Executive Staff

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Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997, after having worked in microfinance and poverty reduction for 10 years. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’ commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he witnessed innovative poverty solutions being developed by Grameen Bank. He trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, sparked by a $6,000 seed grant provided by Prof. Yunus (who was a founding board member and continues as director emeritus), Grameen Foundation has grown to a leading international humanitarian organization with an annual budget of approximately $25 million.

Counts has propelled Grameen Foundation’s philosophy through his writings, including Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance Are Changing the World. Counts has also been published in The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Miami Herald, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere. In 2007 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Horace Mann School. While at Cornell University, he received the John F. Kennedy Memorial Award, given annually by the Class of 1964 to the graduating senior who is the best example of the ideal of public service articulated by our 35th President.

Counts is a board member, and the immediate past Chair, of Fonkoze USA and co-chairs the Fonkoze Family Coordinating Committee—two governance bodies related to the largest microfinance institution in Haiti. He is also immediate past Chair of Project Enterprise, a New York City microlender, and board member emeritus. He sits on the Advisory Council of the Center for Financial Inclusion, and the Truelift Steering Committee, and serves as Co-Chair of the Microfinance CEO Working Group.

Before leading Grameen Foundation, Counts served as the legislative director of RESULTS and as a regional project manager for CARE-Bangladesh. He speaks Bengali and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Emily, and their cat, Seymour.

Interim President and CEO

David was named the interim president and CEO of Grameen Foundation in March 2015. He previously served as executive vice president for global programs, where he led a team that develops innovative solutions to address some of the most persistent problems in developing countries.  These solutions, enabled by mobile phones and often incorporating financial services, have proven that market failures can be overcome by working directly with the poor to develop impactful and sustainable business models.  

Previously, at Microsoft, David designed technology-enabled business models to deliver affordable products to people in emerging markets.  At McKinsey & Company, he worked extensively in the telecommunications and consumer goods sectors, with a focus on creating business strategies tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses in developing countries. He conducted economic analyses and evaluated public policy with the White House Council of Economic Advisers and with Resources for the Future. David holds a Master's degree in Economics and Public Policy from Princeton University.

Chief Technology Officer

Steve Andersen ensures that Grameen Foundation’s technology strategy is closely aligned with its goal of empowering the poor to create a world without poverty. Before joining Grameen Foundation, Steve worked with technology and nonprofits for 13 years, most recently at the Salesforce.com Foundation. He’s helped thousands of nonprofits be more effective at delivering on their missions. In his for-profit tech career, Steve led teams building and managing technology infrastructure in biotech and tech startups. He is a graduate of Carleton College.

General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary

Julia Soyars leads and oversees Grameen Foundation’s legal department, that she started in 2005, and serves as Assistant Corporate Sectretary to the Board of Directors. Before joining Grameen Foundation. Previously, she worked in the legal department at The American National Red Cross, where she spent eleven years handling domestic and international transactions. Julia began her legal career  as an associate for five years  with Pillsbury, Madison, and Sutro. Julia holds a JD Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University. She is a founding member of the Council of Counsels and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer

Joshua Tripp leads fund development, marketing, finance/accounting, operations, and IT—working to ensure that the organization's internal operations and external communications effectively support Grameen's programmatic work. Before joining Grameen Foundation, Joshua was a Vice President at Community Wealth Ventures (CWV) where he worked with dozens of innovative nonprofit organizations, helping them to assess, plan and launch for-profit business ventures to increase their sustainability. Previously, Joshua was a Project Manager for GS Telecom, a start-up satellite telecommunications company in Ghana, and worked in the investment banking division of Deutsche Bank. Joshua holds an MBA from the George Washington University School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Williams College.

Special Advisor to the Business Management Team

Norm Tonina is a consultant to Grameen Foundation and provides leadership development and consulting services to individuals on the Business Management team. Norm worked at Microsoft where he retired in 2008 after serving for 15 years as the General Manager of the People and Organization Capability, leading and directing major change management initiatives focused on company culture, talent management and leadership development. Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft’s Platforms and Applications business and also worked as a Senior Software Business Manager for Digital Equipment Corporation. Norm holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University, a certificate in Executive Human Resources Leadership from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Organizational Psychology from Antioch University. He is an adjunct professor for the graduate-level HR program at Antioch University in Seattle, and has lectured in the University of Washington’s Technology Management MBA Program. He also is co-creator and faculty member of University of Washington’s Strategic Human Resources Leadership certificate program.

Senior Vice President, Global Solutions

Camilla Nestor is responsible for Grameen Foundation’s cross-cutting initiatives around financial services, agriculture and health. She has 18 years of experience working in the banking sector and international development in the US and abroad, with deep expertise in designing and launching financial products, building new business models to reach the poor, and social impact investing.  Prior to Grameen Foundation, she worked at Citigroup in the structured corporate finance department executing debt financings for emerging markets firms, including telecommunications companies, financial institutions, leasing companies, and others. She spent five years on the ground in Southeast Asia, the Balkans, and Africa working with microfinance institutions and rural banks on start-up, new product development, and raising capital. Camilla holds an MBA and a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Colorado College. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs and serves on the boards of Grameen Capital India and The SEEP Network.

Vice President, External Affairs

Patricia has over 20 years of experience with public companies across multiple sectors designing and executing new strategies, programs and partnerships that achieve measurable business and social impact. 

Prior to Grameen Foundation, Patricia led global philanthropy at MasterCard, building a global program that helped drive MasterCard’s financial inclusion strategy. She was also instrumental in the creation of the MasterCard Foundation in 2006, which is now the fourth largest private foundation in the world.  Her areas of expertise include corporate philanthropy, corporate responsibility, financial inclusion, economic empowerment and disaster relief.

Patricia’s professional experience also extends to financial planning and analysis, communications and business administration. She holds an MBA in Finance from Pace University and a BA in English from Rutgers University. 

Recently relocated to Seattle from New York, Patricia is a member of the board of directors of the Snow Leopard Trust and Upaya Social Ventures and a Partner in Social Venture Partners, Seattle.

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