Confirmed Speakers

The Following are Confirmed speakers for the 2013 Summit. To search for a speaker on this page, use Ctrl + F.

Florencio “Butch” Abad, Secretary of Budget and Management, Philippines


Florencio “Butch” Abad is currently working as the Secretary of Budget and Management in the new Aquino administration, and has been involved in public service for more than a decade, serving in various capacities after the restoration of democracy after Martial Law. He started his political career by serving as Representative of Batanes in 1987 and was appointed Secretary of Agrarian Reform under the first Aquino administration. He later returned to Congress as House Representative of Batanes in 1995, where he served three consecutive terms. In 2004, he began his term as Secretary of Education, during which he pursued key reforms in basic education that he started as a legislator. From 1999 to 1994, Abad served as president of the Liberal Party, where he continues to be a highly influential figure and is widely regarded as a mentor for political aspirants. These include President Benigno S. Aquino III himself, whom Abad served as campaign manager in his Senatorial and Presidential bids in 2007 and 2010. Since assuming the role of Budget and Management Secretary, he has successfully spearheaded several expenditure reforms—including Zero-Base Budgeting, Bottom-Up Budgeting, early budget enactments, deeper civil society engagement, and landmark digitization initiatives—effectively bringing greater transparency, accountability, and openness in the public expenditure process.

Tala Abbasi, Portfolio Manager, Microcredit Enterprises, USA


Tala Abbasi joined MicroCredit Enterprises as a Portfolio Manager in January 2013. Prior to joining MCE, Tala was working in Iraq supporting SMEs as a Portfolio Monitoring Manager with Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation. Tala also worked with Global Communities’ (formerly CHF International) development finance group, from 2008-2012, providing technical support to MFIs and SME lenders. Before entering the world of microfinance, Tala was the CFO at KIPP Academy of Opportunity, part of the KIPP Foundation network. Tala’s dedication to the social sector began early on, and during her time at UC San Diego, where she earned her B.A. in Economics, she worked with several non-profits, including CALPIRG and Upward Bound. Tala received her MBA at USC Marshall School of Business. When not working or traveling, Tala enjoys African drumming and exploring nature. Tala is a California native, and currently resides in San Francisco.

Chandula Abeywickrema, Project Director, Hatton National Bank, Sri Lanka

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Chandula Abeywickrema is currently the Project Director of Hatton National Bank (HNB) which is the largest private sector commercial bank in Sri Lanka, spearheading the spinning off of the microfinance and development banking activities into a separate financial institution with a view to lead and drive the financial inclusion landscape of Sri Lanka. Prior to the appointment as Project Director, Chandula was the Deputy General Manager – Development Banking where he overlooked the area of Development Banking which includes micro financing. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Special) Degree from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. He is also the Chairman of the Banking with the Poor Network (BWTP) which is the largest Asia based microfinance network having its secretariat in Singapore. In addition to the above positions, he is also Chairman of Lanka Financial Services for Underserved Settlements (LFSUS), a joint venture between UNHABITAT and the Government of Sri Lanka to initiate a national programme for low income housing, and Splendor Media (Pvt) Ltd. Mr. Abeywickrema has earned a reputation as a leader, innovator and practitioner in microfinance in Sri Lanka as well as in Asia. He was appointed as the Team Leader for microfinance for the Asian Bankers Association in view of his wide knowledge and expertise. Recently he was appointed as a member of Executive Advisory Board of YouthSave Consortium, USA and also serves in the Advisory Committee of the Youth Inclusive Financial Services, an initiative of the Washington based Makingcents International. Chandula also serves as an Independent Non Executive Director of Thaneakea Phum (Cambodia) Ltd, one of the largest microfinance institutions in Cambodia. In addition the above positions, Chandula is also a Director of Vision Fund a fully owned company of World Vision International. He is a distinguished expert Speaker at key microfinance forums worldwide. He has also obtained professional exposure and training in the Credit Analysis, Marketing, Business Management, Finance & Banking and Leadership in Europe and Asia.

Meliza Agabin, Associate, Financial Education, Microfinance Opportunity, Philippines


Meliza Agabin is a rural banking and microfinance specialist with more than 25 years of experience in the Philippines and other countries. Mely Agabin served as the Deputy Chief of Party of the Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) program in the Philippines, a program supported by USAID from 1998 to 2012. During nearly 15 years with the MABS Program, she led the development of the MABS Approach to Training and Technical Assistance enabling banks to develop and provide better financial products and services to micro businesses and farmers. Her involvement in mobile banking services dates back to 2005 when MABS program introduced mobile phone banking to rural banks with the support and partnership of two e-money issuers and the regulator. She got involved in the process of developing financial education tools for mobile money users under a partnership with Microfinance Opportunity (MFO). Currently working in rural banking and microfinance as an Independent Consultant, Mely Agabin serves as Independent Director on the board of Rizal MicroBank, a microfinance-oriented bank.

John Alex, VP & Head of Social Initiatives, Equitas Group, & Program Director, Equitas Development Initiatives Trust, India

John Alex_Equitas_India_187x249John Alex, after graduating in Agriculture & Rural development, he started his career as a Group II Gazetted Officer in Tamil Nadu State Government and served as Extension Officer (Agri) & Block Development Officer in North Arcot District, Tamil Nadu from 1979 to 1983. Joined Indian Overseas Bank as a Probationary Officer and served as Agri Field Officer, Branch Manager, Regional Assistant Chief Officer, Senior Manager & Chief Manager in various Branches in Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh from 1983 to 2008. Joined the Management Team of Equitas in 2008 and conceptualized and set up the team for Social Initiatives with a clear focus to address a larger spectrum of requirements of clients in the field of Health, Education, Skill Development, Food Security, and Placement for unemployed Youth etc.

Ayman Albarawi, Managing Director, Bank for Innovation & Partnership, Sierra Leone

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Ayman Albarawi is a microfinance expert with over 14 years of experience working with AGFUND, UN-Gaza, Arab Bank and CHF-International in countries and regions with extreme political, social and economic conditions such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and West Africa. Mr. Albarawi’s experience includes project management, financial planning, book-keeping, institutional auditing, and developing financial management tools and MIS. He possesses excellent knowledge of Microfinance MIS, Accounting Software, and Microsoft applications, in addition to QuickBooks and MICROFIN. He takes responsibility and aspires to develop and use skills and experience in an effective manner.

Nasser Al-Kahtani, Executive Director, Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND)

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Nasser Al-Kahtani is the Executive Director of the Arab Gulf Program for Development – AGFUND. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Miami – Florida, the United States of America, and is considered to be one of the most distinguished Arab leaders in the field of human development. Furthermore, Mr. Al-Kahtani is a member of the Board of Trustees of several renowned organizations, among which are the Arab Network for NGOs in Cairo, Egypt; the Center of Arab Woman for Training and Research (CAWTER) in Tunis, Tunisia and the Arab Open University (AOU). Thus, Mr. Al-Kahtani has won the confidence and high esteem of various executive councils functioning in human development and has become well known as one of the most influential development leaders in the Arab world. Mr. Al-Kahtani is also the Head of AGFUND Team for establishment of the Banks for the Poor in the Arab world, in addition to his membership on the boards of many banks and financial institutions working in the field of microfinance in the Arab Region. He played leading roles and has bold contributions in the development and upgrading of micro, small and medium finance institutions.

Mohammed Al-Lai, CEO, Alamal Microfinance Bank, Yemen

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Mohammed Al-Lai has an accounting background. He pursued his first degree at Sana’a University in Yemen and received his Master in International Banking and Finance from Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K in 2004. Mr. Al-Lai brings valuable experience from the Yemeni banking sector. The positions held by Mr. Al-Lai include working as the Deputy Governor of the Banking Supervision Sector to the Central Bank of Yemen and serving as the Head of the Small and Micro Enterprise Development Unit (SMED) at the Social Fund for Development. In addition, he was Chairman for Aden Microfinance Foundation and a board member on Al-Awael Microfinance Company. Mr. Al-Lai has participated as an Onsite Banking Examiner and has lectured in the Arab Academy for Banking Sciences in the evaluation of banking performance. He is currently the CEO founder at Al-Amal Microfinance Bank, the first of its kind in the region, in addition to being Chairman of the Yemen Microfinance Network and board member of Sanabel and Al-Ebdaa Microfinance Bank in Syria. Mr. Al-Lai has completed various research and economic papers, some of which are published in the Gateway and other local and international magazines. Furthermore, Mr Al-Lai has participated as speaker in many conferences and workshops related to banking and microfinance worldwide.

Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, Founder & Managing Director, CARD MRI, Philippines

Aris AlipDr. Alip is the Founder and Managing Director of CARD MRI, the Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Public Service in 2008. He was recently conferred the Order of Friendship Award by the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Ernst and Young recognized him as the Social Entrepreneur in 2006. Awarded the most Distinguished Alumnus in the University of the Philippines in 2007. Named as Eminent Fellow of the Development Academy of the Philippines in 2012. Dr. Alip is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Harvard University having completed the 3 year OPM program in 2007 where he was given the Excellence Award in Strategy. He holds a doctorate degree in Organizational Development in Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute (SAIDI), Philippines. He finished his bachelor and masteral degrees in the University of the Philippines at Los Banos.He also attended the Executive Program in Global Management at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, U. S. A in 1999. CARD MRI is a group of mutually reinforcing institutions composed of CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, CARD MBA, CAMIA, CMDI, CMIT, RRB, CARD NGO, BDSF, CARD Leasing and Boti CARD aimed in eradicating poverty in the country. As of July 2013, CARD MRI outreach is more than 2 million poor families in the Philippines for its microfinance program with over US$ 180 Million loan outstanding and providing microinsurance products and services to more than 8.4 Million individuals in the Philippines.

Marlowe Aquino, Project Manager, Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association(APRACA)


Marlowe Aquino is a rural sociologist and development advocate. He is presently working the APRACA as a Project Manager of the IFAD sponsored FinServAccess Project. Prior to his engagement with APRACA, he was a visiting social scientist, Philippine Carabao Center, lecturer on agricultural and green marketing at Assumption College San Lorenzo, Makati City, knowledge management and agricultural R&D management specialist of the Bureau of Agricultural Research, Department of Agriculture, Philippines. He has worked with national and international organizations like the Food and Agriculture Organizatin of the United Nations, Asian Productivity Organization, ICRISAT, IRRI, The World Vegetable Center, APNAN, APEAEN, International Sociological Association. He is also an active member of various scientific and civic organizations involved in food and culture, international tourism, environment, agriculture and rural development. He has published and presented various research outputs in national and international conferences, forums and publications.

Nicola Armacost, Managing Director, Arc Finance, USA

Nicola Armacost is the Managing Director of Arc Finance; formed in the spring of 2008 to expand access to finance for clean energy and water. Niki has over 19 years experience in microfinance; from 1993 to 2008, she worked at Women’s World Banking, a global microfinance network where she held a number of senior management roles. Niki is an advisor to several finance and energy organizations including Distributed Capital (financial services, USA), Frontier Markets (distribution systems, India), SIMPA Networks (payment systems, USA/India), Stima Systems (micro-leasing, USA/Kenya), Angaza Design (solar pay-as-you-go system, USA and Tanzania), Lumeter Networks (pre-paid metered off-grid electricity) and EcoZoom (clean cookstoves, USA). She is the Co-Chair of the United Nations Foundation SE4all Investment and Finance Practitioner Working Group. She also serves on the Board of MISFA (the donor consortium for microfinance in Afghanistan), Global Exchange (a human rights organization based in California) and is a Trustee of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson in New York, USA. Niki holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto, Canada, an LLB from Queen’s University, Canada and an LLM from the Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada.

Yasir Ashfaq, Group Head-Financial Services, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Pakistan

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Yasir Ashfaq is the Group Head, Financial Services Group in PPAF, the microfinance apex institution of Pakistan. He has led the design and implementation of PPAF’s strategy for microfinance. PPAF as the wholesale lender and market leader is a key institution in the microfinance sector. He has spearheaded PPAF’s campaign to improve business environment for microfinance in Pakistan, leading to improved penetration of financial services and changing the focus from microcredit to holistic financial services. He represents PPAF on policy forums at the Central Bank, Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, government departments, donor agencies on microfinance and financial inclusion, nationally and internationally. Over the last five years, he has had a central role in developing the microfinance institutions and market in Pakistan, bringing new products, catalyzing growth, managing risks, promoting impact from the delivery of financial services, improving governance and institutional robustness. He has contributed to the promulgation of regulations for Micro-Insurance and is on the working group developing regulations for the non-bank Microfinance Institutions under the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Mr. Ashfaq represents the Apex on the key Microfinance Consultative Group led by the State Bank of Pakistan. Mr. Ashfaq has over 18 years of experience in the financial sector in various capacities. He has held positions of Chief Financial Officer, Head of Treasury and worked in corporate finance, finance and accounts, risk management divisions of commercial and investment banks. He is an associate member of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan and holds a Masters Degree in Economics from University of Sydney, Australia.

Lim Aun, Chief Operating Officer, SATHAPANA Limited, Cambodia


Lim Aun has over 15 years working experience with microfinance institutions, commercial bank and international audit firms. He is currently working as Chief Operating Officer at SATHAPANA Limited, a leading microfinance institution in Cambodia. Prior to joining SATHAPANA Limited, Mr. Lim Aun previously served as Senior Auditor of KPMG Cambodia from 1997 to 2002, having a wide auditing exposure including a year’s stint in Malaysia. In 2002, he started working at Vattanac Bank, a commercial bank in Cambodia, holding various managerial positions such as Main Branch Senior Manager, Head of Finance, Head of Operations, and lastly, Deputy General Bank Manager until his resignation in November 2012. Mr. Lim Aun joined SATHAPANA Limited as Chief Operating Officer in December 2012. As a key member of the Executive Management team, he looks after the credit, deposits, operations, and marketing departments, as well as all operational activities for all branches.

Adama Ba, Head of Operations, UM Pamecas, Senegal

Adama Ba is the Head of the Operations in the UM Pamecas and Chief of the Remittances Project conducted in collaboration with ADA – Luxembourg. She has occupied various functions in Pamecas: first as an advisor in credit, then as Coordinator of the programme of access for Senegalese women to financial services, then as Head of the department of credit and, since 2005, Ms. Ba is Head of the Operations of Pamecas. She manages the service of operations Ms. Ba participated in comprehension, in development and in experimentation of product promotion for migrant savings. Ms. Ba acquired her workmanship in economics and management in 1993, then acquired her certificate for upper accountant in 1995 and DEA in general economy in 1996 and her upper certificate in bank finance and management of risks issued by the University of Paris 13. Previous speaking engagements: Numerous interventions in different settings both national and international. On remittances, Adama was speaker on the Convergences Forum in 2011 held in Paris and in the Global Remittances Forum in 2009 held in Tunis.

Soukeyna Ndiaye Ba, Founding Member and Chair, FDEA Microfinance, Senegal


Soukeyna Ndiaye Ba graduated in Sociology from Sorbonne University in Paris and served as the Senegalese Minister of Decentralized Cooperation and Regional Planning from 2002 to 2005. She acquired more than thirty years of professional experience in different areas including management of development organizations and programmes, projects design, microfinance, migration and development, remittances, women economic empowerment, and gender mainstreaming, business development, and monitoring and evaluation. Ba has good skills and capacities in fundraising as well as in lobbying and advocacy. She has worked in many countries in Africa and around the globe, as a consultant or as a professional with the United Nations system. She is the Executive Director of INAFI International Foundation, and a Chair and founding member of Femme Developpement Entreprise en Afrique (FDEA), which is one of the first microfinance organizations based in Senegal. Ba has been nominated as Board member of the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation in 2010, Air France Foundation in 2009, and is a member of the Association of Professionals of the Microfinance sector in Senegal (AP-SFD) and the Steering Committee of the Africa Middle East Microcredit Summit in 2010.

