Meet Our Scouts, Pt. 2
Jasmin Nadia Rajak
Jasmin’s experience as a specialist real estate attorney and master in environmental law makes her a versatile and capable asset to any MIIS placement partner. She is proficient in analyzing the needs of clients, and requirements of investors in order to fully secure their interests. These roles, in addition to her role as head of residential and commercial mortgage bond departments, allow her to effectively manage teams and projects, legally analyze business models and its impact on land use and environmental conservation, strategize and implement plans, find workable solutions to promote sustainable development and engage various role players. Her professional experience enables her to create win-win solutions for all, and achieve a triple bottom line for entrepreneurs and impact investors. Jasmin’s ability to identify opportunities and connect corporations with entrepreneurs so that success stories are written and investment portfolios grow, is a tool that can be used by MIIS partners to further their vision.
Laura is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and is currently working as an Audit Senior Assistant at Deloitte, serving financial services clients to identify and mitigate potential risks within client accounting, internal control and operating procedures. Her previous experience has been in sales, marketing, customer insight and recruitment in the corporate and NGO sectors. She has worked in an entrepreneurial capacity for social enterprise Venture for America, and within international strategy for Fair Trade USA. Laura has worked with NGOs and financial institutions in a broad range of sectors across the U.S. as a Corps Member and head recruiter for AmeriCorps NCCC— a team-based federal national community service program that has been deemed the Domestic Peace Corps. She is an enthusiastic, adaptive, outgoing and compassionate team leader who is at her best when she is collaborating with diverse groups across functions to pioneer innovative ideas and establish long-standing relationships which affect meaningful change. Though originally hailing from New York, she has been fortunate enough to live in a diverse slew of countries, including Hong Kong and South Africa, and to have traveled through 22 countries and 49 states. While Laura has expertise in financial analysis and modeling, she is seeking a role which allows her to utilize her strong project management, community outreach, and communication skills to play a vital role in strategy, business development and marketing/recruitment.
Location: New York, NY- USA
Partner: Accion NYC
Geneva has the personality skill set and technical experience to connect investors to entrepreneurs and develop small medium enterprises. She understands the investment decision process and balances this with the operational structure and entrepreneurial passion of the small-medium business owner. Her experience in financial asset management firms includes market due diligence, financial analysis and cash flow modeling, and identifying key risks in debt underwriting. Her latter experiences in finance and operations sharpened her skills to identify key risks in operation systems and workflows and improved her ability to communicate and coordinate with key stakeholders. She desires to leave an indelible mark of loyalty, sedulousness, and compassion to the financial inclusion sector.
Donna has committed her heart and energy to the anti-human trafficking movement for over a decade. Most recently, she headed the anti-human trafficking unit at The Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE) Project, a survivor-centered nonprofit organization in San Francisco. Donna is an innovative and adaptive leader, a keen strategic planner and a compassionate team builder. Donna is motivated to weave mission with sustainable business practices to urge meaningful change in the areas of migration, poverty, and exploitation. She is fluent in Hebrew and competent in Spanish; a self-starter and industrious. Communication is her strong suit – she is comfortable in boardrooms and in the field alike and is at her best when she is bridging the two spheres.
Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Partner: Pomona Impact
Catriona’s international equities experience of over 7 years as both an analyst and portfolio manager has provided her with expertise in financial modeling and analysis, portfolio management, building relationships with investors and contributing to capital raising efforts. In her current role, Catriona has been working on strategic initiatives for a large listed property company, which has provided her with a strong business planning skill set. Her extensive experience and well-rounded attributes make Catriona well placed to actively contribute to making investment decisions within an impact investing fund. Catriona has a strong interest in working in healthcare, innovation and energy sectors.
Lizzie has extensive international work experience in development, transnational organizations, and corporate social responsibility. Through her MSc in International Relations, she acquired strong analytical skills to measure and evaluate the impact of social programs and in the nonprofit sector she became well-versed in identifying the characteristics of social ventures and organizations with the greatest potential for success. She developed strong project management, problem-solving, and communications skills through her consulting experience in the private sector, enabling her to independently design and assess programs that generate and scale social impact. Lizzie is passionate about using her cross-sector experience to help organizations translate innovative ideas into successful enterprises.
