the Hope for African Children Initiative (HACI).  He has also served on the steering committee of the NGO Leadership Forum at Harvard University.

Mr. Worthington has served as the Vice Chair of InterAction’s Board of Directors, chaired its PVO Standards and Membership committee, and was co-chair of its Commission on the Advancement of Women.

Previously, he served Chief Executive Officer of Plan USA from 1993 to 2006.  Plan is a global, 62 country, child-focused development organization that impacts the lives of 12 million children.  Mr. Worthington also sat on Plan’s global executive management team and chaired Plan’s national CEO team. Plan’s global budget exceeds $500 million/year.

Mr. Worthington has a Masters degree with distinction from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont. He is a Fulbright Scholar, attended a program on non-profit leadership at the Harvard Business School, and has received a number of awards (honorary doctorate, etc.) for his work as a non-profit leader.


Britt Yamamoto, Ph.D., M.S.
Executive Director and Co-Founder, iLEAP: The Center for Critical Service

Britt Yamamoto, Ph.D. is the Executive Director and co-Founder of iLEAP: The Center for Critical Service (ileap.org) an international training and education organization with programs focused on social innovation and leadership and a mission to cultivate and inspire a new generation of global citizens. Dr. Yamamoto is also Core Faculty in the Center for Creative Change at Antioch University Seattle where he teaches graduate students in the practice of leadership and collaboration for social change. Dr. Yamamoto has extensive international experience connected to communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America, been a Fulbright Fellow to Japan, and the recipient of a number of awards, including, the President’s Award from Antioch University Seattle, the University of Washington’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and the ultra competitive ‘Nice Papa’ award from a Japanese mothering magazine.


Wenchi Yu
Senior Policy Advisor
, Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State.

Wenchi Yu is Policy Advisor of the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues in the U.S. Department of State. Led by  Ambassador Melanne Verveer, the Office of Global Women’s Issues reflects President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s priority to mainstream women and gender issues in U.S. foreign policy. Ms. Yu assists Ambassador Verveer in mobilizing concrete support for women’s economic empowerment globally through programs and initiatives that ensure women’s and girls’ equal access to full participation in society. Prior to joining the Department of State, Ms. Yu was Senior Research Associate at the US Congressional where she focused on women’s rights, human trafficking, and civil society development in China. Prior to her work at the U.S. Congress, Ms. Yu was Vice President of Human Rights at Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international women’s NGO where she led the organization’s anti-trafficking initiative. She has testified before the U.S. Congress.