Reem Badran, Chairwoman, Alwatani Microfinance Bank, Jordan

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Reem Badran is a former member of the 16th Jordanian House of Representatives. She is the Vice-President and board member of the Chamber of Commerce for both Amman and Jordan. She was the first woman in Jordan to win the 2009 elections of both chambers by obtaining the highest number of votes. Moreover, she runs her own consultancy company, Al Hurra, which deals with management and business development. Ms. Badran also chairs the Committee for the Development of Investment at the Economic Unity Council of the Arab League. She is a member and chair of several boards of directors in various investment companies working in real estate development, education, finance, industry and consultancy in Jordan and the Arab countries. In addition, Ms. Badran is a member of several local and international non-profit organizations operating in the sphere of women, youth, leadership, finance and economy. She previously served as the Executive Director and Board Member of the Kuwaiti Jordanian Holding Company and as the Executive Director of Jordan Investment Board. Born in Amman, Ms. Badran is a mother with two children and holds a Masters degree in International Economics and Middle Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Dipal Chandra Barua, Founder and Chairman, Bright Green Energy Foundation, Bangladesh

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Dipal Chandra Barua is Founder & Chairman of Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF), and a pioneer of solar energy in Bangladesh. Before this, he was President of the Bangladesh Solar & Renewable Energy Association (BSREA) and founding Managing Director, of Grameen Shakti, Bangladesh, as well as
Co-founder & Deputy Managing Director at Grameen Bank until December 2009, where he designed and implemented Grameen II, heralding exponential growth and profitability for the Bank. Mr. Barua has more than 35 years of experience in finding sustainable market-based solutions for the social and economic problems faced by rural people. He has wide experience in providing advice and technical assistance to renewable energy technology programs all over the world. He was selected as a Lead Author by the IPCC on Financing & Investment and also served as a member of strategic advisory board by IRENA at the initial stage. He is also a member of the advisory board of the International Climate Initiative, German, and a board member of Solar For All, an initiative to expand solar energy to the rural people. In 2011, Mr. Barua was elected the first President of Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association (BSREA), with a vision for Bangladesh to become the first “solar nation” by 2020.

Jaclyn Berfond, Senior Associate, Women’s World Banking, USA

Jaclyn BerfondJaclyn Berfond is a Senior Associate on the Women’s World Banking strategy team, where she leads monitoring and evaluation initiatives including the analysis of network financial and social performance data, and manages the Women’s World Banking Gender Performance Initiative to create a framework of gender-based performance indicators. Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Jaclyn was a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she researched issues of international political economy, including economic development, globalization, trade policy, immigration, financial systems, and the intersection of technology and foreign policy. Previously, she worked in client service at a private wealth management firm. Jaclyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics from Boston University and an International Organizations MBA from the University of Geneva.

Sofi Bergkvist, Managing Director, ACCESS Health International

Sofi Bergkvist is the founding Managing Director of ACCESS Health International, a think tank and consulting group with the aim to improve access to high quality and affordable healthcare. Programs of ACCESS Health include support to health financing reforms and processes in healthcare service delivery. Sofi is also a Senior Researcher at the Indian School of Business, where she focuses on evaluations of health financing systems and public private partnerships in healthcare. Previously, she was a healthcare analyst for an asset management company in India. She has also worked in management consulting in Sweden, where she focused on outsourcing of public sector services. Sofi was engaged with the UNFPA in Malawi and carried out a cost-effectiveness study of the national road map for reduced maternal mortality. She has also worked as an advisor to the European Commission’s Delegation to the United Nations on sustainable development issues. Sofi has a Master of Science in international economics from the Stockholm School of Economics, and studied in the MBA program at McGill University in Montreal.

Juan Borga, Outreach and Partnerships, Lead Specialist, Inter American Development Bank, Japan


Juan Borga, an Argentinean citizen, joined the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2003. He has served as co-financing specialist in charge of various trust funds such as the Korean Poverty Reduction Trust Fund and the IIRSA Fund. He was also in charge of the creation of different multi-donor trust funds. He assumed the current position at the Asia Office of the IDB in 2007 with the mission of collaborating with relevant Bank Departments in promoting resources mobilization in Japan, Korea and China to enhance Bank Activities in Latin American and the Caribbean region. Prior to joining the IDB, Juan worked for the Japan Bank of International Cooperation, Representative Office in Argentina as well as for private sector companies in Japan.

Julissa Camasta, Assistant Director, ADOPEM, Dominican Republic

JulissaJulissa Camasta joined ADOPEM in 2009 as Assistant Manager in the bank deposits department and later became the Assistant Director for the remittance department. She has a Bachelors in Business Administration and a Graduate degree in Corporate finance. Previous speaking engagements: She participated in the workshop “Savings Innovations for Youth” in Sri Lanka in April 2012 organized by the Women’s World Bank. She has also participated in several workshops for the Barna Business Scholl regarding Savings Mobilization and Sales and Management Skills Development.

Lorenzo Chan, President & CEO, Pioneer Life Inc., Philippines

Lorenzo ChanLorenzo Chan is the president and CEO of Pioneer Life in the Philippines, which strives to provide flexibility in product development and outstanding service to MFIs and their clients. He drove the concept of bite-sized or sachet insurance for the retail and mass market, including an insurance and savings card, an award-winning comic book for youth that teaches money smarts, and the development of microinsurance. At Pioneer, microinsurance started out with the objective of creating affordable, easy-to-enroll, and simple-to-claim products. Today, Pioneer’s life company is partnered with numerous microfinance institutions, including several of the country’s largest, as well as rural banks, and derives close to 10 percent of its premium volume and more than 1 million enrollments from microinsurance.

Mayukh Choudhry, Co-founder, Milaap, India

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Mayukh Choudhryleads lending and strategic initiatives for Milaap, the Indian microfinance crowd-funding site, from concept to execution. Prior to co-founding Milaap, he was a financial risk consultant in Dubai, where he worked with top banks and asset management firms. Mayukh has spent the last four years in building technology-enabled financing models – working in consumer lending for solar lanterns at D.light, then in developing a commodity financing company as the Head of Collateral Finance with one of India’s leading agri-logistics providers. Mayukh has traveled and worked extensively in the hinterlands of India – with distribution partners, microfinance organizations, cooperatives, and customers cutting across various socio-economic segments. Mayukh has a B.Tech in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, and a Management Degree from Indian Institute of Management Lucknow.

Craig Churchill, Chief, Social Finance Programme, International Labour Organization

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Craig Churchill has twenty years of microfinance experience, in both developed and developing countries. In his current position as the Chief of the ILO’s Social Finance Programme, he focuses primarily on the role of financial services to achieve “decent work” outcomes, including job creation and reducing vulnerability. He serves of the Chair of the Microinsurance Network, team leader of the ILO’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility, and is on the governing board of the Access to Insurance Initiative. Craig has authored and edited over 40 articles, papers, monographs and training manuals on various microfinance topics including microinsurance, customer loyalty, organizational development, governance, lending methodologies, regulation and supervision, and financial services for the poorest of the poor.

Jose Rico Coligado, President, Negosyong Pinoy Finance Corporation (NPFC), Philippines


Jose Rico Coligado Currently serves as the president of Negosyong Pinoy Finance Corporation (NPFC). The company is a private financing corporation dedicated to serving the “missing middle” or small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that find it difficult to access the formal sources of capital like banks. Others called this niche “small growing businesses or SGBs”. In 2011, Rico together with a Swiss partner George M. Petty established NPFC with the objective of helping SMEs grow and expand and in the process create sustainable jobs for the disadvantaged people. Before establishing NPFC, Rico worked as Assistant Vice President (covering the Visayas Region) for People’s Credit Finance Corporation (PCFC), a Philippine government finance corporation specializing in wholesale microfinance relending where he worked for 13 years. After leaving PCFC, he joined Oikocredit, an international ecumenical development cooperative society based in the Netherlands, as Country Manager for the Philippines and later assuming the position of Deputy Regional Director for Southeast Asia. He had a brief stint with Philippine Business for Social Progress for its SME credit program. Rico earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila 1990).

Gordon Cooper, Head of Emerging Market Solutions, VISA Inc., Singapore


Gordon Cooper is Head of Emerging Market Solutions for Visa Inc. In this capacity, he leads a team exploring new business models for Visa in emerging markets, with a particular focus on unbanked and under-banked segments. The group’s focal project is Visa’s Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Rwanda, which includes the rollout of a new mobile phone based service: mVISA. Gordon joined Visa in 1998 and, over a five year period, was responsible for smart cards and other payment technologies in different parts of Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Among other things, he oversaw Visa’s first major tests of mobile commerce in Asia Pacific and the first public launch of the Visa payWave contactless payment service. In 2004, Cooper moved to Ho Chi Minh City to establish Visa’s representative office for Vietnam, serving as country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He subsequently oversaw Visa’s operations in Singapore and Brunei before becoming Regional Head of Mobile Innovation in Asia Pacific (and then Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa), a position he held for four years. Originally from Halifax, Canada, Gordon holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with Asia specialization from York University and an Honors Degree in Political Science / International Relations from Dalhousie University. He lives in Singapore with his wife and four children.

Jovita Corpuz, Executive Director, Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC)

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Jovita Corpuz is the Executive Director of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) since 2001. She was formerly the Assistant Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR). As Executive Director of the ACPC, she is the chief architect, advocate and implementer of the agricultural credit policies and programs of the Department of Agriculture (DA). She advises the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and ACPC Council Members on the appropriate rural and agricultural credit policies and programs. Ms. Corpuz is currently the President of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association Center for Training and Research in Agricultural Banking (APRACA-CENTRAB), and Chairman of the APRACA Training and Research Committee an organization composed of 58 member-institutions from 26 countries. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the APRACA. She has a BS degree in Agriculture Economics from the University Philippines at Los Banos, Laguna. She earned her Masters degree in Agricultural Commerce from the Lincoln University Canterbury, New Zealand. Ms. Corpuz’s field of expertise includes development and operation of rural development programs, research management, policy research, rural finance policy formulation and development of innovative financing schemes, among others. She has consulted on various projects and programs of international organizations and foreign government agencies such USAID, FAO, and World Bank. Ms. Corpuz is a career executive with the rank of CESO IV.

Irma L. Cosico, Chief Executive Officer, ASKI Global

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Irma L. Cosico is the Chief Executive Officer of ASKI Global Ltd. She has been in the micro-finance industry in various capacities for almost fifteen years, and served as the Managing Director of ABS-CBN Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship & Human Resource Development until March 2010. She headed the Micro-finance Operations of the ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation from 2003 to 2005 and the Client Services Group from 1999 to 2002. Irma also served as Consultant to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2002 where she assisted in the design of the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction Project – Philippine Business Initiatives in Rural Development. She was commissioned by Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC) in 2006 to do a study on Franchising Micro-finance.Irma was one of the pioneers of the Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development, a network of Philippine Christian-based MFIs and was seconded as Project Coordinator of the Micro-finance Council of the Philippines in 1998. She received her MS in Development Communication at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and Master in Public Administration at the Carleton University Canada as a CIDA scholar. She also holds a Master in Entrepreneurship degree from the Asian Institute of Management.

Nurfarini Daing Abdul Rahman, CEO, myHarapan, Malaysia


Nurfarini Daing is co-founder and CEO at myHarapan, a foundation dedicated to developing independent and wholesome youth by empowering them with both choice and opportunities. She was previously the general manager for 1½ years before assuming her role as CEO. She was previously with the Multimedia Development Corporation, guardian of Malaysia’s Super Corridor and headed the Project Management & IT services unit under the Technopreneurs Development Department. She has 14 years of start-up experience and also did training and coaching for small enterprises and unemployed graduates. Nurfarini graduated from the University of Warwick, UK, in Accounting and Finance. She also attended the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program in 2011 and has a certificate in Teaching, Stamford College. myHarapan, or the Youth Trust Foundation, was established in August 2010 and has since then engaged over 25,000 Malaysian youth in various initiatives that promote taking positive action. The foundation is a social entrepreneurship advocate and uses it as its compass. myHarapan also won the bid to co-organize the Global Social Business Summit in 2013, the brainchild of Prof. Muhammad Yunus and his creative director, Hans Reitz. myHarapan has also launched their Social Venture/Business Fund to provide access to funding for start-up Social Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Malaysia.

Dr. Cecilia Del Castillo, Executive Director, NWTF, Philippines

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Cecilia Del Castillo is the founder and Executive Director of NWTF in the Philippines, which has more than 1,000 employees delivering microfinance services to over 170,000 active clients, the majority of whom belong to the poorest of the poor in the islands of Negros, Panay, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Leyte, and Palawan. In 2005, Dr. del Castillo and NWTF established the Dungganon (Honorable) Bank, the first microfinance thrift bank in Western Visayas, to provide formal banking services to its clients. In 2011, Dr. del Castillo and NWTF formed Dungganon Office of Information Technology, Inc. (DO-IT), a non-stock, non-profit organization that aims to provide technology solutions for MFIs. Dr. del Castillo is a Board member of Dungganon Bank and President of Dungganon Office of Information Technology (DO-IT), she is also a member of the Board of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI). Dr. Del Castillo has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Maryknoll College, a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling at the Ateneo de Manila University, and a Doctorate in Education from Indiana University at Bloomington.

William Derban, Director, Financial Inclusion, CSR & PMO, Fidelity Bank Ghana Ltd, Ghana

William Derban is the Director of Financial Inclusion, CSR and PMO for Fidelity Bank Ghana where he is developing the bank’s financial inclusion strategy. His areas of focus are microfinance, payment services and running the first agency banking service in the country. He is also responsible in aligning the Bank’s corporate responsibility strategy to its core business strategy. In the past 14 years, he has focused on providing sustainable, market based, financial services to the unbanked within the financial industry in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. William earned his doctorate in Microfinance and Development Finance from the Nottingham Business School, UK. He provides lectures on sustainability and financial inclusion and is also a passionate speaker at various conferences on development across Africa, Middle East and Europe Expertise Prior to working for Fidelity Bank, Dr. Derban was the Head of Community Relations with Barclays Africa and Emerging Markets where he managed the community investment strategy across 14 countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia. He also held various senior positions in the global community investment and financial inclusion departments. William’s main expertise is in helping organizations think creatively about how they impact their communities. At Barclays, he developed the financial inclusion strategy in Africa, which led to the first linkage between a global bank and informal financial groups in Ghana (susu collectors). Subsequently, he led the strategy of downscaling to informal groups with a £10m project working with savings groups across Africa, Asia and Latin America with CARE international and Plan. In addition to financial inclusion, he has established successful projects on youth entrepreneurship, preventative health, clean energy solutions, female empowerment and integrated rural development programmes. By managing sustainability projects worth in excess of $20m for over 150 NGOs both large and small, across Africa, Middle East and Asia, Dr. Derban has developed a keen understanding of what it takes to build successful partnerships between companies and NGOs.

Nara Hari Dhakal, Project Coordinator and Rural Finance Sector Specialist, Ministry of Finance, Nepal

Nara Hari Dhakal holds a PhD degree in economics. He is an expert in banking, finance and enterprise development. Dr. Dhakal started his career at Agricultural Development Bank Limited (ADBL) in 1983 as a loan officer. After leaving ADBL in 1991, he worked in different national and international organizations both in Nepal and abroad as a consultant, project manager, project coordinator, team leader and financial sector adviser. He is currently working as a Project Coordinator/Rural Finance Sector Specialist in the “Rural Finance Sector Development Cluster Program” financed by the Asian Development Bank and executed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Nepal. Besides Nepal, Dr. Dhakal provided consultancy and advisory services in other Asian countries namely Afghanistan, Combodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste. He is fully certified trainer of Microfinance Training of Trainers’ course developed by UNCDF. Dr. Dhakal’s expertise lies at promoting inclusive finance in Nepal wherein the services has been targeted for the youth, poor and disadvantaged groups to who enhancing access has been a challenge.

Illac Angelo Diaz, Executive Director, MyShelter Foundation, Philippines


Illac Diaz is a former corporate executive who has since gone on to establish several foundations that provide sustainable solutions to societal problems. He is the executive director of MyShelter Foundation, a non-profit organization which has been engaged in improving the lives of many Filipinos through the creation of sustainable solutions for using recycled materials for the building of clinics and classrooms in rural areas. Diaz has a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and finished previously the Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was recognized as one of the Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum, Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World by the Jaycees International, and is an Ernst and Young Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year. He has returned to the Philippines to apply and disseminate his research in needy communities throughout the country.