Partner: Akazi Kanoze
Stan is a proven problem solver with a diverse skillset that enables him to serve in several capacities. He is well suited for operational and business strategy roles at a social enterprise, given his proficiency in negotiating contracts, technology evaluation and development, business strategy and market analysis, marketing, and advising entrepreneurs. He has received awards for his work enabling entrepreneurs to create technology-based start-ups and for his efforts commercializing research innovations. His background in research as a Ph.D. trained neuroscientist and in business development/licensing has allowed him to develop a unique combination of technical skills and business acumen that is valuable to organizations that need individuals to serve across functions.
Location: Xela Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Katharine has a strong interest in finding innovative ways to engage private markets and cultivate stronger entrepreneur ecosystems to solve social problems. She was able to put her passion into practice in her work for Endeavor which focused on researching and analyzing industries, markets, and business models of high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Katharine has been taking financial analysis classes to better prepare for conducting investment analysis and building financial models. Having studied biochemistry, medical anthropology, and pre-medicine at Dartmouth and two years during college working with Peruvian’s healthcare system, she is particularly interested in leveraging her understanding of how funds and companies invest, operate and grow to better serve global health systems.
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Xela Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Patrick has worked as an impact investor and philanthropist for the past 9 years, which give him a holistic perspective and a skillset in ethics research and development, B Corporation metrics, relationship building, due diligence and deal structuring. Patrick enjoys and excels at strategy work, communication, supporting the best in others by asking important questions, getting to the core of issues and having fun while working. Patrick has recently been helping to build a community of local investors, studying the rights of nature legal work, studying what comprises an economy built on peace rather than the military, and inspiring others through coaching or speaking to take wise risks investing in their values.
Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Partner: Pomona Impact
Tyler has gained valuable experience in financial analysis while working for an institutional investment consultancy and managing portfolios for high net worth individuals. In his prior role as Director of Investments at Strategic Financial Associates, he was responsible for developing firm-wide investment strategy, including asset allocation, evaluating investment opportunities, and communicating firm strategy with clients. He has direct experience working with an impact investment fund, volunteering as a Research Associate for Encite Capital, a startup focused on investing in SGBs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Location: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Elliot Grossman graduated from University of California Santa Cruz in 2011 with a major in Business Management Economics and minor in Information and Technology Systems Management. After college he worked for two technology firms in sales and marketing. His professional experience in sales and marketing and extensive background in business has given him expertise in: analyzing target customers, strategic problem-solving, data research and analytics, the organization of information, basic accounting, and communication. Elliot has the professional background, dedication and perseverance to contribute to microfinance and investment firms.
Location: Houston, Texas – USA
Partner: Chilton Capital
Sophia has a varied background including relevant coursework from the politics of developing countries to international security, and work in multiple nonprofit organizations. She has worked in various capacities, including administrative support, research, working with databases, event and conference planning. At the College of William & Mary she has held multiple intern and research assistant positions covering international foreign aid, social conflict, and an e-internship with US Air Combat Command. She has Arabic language skills and has worked in Syria at the Balis archaeological site and spent last summer completing her Monroe Scholar research project in Germany and Austria, while learning basic German language.
Partner: Placement Pending
Brittany’s professional, educational and international experiences have equipped her with insight, innovation and effective implementation skills. Throughout her undergraduate career, during which she studied entrepreneurship and development (Latin American focus), she became aware of the power of integration between the two schools of thought. She has since made it her goal to become a social entrepreneur with a focus on development. This focus allowed her to author business plans whose innovations generated significant economic output while simultaneously addressing societal needs and challenges. Currently, she is a full time Graduate Student at the University of Arizona pursuing a Masters in Development Practice while concurrently working as the Finance Manager for a Non Profit. Through uniquely structured solutions to complex issues, she desires to contribute and shed an indelible and unique light on the people & issues most forgotten in society.
