Samantha Akins manages Grameen Foundation’s collaboration with external stakeholders to support our global initiatives. She serves as our main point of contact with national, multilateral and non-profit donors and partners as well as host governments. Samantha has over 14 years of experience managing complex international development projects while working closely with host governments and international donors. She spent several years in Colombia managing USAID funded policy reform and economic growth programs. Samantha has a Master of Science in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Economics from George Washington University. Her specialties include project and program management, policy reform, risk analysis and business development.
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Director, Institutional Relations
Director, Leadership Philanthropy
Sandy Clark leads Grameen Foundation’s individual philanthropy leadership gifts program. Prior to joining the foundation, Sandy was the director of advancement at Landesa, a global non-governmental organization committed to reducing poverty through the power of land rights. She also served in a variety of other professional positions over the past twenty-five years including an appointment as a policy advisor for the Governor of Washington and strategic initiatives director for the Seattle King County Workforce Council. Sandy is actively engaged in the international development community serving on various boards and committees. She is a trustee for the Namaste Children’s Fund, Board Emeritus at Antioch University Seattle, and founding member for the Pacific Northwest Global Donors Exchange. She holds a bachelors of arts degree in education and a masters in public administration from Seattle University.
Director, Program Delivery
Debbie Dean leads several global financial service programs, including our microsavings initiative, which is helping microfinance institutions in India and the Philippines to develop savings programs for the poor. She also supports our e-Warehouse program in Kenya. Before joining Grameen Foundation, Debbie spent 20 years in the technology industry, leading and managing technical sales teams, business operations and product management at several companies, including IBM, Legent Corporation and Cisco Systems. She holds a degree in Finance and Economics from Miami University and studied at the Boulder Institute of Microfinance. Debbie has lectured at the Wharton School of Business, the Brookings Institute, the SEEP Conference and the USAID Microlinks Speakers Corner, and has been published in the Enterprise Development & Microfinance Journal. She sits on the board of the DaltonDemorest Foundation.
Global Director, Mobile Agriculture
Whitney Gantt is responsible for Grameen Foundation’s mobile agriculture strategy and leads the expansion of mAgriculture initiatives in new markets. She brings seven years experience designing and implementing mobile agriculture programs in East and West Africa and South and Central America. Prior to joining Grameen Foundation, Whitney worked in the public and non-profit sectors in education, civil society, and national resource management in the US and abroad. She excels in building and leading cross-functional teams who work closely with end-users and public and private sector partners to co-design and co-implement solutions to reduce poverty. Whitney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Colorado State University and a Master in International Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin, where she led research on resiliency and natural disasters, participatory conservation, and gender in water management in the development sector.
Regional Director, Asia & Country Director, Philippines
Gigi Gatti leads Grameen Foundation’s digital, financial and agricultural services initiatives in Asia, facilitates strategic partnerships for program implementation and provides oversight on program deliverables. She has more than 20 years of experience in the IT, banking, insurance and microfinance industries. Previously, she served as vice president at BPI Globe BanKO, technical program officer of Grameen Foundation, National Officer (OGA) at the Asian Development Bank and professor at the Graduate School of Business of De La Salle University. She holds a Masters in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the De La Salle University (Philippines). She also earned a certified microfinance expert certificate from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (Germany) and a certified information systems auditor with ISACA.
Country Director, Kenya & Uganda
Juan Guardado leads Grameen Foundation’s Kenya and Uganda country operations. He directly oversees innovation projects in the agricultural and financial services sectors being implemented in partnership with leading national and multi-national institutions, with a particular focus on mobile technology-enabled operations. Prior to joining the foundation, he was deputy CEO at Equity for Tanzania Ltd, a lease financing institution focused on micro and small enterprises, and co-founded Natural Extracts Industries Ltd, a social enterprise pioneering the production of natural flavours in Tanzania. Before that, he spent five years in McKinsey & Company’s Business Technology Office in London, focused on health technology. He started his career developing patented graphics rendering technologies at Matrox Graphics Inc (Canada) and Nvidia Corp (USA and UK). He holds a B.Eng. from McGill University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Director, Annual Giving
Kari Hammett-Caster leads Grameen Foundation’s efforts to build relationships with donors giving $1-$25,000 annually, managing online and direct mail outreach, as well as Grameen Foundation’s Opportunity Makers, a special circle of donors dedicated to ending poverty. Before joining the Grameen Foundation team, Kari was Manager of Donor Relations at Unitus, where she led workplace giving campaigns, supporter stewardship, donor-related trips and events, and volunteer programs. She also worked in Community Affairs at Microsoft and has more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit fund development and corporate giving. She holds a bachelor’s in communications from Trinity Western University in British Columbia.