Afua Boahemaa Donkor, Executive Director, Star Microinsurance, Ghana

AfuaAfua Donkor is the Executive Director of Star Microinsurance (Ghana). She is credited with setting up Ghana’s first locally owned Microinsurance Company and developing a set of products initially deployed into newly created markets for Microinsurance products in 2008. She was involved in all aspects of setting up the business, including recruiting and training core staff, defining the business strategy and maintaining oversight for its successful implementation. Star Microinsurance serves more than 1.4 million clients in Ghana with more than 5 Microinsurance products designed specifically for the needs of the low income Ghanaians. Star Microinsurance has also partnered with institutions like the ARB Apex Bank (consisting of 136 rural and community banks), Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (consisting of 584 MFI’s), Ghana Co-operative Susu Collectors Association and the Ghana Post Services. Star Microinsurance is a success story of a Microinsurance entity which has a vision to expand and cover the whole Africa. Afua’s first degree was in Mathematics from the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) she also holds an M.Sc. in Actuarial Science (Heriot Watt University, Scotland) and an Advance Diploma in Insurance from Ghana Insurance College and Malta International Training Centre.

Motaz El Tabaa, Executive Director, Alexandria Business Association (ABA), Egypt

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Motaz El Tabaa is the executive director of the Alexandria Business Association (ABA) and the chair of the Egyptian Microfinance Network and a member of its steering committee. In addition, he is a board member in several investment companies, Sanabel, and the Micro Finance Network. Moreover, El Tabaa is a financial and managerial consultant and trainer at the Arab Academy for Science & Technology. He is also a senior trainer for CGAP, Sanabel, and PlaNet Finance, covering a wide range of subjects such as: credit courses, product development, strategic planning, business planning, monitoring & supervision, marketing, customer service, and human resources. El Tabaa has more than eight years of experience in microfinance with ABA, seven years in financial markets with EFG-Hermes and nine years of experience in financial markets with EFG-Hermes. He also has 20 years of banking experience with the Commercial International Bank (previously Chase National Bank) and American Express Bank.

Tony Fosu, CEO, Sinapi Aba Trust, Ghana

Tony Fosu is an experienced Microfinace Practitioner. He started his career in rural Ghana as a Loans Officer and has risen through the ranks to be the Chief Executive Officer of Sinapi Aba, the largest and leading Microfinance Bank in Ghana. Over the past 7 years he has led the Company to grow from a small NGO to a regulated institution with branches all over Ghana and over 150,000 loan clients and 200,000 savings clients.

Jessica Gamburg, Business Development Manager, One Acre Fund


Jessica Gamburg is currently the business development manager at One Acre Fund, a non-profit organization headquartered in Bungoma, Kenya that delivers seed and fertilizer, training, and financing within walking distance of over 135,000 smallholder farm families across rural East Africa. Gamburg formerly served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal. She received her MBA from HEC Paris, and her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work experience includes financial modeling of U.S. commercial real estate assets, as well as marketing and business development for international non-profits. English is her mother tongue; she also speaks French, Wolof, and some basic Turkish.  

David Gatawa, Head of Marketing & Business Development, Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, Kenya


David Gatawa is an internationally experienced senior management professional with over 18 years of corporate, retail & microfinance banking and project management experience in the banking industry and a First Class Honours graduate of Civil Engineering with an MBA from Leicester University UK. He has previously served as a Lead Business Consultant with the World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI) implementing a Bill & Melinda Gates funded project at Lesotho Postbank. Prior to joining Postbank, he worked for the Global UK Bank, Barclays Bank for 12 years. David is also an ACCA and ACIB (UK) finalist. David is currently the Head of Marketing and Business Development at Kenya Post Office Savings Bank where he is responsible for the development, planning and execution of the bank’s marketing, business development and corporate communication strategies. David is also the Head of a joint project with Save the Children International for the development and roll out of a pro poor children’s account. Prior to the current role, David was the Senior Manager (Change & Strategy) responsible for Postbank’s turnaround through strategy formulation, research, development and implementation, monitoring and control of the Operational and Strategic Change Programmes/Projects of the bank.

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Chairman & Managing Director, Bandhan, India

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh Chandra Shekhar Ghosh with over 29 years of experience has been a force to reckon with in the microfinance and development terrain. His grasp over the subject is exemplary which has won him recognition in the fraternity. A ‘Senior Ashoka Fellow’, Mr. Ghosh has deliberated on the discipline of Microfinance at various institutes of international repute viz. IIMC, IIM Indore, IIT Guwahati, IIFT, NIFT, Management Development Institute Gurgaon, as well as national and international forums. One of his papers was presented at the prestigious 86th Annual Conference of Western Economic Association International (WEAI) in San Diego, USA. By virtue of his peerless leadership, he adorns a number of important chairs in the esteemed sectorial associations. Mr. Ghosh is on the Governing Board of Sa-dhan, the primary association of Microfinance Institutions of India. He is the Vice President of Micro Finance Institution Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory body of NBFC MFIs He is also one of the founding fathers of Association of Microfinance Institutions (AMFI) West Bengal, a self-regulatory organization encompassing MFIs having their operation in West Bengal. He has the distinction of being one of the Committee Members of the Core Team that Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has formed for its Partner MFIs to advise in the policy making process. Mr. Ghosh is a member of ‘State Level Review & Coordination Committee on Credit Delivery Innovation’ constituted by NABARD. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (ASSOCHAM) have constituted two special committees on ‘Financial Inclusion & Microfinance’ and ‘Banking & Finance’. Mr. Ghosh is a distinguished member of both the committees. The membership at Social Development and Community Affairs Sub-Committee constituted by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has also been conferred upon him. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has reconstituted Financial Inclusion Committee. Mr. Ghosh has been invited to voice his opinion as a member of this crucial committee. Microfinance India is an international platform which is guided by Microfinance India Group of Advisors. Mr. Ghosh is the member of the said group. He has been elected as a member of the Managing Committee of The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). Recently, he has been invited to be a member of the Advisory Committee for the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit to be organized by Microcredit Summit Campaign. M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation has formed its Conference Advisory Committee on Financial Inclusion & concurrent development of payment systems and infrastructure, titled FIPS DELHI 2013. Mr. Ghosh has been invited to grace the position in this distinguished committee. He has recently joined as a member of the CII National Committee on NBFCs and also the Economic Affairs, Finance & Taxation Sub Committee constituted by CII. He holds an M.Sc. in Statistics and has attended the HBS-ACCION Program on Strategic Leadership for Microfinance at Harvard Business School.

Mallika Ghosh, Chief Operating Officer, Paarinam Foundation, India

Mallika GhoshMallika Ghosh completed her education in Emerson University, Boston, USA. She spent seven years in Advertising; her last job was as Head of Film Division, South India for McCann Erickson. In January 2010, she chose to move to social development and worked as a consultant with Parinaam for five months before deciding to become a full-time employee. She supervises the operations of the Foundation and develops the Parinaam Programs, such as the Financial Literacy Program (Diksha) and the Academic Adoption Program.  

Sebastian Groh, Project Manager, MicroEnergy International, Germany

Sebastian GrohSebastian Groh is project manager at MicroEnergy International (MEI), a Berlin-based consulting company focused on the linkage between microfinance and sustainable energy supply. In 2009, Sebastian co-initiated the Energy Inclusion Initiative in Peru, supporting two local microfinance institutions in diversifying their portfolio with a green loan. Sebastian leads a consortium for the EcoMicro project in Mexico, as well as he is responsible for the implementation of the Energy Inclusion Initiative in the Philippines. Along his work for MEI, Sebastian is currently pursuing his PhD at the Technische Universität Berlin on the role of energy in development processes at the chair of Economics of Climate Change of Prof. Edenhofer. Previous to his work at MEI, Sebastian worked on the trading floor at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, at ProCredit in El Salvador and Planet Finance in India. Sebastian holds a Bachelor in Economics from University of Mannheim (Germany) and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain) as well as a Masters in International Economics from the University of Goettingen (Germany), University of Pune (India) and Universidad José Matías Delgado (El Salvador). Furthermore, Sebastian received an executive training on strategic leadership for microfinance from Harvard Business School and is a Stanford Ignite Fellow of 2013 at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Hussain Haider, Access to Energy Specialist, ADB-Energy For All, Philippines

Hussain Haider has 15 years of experience covering energy and environment sector initiatives in developing Asian countries. Haider has a wide ranging expertise in project identification, design and management. He has also identified investment opportunities to encourage participation of public and private sector in renewable energy projects contributing to sustainable economic growth. He has led and been involved in designing turn-key wind/solar solutions for rural communities, telecom and government organizations promoting use of green energy. Currently, Haider is working as an Access to Energy Specialist in Energy for All initiative in ADB headquarters, Manila supporting variety of activities including access to green finance in Tajkistan, FI loan in Mongolia for energy efficient and clean energy products, smart mini-grids and other renewable energy applications in developing countries of Asia. Mr Haider is also a recipient of prestigious national award Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Honour) by the President of Pakistan.  

David Hamilton, President, MAMBU, Germany

David Hamilton

David Hamilton is the President of Mambu GmbH, the banking and microfinance technology provider. Mambu was established in 2011 and Hamilton joined the company in September 2013, in order to lead the company through its next phase of global growth. As the financial services industry transitions to a ‘cloud-first’ Mambu’s cloud-based SaaS offering is enabling banks to rapidly address new market opportunities and reduce the excessive costs previously associated with software licenses, maintenance and in-house infrastructure. With a proven ability to grow and lead high-performing global businesses, Hamilton is ideally placed to help Mambu capitalise on its opportunities in the high growth financial services marketplace. Hamilton, whose banking career spans more than 20 years, was most recently president of SunGard Financial System’s global banking business, where he led a global team in delivering retail, corporate and private banking solutions to more than 1,200 banks worldwide. Prior to SunGard, Hamilton was managing director of Fiserv Asia-Pacific where he held overall responsibility for the company’s core banking, channel renewal and business process management business across the region. A native Australian, Hamilton is based in Geneva, Switzerland and has lived and worked extensively in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.

Nazmul Haque, Director (Investment) and Head of Advisory, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), Bangladesh


Nazmul Haque has been the Director of Investment and Head of Advisory for the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), the largest energy and infrastructure financing company in Bangladesh since 2003. During his tenure with IDCOL, Mr. Haque was involved in structuring and financing many large infrastructure projects in sectors including power, telecom, toll roads, ports, ICT etc. Mr. Haque also plays a major role in IDCOL’s large renewable energy programme. He was actively involved in designing IDCOL’s successful solar home system program funded by the World Bank, ADB, IDB, JICA, GIZ and other development partners. It is the largest solar home system program in the world and, as of July 2013, more than 2.4 million households have been connected to solar energy through this program. Mr. Haque has also contributed to developing the country’s first biomass gasification based power plant as well as a nationwide domestic biogas program. Mr. Haque is currently working with various local and international stakeholders to promote improved cook stoves in the rural areas as well as other urban renewable energy applications. Mr. Haque is the focal point at IDCOL for all carbon finance related issues and serves as a resource person on CDM documentation and procedures. He was actively involved in the PoA development for the IDCOL solar energy program and Efficient Lighting Initiative of Bangladesh and is currently working on PoAs on biogas based electricity, biogas for cooking, solar water pumps, improved brick kilns etc. Mr. Haque is a leading expert in Project Appraisal Techniques and Financial Modeling. He has given international trainings on financing large projects, renewable energy financing, advanced project finance and financial modeling, corporate valuation techniques, Public Private Partnership etc. in Singapore, Indonesia, Cyprus, Sudan and Uganda. Mr. Haque has also presented papers in various international symposiums and conferences in South Korea, USA, France, Germany, Kenya, Ghana, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. Mr. Nazmul Haque completed his graduation in Finance and Management Information System from North South University.

Syed M. Hashemi, Professor, BRAC University, Bangladesh

Syed M HashemiSyed M. Hashemi is the founder-director of the BRAC Development Institute. BDI is a resource center for promoting research and building knowledge on practical solutions for addressing poverty, inequity and social injustice. It provides a space for academics and practitioners to come together to raise critical questions on development, develop and pilot test new ideas and new strategies, document good-practice lessons, and advocate for pro-poor policies. At BDI Hashemi focuses on research on urban poverty and on social protection. Prior to setting up the BRAC Development Institute, Hashemi worked at CGAP in Washington DC for 9 years. At CGAP, Hashemi focused on identifying pro-poor innovations and disseminating best practice lessons related to poverty outreach and impact. Hashemi was amongst the pioneers who started the Social Performance Taskforce to promote a double bottom line in microfinance. He also headed a multi-country program to develop new pathways for the poorest to graduate out of food insecurity, through linking safety net programs and financial services. Before joining CGAP, Hashemi directed the Program for Research on Poverty Alleviation at Grameen Trust and taught Development Studies at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. Hashemi has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Riverside.

John Hatch, Founder, FINCA International, USA

Dr. John Hatch is the founder of FINCA and the creator of Village Banking—a unique and influential method for delivering small loans, savings, and other financial services to the poor worldwide.During his early career, Hatch served with the Peace Corps in Colombia, and as a regional director in Peru. As a graduate student, he won a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Peru, where he spent two crop cycles as a hired laborer working for subsistence farmers and documenting their agricultural practices. Over 22 years with FINCA, Hatch served as president, and as chief of party for programs in El Salvador and Guatemala; he retired as FINCA’s director of research in 2006. Today, the organization he founded reaches half a million families in 21 countries with small loans, insurance, savings programs, and other services. Hatch continues as a FINCA board member, advisor, speaker, lecturer, and fundraiser. He is continuing his research on the impact of Village Banking and is active in FINCA’s annual student symposium and research awards competition. Throughout his career, Hatch supported efforts to promote microcredit worldwide. Since founding FINCA in 1984, he has shared his Village Banking methodology with numerous nongovernmental organizations. As a result, today there are hundreds of Village Banking programs worldwide. Hatch is also co-founder of the Global Microcredit Summit.

Kelly Hattel, Microfinance Specialist, Asian Development Bank, Philippines

Kelly Hattel is a Financial Sector Specialist (Rural and Microfinance) at the Asian Development Bank, and focuses on financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. Prior to this, Ms. Hattel consulted for various public and private sector agencies where she provided technical expertise and support on a range of issues. From 2001 to 2006, she was Director of the MicroFinance Network in Washington, D.C. where she managed a global association of 37 leading microfinance institutions from 28 countries; developed and implemented strategic plans and annual budgets for the network; worked with international donor organizations and private foundations to seek financial support and collaboration on microfinance activities (i.e. rural finance, consumer protection, staff incentives, and housing.)

Lauren Hendricks, Executive Director, Access Africa, CARE


Lauren Hendricks is the Executive Director of the CARE USA Access Africa initiative. Access Africa aims to reach 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa with access to a basic suite of financial services (savings, credit, insurance and remittances) within the next decade. Prior to the Access Africa initiative Ms. Hendricks was the Director of the Economic Development Unit for CARE USA, responsible for strategic direction and technical leadership for over 100 active microfinance and enterprise development programs in 54 countries. Ms. Hendricks currently serves on the Board of Directors and Investment Committee for MicroVest, a capital management firm investing in microfinance institutions. She also chairs the board of the Access Africa Fund, a specialized investment fund managed by MicroVest, providing debt and equity investments in African MFI’s. Prior to joining CARE Ms. Hendricks was a program specialist at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS) at the University of Maryland. She has over 15 years of experience evaluating, designing and promoting the development of microfinance programs worldwide.

