Expert Commentators: Women | Tools | Technology
Meet the Women | Tools | Technology Challenge Expert Commentators - thought-leaders who will be sharing their insights, expertise, and feedback on innovations that enable women to access and use the power of technology to expand their opportunities for economic advancement.
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Leila Chirayath Janah
Leila first developed the idea behind Samasource while working as a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners (now Booz & Co.), where her clients included global leaders in the outsourcing and telecom sectors and a number of prominent non-profits. Along with Professors Thomas Pogge and Aidan Hollis, she founded Incentives for Global Health and helped produce a plan for incentivizing the development of new drugs for neglected diseases. As an undergraduate, Leila authored background papers for the World Bank's Development Research Group and Ashoka on equity and social rights. Leila is a recipient of the Rainer Arnhold and TEDIndia Fellowships, and serves on the San Francisco board of the Social Enterprise Institute. She is a former Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Program on Global Justice and the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Australian National University. When she's not running Samasource, Leila blogs on Social Edge and tries to keep up with her Twitter account. She holds a B.A. from Harvard University.
Ewa began working in development ten years ago when she arrived in East Timor as an Australian volunteer to work for a local NGO. She subsequently established a local women’s empowerment organization - Centro Feto, which remains an important local organization until today. Since then Ewa has lived in Indonesia, Sierra Leone and Thailand and worked for NGOs, the United Nations and the World Bank. Throughout her career, Ewa has focused on protecting the rights of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Ewa has extensive experience in the design and implementation of projects which seek to improve access to justice and empower poor and disadvantaged communities. Ewa’s undergraduate study focused on Asian studies, and her graduate specialization was in politics and public policy.Ewa grew up in Poland and Australia.
Toshi has extensive experience in international development gained during his career with the United Nations. He has spent the past nine years living in East Timor, Indonesia and Sierra Leone working with the United Nations and dealt with governance reform, peace building processes and post-disaster reconstruction including the tsunami in Aceh and the Yogyakarta earthquake. While in Indonesia he piloted a Base of the Pyramid approach by engaging Japanese companies in pro-poor business development. Prior to joining the UN Toshihiro was a management consultant for McKinsey and Company in Tokyo. He holds an L.L.B from Kyoto University, Japan and Masters of Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.
Mauricio Sartori is a Brazilian MBA student at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Sartori holds a Public Administration degree from EAESP/FGV. He has experience in Management Consulting and Manufacturing and is passionate about business development and gender equity. Prior to persuring his MBA degree, Sartori worked for Accenture and DuPont. Upon graduating, Sartori will join McKinsey at the São Paulo Office.
Rochelle Beck’s US and international work in both for- and nonprofit organizations reflects the values of a social entrepreneur long before that phrase was coined. As Founder of Culturas del Sol, Inc., she created and grew a profitable corporation for over 20 years with a “conscious capital” mission: to generate sufficient revenues in the US market to provide sustainable incomes to artisans in Latin America and Africa so they could continue their culture-driven skills and provide economic incentives to their children to improve their lives while maintaining their heritage. Beck leveraged Culturas to generate orders and incomes for more than 3,000 artisan families, who in turn provided steady sales and employment for over 24,000 related local businesses. In 2000, Beck was invited to compete in the World Bank’s Development Marketplace, and won from among 1,200 international juried entries. Her vision was to create, pilot, launch and market the Artisan Enterprise Network, an Internet-based, international micro- and small business information, training and mentoring program, reflecting her decades of experience in the field and her belief that the Internet could spur the democratization of information and access that would spell success for millions of enterprises.competing in the global marketplace. Beck received her doctorate from Harvard University in Social Policy Analysis in a joint program of the Graduate School of Education and the Kennedy School of Government. She currently lives in Miami, where she has been Vice President of the Everglades Foundation and mentors leaders on sustainable development, private-public policy and partners, strategic planning and mission marketing.
Isobel Coleman is Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and director of the Council’s Women and Foreign Policy program. Her areas of expertise include political and economic development in the Middle East, regional gender issues, educational reform, and microfinance. She is the author and co-author of numerous publications, including Strategic Foreign Assistance: Civil Society in International Security (Hoover Press, 2006) and Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President (Brookings Institution Press, 2008). Her forthcoming book, Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East will be published by Random House this spring. Her writings have also appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, and online venues such as the Huffington Post. She is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences. Prior to joining the Council, Dr. Coleman was CEO of a healthcare services company and a partner with McKinsey & Co. in New York. A Marshall Scholar, she holds a DPhil and MPhil in international relations from Oxford University and a BA in public policy and East Asian studies from Princeton University..