Partner: Jumpstart Academy Africa
Cameroonian by birth and African by destiny, Madelle’s vision is to be a leading social entrepreneur. Madelle acquired this entrepreneurial drive at the African Leadership Academy, after emerging as the top female performer at the Cameroonian National Examinations. With an aspiration to empower African youths, Madelle launched a community organization Youths4Change after graduating with a BA in Law and Anthropology from from the London School of Economics.
Currently, Madelle is the Co-Founder and President of Jumpstart Academy Africa(JSA Africa), a social impact venture which uses leadership and entrepreneurship training to solve Africa’s human capital problem. Through JSA Africa , Madelle’s goal is to train 17,000 young people over the next 5 years.
Location: Kentucky – USA
Partner: Placement Pending
Candice’s strong agricultural background has shaped her to be a self-starter who is motivated by working for a cause. She is a professionally trained public speaker and speech writer, has career experience in advertising, marketing, impact investing, and social investing. In her most recent work as Executive Personal Assistant to the Principal of an impact and social investing fund, Radicle Capital, Candice facilitated due diligence processes, acquired necessary legal and financial documentation; facilitated completion of such documents and more. Candice followed the status of each client from introduction to partnership and facilitated a smooth partnership in hopes of building a more developed local and global community.
Saurabh has an entrepreneurial background with experience in the Indian environment and energy sector, management consulting (market research and business strategy) for international clients and policy research. He also founded a start-up and has assisted other social enterprises in the clean energy and rural development space. He is currently working on a Swedish Energy Agency commissioned research project titled “Alternative venture capital business models within the clean tech area” and helping Hungarian start-up, Biopolus, to raise capital for their social impact project on solving food, water, energy issues in urban slums. He is fully proficient in English & Hindi, and has a beginner level of Spanish.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Village Capital Partner: The Hub San Francisco
Saeid is the first of his family born in the United States. After the Iranian Revolution and Iran-Iraq war, his parents came to the United States with $700. They took courses at a community college to move out of working three minimum wage jobs to find a job as an accountant or as a cab driver. Since he grew up in extreme poverty conditions, most of his tangible skills until just recently have been learned outside the classroom. When his parents divorced 4 years ago, he managed and continue to manage their financial assets like tax returns, income statements, real estate management, etc and legal obligations. Not only has he learned excellent management and financial skills, but he has become even more passionate about social enterprise as a result and have built character and leadership through his life’s journey. Finally, his time at Virginia Tech and then at the University of Virginia have combined to give him the academic background necessary to put his skills in the appropriate context.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Village Capital Partner: Lean Impact
Sharon is from Uganda (“the pearl of Africa”, as named by Winston Churchill). She has lived in Kenya, Congo- Brazzaville, Zimbabwe and Swaziland and visited a number of African countries. Sharon enjoys traveling and particularly enjoy different kinds of music and dance. She has a keen interest in global affairs and development particularly in relation to trade and investment. She received her bachelors in International Studies and Transnational Studies from Westminster College, Fulton- MO. She also minored in International Relations.
Location: Sri Lanka
Village Capital Partner: VilCap Sri Lanka
Xiaou Zhu is a native of Bejing, China. She spent time at a summer camp doing farming work in rural China. She studied South Asia Studies in China and Sri Lanka. She spent four years studying Sinhalese (one of the official language in Sri Lanka). She had a strong exposure to South Asian cultures. She worked in China Radio International Sinhalese service as a translator. She helped to organized many activities in Sri Lanka Embassy. Also, she served as an interpreter for Indian poets and writers.