Georgina Hernandez, Director, Sustainable Livelihood Program, Department of Social Welfare, Philippines

geoann-e1381196360385 Georgina Hernandez is a Master’s Degree holder in Social Development and a cum laude graduate of Batch 2007, with a degree in AB Interdisciplinary Studies and tracks in Philosophy and Development Studies from the Ateneo de Manila University. Ms. Hernandez is currently the Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Sustainable Livelihood Program, which provides microenterprise development and employment assistance to Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries. Having served as an Executive Assistant to the Honorable Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman for two years, she now leads the transition of the Department’s livelihood program from a welfare-oriented to a market-oriented intervention through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development approach. She received the honor of being the Most Outstanding Individual from the Ateneo Loyola Schools Awards for Leadership and Service in 2007. In the same year, she also received the Ateneo Socio Civic Engagement for National Development (ASCEND) award for her Study on the Impact of Microfinance on Women in Payatas, Quezon City. She is the co-founder of the Sumilao Agri-Enterprise, a social enterprise in partnership with the women farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon. She has also done research work on The Role of People’s Organizations in creating Sustainable Livelihoods for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in Alubijid, Misamis Oriental. She has also served as a faculty member of the Ateneo de Manila University Loyola Schools where she taught elective courses on Public Health and Social Change, and Youth Leadership for Engaged Citizenship. Her engagement in social development work dates back to her involvement in the Socially Oriented Organizations of the Ateneo, in which she participated in apostolic ministries in various barangays in Payatas and Cubao, Quezon City. In all her engagements, her advocacy is to promote self-reliance among marginalized families and communities by making them realize their ability to help themselves through an improved access to opportunities for livelihood development.

Ana Herrera, Program Officer, Grameen Foundation, Philippines


Ana Herrera is Grameen Foundation’s Program Officer for the Philippines. She currently works with various micro finance institutions and provides training in using the Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI) and producing Poverty Outreach Reports. She also provides support for Grameen Foundation’s information and financial services programs on the ground. Before joining Grameen Foundation, Ana worked for other non-profit organizations such as Synergeia Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.  

Tanya Hotchkiss, Head of Office of Strategic Management, Cantilan Bank, Inc


Tanya Hotchkiss gained experience as an entrepreneur while managing a start-up as CEO upon graduating with honors from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Business Administration. From 2003-2007, Hotchkiss was a fundraising officer for the Philippine Eagle Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to wildlife and forest conservation. As the head of Strategic Management at Cantilan Bank, Hotchkiss leads the development of innovations in the bank’s products and services particularly its social and financial inclusion programs in line with the company’s commitment to achieving meaningful, integrative, and sustainable community development and economic growth. Prior to joining Cantilan Bank, Hotchkiss was a consultant for a U.S. Agency for International Development-supported project at the American Chamber of Commerce where she monitored economic developments and established their online advocacy channel. Hotchkiss concurrently serves as executive director of the Hotchkiss Foundation and administrator of the Hotchkiss Learning Center, where she oversees the foundation’s island ecology conservation work and the school’s conservation education program. Hotchkiss holds a postgraduate degree in Development, Innovation and Change from the University of Bologna in Italy. For her outstanding work in the international development community in Manila, she received the Devex 40 Under 40 award in 2013. She currently lives in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao where she enjoys exploring the outdoors.  

Saiful Islam, Microfinance Operations Specialist, Arc Finance, USA

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Saiful Islam is Arc’s Microfinance Operations Specialist, and brings over 20 years of experience in the microfinance industry. Prior to joining Arc, Saiful was at Women’s World Banking (WWB) where he spent over 15 years working closely with some of the largest MFIs in Asia and Africa, providing strategic advice and technical assistance. His prior experience includes several years with the Shakti Foundation, a retail MFI in Bangladesh that he co-founded as well as at UNICEF Bangladesh where he served as a consultant in the Field Operations section. Saiful has spent his career supporting MFIs to improve and expand their operations, refining existing products and introduce new ones. Saiful is recognized as an expert on the group lending methodology and has successfully introduced individual lending to traditional group lending MFIs. He has also assisted several MFIs—CARD Bank (Philippines), ADOPEM (Dominican Republic), U-Trust (Uganda), KMB (Pakistan) and KWFT (Kenya)—to introduce voluntary savings. Saiful has authored several publications on savings and portfolio quality management, including a book called Introducing Voluntary Savings – A WWB How-To Guide. Saiful holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Finance from Dhaka University. He is Bangladeshi-American, is fluent in English and Bangla, understands Hindi and can read Arabic.

Maria Jaramillo, Senior Manager for Content Strategy and Development, Microfinance Opportunities, USA

Maria JaramilloMaria Jaramillo, as the manager for content strategy and development, is responsible for the implementation of consumer education programs that promote the up-take and use of branchless banking technologies, mobile phone banking and electronic cards, currently in the Philippines, India and Zambia. Jaramillo also develops new business for Microfinance Opportunities’ consumer education programs in Latin America. Jaramillo has extensive experience providing technical assistance to microfinance institutions and developing financial products that respond to the needs of recipients of remittances. Before joining MFO, Jaramillo worked at ACCION International launching, managing and expanding its remittances program. Before that, she worked for the remittances company VIAMERICAS and for the Microenterprise Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank providing research on innovative ways of private sector participation in microfinance. Jaramillo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Politics from Oberlin College and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Virginia “Jeng” Juan, President/CEO, APPEND, Philippines

Dr. Virginia “Jeng” Juan is the President and CEO of APPEND Inc. since 2008. Jeng started working with APPEND since 1995 and has held various positions which include serving as Program Officer managing a microfinance project with prisoners, ex-convicts and their immediate family members; Project Director of Client Development Research Project of Opportunity International – a project which aims to enhance the product quality and services of the microfinance institutions and as Vice President for Resource Development. As APPEND CEO, Jeng has developed various programs in the fields of nation-building, women empowerment, fund-building, leadership development, social solidarity economy, ecological based enterprises, micro-insurance, and policy advocacy. She facilitated the setting up of a microfinance bank and a micro-insurance agency. She serves as Board of Director of Opportunity Kauswagan (OK) Bank and Pinoy Ako Micro-insurance Agency and a board member of the Asian Solidarity Economy Council. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Sustainable Society Incorporated (FSSI), an NGO that manages the endowment fund provided by the Philippine treasury through a Philippine-Swiss Debt Development Swap to support the growth of community oriented, ecologically –sound and financially viable eco-enterprises. Jeng is a Doctor of Transformational Leadership from Bakke Graduate University, Seattle Washington, USA. She has a Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics from University of London and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Before joining APPEND she worked as a socio-economics researcher with the Philippine government for nine years. Dr. Juan has traveled globally, presenting the potentials, successes, and failures of microenterprise development and microfinance and has won several awards for her research papers and presentations contributions to agricultural and socio-economic research.

Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Secretary, Department of Social Welfare and Development, President’s Cabinet, Philippines


Corazon Juliano-Soliman is a social development professional with over 30 years as a leader in Philippine civil society and practitioner in community organizing and people empowerment. She now applies her finely honed skills and talents as a member of the Cabinet of the President of the Philippines. She served as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) from 2001 to 2005, and was reappointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to this post in 2010. Currently, as DSWD Secretary she spearheads projects for poverty reduction and social protection. She is the National Project Director for both the KALAHI CIDSS (Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan or Linking Arms to Combat Poverty – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services) and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program or conditional cash transfer, a five-year poverty reduction program of the Philippine Government funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. She has also led projects and programs for the International Center on Innovation Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov) in areas of social protection and empowerment of the people. Juliano-Soliman has designed and implemented programs to enhance social accountability with civil society organizations as Program Coordinator of the World Bank to Cambodia. Under her concurrent watch as Secretary of DSWD and Chairperson of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster (HDPRCC), she now spearheads the Bottom-up Budgeting and Local Poverty Reduction and Action Planning process which institutionalizes civil society participation in the budget and poverty reduction planning process of the Philippine government. She is a graduate of the College of Social Work and Community Development, University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work and placed 5th at the National Board Exams for Social Workers in 1974. She is one of the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) award winners in the field of Agrarian Reform and Community Development in June 1992 and she also received the Most Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Social Work and Community Development University of the Philippines given in 1993. She is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.  

Abdul Karim, Managing Director, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Bangladesh

adbulAbdul Karim is currently the Chief Executive Officer of PKSF, which is Bangladesh’s apex microcredit lending and capacity building organization for poverty alleviation through rural employment generation. Earlier, Mr. Karim served as the Secretary in the Government of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Commerce, Finance (Internal Resources), Communications and Home Affairs. In 2011, Mr. Karim retired from the Prime Minister’s Office after serving as the Principal Secretary for more than two years. He also held positions as the Chairman of the National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, Eastern Refinery Ltd, as well as the Economic and Commercial Minister of the Bangladesh Embassy in Brussels. In addition, Mr. Karim presently serves as the President of the Bangladesh Scouts (Both Boy Scouts and Girl Guides), as well as the President of Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation. He is a PHF Rotarian and a frequent guest speaker in various Universities and other institutions, including the National Defense College of Bangladesh. In 1974, he obtained his Master of Science degree in Chemistry from University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Later, he obtained Master of Social Science degree in Development Administration from the University of Birmingham, UK, in 1988.

Raj Khaira, VP, Relationship Management and Strategic Alliances, FINO, India

Raj KhairaRaj Khaira has over 28 years. experience in various sectors including, Publishing, Print & Pack, Software Development, BPO/KPO, Microfinance and setting up and managing Financial Inclusion rural channels. Raj has been with FINO since 2007 after moving to India in March 2006. Initially he managed the Microfinance vertical and was responsible for technical services tie-ups with 28 MFIs in India. Product offerings included a CBS (Flexcube) as well as borrowers enrollments on Bio-metric based Smart Cards, through which secured transactions were done. From 2009 till 2010, Raj was VP / Operational Finance and Agent Management for FINO. Key functions included Operational Finance, Cash / Agent Management, Reconciliation and Cash Risk Mitigation. He was responsible for managing 23,000 strong FINO Agent (Bhandhu) network operating across 260 districts in 21 States of India. Monthly Cash movement management worth Rs. 4 Billion. He was also responsible for the SmartCard/Phone based Cash Management System. Other responsibilities included ensuring audit compliance both internal and external (RBI). Currently Raj is VP relationship management and strategic alliances for FINO’s Lending Vertical (SHG/JLG). Raj is a Computer Engineer (University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia – 1984) and an MBA (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia – 2000).

Lamkhomang Kipgen, Managing Director, WSDS, India

Lamkhomang Kipgen is Managing Director of the Weaker Sections Development Society (WSDS), a not-for-profit community-based financial institution in Manipur, India. Mr Mang, in addition to his management of WSDS, is a board member of North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Society, North Eastern Council, Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India, Senapati District Community Resource Management Society, Senapati District under the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and North Eastern Council, Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), with the Government of India. He is also a member of the Manipur Bio-diversity Board of the Government of Manipur.

Michaël Knaute, Executive Director, Convergences, France

Michael Knaute- PhotoMichaël Knaute joined the OXUS Group in 2009 as CEO where he leads and develops the network of OXUS microfinance institutions in Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. He also supervises the other microfinance initiatives launched by ACTED (Convergences, Octopus Microfinance Software, the South Asian Microfinance Network and After having started his career in audit and consulting with Arthur Andersen in 1999, he moved to the non-profit sector in 2004. With ACTED, he held several national and regional management positions in Asia and Africa, implementing humanitarian programs mainly in post-conflict countries. Knaute also holds other board or advisory positions with the Global Appeal for Responsible Microfinance, the Microcredit Summit Campaign, the Microfinance Club of Paris, SAMN, the European Microfinance Platform and He holds a Master degree with a major in finance from the Bordeaux School of Management, as well as degree of Chartered Accountant. He is a French and Czech national, fluent in French and English.

Michael W. Krell, Analysis and Data Management Lead, Social Performance, MIX, USA


Michael Krell’s responsibilities at MIX include writing and editing social performance-related publications, overseeing social performance data collection, and working with MIX’s IT team to create new reporting tools and web applications. He began working for MIX in 2009 as an associate financial analyst but switched his focus to social performance in 2010. Before coming to MIX, he did work for Search for Common Ground, a conflict resolution NGO.      

Suresh Krishna, Managing Director, Grameen Financial Services Pvt. Ltd., India

Suresh Krishna

Suresh Krishna has been at the helm of activities at Grameen Financial Services Pvt. Ltd since its inception in 1999. He has a background in teaching and entered the field of development in 1997. Previously, he worked in an NGO that focused on micro enterprise development, non-formal education and also on the promotion of women self-help groups. He has also founded and run small business enterprises in computer education, industrial safety products and consultation in local area networks in companies. He has actively studied international microfinance models and strategies from several reputed establishments including Grameen Bank, Bankakademie (Germany) and Harvard Business School, USA. He has been a panelist in several national and international microfinance conferences. Krishna has guided the company from the startup stage as an NGO to a large with strong social focus as an NBFC. Under Krishna’s guidance, the organization was the first MFI to introduce automation using the open-source technology, MIFOS and Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI). Led by Krishna’s focused efforts, the organization initiated the setting up of the Association of Karnataka Microfinance Institutions (AKMI). He is also the chairman of Microfinance Focus, an online portal and monthly publication with the latest micro finance news and trends. He is also serving on the board of Sa-dhan, a national MFI association, MFIN, a national network of NBFC MFIs; he also serves on the Management Committee of FKCCI and is chairman of the FKCCI microfinance & financial inclusion committee. Apart from microfinance, Krishna takes a keen interest in micro housing, financial literacy, water and sanitation, client education, alternative energies, waste management, livelihoods for the poor, organic and modern farming.  

Aravind Kumar, Global Partnerships, Greenlight Planet, India


Aravind Kumar heads Global Partnerships at Greenlight Planet, which produces a range of solar portable lanterns sold worldwide. He is responsible for building alternate channels of distribution in South Asia for Greenlight Planet and has set up multiple high impact partnerships with various organizations. Prior to joining Greenlight Planet, Aravind was a Volunteer Consultant with TechnoServe where he worked on projects involving strengthening of agricultural value chains. Aravind holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Delhi University and has previously also worked at McKinsey and Company as a Research Analyst with their Financial Institutions practice.

Margarita Lalayan, Senior Program Officer, International Training Center of the ILO, Italy

LalayanMargarita Lalayan has 15 years of microfinance experience in operations and consulting. She has worked with a number of training and research projects focused on organizational development, strategic planning, product development, market research and other aspects of microfinance. As a responsible finance and microfinance consultant, she was involved in various practitioners’ and associations’ initiatives in 20 countries in Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and MENA regions. Since 2007, she has been actively involved in financial education, client protection and social performance management development in those regions, as well as served as a speaker at number of regional conferences and events. She has also authored and co-authored several training manuals, case-studies and other publications. Currently, Margarita serves as Senior Programme Officer at the International Training Center of the ILO where she is in charge of microfinance capacity building and the ILO Making Microfinance Work training programmes.

Le Thi Lan Huong, Head of Planning and Finance , TYM Microfinance Institution, Vietnam


Le Thi Lan Huong studied finance and accounting at Hanoi University of Commerce and completed several additional courses in management and business administration. She is joyful, committed to fighting poverty and inequality of women. Le Thi started her career in 1992 as accountant at a local newspaper. She became chief accountant and then head of business development of a leading fashion magazine. In 2009, Le Thi joined TYM MFI initially as deputy, then chief accountant, and since 2011, she has been head of TYM’s Finance and Planning Department.  

Professor S.M. Latifee, Managing Director, Grameen Trust, Bangladesh

Professor LatifeeProfessor Latifee is the Managing Director of Grameen Trust, a sister organization of Grameen Bank. Grameen Trust has helped implementation of more than 150 Grameen replication programs in 40 countries including 16 programs directly implemented by it. Professor Latifee is well known for his contribution in the field of microfinance, poverty alleviation, financial inclusion, social business and value building growth. He is recognized as an expert in the area of Microfinance, Poverty Reduction and Value Building Growth due to his long experience with Grameen Bank, Grameen Trust, Grameen partners and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) worldwide. Professor Latifee is the Chairman of Grameen Latin America LLC, Grameen Carso in Mexico, Grameen Italia, GT-CPAD-Danone Microcredit Initiatives in China, Microcredit Initiative of Grameen (MIG) in India and Grameen (Sangdu) Microcredit Company Ltd. in Inner Mongolia in China. Professor Latifee also serves as Member of a number of Boards of different microfinance organizations and social business entities in Bangladesh and other countries including Grameen America, Inc. in U.S.A, Grameen Aval Colombia in Colombia, Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation in Luxembourg, Family Bank in Bahrain, Nirdhan Uthan Bank in Nepal, Grameen Intel, Grameen Telecom, Grameen Telecom Trust, Yunus Center, Yunus Foundation, Grameen Communication, Grameen Shakti and Grameen Fabrics and Fashions Ltd. in Bangladesh. He is also on the advisory board of several national and international organizations. Professor Latifee led several fact finding missions in different countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. He attended many international seminars, conferences and summits on microfinance and social business as the author, key-note speaker and panelist. His writings on poverty, microfinance and social business related issues are well appreciated. Professor Latifee is the winner of Business Week’s Stars of Asia Award, 2001.  