Wayan Vota is a technology expert focused on appropriate information and communication technologies (ICT) for rural and underserved areas of the developing world.He is currently the Senior Director of the Inveneo Certified ICT Partner Program, where he is developing a network of entrepreneurial information and communication technology companies focused on installing and maintaining rural and remote technology deployments across Africa and Asia. One aspect of that effort is ICTworks - an online community for ICT practitioners in the developing world.
Wayan Vota also develops unique, successful communities of practice through engaging, authoritative online content, and on- and offline organization through multiple distribution channels, including: convening the Technology Salon, exploring the nexus of ICT and development; publishing OLPC News, the premier independent online community on One Laptop Per Child; and developing the Educational Technology Debate for infoDev at the World Bank.
In addition, he has over a decade of global experience in design and development of technology-based solutions, including: launching national professional social capital networking programs for Mercy Corps; promoting technology-based economic development programs for IESC Geekcorps; and designing corporate financial workflows for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Moscow.
Sangeeta joined Acumen Fund in November 2008; she leads the Ripple Effect project in the Water Portfolio. Prior to joining Acumen Fund, Sangeeta was Executive Director of the non-profit League of Artisans, where she worked on developing livelihoods for artisans in India. She has also consulted with CARE India in New Delhi, developing the business plan for ACCESS, a CARE-funded project focusing on livelihoods and microfinance. She also consulted with American India Foundation in New York. Sangeeta transitioned to the non-profit sector after spending many years in Silicon Valley's dynamic private sector. She served in various positions in the semiconductor industry, where her responsibilities included global product marketing, product and business development. Sangeeta holds a Master in Public Administration and a MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University in New York, as well as a MS in Physics from Northeastern University.
As a founding principal of Good Capital, Kevin leads market formation activities and advisor and portfolio company engagement. He has extensive private investment experience as both a limited partner and as an angel in a range of technology and social enterprises. Kevin’s former positions include CEO of Net Market Makers, an $18 million revenue online community and research and events company. Kevin built Net Market Makers into the largest brand in business-to-business internet commerce before it was sold to Jupiter Media Metrix in 2000. Five of his previous six businesses all achieved market dominance before he left or sold them.
As a journalist, Kevin has been a columnist for Forbes and Business 2.0 magazines. Early in his career, his reporting was instrumental in sending a Mississippi sheriff to prison on 53 counts of fraud. He has been on the boards of Social Enterprise Alliance, the association of non profit social enterprises, and Social Venture Partners International, a network of engaged philanthropy circles. Kevin also led a malaria project in Swaziland and Mozambique, working with Jeff Sachs of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Finally, during his 20 year business career in Mississippi he was on the founding board of Parents for Public Schools, now a national organization of community-based chapters working to attract all members of the community to public schools.
With an international career spanning from UNICEF to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the World Bank, Dr. Iman Bibars is a globally revered social development expert.
Currently, Dr. Bibars serves as a Vice President at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global organization that accelerates social change by identifying and investing in leading social entrepreneurs. In 2003 she established the Arab regional office, electing more than 40 Ashoka Fellows to date, and expanding the office's work to cover Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, and the Palestinian Territories. Additionally, she is a co-founder and chairwoman of the Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women (ADEW), an organization that provides credit and legal aid for impoverished female heads of household. With ADEW, Dr. Bibars effectively changed the Egyptian Nationality Law, placed female heads of household and their legal existence on the national agenda, while also saving street vendors, dwellers in squatter areas, and tanners from government prosecution.
In 1981 she received her BA in Political Science (Summa Cum Laude) from the American University in Cairo (AUC). She then studied as a Peace Fellow at Georgetown University's Center of Contemporary Arab Studies Program with a focus on international affairs, political economy and social development in the Middle East. Following her studies at Georgetown, from 1987-1988 she was a Parvin Fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with a focus on management, finance, economic development, and resource mobilization. Dr. Bibars returned to the AUC in 1988 to obtain her masters in political science, and then in 1999, earned her Ph.D. from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University, UK.
She, along with Ashoka Arab World, is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and recently has published the first book written in Arabic on US President Barak Obama.