Location: Shanghai, China
Logan is a social entrepreneur committed to finding solutions to global inequalities by working across civic and private sectors. In his management consulting experience he worked with high-wealth individuals to create social enterprises, co-founded a thought leader conference for social innovation at Brigham Young University, and orchestrated business creation and donation to charities. In the civic sector he provided program evaluation for women’s co-ops at the bottom of the pyramid in rural villages in Mexico, collaborated with nonprofit executives through Guidestar to improve transparency and accountability in the nonprofit sector and won a grant for a Utah County’s mentoring program, increasing their budget and extending the life and reach of a moribund program. Logan graduated from Brigham Young University in Sociology and Nonprofit Management. He is currently working in an urban elementary school in San Antonio, Texas as a Teach For America corps member. As a member of his campus leadership team he formed a committee to build solutions—to create college bound graduates— connecting community and business to the talented student body.
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Village Capital Partner: The Hub Bogota
Therese is a graduating senior at the University of Virginia. She is majoring in Commerce with concentrations in Finance and Information Technology. She is passionate about people, technology, and the power of innovation to tackle social problems. Through several internships, she has gained exposure to companies at all stages from early-stage start-up to mature, as well as across numerous industries including biotechnology, education, engineering and technology, and consulting. She studied abroad in Switzerland where she completed a program of graduate and undergraduate classes in Finance, IT and Global Business. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship, and has been involved in a UVA organization called SEED, which provides free consulting to social enterprise and nonprofit clients around the world.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Village Capital Partner: Growth Africa
Jeff is a first year student at The Paul Merage School of Business focusing on strategy and development. Prior to returning to business school he spent two years abroad with the Peace Corps in Albania. Jeff worked in a rural town and did everything from youth development to grant-writing. Since his first trip outside the US (to India) he has caught the travel bug, but it’s focused more on understanding different lifestyles more than being a tourist. Since then he’s been all over eastern Europe and to Rwanda. In essence he is looking to make a positive impact in deserving people’s lives.
Village Capital Partner: The Hub Burma
Jon Keescker is currently a graduate student at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He has a professional background in nonprofit advocacy, radio journalism and community organizing. Between 2007-2010 Jon worked in Washington D.C. as a lobbyist, organizer, and manager for a national advocacy organization focused on food sustainability and infrastructure funding. His international travel experiences spans more than 50 countries, and in 2011 he spent a year backpacking overland from Europe to China to better understand current affairs in some of the world’s most dynamic regions. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Central Michigan University and is currently pursuing his Master of Public Policy with a focus in international trade and development in Southeast Asia.
Location: Bangalore, India
Village Capital Partner: Impact Edge Accelerator
Natalie is entering her third semester in the MPA program at MIIS, focusing her attention on creative intersections between the public and private sectors to foster sustainable development. After studying Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz, she worked at a foundation supporting social and environmental justice in NYC, Boston, and Providence, and land conservation in the Southeastern US. There, she was exposed to the good work of hundreds of grassroots organizations, and was inspired to join in their momentum. After a brief hiatus managing a small hostel on the California coast, teaching high school in Lyon, France, and leading francophone canoe trips in the wilds of northern Minnesota, Natalie is energized to be at MIIS, where she volunteers for a social entrepreneur in Brazil, teaches French with BUILD, and learns from the diverse experiences of fellow students.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Village Capital Partner: Impact Accelerator
A native of Maryland, who now resides in Virginia, Heather is a professional accountant who longs to see more of the world. She imagines it’s her mother’s British roots that have led her to explore from trekking in Nepal to travels around North and Central America and Europe. Her academic background focuses on business with degrees from a Canadian university and two from Cornell University.
Village Capital Partner: Maya Mountain Cacao
Whitney is originally from bayou country Louisiana. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Lake Forest College, a small liberal arts school north of Chicago, where she studied environmental studies and politics. She just recently completed a year of social service in Miami, FL working in the mathematics department of an ‘at-risk’ high school as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Here at MIIS she is thrilled to be studying business administration and environmental policy!