Minh Cuong Le Quan, COO, Prakti, India


Minh Cuong Le Quan spent the first 12 years of his career working for NGOs in India, Southeast Asia and North Africa. He dove deep into various fields of green work: water, food security, forestry, clean energy, and climate change. During his tenure at GERES Cambodia, he founded and grew an expert team on carbon finance (the Climate Change Unit), which paved the way to the largest improved stove dissemination project worldwide as of today. He consulted for the World Bank and UN agencies, sparked the first carbon offset website in French language, founded and chaired the carbon finance cooperative Nexus C4D in Singapore. His focus shifted in 2010 to social entrepreneurship in the green economy. This came about while managing the technical components of a microfinance and clean energy project in North Africa. After a stint in the Responsible Consumption space in France, he now spearheads the scale up of, a leading stove technology enterprise based in India.

Richard Leftley, CEO, MicroEnsure, United Kingdom

Richard LeftleyRichard Leftley pioneered the introduction of insurance products within the Opportunity Network which lead to the establishment of MicroEnsure in 2006. As a leading insurance intermediary for the poor, MicroEnsure provides life, health and weather index insurance to over 4million people in 13 countries in Africa and Asia. In 2013 MicroEnsure welcomed IFC, Omidyar and Telenor as key investors.      

Chunmei Li, Manager, Worldwide Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson


Chunmei Li began working as Manager for Worldwide Corporate Contributions (WCC) at Johnson & Johnson in 2006. In this role, Ms. Li puts her passion for improving health and social conditions for the world’s most underprivileged to use by leading WCC’s strategic giving priorities in the Women and Children at Risk of Violence and Abuse division. Her skills in public private partnership management and strategy development helped shape this first WCC partnership that empowers women and girls to abandon the practice of child marriage and female genital cutting.    

Paul Lobo, Microfinance Advisor, Plan International, Canada


Paul Lobo is currently Microfinance Advisor of Plan Canada. He supports the development, monitoring and assessment of microfinance programs in West and East Africa, focusing on adoption of best practice, capacity building and scaling up of community-managed financial services. Previously, he managed microfinance programs in Egypt, Sri Lanka and Philippines and provided technical support and capacity building in the areas of client-oriented, high performance savings and credit services. He is a specialist and trainer on market research for microfinance and community-managed microfinance systems.  

Arnie Locsin, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft, Philippines


Arnie Locsin is Microsoft’s Technical Evangelist focusing on Windows Azure. He is responsible for evangelizing about Microsoft’s cloud vision, and adoption of Microsoft’s platform across developers, IT professionals and students. Prior to joining Microsoft, Arnie had first worked for 8 years in a company he started up with friends providing IT equipment, application development services and IT training. He then worked for 12 years in IBM under the services organization handling various roles covering pre-sales, sales, technical services delivery and support, both in local and regional capacities. He had worked on opportunities and projects in the areas of implementation, outsourcing, networking, education and business continuity services in the various industry verticals of finance, manufacturing, business process outsourcing and telecommunications. His immediate past role in Microsoft is that of Platform Strategy Lead where he engaged with the government sector, developer and open source communities to help foster interoperability between Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms.  

Cris Lomboy, Asia PPI Specialist, Grameen Foundation, Philippines


Cris Lomboy has more than 20 years in development experience in Asia and spent more than 15 years in microfinance in different capacities. He is an accredited trainer in microfinance and social performance management, certified by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP), the Imp-Act Consortium and the Microfinance Centre (MFC). He has written case studies and technical papers on microfinance and micro-insurance and prepared feasibility studies on micro-enterprise development. He is currently the PPI Specialist for Grameen Foundation in Asia, where he has been entrusted with the responsibility of promoting the deep use of the PPI tool for poverty measurement.  

Maria Corazon T. Lopez, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Public and Development Management, Development Academy of the Philippines, Philippines

MCT Lopez (2)

Dr. Maria Corazon T. Lopez is currently the Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Public and Development Management (GSPDM) of the Development Academy of the Philippines. Her exposure to the field of microfinance dates back from 1979 as a technical researcher and project officer for the World Bank-funded Urban Livelihood Program (ULP) of the Technology Resource Center. Dr. Lopez was part of the team who organized resident members of the 32 Metro Manila blighted communities slated for WB sites and services improvement efforts under the National Housing Authority management. Specifically, the ULP-TRC team designed the Loan Management Program, organized the communities, evaluated loan applications and actively participated in market and production development of the various enterprises under the loan program. Of late, she has been serving as one of the faculty members of the Microfinance course being ran at the DAP-GSPDM for the CARD, Inc. and has been an active faculty consultant for business and management concerns of the various microfinance students doing their reentry and action plans. Prior to her stint in DAP, she was the Dean of the Milleret School of Business and Management for Women of the Assumption College, San Lorenzo, Makati City. Dr. Lopez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, major in Sociology from the University of the Philippines, a Master in Management degree from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in Community Development from the University of the Philippines in Los Banos. The world of work, stretching from 1968 to the present, brought Dr. Lopez to various undertakings in government service, industrial estate administration, agribusiness operations, management of business enterprises (manufacturing, TV broadcast, insurance) and school administration. Occupying various senior executive positions both in government and private sectors, she had extensive experience in general management with special focus in human resource and organizational development, administration work, project operations, and information technology. As a member of the Board of Trustees, she has served in the De La Salle University in Lipa, Batangas and De La Salle University in Canlubang, Laguna and is currently a trustee of the De La Salle School in Greenhills, Mandaluyong. As a professor, she has exposure in the disciplines of sociology, psychology, demography, human ecology, education, community development and business management.

Amanda Lotz, Master’s Degree Candidate, American University, USA

Lotz photo (2)

Amanda Lotz has been building and managing relationships across diverse partners, coordinating 5 experts’ working groups, researching client segments, and supporting completion of the Roadmap to Financial Inclusion, as a consultant at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. Ms. Lotz previously worked at Faison Enterprises, coordinating leasing and marketing for the mid-Atlantic portfolio. She has had experience as an ESL teacher, a production assistant at a translation company, and as a pro bono consultant for social change startups. She received a Bachelors in International Studies from American University’s School of International Service, where she currently pursues a Masters in Social Enterprise. Language abilities include a professional working proficiency in German, a limited working proficiency in Spanish, and an elementary proficiency in Filipino.

Christian Loupéda, Director of Financial Inclusion, Freedom from Hunger

Christian Loupéda has 20 years of experience in International Development most of which is centered in microfinance (financial services for the poor and integrated services methodologies, new product development, various self-help group methodologies, institutional transformation, and Social Performance Management). Mr. Loupéda joined Freedom from Hunger in 2000 and through 2007, provided technical assistance to Freedom from Hunger’s partners in West Africa Madagascar and Haiti. He worked on the design and the implementation of various technical assistance and training provision models to enable Freedom from Hunger to expand Value-added Microfinance in West Africa and globally. He also led the work of the Imp-Act Consortium a global initiative involving organizations committed to promote the practice of SPM in the Microfinance Industry. He started his career in development by working at the Banque Internationale pour l’Afrique Occidentale in Paris in 1987. Mr. Loupéda has worked as a research assistant at the International Food Policy Research Institute, project manager at Catholic Relief Services, and operations officer at the World Bank. He has a Master’s degree in Economics from the Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and a degree of advanced studies in Development Economics from the Université de Paris II-Assas. Mr. Loupéda speaks fluent French, English and has a fair grasp of written Spanish.

Greg Macapagal, Program Manager, ASKI, Philippines

Gregorio MacapagalGreg Macapagal has worked for ASKI for more than 14 years and is currently program manager in charge of overseeing the implementation of individual lending programs of ASKI and responsible for product design, implementation and evaluation of the MFI unit’s product innovation. He has been a policy maker for various loan products and services of ASKI for micro-small to medium enterprises (MSMEs), agri-business loans, housing and educational programs, and other loan programs. He is also the lead person for mobile banking technology introduction to agricultural loan programs of ASKI. Macapagal participated in various remittances forums (both local and international) including the recent Global Forum on Remittances 2013 (20-23 May) Bangkok, Thailand.  

Marilyn Magampon-Manila, Community Development Group Director, CARD, Inc., Philippines

Marilyn Manila

Marilyn Magampon-Manila’s career in development started thirteen years ago as an executive assistant to her current immediate supervisor, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, founder and managing director of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI). Her most relevant experience in said position was to do concept development and fundraise for CARD’s new projects. Magampon-Manila was instrumental in the concept and implementation of the CARD Scholarship Program (CSP). Magampon-Manila became Resource Mobilization Manager in 2003 and anchored the partnership projects from the conceptualization to the implementation and monitoring stage. By this time, the position was anchored within the Operations Unit. This arrangement significantly deepened her understanding and involvement in the core services of CARD. In 2004, Magampon-Manila set up the Resource Mobilization Unit. The Unit’s core responsibilities are resource mobilization for innovating new products and services and managing the current partnership projects. She was made the Unit’s Director until January 2009. Magampon-Manila then became the director until July 2013 for the international group covering the offices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos and Country Representative to Laos. This group was responsible for two major tasks: to share CARD’s best practices within the SEA region and to build the capacity of CARD’s home grown staff sent for international assignments. Magampon-Manila is currently the director for the Community Development Group, which she concurrently held alongside her former position from July 2012 to July 2013. The group is responsible for leading the community development projects including the credit and savings program for the harder-to-reach poor and on health, education, and disaster relief. The group is also responsible for the resource generation for innovation of products and services and for corporate communications.

Gilbert Maramba, Research and Development Manager, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc., Philippines

Gilbert Maramba is currently the Research and Development Manager at the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, a microfinance institution in the Philippines. He has handled a wide array of projects during his tenure at NWTF, including the MicroInsurance Program, in which he performed a study of insurance products and designed a micro-insurance package for clients, as well as the Cash Flow Analysis Implementation Program where he was in charge of development, monitoring and evaluation of loan processing methods using cash flow analysis. Some of Mr. Maramba’s other projects include the Microcrop Loan Program, where he developed and implemented a loan product in partnership with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, in addition to the Renew Negros Project, Trike Fund Project, Solar Lamp Project, and the MicroHousing Project, among others. Mr. Maramba is a member of the Social Performance Task Force, the Imp-Act Consortium Global Peer Learning Network, and is the Negros Women for Tomorrow Fund representative at both the Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI) and the Microfinance Data Sharing System (MiDAS) Philippine Credit Bureau.

Nick Meakin, Director of Project Management, Urwego Opportunity Bank, Rwanda

Nick Meakin

Nick Meakin is director of project management at Urwego Opportunity Bank in Rwanda. In this role he has been responsible for the successful launch of UOB’s Mobile and Agent banking service. Having been responsible for designing the product, testing the system, and creating the policies and procedures to ensure that the service integrates fully into UOB’s systems and operations, he is responsible for overseeing the rollout of the service throughout Rwanda. Prior to joining UOB in 2011, he spent three years with Opportunity Kenya during which time he managed the rollout of a mobile banking solution and the complete redesign of the credit products, policies and procedures. Previous to this he spent eight years as a management consultant in the UK, specializing in the design and delivery of supply chain solutions to multinational companies in the FMCG sector. He holds a master’s degree in Rural Development from Sussex University (UK) and a master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Durham (UK).

Mila Mercado Bunker, President, Ahon sa Hirap, Inc. (ASHI), & Chairperson, Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc.


Mila Mercado Bunker has gained extensive experience in microfinance as president of Ahon sa Hirap Inc. (ASHI) since 1994. She was credited with the restoration of the institution from having a portfolio at risk of more than 65% in to a stable microfinance institution with its social mission at the core of its operations. ASHI has the distinction of being the first Grameen Bank replication in the Philippines, and is known to be “microfinance with a social conscience.” Mercado Bunker was one of the original incorporators of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI), which is one of the leading national networks in the Philippines. Mercado Bunker has served as the chair of MCPI for three terms, during which she was able to represent the Council under two administrations and oversee the gains in the industry nationally and internationally. She is also a member of the board and helped to incorporate the MIDAS credit bureau in 2011. Mercado Bunker has represented the industry in the Philippines as a speaker internationally at previous Microcredit Summits and other fora and is as member of the Social Performance Task Force. Locally, she has conducted many microfinance trainings. She is an accredited trainer and mentor for MFIs under the Presidential Development Trust Fund training arm of the People’s Credit Finance Corporation and a facilitator for the microfinance course for the Asian Institute for Finance, Malaysia. To update her leadership skills, Mercado Bunker completed a course for Executive Education on Strategic Leadership in Microfinance at Harvard’s Business School in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). Mercado Bunker is mentioned by Professor Muhammad Yunus in his book, Banker to the Poor, as a no-nonsense woman with a strong background in the private sector, excellent managerial skills, and a natural talent for working with poor women. She believes that financial education is the key to avoiding over-indebtedness and an effective tool for risk-based credit delivery. Prior to joining the Board of ASHI, Mercado Bunker worked as general manager for Standard Products Exporters where she facilitated labor-management cooperation and developed the suppliers and entrepreneurs. Mercado Bunker completed her Bachelor’s Degree with a Business Administration major in Accountancy and Master’s in Industrial Relations with Labor Management and Human Resource Management at the University of the Philippines.

Marcia Metcalfe, Director, Microfinance and Health, Freedom from Hunger, USA

Marcia2013_HeadshotWebMarcia Metcalfe, Director, Microfinance and Health, has worked with Freedom from Hunger since 2006 to design and demonstrate new approaches to integrate health and microfinance to improve access to health services and financial resiliency of the chronically hungry poor. In this capacity, she has contributed to overall strategy, product innovation, management, and evaluation of Freedom from Hunger’s work with financial services providers located in India, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and West Africa. She currently provides strategic and technical support to Freedom from Hunger’s international and locally based staff to provide linked health and microfinance services that reach over two million clients and their families. She has authored and co-authored numerous research reports and publications on the emerging field of linked health and financial services. Prior to her work with Freedom from Hunger, Ms. Metcalfe has served in senior leadership positions in non-profit health delivery and financing systems, large health insurance companies in the United States, and as an academic lecturer on non-profit management. Ms. Metcalfe has an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Masters in Health Administration from the School of Public Health, University of Michigan.

Sam Mendelson, M&E Specialist, Arc Finance, USA

S Mendelson

Sam Mendelson is Arc Finance’s Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, working with project partners to gather impact data for their energy finance programs. Sam is also the 2012-13 DFID/Citi Development Fellow, a position which seeks to engage the private financial services sector in best practice in financial inclusion. Since 2009, Sam has been the co-author of Microfinance Banana Skins, an annual report that ranks the risk perceptions of more than 350 practitioners and close observers of the microfinance scene in 79 countries. He is also the co-founder of SPA – a small Social Performance consultancy offering bespoke SPM audit, analysis and advisory services to Tier 2 and 3 MFIs. Prior to this, Sam was a Senior Consultant in the Emerging Markets practice at ESL & Network (UK) for four years, before which he was Programme Director at the Centre for the Study of Financial Education, a London-based economics think-tank. Sam has been widely published, including articles in Financial World magazine, as well as Prospect, Ambassador, the Guardian, Africa Investor, In-Debate , Americas Quarterly, Development Post and in the Gulf broadsheet press. He is the Consulting Editor to Microfinance Focus, and was nominated in 2011 for a Foreign Press Association award in the Feature of the Year category, for a Prospect feature on Qatar. He has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Law from University of Western Australia, and a Master of Laws (in Public International Law) from University College London.

