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Senior Advisor and Independent Consultant
Jennifer Paige Holt is a Senior Advisor to Building Markets and is currently managing the development of the organization’s new Frontier Market SME investment fund. From 2007-12, she held the position of Deputy Executive Director. Under her leadership, Building Markets opened its first US office and expanded its operations across Afghanistan, Haiti, Timor-Leste and Liberia helping to broker over $1.2 billion in contracts and create 70,000 local jobs. Jennifer also led more than half a dozen studies measuring the economic impact of international spending and worked with the United Nations to produce its first field guide for the start-up of new peace operations. Prior to this, Jennifer was a Program Associate in the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Population and Forced Migration program. She holds a Masters degree from Columbia University and has spoken on the subject of private sector development at Oxford University, the Council on Foreign Relations, the UN, the OECD, and NATO.
Author and Speaker
Friends of the Earth-Middle East
Munqeth Mehyar received a degree in Regional Planning and Architecture from the University of Louisiana, USA in 1981, upon which he became the planning engineer for South Amman. Being a committed sportsman, a pilot and scuba diver, Mr. Mehyar was the project manager for the German Balsam International Sports Company, and then the Middle East Manager of the Athlete Sports Contracting Company. He serves on the Board of Directors of both the Jordan Sports Federation for the Handicapped, and the Jordan Royal Ecological Diving Society. Mr. Mehyar was awarded a medal from Al Houssain Distinguished Giving for his charitable activities. Further to being co-founder of FoEME, he is also the Founder and Director of the Jordan Society for Sustainable Development, an environmental NGO based in Amman. He has organized dozens of conferences and workshops, supervised research on shared ecosystems, co-authored reports and policy papers and speaks regularly on water, peace and security issues.
Chief Operating Officer
Wendy is an experienced senior executive with expertise in the areas of finance, contract negotiation and management, including with domestic and foreign governments, international business development and operations management, strategic planning and marketing and communications. She has worked across a broad range of industries in both for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Her industry experience includes aerospace, computer technology – hardware and software, venture capital, humanitarian response and environmental energy conservation industries. She has successfully managed and implemented operating functions in many start-ups and small businesses, and has extensive experience in developing and deploying key business infrastructure systems to allow businesses to scale and expand; including internationally. Along with her InSTEDD activities, she is acts as an advisor to student lead outreach programs in financial literacy at Berkeley and Stanford.
Sir Richard Branson is Founder of the Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world’s most irresistible brands, with more than 100 companies worldwide and approximately 60,000 employees in over 50 countries. Branson has found entrepreneurial ways to provoke positive change in the world. In 2004 he established Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, which strives to make business a force for good.
Director Business Development
Chris Isaac is a founding director of AgDevCo, a US$140 million impact fund which invests in socially responsible farming and agriprocessing businesses in Africa. AgDevCo operates in five countries and has a rapidly growing portfolio, with over 25 investments made. Chris has been making investments and working on development issues in SSA for more than 12 years. Prior to that he had a career in corporate finance in the UK. He studied economics at Oxford and the London School of Economics.
The Young Foundation
Mulgan obtained a First Class degree from Balliol College, Oxford and a Ph.D. in telecommunications from the University of Westminster. He was also a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, trained as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka and worked for a spell during the 1980s as a van driver for the "Labour-supporting collective of musicians and comedians known as Red Wedge", opting ultimately for a career in local government and academia in the UK and going on to become an influential writer on social and political issues in various newspapers and magazines in the 1990s including the Independent, Financial Times, Guardian, New Statesman and Marxism Today. He worked as a reporter for BBC television and radio and was made a CBE in 2005. His current base, the Young Foundation, mainly works on social innovation - the design and launch of new social organisations, but also produces some publications, including recent ones on social innovation and the state of British society
Office of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs and for Malaria
Suprotik Basu is Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for Malaria. He concurrently serves as CEO of the MDG Health Alliance, an initiative of the Office of the Special Envoy focused on bringing business leaders and business approaches into the efforts to achieve the Health MDGs. Mr Basu leads strategy development for the Special Envoy, to secure sustained financing for and the achievement of the the Health MDGs by the internationally agreed deadline of December 31, 2015.
Steve Hall is Managing Director of Venture Investments at Vulcan Capital focusing on Internet services, data intelligence, alternative energy and mobile networks. This portfolio includes Redfin, Audience, PTC Therapeutics, Avalanche Technologies, Applied Proteomics, SiOnyx, Siluria, Omeros, MOSAID, Sand 9, Zilkha Biomass, PayLiquid, Off-Grid Electric, Context Relevant and Vulcan Spectrum. He serves on the boards of the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Prior exits include About.com, Multex Systems, Live Advice, Bigfoot Interactive, BiPar Sciences, Gist, Decide.com, SportStream and Vulcan Spectrum. Steve was formerly a corporate attorney with White & Case focusing on M&A and securities transactions. He has lectured on venture capital investing at Columbia, UCLA and Boulder law schools. Steve received his double BA in business administration and political science from Furman University and JD from Columbia University Law School.
Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Radha Muthiah is Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. As the leader of the Alliance, which was launched in 2010 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and is housed at the United Nations Foundation, Radha oversees a 20-person staff working to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean cookstoves and fuels. Radha is a senior manager with more than 20 years of experience in establishing and leading country operations for both for profit and nonprofit organizations, managing large global organizations through transition, fostering effective partnerships and alliances and designing and delivering on branding and marketing strategies. Radha is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Board member of the Society for International Development.