Location: Bangalore, India
Village Capital Partner: Unitus Seed Fund
Hannah is from Sacramento, California, but has been living in Los Angeles for the past 5 years. She graduated from the University of Southern California in May of 2012 with a degree in Public Policy and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. She was a StartingBloc Fellow, which is how she was first introduced to FMS! For the past year she has been working at GOOD, a community driven platform for people who give a damn. At GOOD she worked on the marketing team as a community manager, but she had her hands in pretty much everything. Outside of work, she takes improv classes, tutor at 826 LA and cook. In the kitchen, her specialties are cookies and pesto, not together, of course. She is passionate about social change and is excited to gain knowledge and experience working with entrepreneurs in the field.
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Village Capital Partner: Cloudpay
Jamie is a first year graduate student in MBA/MA International Environmental Policy joint program. Before coming to the Monterey Institute he worked for 6 years in environmental education and youth development. He spent much of my childhood living in England, and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Exeter. He has been fortunate to travel to many parts of the world including Western Europe, China and South-East Asia and Southern Africa.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Village Capital Partner: Moving Worlds
Calvin is from the country near the West Virginia border in north-western Virginia, grew up on a farm and was fortunate to travel at a young age. His first trip was an amazing program in Spain, and from then on it’s been one crazy ride. Calvin graduated in 2011 from George Mason University and has completed a fellowship with Agora Partnerships and a consultancy with the Inter-American Development Bank.
Location: Mumbai, India
Village Capital Partner: Pearson Affordable Learning Fund
Originally from Seattle, Alaina graduated Middlebury College in 2009 with a degree in International Studies and is a current MIIS student in the Trade, Investment and Development track. Her career path was inspired by two years spent living in rural India working on the ground with aid organizations. On the other side of the world, she also spent a semester in Argentina and has travelled extensively in Latin America. She is using graduate school to focus on development solutions through policy, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and improving the business climate. When not studying, she can be found in the dirt teaching middle schoolers about organic farming or a few hundred feet up a cliff in Yosemite.
Location: Kolkata, India
Village Capital Partner: Ikure Techsoft
Minh Vo grew up in Vietnam and, during high-school, traveled and volunteered in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and China before entering the U.S for college. His first successful entrepreneurial experience was starting an annual public campaign advocating for and providing direct provisions for abandoned children in his home city (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) while pursuing a high-school education in Singapore. His second was taking a gap year before college to sustain it; his third (and current) is starting a Life Skill and Character Development Program for young orphans in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Now, he is a rising College Senior at Swarthmore College, having recently developed a deep interest in impact investing since his participation in Net Impact Conference 2012.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Village Capital Partner: Growth Africa
Michelle is an experienced project manager and business analyst in the international financial markets industry. She wishes to harness her private sector experience for the benefit of the impact-investing sector. Michelle believes that a business must incorporate quantitative ‘social value’ as the norm and that coupled with the use of social innovation, hopes to overcome the challenges facing ‘bottom of the pyramid’ consumers and separately also tackle the lack of effective funding models. Most recently, as a member of the Young Professional Network board for Women’s World Banking, Michelle has been an active, positive ambassador and advocate for the benefits of microfinance through the organization of quarterly education and social events, whilst also engaging in continual learning. Michelle is originally from Sydney, Australia however has been fortunate enough to work, live and study in Singapore, London and New York. Michelle has a graduate degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Sydney and currently resides in New York.
Village Capital Partner: Up Energy
Andrew is a second year MPA student at MIIS. He has been fortunate enough to study abroad in Italy, Tunisia, and Egypt. Andrew has traveled throughout Northern and Western Europe in addition to Russia and Kenya. He hopes to find a career abroad and use the Arabic language skills that he has been developing over the past few years. Andrew has worked in micro-finance, public health, and emergency management positions.