Dr. Eduardó A. Morato, Jr., Chairman, Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development, Inc., Philippines

Dr. Eduardo A. Morató, Jr.With over 40 years of leadership, consulting, and academic experience, Dr. Eduardo A. Morató, Jr., has become one of the country’s foremost experts in management and entrepreneurship education. He is a former Dean of the Asian Institute of Management and is currently the chairman of the Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and Management Education in the Ateneo. He is also the program director of the Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the Development Academy of the Philippines. Dr. Morató is currently the chairman/president of Bayan Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to democratizing education, entrepreneurship, and employment through programs such as microenterprise development. In line with his expansive career, Dr. Morató has written 22 books, including Self-Mastery, A Trilogy on Entrepreneurship; Business Decision-Making; Enterprise Development, Growth, and Evolution; and the latest, Excellence in Educational Transformation.

Yves Moury, President and Executive Director, Fundación Capital, Colombia

YvesMoury_FundacionCapital(website)Yves Moury, is an Economist and Management Engineer from the Louvain School of Management, University of Louvain in Belgium, where he studied Management, Finance, Banking and Computer Science, Development Finance, Development Sociology. Most of his professional career has been focused on poverty reduction, worldwide: he worked in Europe, Africa, Asia and extensively in Latin America. He is the founder and Managing Director of Fundación Capital, a specialized nonprofit institution, aiming at asset-building for the Poor in Latin America and the Caribbean and other regions, by integrating community practice, public policy and private markets to achieve results at significant scale. He also serves as CEO of Edge Finance – YMI S.A., a consultancy, focusing on small business banks and microfinance institutions reengineering and mergers, microfinance commercialization, and financial assets building issues. He is has long been director of Caja Rural de Ahorro & Crédito Los Andes, a regulated rural bank in Peru, serving low and very low-income rural clients, including poor farmers. He has been project manager and corporate executive, consultant and adviser in international development since 1981 to a variety of multilateral development banks and UN agencies, development finance institutions, bilateral agencies, ministries and national development agencies, Foundations and international NGOs, institutional investors, universities and private companies, focusing mainly on pro-poor advocacy, microfinance, poverty reduction and asset-building and accumulation strategies for the poor, market-led services to the poor, socially-oriented investment funds and venture capital. Drawing from his knowledge of the microfinance industry, he now mainly focus on the objective of massively banking the unbanked and promoting popular monetary savings mobilization instruments (including micro-insurance products), as a key instrument for financial inclusion and social protection.

John Moyer, Senior Manager, Southeast Asia,, USA

John MoyerJohn Moyer is senior manager of Southeast Asia for, an international organization committed to increasing access to safe water and sanitation. John oversees all regional activities including the innovative WaterCredit initiative, which enables partner financial institutions to design and launch customized financial products that empower low-income households to invest in their water and sanitation facilities. Prior to joining, John worked with Alternativa Solidaria Chiapas, the US Treasury Department, Alternative Credit Technologies and Global Communities (formerly CHF International). His primary focus has been managing and consulting for micro, small and medium enterprise banking institutions and financial sector development projects. Moyer holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in international affairs.

Sipho S. Moyo, Africa Director, The ONE Campaign, South Africa


Dr. Sipho S. Moyo joined The ONE Campaign in 2010 as Africa Director. She represents ONE’s global work across Africa and helps mainstream the African perspective in ONE’s policy stances. Prior to joining ONE, she had 18 years of development experience with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN, and the World Bank. Her last position was AfDB Resident Representative in Tanzania, where as Chair of the group of 14 General Budget Support (GBS) development partners, she led country-level Policy Dialogues between government and donors. Previous roles include Special Affiliate on President Bush’s Blue-Ribbon Commission on Affordable Housing, and a Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders’ Fellowship. Dr. Moyo earned a PhD in Economics at Howard University in 1994. Sipho is a global citizen who has lived in 10 countries on three continents and has traveled to over 45 countries at last count. She’s a single mom and an avid organic gardener who even makes her own vermi-compost! She’s hoping to live past the age of her grandmother who died at 102!  

Paul Musa, Administrative Human Resource Manager, Salone Microfinance Trust, Sierra Leone

Paul Musa, from Sierra Leone, is currently the administrative human resource manager at Salone Microfinance Trust. He received his Bsc Honors in Accounting and Finance from the University of Sierra Leone. He also received a Diploma in Business Studies from ICM in the UK. Musa has extensive work experience in finance, accounting and administration from various distinguished organizations, among which are Action Plus S/L, USAID/CARE International, ENCISS/Ukaid, ADRA, and the International Rescue Committee.

Elizabeth Naah, Implementation Coordinator, Innovations for Poverty Action, Ghana


Elizabeth Naah, who works with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Ghana, is the program implementation Coordinator of the Graduation from Ultra Poverty (GUP) Pilot program modeled after BRAC Targeting the Ultra Poor (TUP) project, which aim at moving chronically poor households from extreme poverty into self-sufficiency. She holds a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Social Studies and Human Resource Development respectively, both from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Elizabeth, a professional teacher, taught social studies and Life Skills education at Tamale College of Education from 1998 to 2002. She later worked with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Ghana Program from September 2002 to August 2010. While in CRS, she was the Program Officer in charge of the Child Survival project aimed at improving maternal and child health. She also concurrently implemented a Positive Deviant Hearth (PDH) model. Elizabeth Naah was also trained as TOT in Microfinance in Sierra Leone and Nigeria and became the Senior Program Officer responsible for CRS’ Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) project – same as CARE International VSLA project – from 2007 to 2010. She was also responsible for programs in peace building after a TOT training in peace building in Kenya (2010). Apart from her skills in Education, Micro-finance and Peace Building, Elizabeth also has expertise in Health, Food/Nutrition and Skill Development.

Veronicah Gladys Namagembe, Managing Director, Pride Microfinance Limited (MDI)

Veronicah Namagembe

Veronicah Gladys Namagembe is a microfinance specialist with over 16 years hands-on experience in the financial sector, 14 of them in microfinance, with a focus on managing institutions, operations, people, product development and training. She has worked with Pride Microfinance Limited for 8 years, where she currently serves as the managing director, prior to which she was acting deputy managing director as well as the head of operations. Veronicah has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, a Master’s of Science in Accounting and Finance from Makerere University Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Makerere University.

Swapnil Neeraj, Senior Microfinance Specialist, International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group)


Swapnil Neeraj is IFC’s Microfinance Lead for Asia. IFC has presently more than US$3 billion portfolio in microfinance and reaches over 20 million low income borrowers. He has been responsible for defining, adapting and implementing Microfinance Strategy for the organization. Swapnil has been a development banker for 20 years and engaged in the areas of micro finance, microenterprise promotion and MSME Banking. He has been involved in leading and undertaking diverse range of activities, primarily, in the design, implementation and institutional policy reviews of large micro finance programmes. He has led several landmark transactions of equity/ quasi equity and debt in micro finance and participated in various Technical Assistance Projects of both client institutions as well as on sector wide issues in some of the key markets in Asia. On sectoral front, he has been involved in evolution of Performance Standards for MFI, Common Chart of Accounts for MFIs and Analysis of Sustainability of Different Micro Credit Models as well as on longitudinal impact assessment studies of National Level Programmes. Apart from microfinance related activities, Swapnil also has about a decade of experience in the SME Banking. He has provided resource support in number of international events /programs organized by the World Bank Group, UN as well as other reputed national and international agencies. Swapnil, a British Council Scholar, has done post graduate studies in Development Finance, has Masters in Business Administration and is a Chartered Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers.

Imelda Nicolas, Secretary of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), Philippines

Imelda NicolasImelda Nicolas was appointed in 2010 as the cabinet-rank Secretary of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) under the office of the President of the Philippines. The CFO uses migration and development as its framework with the end of view of responding to its challenges. It envisions to establish itself as the premier institution in the Philippines vis-à-vis migration and development and overseas Filipinos’ diaspora engagement. Previously, she was chair of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) from 1993 to 1998, where she institutionalized the Gender and Development (GAD) budget in the government’s Appropriations Act. She also served as Secretary-General of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) from 2004 to 2005. She graduated with highest honors at St. Theresa’s College, Manila and took M.A. Units in Arts History at Columbia University, New York.

Willem Nolens, Founder and Managing Director, SolarNow,Uganda

W Nolens

Willem Nolens is the Founder and Managing Director of SolarNow, a company offering high-quality solar systems in combination with a credit facility, thereby making solar energy affordable for the rural masses. In 2009, Willem decided to focus on making renewable energy more affordable in Africa. As a Director at the Rural Energy Foundation (REF), he supported REF in facilitating access to electricity to more than 332,000 people, winning the 2010 EU Sustainable Energy Awards and the 2010 International Ashden Awards. In early 2011, Willem transformed REF into a for-profit social enterprise called SolarNow. Willem has over a decade of experience in establishing and managing social enterprises in Asia and Africa, in particular in the field of microfinance and renewable energy. After working for a corporate advisory, Willem successfully co-founded and managed ProCredit bank Ghana between 2001 and 2005. He subsequently co-founded and managed Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI), a US$125 million fund that invests in a network of highly efficient Greenfield MFIs in Africa and Asia. Willem holds a Master degree in Economics from Groningen University in the Netherlands.

Nawsher Noor, Manager- Business Solutions and Operations, bKash Limited, Bangladesh


Nawsher Noor is a passionate technologist who has a neck to take up challenges that contribute to the socioeconomic development. He currently manages the service technology unit of Business Solutions & Operations at bKash, a market leader that aims at widening the net of financial inclusion in Bangladesh by facilitating money transfer through mobile phones. He played an instrumental role in setting up the MFS platform from Visa and integrating all major mobile operators in the country (enabling 97% mobile subscriber reach). bKash is working both as an extension of BRAC Bank and as a full-scale mobile phone-based payment switch. This will highly benefit the country as 83% of the population lives under $2 a day and access to finance can help in improving their economic situation. Prior to joining bKash, he closely worked with the founder of CellBazaar, a mobile phone based electronic marketplace, which allowed a diverse set of traders (from households, farmers, fishermen to car dealers and manufacturers) to access market information. It enabled entrepreneurs and small businesses in Bangladesh to start and grow operations in a market that wouldn’t otherwise be available in their local community, thereby creating jobs, stimulating the economy, and delivering products and services that improve the lives of millions of poor people. CellBazaar received several recognitions around the world including GSMA’s Global Mobile Award, Asian Telecom’s Innovation of the Year Award, Tech Museum Award and Manthan Award. Nawsher attended the International Telecommunication Conference in 2010, held at Singapore, as the youngest guest speaker on mobile cloud computing. He was also featured in “Industry Shakers and Movers” of Mobile Commerce ASIA magazine in 2011.

Dan Norell, Senior Technical Advisor, Economic Development, World Vision

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Dan Norell works as a Senior Technical Advisor in Economic Development for World Vision, Inc. on the Food Security & Livelihoods Team providing technical services to grant acquisition for US Government and Foundation funding in microfinance, enterprise development, economic strengthening, economic recovery, and other economic development interventions. He provides technical services to World Vision National Offices in economic development programming. He also provides technical services to VisionFund International in microfinance. Mr. Norell holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Social Work. He has seven years overseas experience and 15 years in head office providing technical backstopping to World Vision Economic Development projects. Mr. Norell is the co-author of the “Integrating Very Poor Producers Into Value Chains Field Guide” available on line at A former member of the board of directors of the SEEP Network, Mr. Norell is active in generating partnerships in inclusive market development among microfinance institutions, savings groups, government ministries, farmer associations, private sector input suppliers, and private sector output market buyers.

Jennifer Oomen, Housing Finance Manager, Habitat for Humanity International, Philippines

JenniferJennifer Oomen serves as Housing Finance Manager for the Asia and Pacific (AP) region. She in charge of developing support services that help interested parties design high-impact housing products. She is overseeing the development of the Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance activities in the region. As part of her engagements for the CISF she is the current project coordinator & technical advisor for the Cambodia Housing Microfinance Capacity Building Project, in partnership with SCBF, and is the project manager for the Citi-Habitat Home Improvement Microsavings Project in Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam, in partnership with Citi Foundation. Ms. Oomen has been involved in housing and community development for 10 years including conducting research on the housing priorities of IDPs residing in Kampala, Uganda and working on community based solutions to end homelessness in the US. She is a certified financial education facilitator. Ms. Oomen holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. She is based in Manila, Philippines.

Nelly Otieno, Financial Inclusion Sector Manager, CARE International, Kenya

Nelly Otieno

Nelly Otieno has over 22 years of experience in microfinance and enterprise development. This includes work in rural and formal Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies in Kenya, the Grameen methodology in microfinance, Village Banks and SGs using the MMD approach. Otieno introduced the SGs in Kenya in 2004 and has seen it grow from 10 clients to almost 700,000 clients by CARE Kenya. She designs and ensures quality implementation of SG programs. Otieno has greatly contributed in the development of indirect delivery channels through Franchisees in Kenya in partnership with Financial Sector Development in Kenya. Financial inclusion has remained Otieno’s main agenda, prompting the engagement with the private sector in use of mobile technology in banking and linkage of mature groups to commercial banks. She successfully piloted the FIRST linkage to formal financial institutions through mobile technology in partnership with Equity bank and Orange, Safaricom and Barclays bank. Otieno recently worked with her team to produce a pro-youths GS&L training manual and that is currently being tested in the field and will be reviewed after six months with inputs from the youths when also considering the youth’s language. Again, in partnership with the Financial Sector Deepening, CARE Kenya is currently piloting e-recording which completed its first phase in June and is being extended to December 2013. E-recording and linkage through mobile technology are some of Otieno’s key inputs in deepening financial outreach. She has developed financial literacy manual for the informal sector and recently translated the SG training manual in caricatures. Otieno has worked with the government, PRIDE AFRICA/KENYA, International Labour Organization in Micro and Small Enterprise Development. She holds a Degree in Business Management from the European School of Business, Graduate Diploma in Management and Diploma in Cooperatives Management from Cooperative College in Kenya.

Paul O’Tucho, Special Projects Manager, Kentainers Limited, Kenya


Paul O’Tucho is currently the Special Projects Manager at Kentainers Limited in Kenya. He has been engaged for the past 7 years in the research, design and development of several groundbreaking products and services, among which are rotationally moulded water storage through polyethylene water storage tanks (KENTANK); Mobilet pit toilets, Eko-Loo for Ecological sanitation and recycling, latrine slabs for pits and for urine diverting eco sanitation; BlueFlame BioSurriGaz domestic biogas systems and grain storage GranSilo brand domestic grain silo to reduce post harvest losses. O’Tucho and his organization are firm believers that with simple and affordable solutions most of our problems are within grasp, especially when such solutions are guided by sustainability. With the right solution and information disbursement, we, in partnership with other likeminded institutions, can alleviate the persistent socioeconomic problems of poverty and the lack of safe water and sanitation which lead to poor health. By bridging the gap with microfinance, many solutions can be obtained, but further investment has to be made in behavioral change.

Marife O. Pabulayan-Abela, Microfinance and Health Protection Sr. Officer, CARD MRI, Philippines

AbelaMarife O. Pabulayan - Abela, is a Senior Officer of the Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) Program of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI). She has been working with CARD MRI since 2007. In 2012, she co-facilitated with Freedom From Hunger a teaser workshop entitled, “Why add Health Services to Microfinance?” This sparked the need for MFIs in the Philippines to work together to strengthen the integration of health into microfinance. She is currently managing “MaHP Replication,” a program which gathers Microfinance Institutions having similar goals of providing health access for the poor. Through the program, she is able to provide technical support and assistance to various MFIs on how to integrate Health to Microfinance. One of the major activities of the program is the Joint Community Health Day, which is attended by the MFIs included in the MaHP Replication Network. Prior to her work with CARD MRI, Ms. Abela has served the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for four years as Community Facilitator of the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) World Bank Project, a Poverty Alleviation Flagship Program of the Government. Ms. Abela holds a BS degree in Commerce Major in Management and BS Social Work at Sacred Heart College and the Philippine Women’s University respectively.

Julie Peachey, Country Director, Philippines, Grameen Foundation


Julie Peachey is a cross-cultural team leader with 20 years of business and non-profit experience. She is Grameen Foundation’s Country Director for the Philippines and has served as the Project Manager for the Microsavings Initiative at CARD Bank since April 2010. She has expertise in savings mobilization, institution building, and change leadership. Ms. Peachey started her career as a public accountant at KPMG, received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and was Director of Strategic Initiatives at ThoughtWorks prior to joining Grameen Foundation in November 2002.  

