Expert Commentators: The G-20 SME Finance Challenge

Meet the The G-20 SME Finance Challenge Expert Commentators - thought-leaders who will be sharing their insights, expertise, and feedback.

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Lael Brainard
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  • Lael Brainard

    Lael Brainard serves as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Under Secretary for International Affairs, a position for which she was confirmed by the United States Senate. Brainard advances the Administration’s agenda of strengthening U.S. leadership in the global economy to foster growth, create economic opportunities for Americans and address transnational economic challenges, including development, climate change, food security and financial inclusion.

    She served as the Deputy National Economic Adviser and Deputy Assistant to the President on International Economics during the Clinton Administration, addressing challenges such as the Asian financial crisis and China’s access to the World Trade Organization. She also served as the U.S. Sherpa to the G-8. Most recently, Brainard was Vice President and Founding Director of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution, where she held the Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in International Economics and directed the Brookings Initiative on Competitiveness.


    Randall Kempner
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  • Randall Kempner

    Randall Kempner is Executive Director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The network's members provide critical financing and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create significant economic, environmental and social impacts in developing countries. ANDE’s 90 plus members have operations in 130 emerging market countries.

    As executive director of ANDE, Randall oversees the implementation of ANDE’s extensive program and policy agenda, including efforts to develop standardized social and environmental metrics for impact investment, training seminars on supporting and investing in emerging-market entrepreneurs and the ANDE Capacity Development Fund, a $1m facility which supports capacity building and innovation within the SGB sector.

    Randall has fifteen years of experience in the field of national and international economic development. Most recently, he served as Vice President for Regional Innovation at the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Prior to joining the Council, Randall was co-founder of OTF Group, an international consulting firm that advises regions and nations on how to create competitive advantage. He is frequent speaker on entrepreneurship-based economic development strategies. Randall graduated from the University of Texas with an M.B.A and an M.P.Aff. He earned his bachelor's degree in Government from Harvard College.


    Randall Kempner
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  • Bert van der Vaart

    Bert van der Vaart was one of the co-founders of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) in 1989, when it was known as the CARE Small Business Assistance Corporation (CARESBAC). Mr. van der Vaart negotiated the establishment of CARESBAC/SEAF’s first fund in Poland in 1992. Mr. van der Vaart joined SEAF on a full time basis in 1994 as Director-General of CARESBAC-Polska, which under his direction grew to total capital under management of $16.8 million. While serving as Director-General of CARESBAC-Polska from August 1994 until May 1997, the company completed 27 SME investments and realized its first 6 exits. In 1997, Mr. van der Vaart became SEAF’s CEO and President and has been involved with the establishment and supervision of each SEAF fund, frequently traveling to work with each SEAF fund office.

    From 1984 through 1994, Mr. van der Vaart was a Partner and Associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C, Frankfurt, and Brussels where he specialized in corporate law. From 1983 through 1984, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company in London and Munich. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he also studied finance at Yale School of Management; a B.A. in Politics and Economics and a M. Phil. in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He has co-authored "Defining SMEs: A Less Imperfect Way of Defining Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries" in Brookings Global Economy and Development, September 2008. A Dutch national and dual citizen of the Netherlands and the United States, he speaks Dutch, English, German, French, and some Polish.


    Guy Pfeffermann
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  • Guy Pfeffermann

    Guy Pfeffermann was born in Montauban, France. He received his Licence en Droit et Sciences Economiques in Paris in 1962 and was awarded first prize, Concours General, a French national inter-university essay competition. Mr. Pfeffermann was a Besse scholar at St.Antony's College, Oxford from 1962-65 and received a B.Litt. (Oxon.) in 1967.

    Mr. Pfeffermann joined the World Bank’s Young Professionals Program in December 1966. He served as Chief Economist for the Latin America and Caribbean Region from 1979-87 and Chief of Debt and Macroeconomic Adjustment division from 1987-88. He was the Director of the Economics Department and Chief Economist for the International Finance Corporation from 1988-2003. Since 2003, he has served as the Director of the Global Business School Network of International Finance Corporation. He retired from the World Bank in 2006. From 2000-2003 he was also an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. From 2003-2007, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Giving Foundation. He is currently on the Advisory Board of the Association of African Business Schools (AABS).


    Laurie Spengler
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  • Laurie Spengler

    Laurie J. Spengler is President and CEO of ShoreBank International Ltd. (SBI), a company that delivers a broad range of services to financial institutions and their funders globally within core sectors of small business finance, microfinance and housing finance. SBI is the international advisory arm of ShoreBank Corporation. In addition to her responsibilities with SBI, Ms. Spengler is a member of the Executive Management Council of ShoreBank Corporation. Having founded and managed a business solutions and legal services firm in Central Europe for 15 years, Ms. Spengler brings an entrepreneurial perspective and an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of working in transitional economies.


    Julie Sunderland
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  • Julie Sunderland

    Julie Sunderland is the Senior Program Investment Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she is responsible for managing the foundation’s program-related investments and working with program teams (global health, global development and US programs) on innovative financial mechanisms.

    Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Sunderland led Oriane Consulting, a firm that specialized in private sector development, especially entrepreneurship, small business development and capital markets. She has advised foundations, development finance institutions and governments on venture capital, SME financing and technical assistance programs, and worked with private equity fund managers in Africa and Eastern Europe on investment strategies, portfolio management, and exits.

    Ms. Sunderland holds a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Wharton Business School and a MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She has published a number of articles on private equity in emerging markets and is an alternate to Alan Patricof on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board.