Country Director, Colombia
Fernando Henao leads Grameen Foundation’s operations in Colombia. He was previously the planning director of the Colombian Corporation for Agriculture and Livestock Research (Corpoica), the government agency that leads research and technology transfer for farmers. He has also worked in the Colombia’s Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Government Advisor on Coffee Affairs, as apublic and private alliances coordinator for a USAID funded project in Colombia, and as a consultant on local development for the United Nations Development Programme in New York City. His areas of expertise include policy design and implementation for agriculture, institutional relations with public and private sector, and program overseeing for locally and internationally funded initiatives. Fernando holds a B.A. Economics and a J.D. from Universidad de Los Andes and a Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Director, Technology Innovations
David Hutchful provides strategic guidance to the design and implementation of Grameen Foundation’s innovative solutions including the award winning mHealth intervention, MOTECH. Previously, he was a member of the Technology for Emerging Markets (TEM) Group at Microsoft Research where he researched, published and consulted on the design and use of technology in low resource settings. In addition to other award winning innovations, David co-developed a scalable content creation model and a software platform that has simplified and reduced the cost of creating and sharing educational courses online. He received undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy from Calvin College and a Masters degree in Information with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan.
Global Director, Financial Services
Lisa Kienzle manages global operations and strategy for Grameen Foundation’s financial services initiatives. She previously led the foundation's mobile financial services, which worked with financial institutions and mobile network operators to research, design, and scale new financial services for the mobile channel. Before joining Grameen Foundation, she was director of Branchless Banking for MAP International, a mobile money and branchless banking start-up in Uganda. She was also a consultant for mobile and branchless services in South Asia; a strategy consultant at Marakon Associates; and an investment banker at Lehman Brothers. Lisa received a bachelor’s from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School where she tailored her studies around for-profit social enterprise.
Director, Information Technology
Sarah Miller is responsible for managing and supporting Grameen Foundation’s information technology systems. Prior to Grameen Foundation she spent 10 years at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University in a variety of positions including Director of Information Systems. She has over 10 years of experience in project management and five years of technology management at non-profits. She also worked at Amazon.com in their global supply chain launching new sites in new countries. Sarah holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from Pinchot University.
CEO, Grameen Foundation India
Chandni Ohri is CEO of Grameen Foundation India (GFI), which was established in August 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Grameen Foundation. Building on Grameen Foundation’s existing work to provide access to microfinance and information for the poor in India, GFI works to increase the scale and scope of poverty-alleviation efforts there, recognizing the central role a country the size of India would play in such efforts. A native of India, Chandni previously served as Director for Asia Programs at Grameen Foundation. Chandni holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and a Masters in International Development from University of Washington, Seattle.
Director, Talent and Global HR
Astha Parmar manages the global human resources and talent management functions for Grameen Foundation. She leads strategies and initiatives, in partnership with our senior leadership team, to create a rich and engaging work culture that aligns with our values and mission to serve the poor. Her team is accountable for designing and delivering Grameen Foundation’s talent management systems and human capital practices; optimizing our employee lifecycle processes for efficiency and internal customer focus; and ensuring compliance with labor and employment practices for our offices. Astha has more than nine years of experience helping organizations design solutions that best meet their talent needs, and leveraging data and automation to improve HR processes and operations. She also has a Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Seattle Pacific University, and a Masters in Organizational Behavior from Delhi University.
Director, Social Performance Management Center
Julie Peachey directs Grameen Foundation’s social performance management activities across the organization. She was most recently Grameen Foundation’s country director for the Philippines, where she also served as the project manager for a four-year microsavings initiative at CARD Bank. Ms. Peachey is a cross-cultural team leader with 20 years of business and non-profit experience. She has expertise in savings mobilization, institution building, and change leadership. She started her career as a public accountant at KPMG and received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She joined Grameen Foundation in November 2002.
Global Director, Mobile Health
John Tippett leads Grameen Foundation’s global mobile health technology initiatives. He joined Grameen Foundation after 18 years at Microsoft working on software development. He has led the creation of the Open Source MOTECH (Mobile Technology for Community Health) Platform that is currently serving pregnant women, children under five, HIV/AIDS patients, tuberculosis patients, and community health workers in more than 15 countries including Ghana, India, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. John received a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Emily is the CEO of TaroWorks LLC which provides social enterprises and non-profits working in the developing world with tools to manage their field operations, staff, and business in real-time. She worked at Grameen Foundation for over 12 years, where she built and oversaw product for Mifos—an open source core banking system designed for microfinance institutions. Prior to Grameen Foundation, she oversaw product development, marketing and strategic planning for the used-product (“marketplace”) business at Amazon.com. She has over 20 years building and launching successful software products and businesses and has deep experience in data analytics and data driven decision-making. Twitter @TaroWorksGF