Douglas Pond, Executive Vice President, Mambu, Germany

Douglas Pond joined Mambu earlier this year from global microfinance network Opportunity International, where he served as chief commercial officer and an executive director for Opportunity’s bank in Mozambique. His experience spans four continents and more than 25 years, working in microfinance, commercial, investment and emerging markets banking.  

Agus Rachmadi, Head of International Cooperation and Marketing Strategy, Bank Rakyat, Indonesia

Agus Rachmadi  BRI foto

Agus Rachmadi received his degree from the Graduate School of Management in UGM of Yogyakarta and has been working for Bank Rakyat Indonesia since 1989 (24 years), dealing with retail banking, consumer banking, card based product and currently as a Senior Microfinance Specialist of Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Head of BRI Microfinance International Cooperation and Marketing Strategy of Micro Banking Bank Rakyat Indonesia Head Office Jakarta. Mr. Rachmadi has participated extensively as a speaker in a wide range of international forums and conferences, including the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) SME Ministrial Meeting in 2013; International Microfinance Conference on Innovation and Financial Inclusion in 2013; Global Microcredit Summit in 2011, and the UN Microfinance Expert Meeting in 2005, among others.

Ian Radcliffe, Director, WSBI-ESBG, Belgium


Ian Radcliffe is Director at WSBI-ESBG, a trade association that represents savings and retail banks in about 90 countries across all continents. He is responsible for institutional relations with member banks and key international stakeholders as well as the group’s global training and consultancy activities. He has almost 20 years’ experience in leading financial sector programs and bank reform projects in more than 70 countries worldwide that support international efforts to advance sound, well governed and inclusive financial sectors. He has acted as Programme Director for numerous large scale multilateral and bilateral funded projects; among his responsibilities currently he leads a WSBI financial inclusion program working with savings banks in 10 developing countries. Ian is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Partnerships against Poverty Summit, a Board member of the European Microfinance Platform, and WSBI representative on the Knowledge Committee of the United Nations’ managed ‘Better than Cash’ Alliance. Prior to joining WSBI-ESBG, he worked for National Westminster Bank Plc in the UK and Australia. He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK).

Kalin Radev, CEO, Software Group, Bulgaria

Kalin Radev

Kalin Radev is a high level professional in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with particular expertise in microfinance institutions and other financial services organizations. He has more than 20 years of global experience in business consulting and IT implementations for corporate and non-profit organizations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Kalin has successfully carried out assignments, software selections and implementations for organizations such as USAID, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), Catholic Relief Society (CRS), World Bank and Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), Opportunity International, Triple Jump, Micro Africa etc. Kalin is also the founder and CEO of Software Group, an IT company with over 95 successful software implementation projects and consultancy assignments for the financial sector. The company is specializing in delivery channels for Microfinance and particularly in technologies for mobile banking. It has carried out successful development and implementation projects that allow the institutions to transact from the field using different technologies like: POS/ATM devices, mobile phones, Palms, Netbooks, mobile operator payment systems, etc.

Francesca Randazzo, Project Officer for the Inclusive Financial Services Department, ADA, Luxembourg

Francesca RandazzoFrancesca Randazzo is Project Officer within the Inclusive Financial Services Department in ADA where she is in charge of different projects among others the remittances projects with PAMECAS and with NYESIGISO. Before joining ADA in May 2010, Francesca worked for the Social Finance Programme of the ILO as technical officer for the Action-Research Project “Microfinance for Decent Work” developing microinsurance products. Graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 2004 and followed a specialization on project management (Master of the Catholic University of Leuven) and microfinance (European Microfinance Programme). Francesca has been working in the sector of microfinance since 2008. She accumulated experience in Peru, Honduras, Mali, Senegal, Nicaragua and the Philippines. Previous speaking engagements:Moderation on different workshops on energy and microfinance and on remittances. Speaker in Microfinance and Energy Access Workshop – side event- Foromic, Costa Rica 2011; INAISE Annual Conference- SIDI, France 2012; Rural energy access Workshop – IFC- Peru, 2012 European Microfinance Week –European Microfinance Platform, Luxembourg 2012.

D.S.K. Rao, Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Microcredit Summit Campaign, India

DSK_RaoDr. D.S.K. Rao is the regional director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign for Asia Pacific. He joined the Campaign in July 2000 and lives in Hyderabad, India. The Campaign draws heavily on his wide experience and familiarity with the sector while organizing the regional and global summits. Dr. Rao is a certified trainer of Cashpor House Index (CHI) and Participatory Wealth Ranking (PWR), the two efficient and cost-effective targeting tools. He has conducted scores of workshops and trainings on these two tools for practitioners in Asia. He was closely associated with the National Surveys in Bangladesh and India during 2008-10 for measuring and tracking the poverty levels of microfinance clients using the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI). Dr. Rao is presently implementing a Johnson & Johnson funded project for integrating health with microfinance in India, in collaboration with Freedom from Hunger. He has co-authored two books on microfinance, titled, The New Middlewomen and Development, Divinity and Dharma.

Michael Rauenhorst, Vice President, Social Performance Group, Moody’s Analytics

Michael Rauenhorst develops and manages risk analysis products for microfinance institutions and social investing. Prior to joining Moody’s in 2010, Michael worked with Deutsche Bank for 13 years in Asset Management and Global Social Investments, where he co-developed and managed microfinance investment funds investing in over 40 countries. Michael serves as board member of the Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium, the DB Microfinance Development Fund, and Microlumbia. He is a member of the Social Performance Task Force Indicators Working Group and the SMART Campaign Certification Task Force. Michael also is Chair of Jamicro, Ltd, a Jamaican MFI. Mr. Rauenhorst holds an MBA from Columbia Graduate School of Business.

Larry Reed, Director, Microcredit Summit Campaign, USA

Larry ReedLarry Reed is the director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign. He has worked for more than 25 years in designing, supporting and leading activities and organizations that empower poor people to transform their lives and their communities. For most of that time Reed worked with Opportunity International, including five years as their Africa regional director and eight years as the first CEO of the Opportunity International Network. During his time with Opportunity, Larry helped to implement a strategy for developing full-service banks that served the very poor while mobilizing hundreds of millions of dollars in savings deposits and investments. Under his leadership, Opportunity developed the first microinsurance brokerage, which now serves hundreds of millions of people around the world. Reed has taught at the Boulder Institute of Microfinance for 15 years, served as the chair of the SEEP Network, and consulted with industry-wide initiatives like the Smart Campaign for Client Protection and MicroFinance Transparency. Larry authored the State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and has contributed to several books on finance and the poor including The New World of Microfinance (Rhyne, Otero, et. al., 1996), Serving with the Poor in Africa (Yamamori, Myers, Bediako and Reed, 1996), Globalization and the Kingdom of God (Goudzwaard, 2001), and More Pathways Out of Poverty (Harris et. al., 2006). He is a graduate of Wheaton College and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Carine Roenen, Executive Director, Fonkoze, Haiti

A medical doctor by training, Carine Roenen joined the Fonkoze staff as the Executive Director of the Foundation in November 2009. In Rwanda, where she lived and practiced medicine for six years, she became interested in managing health services and programs. Carine moved to Haiti in 1995 and has since been leading multidisciplinary teams to develop and implement development programs, for Doctors withouth borders, the Belgian Bilateral Cooperation and Concern Worldwide.

Pia Bernadette Roman Tayag, Deputy Director, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippines

Pia Roman

Pia Bernadette Roman Tayag is the head of the Inclusive Finance Advocacy Staff (IFAS) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines). In this capacity, she is involved in the overall financial inclusion work of the central bank particularly in the areas of policy and regulation, capacity building, advocacy, and relationship building. The range of issues related to financial inclusion comprise of microfinance, technology driven innovations in service delivery, financial education, consumer protection, financial inclusion data, among others. Roman Tayag graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines and a master’s degree in International Affairs focused on Economic Development from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. She is also a Fellow in the Fletcher School Leadership Program for Financial Inclusion at Tufts University. Roman Tayag has had experience in a microfinance non-governmental organization (NGO) in New York, USA and in the evaluation of a savings and credit organization in Nepal. Roman Tayag is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Smart Campaign, a global effort to instill a client-centered approach in microfinance. She is also a member of the Policy Advisory Group of the Innovations for Poverty Action Financial Capability Research Fund. She is a fully certified trainer of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Microfinance Distance Learning Course and an Affiliate Faculty of the CMDI (CARD-MRI Development Institute), a practitioner-led microfinance training institute in the Philippines.

David Ruchiu, Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Farm Concern International, Kenya


David Ruchiu is the Regional Director for Sub Saharan Africa at Farm Concern International (FCI) since 2009. He is based in Nairobi and oversees the African FCI portfolio besides being the Chief Technical Advisor on Agricultural Finance at FCI. Previously David worked as the Executive Director/CEO of the Kenya Agency for the Development of Enterprises & Technology (KADET Ltd), the micro finance subsidiary for the World Vision in Kenya. He had been with World Vision since 2000 when he joined as the Economic Development Advisor. David had joined World Vision from being a Team Leader & Micro Credit Specialist with the UNDP/ILO joint programme for Kenya. He too previously had worked for Pride Africa a cross country MFI investment David studied Executive MBA at Moi University in Kenya has his undergraduate training in Agricultural Economics specializing in Finance & Credit from Egerton University. He too has had extensive exposure and training in various African countries, Europe and Asia. He has numerous civic responsibilities and sits in various boards and served in the Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Kenya (AMFI) where he was the national vice chairman. David was born 44 years ago in Eastern Kenya and is married and resides in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mihir Sahana, CEO, India Grameen Services, India

Mihir Sahana is Chief Executive Officer of India Grameen Services (IGS). He has worked for more than 15 years with a host of national NGOs, INGOs, Corporates and Government. After working in different sectors, he shifted to the livelihood sector and joined an international and corporate NGO, IDE International, with a mission to promote livelihoods of small and marginal farmers by identifying, developing and promoting appropriate technologies using principles of marketing to achieve scale and sustainability. After his mid career course change, he joined the Senior Management Team of BASIX, within IGS, and is involved in developing a host of innovative products and processes in the farm and non-farm sector, innovative business development services and developing linkage with corporate and technology providers. He has a background in agriculture, a postgraduate degree in rural management from IRMA and a mid career postgraduate degree in Development Studies from The University of Manchester, UK.

Saheba Sahni, Portfolio Manager for South Asia, Kiva, USA

Saheba Sahni

Saheba Sahni is Kiva’s Portfolio Manager for South Asia, responsible for managing relationships with existing field partners, growing Kiva’s presence in the region through due diligence on potential partners, and developing a strategy for Kiva to enter into India. Saheba joined Kiva after working at PlaNet Finance India, where she managed consulting and technical assistance projects for microfinance institutions and banks, ‘microfinance-plus’ initiatives in education and health, and sector development initiatives like the Microfinance Process Excellence Awards. Prior to her time at PlaNet Finance India, Saheba worked at SKS Microfinance, where she focused on strategy and business analysis and piloted a deworming project through the SKS NGO, in partnership with Deworm the World. Saheba holds a degree in International Studies with a minor in Theology from Boston College.

Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT University & KISS, India


Achyuta Samanta is the founder of KIIT, a multidisciplinary, state-of-the art university and KISS, a home for more than 20,000 low-income indigenous children in the city of Bhubaneswar, India. Having overcome extreme hardship as a child, Samanta works to “create a society where poverty does not hinder great accomplishment.” He has been recognized globally for his leadership on many fronts and singled out for his social entrepreneurship, which includes establishing the Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, a 1200 bed hospital, and 5 rural health clinics; transforming the villages of Manpur Panchayat into a model city; creating a new township centered on KIIT University; and initiating infrastructure that provided employment to some 60,000 workers. Achyuta founded the largest circulation magazine in the state of Odisha. He serves on numerous boards of directors of prestigious institutions throughout India and the world, and holds honorary degrees from five universities. He holds an M.S. in chemistry from Utkal University, Vani Vihar, Bhubaneswar.

Nassreena Sampaco-Baddiri, Country Director, Innovations for Poverty Action, Philippines


Nassreena Sampaco-Baddiri is Country Director for the Philippines at Innovations for Poverty Action– a non-profit dedicated to discovering what works to help the world’s poor through innovation, evidence, and action. She manages and oversees IPA Philippines’ diverse portfolio of rigorous impact evaluations and works with local partners and policymakers to turn evidence into action. Previously, she served as Regional Secretary at the Department of Tourism of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and as Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines, Department of Political Science. She was a Consultant at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, City University of New York, and Research Fellow at the Center for Asia Pacific Studies. She has published on issues such as geopolitics, socio-economic development and women in the Peace Process. Currently a Doctoral Candidate in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines, Nassreena holds a MA in Development Studies from the University of Manchester and a Masters in International Studies from the University of the Philippines. She was also a Bridging Leader Fellow at the Asian Institute of Management and an APLP Freeman Fellow at the East West Center, Hawaii. In 2013, she was named as one of Manila’s 40 under 40 International Development Leaders.

Rajan Samuel, Housing Finance Manager, Habitat for Humanity International, Philippines

Rajan Samuel serves as Housing Finance Manager for the Asia and Pacific (AP) region. His responsibilities include identifying Rajan Samuelalternative legal structures to promote housing for the poor; providing structured technical assistance to partner organizations in the area of risk, fund and portfolio management; and developing alternative financial instruments to tap into capital markets. As part of his engagements for the Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance he is currently serving as project director, for the “Cambodia Housing Microfinance Capacity Building” Project, in partnership with SCBF; has provided technical advice for the project “Cambodia Sanitation Finance”, for ADB; and has served as Area Technical Lead, for the project “Transforming Access to Housing Finance in India”, in partnership with USAID. Mr. Samuel has been involved in finance and community development for more than 27 years and has undertaken assignments in 25 countries. He has worked for EFICOR, Opportunity International, World Bank, Khula Finance, DFID, IFAD, CARE, World Vision, Danida and others. Mr. Samuel has a master’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration and is a CGAP certified Trainer. He has presented his Ph.D. thesis on microfinance and transiting economics at Azerbaijan State Economic University. Most recently he was a panelist at the Lafarge Housing Microfinance Summit speaking on ‘Empowering families with housing microfinance’ in Manila, Philippines on 20th June 2013.

Alexandra Sánchez, Consultant, PHB Development


Alexandra Sánchez is a consultant with expertise in remittances and mobile payments. Before joining PHB in 2012 she worked for the Microfinance International Corporation (MFIC) in Washington, DC. She joined MFIC in 2009 and managed the commercial development of MFIC expanding the business network by contacting and signing agreements with banks, MFIs, money transfer operators, and mobile network operators in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, becoming the project manager for these new customers. She handled the management of all contractual aspects, integration, on-going operations and relationships with customers. Alexa also has hands-on experience in market research, including the collection and analysis of secondary data, identifying and contacting potential partners, organization, execution and analysis of the results of focus groups and individual interviews. Alexandra holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. She is a native English and Spanish speaker, and is fluent in French and Italian.

Kalpana Sankar, Managing Trustee, Hand in Hand, India

Kalpana SankarKalpana Sankar is currently the Chairman and Managing Trustee of Hand in Hand India. Dr.Sankar has been involved in the women’s self help group movement in Tamil Nadu for the last 19 years. She has a doctorate in physical sciences and in women’s studies and self help groups. She was also a consultant with the Government of South Africa and has supported poverty reduction, job creation and microfinance programs in Afghanistan and Brazil. Sankar has specialized in participatory assessment, gender differentiated impact as well as in monitoring tools and indicators. She has been a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Tamil Nadu. She has handled several international missions and has been consultant with UNOPS, UNDP, Christian Aid and Wetlands International. Dr.Sankar has also authored various publications and manuals on child labour, microfinance and self-help groups. She has guided interns from Stanford University, Stockholm School of Economics and students from Indian Universities on Microfinance. She has an Executive MBA from TRIUM, where she was the first recipient of a scholarship to pursue the programme. TRIUM is an alliance among NYU Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and Political Science and HEC School of Management, Paris. Sankar was with Hand in Hand India since May 2004 has been an extremely rewarding experience. Each of our team members is a leader in her/his own way, working diligently, without compromising on our core values of transparency and honesty. Hand in Hand India has a complex, unique model with five pillars working towards one common goal of reducing poverty and providing a life of dignity and hope by creating jobs. We have created or strengthened 1.3 million jobs, made 1,000 panchayats child friendly, piloted and created good models for access to health and preventive care in the areas of malnourishment, anaemia and sanitation, enabled communities to access their entitlements from the government using the power of ICT through Citizens’ Centres; worked on sustainable development through the environment pillar in the areas of Natural Resource Management and Solid Waste Management and leveraged the synergy of all five pillars to create impact in the village uplift programme.

