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, Financial Services
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.
Director, Community Knowledge Worker
Kwasi Donkor is based in Kampala, Uganda, where he oversees Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker program. Before joining the foundation, he was responsible for driving specialized sales and channel management strategy for Tigo Cash, Millicom’s mobile money offering in Ghana. While at Millicom, he built the start-up commercial team that was responsible for launching and transforming Tigo Cash into a multiple award-winning product in Ghana and across West Africa. He was previously responsible for global sales and marketing strategy for Dun and Bradstreet’s enterprise and strategic customers – a portfolio generating about $200 million annually. Kwasi began his career as an analyst in Merrill Lynch’s private client banking business. He received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Joseph Wharton Fellow. He also has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.
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.
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.
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.
Director, Human Resources
Beverly Jackson leads human resources initiatives across all Grameen Foundation offices. Her human resources career spans 25 years in the public sector, where she managed benefits, employee relations, payroll and talent management initiatives for large heath care institutions. She received her master’s in Human Resources Development from Towson University.
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, 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.
Country Director, Ghana, and MOTECH Program Lead
Karen Romano oversees Grameen Foundation’s Ghana operation, including the MOTECH Ghana initiative managed in collaboration with Ghana Health Service. Before joining Grameen Foundation, she served as Country Director for Project Concern International (PCI) Botswana leading programs that built capacity and partnerships among government, civil society and commercial sector to deliver and scale health, social welfare and livelihoods services for people affected by HIV/AIDS. An international public health specialist with 20 years of experience, Karen played a key role in developing the first major HIV/AIDS behavior change, multi-sector response and community mobilization programs in Zambia that became national and regional models for scale-up, and has designed and led health and development programs in Central America, India, Indonesia, Malawi and Ethiopia. Prior to PCI she worked with Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine (SPH&TM) and with UNICEF. She holds an MPH in health communications and epidemiology from Tulane SPH&TM.
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 has more than seven years of experience in the technology sector, most recently at Amazon.com, where she oversaw product development, marketing and strategic planning for the used-product ("marketplace") business, which achieved $81M of sales in the first year of operations. Before to that, she worked at Wired Digital (the online division of Wired magazine), where she was the Senior Producer of Wired News.
Emily has long been interested in India. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a degree in Comparative Religion and South Asian traditions, and spent her junior year of college studying at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India.