Location: Sao Paolo, Brazil
Village Capital Partner: Pipa
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Arianne Renee Dilts is an environmental researcher with extensive international and multi-cultural experience and a commitment to facilitating sustainable development through localized solutions. She graduated from Franklin College in Switzerland in 2010 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies, and she is now pursuing a joint-program degree for an M.A. in International Environmental Policy and an MBA in International Business Administration at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. During her years abroad, Arianne visited over 20 countries across the globe, conducting studies in Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Her professional portfolio includes a range of research, volunteer and practical experience opportunities that have engaged her at different organizational levels: from multi-national institutions like UNESCO Iraq, to local community-led non-profits like the Bay Islands Conservation Association in Honduras and the Mangrove Association in El Salvador. Her studies and experiences have allowed her to analyze best practices of sustainability and, most recently, explore the potential role of business in providing a solution for sustainability and development. In addition to a passion for learning foreign languages, Arianne enjoys playing the piano, exploring cultural dance forms, solving logic puzzles, and spending time outdoors.
Village Capital Partner: First Cut
Since graduating from Middlebury College in 2010, Mallory has worked as an associate with a grant-making foundation, served on the board of directors of a community organization, and worked as an internal consultant for a national nonprofit. These experiences have led her to believe that the best way to positively impact a community is through empowered leadership. For example, the foundation she worked for allocated grants to regional councils, comprised of leaders from that region of the state of Colorado, for them to decide which organizations from their communities should receive funding. Mallory facilitated grant-making decisions for the council from the Northeast region of Colorado and helped it launch a project that gave seed funding to local entrepreneurs with the best business plans. In its first year, the program allowed ten businesses to open that are still succeeding today and has solidified her belief in social investment. She grew up in Colorado and was currently working in Denver, though she has spent a considerable amount of time abroad. In high school, she studied in Costa Rica, Ireland, and Spain. While at Middlebury, she double-majored in history and Spanish and had the opportunity to study in Chile. While there, she assisted an educational government organization in promoting their mission as their social media coordinator. This experience gave her a unique insight into working in the public sector abroad and the many challenges the sector faces. Mallory also had the opportunity to visit neighboring countries of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. She enjoyed the challenge of taking on a new language, navigating cultural expectations, and embracing the nuances of everyday life in a foreign country. She learned how she reacts to adversity, how to connect with people from a different background, and how to understand and accept an outside perspective of her own culture.
Location: Redwood City, CA (Remote)
Village Capital Partner: The Civic Accelerator and Chilton Capital
Kate is a business consultant and entrepreneur. For the past 14 years, she has worked with a variety of organizations — from sole proprietorships to major nonprofit medical institutions — developing organizational strategy, providing financial oversight, raising funds, and conveying value through compelling communications. With a BS in Business Administration from American University, and specializations in finance, international economics and international development, she has had a lifelong desire to work at the intersection of business and public good. Her community involvements include time on the board of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce, as chair of the LAJCC Foundation, and she is currently serving as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for Santa Clara County foster youth. In October/November 2009, she volunteered in Ghana with Women in Progress, a grassroots micro-business development organization. Throughout 2010-2011, she and her husband traveled full-time, residing for two-plus months each in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand, while she simultaneously developed and launched a training program to help solopreneurs envision and bring to life their ideal businesses. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling (24 countries and counting!), hiking and creative outlets, particularly photography and painting.
Location: Boulder, CO/ Remote
Village Capital Placement Partner: Campbell Law Group
Marsha is a veteran business writer building a CSR consultancy. Her first career was in journalism, based in Asia. Following this, Marsha’s second career was in corporate/government communications. Currently, she works in fine tuning CSR initiatives to be based on long-term investment models.
Assignment: Market Knowledge Insights, FATE Foundation and Lofty Inc. Lagos, Nigeria
Degree Program: Master of Public Administration
From: Reno, NV
Languages: English and French
Assignment: V-Shesh, First Light Ventures of Gray Ghost Ventures
Location: Chennai, India
Degree Program: Master of Business Administration
From: Taiwan & San Diego, CA
Languages: English, Mandrin, Spanish, Taiwanese
Komla Doe Dotse
Assignment: LoftyInc PLC
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Degree Program: Master of Public Administration
From: Kpadapé, Togo
Languages: French, English, Ewe
Assignment: Lofty Inc.
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Degree Program: Master of Arts in International Policy Studies
From: Monterey, CA
Languages: English, French