Wonjin Seol, Financial Sector Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Philippines

Wonjin Seol is currently a financial sector specialist at the ADB. He conceived and led the “Access to Greenfinance” project in Tajikistan. Seol managed an absolute return fund of outsourced university endowment, an insurance fund, and State security deposit capital. Previously, in 2009 – 2010, Seol was a fund manager for Hyundai Heavy Industry Investment and Securities, focusing on equity investment and asset allocation strategies. In 2004-2009, he was a fund manager for the Government Pension Fund Korea, working on equity investment and asset allocation strategies. Seol has an MBA from the KDI school of public policy and management and a BA in Business Administration from Sung Kyun Kwan University.

Raymond Serios, Special Project Manager, NWTF, Philippines

Raymond Serios

Raymond Serios is the Special Project Manager at Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, an MFI based in Central Philippines. He handles new products, services and projects from the pilot to roll-out stages. He is currently in charge of NWTF’s energy loans, student loans and is also involved in NWTF’s association/ community loans while also overseeing the back-office business process redesign, alternative financing and a few other social benefits that NWTF provides to its clients. Raymond is also involved in several technology-led projects at NWTF-among them mobile banking and ATMs. NWTF started providing energy loans, particularly solar lamps and energy efficient cookstoves in 2009. These products were initially offered to clients only, but as more and more people in the local communities became interested in these products, NWTF developed a special product that allows its microfinance clients to become agents that sell these products. Through this program, NWTF has substantially increased its volume of energy loans and the over-all energy loans program has become a sustainable project.

Shiv Shankar, Senior Analyst, MicroSave, Philippines


Shiv Shankar is a Senior Analyst, currently based in Manila, who also co-leads MicroSave’s Digital Finance practice. He focuses on developing strategies to expand access to finance for the poor and advising financial institutions to create innovative and cost effective technology enabled delivery channel to offer financial services in developing markets. Shiv has managed a wide range of clients in India, Nepal, Thailand, the Philippines and Kenya. Currently, he is involved in setting up a nationwide remittance company in the Philippines to serve the unbanked migrant Filipinos in the domestic as well international geographies. In the past, Shiv advised one of the largest commercial banks in East Africa to streamline processes for its mobile banking vertical and further developed channel strategy to offer credit products through electronic channels. On the implementation side, Shiv helped a micro-pension major in India to launch a prepaid instrument to collect micro-pension premium. He has led key studies in the past to understand the financial behavior of the poor and has several publications to his name. Prior to joining MicroSave, Shiv worked for IntelleCash – a niche microfinance incubation firm where he advised large corporations, HNIs and entrepreneurs on intervention strategy as they ventured into the Indian microfinance market. Shiv also has the credit of playing a key role in establishing a direct online funding platform to connect social entrepreneurs with impact investors. He is deeply passionate about ICT4D and technology enabled financial inclusion models. He holds a Masters degree in management with a concentration in technology and rural finance.

Sanavbar Sharipova, CEO, IMON International, Tajikistan

Shanavpar Sharipova

Sanavbar Sharipova is an economist with over 25 years of professional experience. Her professional qualifications have been put on a solid footing with the enormous experience she have gained over the last ten years in the development, design, and implementation and management of a successful Micro-Lending program and a Micro Finance Organization in which she presently held a position of General Director. Under her leadership, IMON developing as the social – responsible microfinance & serving more than 67800 clients, a loan portfolio of 89 million and a true presence serving low-income women and men across 111 offices all over the country of Tajikistan. A practitioner at heart, she is actively involved in the management & attracting investments to IMON’s operations, and is also a frequent keynote speaker. As author of The secrets of the family business & the applied Economics for Youth Sanavbar seeks to inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Prior to IMON Mrs. Sharipova founded & served as the CEO of National Association of Business Woman of Tajikistan (1996 – 2006). Sanavbar has been worked on projects in community organizing, social development focused on youth, poverty reduction, women empowerment, business development, marketing, human resources management, accounting and financial management.

Vipin Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, ACCESS Development Services, India


Vipin Sharma is the founding CEO of ACCESS Development Services. He is responsible for institutionalizing and expanding the organization as a pan-Indian resource for the support of livelihoods and microfinance outreach. Vipin started his career with the Reserve Bank of India in 1980, and subsequently moved to NABARD, once it was spun out of RBI. As a part of his career in NABARD, Vipin set up the apex Bank’s sole farmer outreach programme. He opened two district offices and served in Board positions in the local RRBs and the District Cooperative Bank. On request, Vipin was deputed to the Government of Rajasthan to set up the country’s only Agency – RUDA (as its Executive Director) to promote rural livelihoods on a sub sector basis. In 2000, Vipin joined CARE India as the Programme Director, Microfinance, and was a part of CARE’s South Asia Leadership team. Besides managing the India portfolio, Vipin set up a South Asia Investment Fund for CARE. He holds a BA (Hons.) in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and a masters n History; in addition to attending programmes at Cranfield School of Management, UK; Boulder University (USA) as well as the School of Management, Yale University. Vipin set up ACCESS in March 2006 and ACCESS –ASSIST, an ACCESS affiliate in 2009.

Shankar Man Shrestha, Chief Executive Officer, Rural Microfinance Development Centre Ltd. (RMDC), Nepal

Shankar Man ShresthaShankar Man Shrestha has been working as the CEO of RMDC since August 1999. Prior to joining RMDC, Shrestha was executive director of Centre for Self-Help Development (CSD), an NGO, from August 1991 to July 1999. He is also the founder member of that national NGO, which is one of the premier microfinance institutions in Nepal. Before that, he worked with the Agriculture Development Bank of Nepal (ADBN) for 25 years. In ADBN, he had worked in various positions such as deputy general manager, director of training, chief of loan department, regional manager. As regards to his academic qualification, Shrestha has B.A (Hons), Master of Arts in Economics from Tribhuvan University (TU) Nepal. He has also completed a Special Study in Agriculture Economics from Texas A. & M. University, USA. Shrestha has participated in numerous training, workshops, seminars and conferences organized by national and international agencies such as ADB, Rabobank of Holland, APRACA, APDC, USAID, JICA, Microcredit Summit Secretariat, Grameen Bank, Grameen Trust on rural development and on areas such as agriculture banking, microfinance, small farmer credit, etc. He also participated as consultant in the project missions of ADB, IFAD, JICA and IDRC. While in ADBN, he was involved in the implementation of the Agriculture Credit Project of ADB, the Small Farmer Development Project of ADB and IFAD, and the other projects supported by GTZ, KFW, World Bank, USAID, CIDA, etc. Shrestha has been writing on issues of microfinance for many years and has been published widely in journals and magazines in Nepal and abroad. He has also presented a number of papers and participated as a speaker, panelist, and resource person in different international conferences on microfinance and poverty alleviation (such as Regional and Global Microcredit Summits, country-level Summits) held in Bangladesh, China, Turkey, Pakistan, India, USA, Canada, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Spain.

Allan Sicat, Executive Director, Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI), Philippines

Allan SicatAllan Sicat leads the secretariat of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI). As Executive Director, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations and the management of the Council’s activities. He is in charge of supervising MCPI’s capacity building program; supports and supervises research projects; disseminates information; and maintains partnerships with the government and other allied organizations.    

Aya Silva, Senior Program Officer, Grameen Foundation, Philippines


Aya Silva is a Senior Program Officer supporting Grameen Foundation’s activities in Southeast Asia. She is working with CARD Bank, the largest microfinance institution in the Philippines, to improve financial inclusion through mobile and agent banking. She was also responsible for partnership screening, monitoring, and management, as well as assisted programs including Social Performance Management and Capital Markets. Prior to Grameen Foundation, she managed and traded financial derivatives at BDO Private Bank and served a year in Mindanao as a Jesuit Volunteer. She holds Masters and BS degrees in Applied Mathematics specializing in Mathematical Finance from the Ateneo de Manila University.

Nav Raj Simkhada, Microfinance and Banking Operation Specialist, RFSDCP-II/ADB


Nav Raj Simkhada has worked in the microfinance sector since 1990 conducting market research, designing microfinance products, designing and delivering financial education programs and training, conducting impact studies, and developing business plans. Simkhada has worked with numerous microfinance programs in Nepal, Laos, Papua New Guinea, India and Sri Lanka. During his tenure in various countries, he has worked with microfinance banks, cooperatives, village banks, self-help groups, microfinance networks and capacity building organizations. He has developed training manuals and tools for the capacity building of MFIs. Simkhada has conducted research in various microfinance-related fields and disseminated it in national and international forums. Furthermore, he has designed and successfully piloted the hill microfinance model in the Rural Finance Sector Development Cluster Program-II /ADB. He is a certified trainer of Micro-Save market research tools and has also participated in a wide range of international trainings on topics such as value chains and microfinance, at notable organizations including the Bank Academy International. Simkhada has completed an MBA as well as an MA in Sociology and Anthropology. His areas of expertise include: market research, microfinance products and programs, financial education programs, impact studies, business plans and training.

Govind Singh, CEO, Utkarsh, India

Govind Singh is Managing Director and CEO of Utkarsh Micro Finance Private Ltd, a Varanasi-headquartered India-based MFI founded In August 2009. Currently the MFI is operating in 5 states, through 110 branches, catering to more than 240,000 members with a portfolio of more than 230 million Rupees. The company is planning to launch an energy -ending program and is also working several non-credit, non-financial initiatives. In November 2012, Utkarsh was awarded Microfinance Organization of the Year (Medium & Small) by Access Development Services, Access-Assist & HSBC India. Mr. Singh is the former Business Head for Micro Banking at ICICI Bank, the largest private sector bank in India. In this capacity, he oversaw the largest microfinance portfolio for any commercial bank in India, including relationships with over 100 MFIs, as well as the Business Correspondent and Bulk Jewel Loan businesses. A banker for over 22 years, he was previously the Business Head for Rural and Agri Liabilities, and the Trust, Societies, Associations, and Clubs (TASC) segment. He also has extensive experience with the Retail Liabilities group and Retail Infrastructure Group at ICICI Bank. He has previously worked with State Bank of Patiala, Surya Roshni Group (Financial services), Bank Internasional Indonesia and Axis Bank. He was also nominated by ICICI Bank to the Boards of Cashpor Micro Credit and Asmitha Microfin Ltd, and was a member of the RBI’s Working Group to Review the Business Correspondent Model. Mr. Singh has been elected on the board of MFIN (The industry association for NBFC-MFIs in India) for three consecutive terms.

Saneesh Singh, Executive Director, Investments and Partnership, Dia Vikas Capital Pvt Ltd, India

Saneesh Singh has over 20 years of experience in promotion development and financing of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and microfinance. He has worked in various managerial capacities in the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a pan India apex development finance institution for MSME’s. He was part of the core team that initiated SIDBI’s micro finance project christened as SIDBI Foundation for Micro Credit (SFMC) and mentored several Microfinance institutions. He holds a Masters Degree in Social Work as well as in Systems Administration. He is an associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers and an alumnus of Indian School of Business. Saneesh is also a British Chevening (Banking and Finance) Scholar from London School of Economics. Saneesh has been part of the Global Microfinance Operations of Opportunity International Network. He also leads the investment and partnerships team at Dia Vikas Capital ( a social investor and subsidiary of Opportunity Australia). Saneesh is inter alia responsible for the management of Dia’s investments and social projects in India. Saneesh also serves as a director on the Boards of some of some of the leading Microfinance institutions in India.

Artur Steiner, Researcher, Rural Society Research Team, Scotland’s Rural College, Scotland


Dr. Arthur Steiner currently works as a Module Leader coordinating work on one of the Scottish-Government funded research programmes reviewing conceptual frameworks and methodologies of the vibrant rural areas and evaluating interventions to develop strong, resilient and supportive rural communities. This work is undertaken by the Rural Society Research Team in SRUC and members of the Socio-Economics Research Group at the James Hutton Institute. In addition, he is involved in monitoring and evaluating the Capacity for Change Programme (LEADER; Dumfries & Galloway) which aims to enhance sustainability, resilience, well-being and regional rural development by engaging with those communities that do not normally become involved in development projects. Dr. Steiner’s research focuses on improving the quality of life of people living in remote and rural areas, and sustainability of rural communities. He has participated in a number of national and international projects. For example, he worked on an EU-project that tackled issues of an ageing population in remote and rural areas of Europe; the project aim was to promote independent living of older citizens, enhance social capital of remote and rural communities, facilitate dialogue between service users and service providers, and, finally, to influence future rural policy. The project won the RegioStars 2012 Awards in the category “Inclusive Growth: Strategies, initiatives or projects addressing the challenge of demographic change and supporting active ageing.” In his qualitative PhD research Dr. Steiner investigated aspects of rural social entrepreneurship, particularly in rural and remote social enterprises. The study looked at operational aspects of innovative forms of businesses/entrepreneurship that bring social outcomes and can contribute to societal development. This work, undertaken in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen and the University of Highlands and Islands and funded by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, explored promoters and barriers to the development of social enterprises. Dr. Steiner also holds an MA (Hons) in Management Studies and a Master Degree in Marketing and Management.

B.S. Suran, Chief General Manager, Microcredit Innovations Department (mCID), NABARD, India


Dr. B.S. Suran has a PhD and is a certified associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. Trained at the Centre for Development Training, University of Wolverhampton, UK, he specializes in rural development projects. He presently serves as Chief General Manager at National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). He heads the Microcredit Innovations Department of NABARD at its Head Office in Mumbai. He has professional experience in rural and agricultural finance and rural development spanning close to three decades. He has served in four varied provinces of the country, handling area-based rural development projects, supervision of rural financial institutions, development action planning, organization development interventions, etc. He has served on the Boards of two Regional Rural Banks and presently on the Board of NABFINs (a subsidiary of NABARD engaged in microfinance). He has been associated with NABARD’s microfinance programme since its early stages, and has been instrumental in undertaking national level studies on informal savings and credit groups, designing financial products for the poor and also strategizing the expansion of the SHG-Bank Linkage programme in India. He has also initiated a number of pilot projects in microfinance, including e-bookkeeping in SHGs using tablet PCs, credit counseling for over-indebted clients, financing tenant farmers and oral lessees using collateral substitutes & other subject areas. He was also with the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, on a sabbatical assignment researching on cost allocation in multi-functional NGOs and financial diaries of the poor.

Venkatesh Tagat, Chief General Manager, Head Office, NABARD, India

Dr. Venkatesh Tagat, joined Reserve Bank of India as Rural Credit Officer in 1982 at Bangalore. Before joining RBI, he had worked as Scientist in Central Dry Land Agriculture Research Institute, Hyderabad, and Central Coffee Research Institute, Balehonnur, Karnataka. At NABARD, he has worked in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka Regional Offices, besides various departments at Head Office, Mumbai. On deputation with Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR), he has been responsible for planning, design and implementation of Indo-German Watershed Development Programme in Maharashtra. He has been honored by many organizations for his outstanding work in the field of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management in Maharashtra. A doctorate in Soil and Water Management from the prestigious IARI, New Delhi, Dr. Tagat has wide experience of working in the fields of agriculture value chain systems, agronomy, watershed, dry land farming; designing financial products for community managed social enterprises; making policies for financing community-centered institutions for managing value chain systems. He has been a part of many international exposure visits in the spheres of ‘Promoting Value Chain Upgrading in Agriculture’, Land Use Planning, Information Knowledge Management Systems, Natural Resources Management Projects, Rural Infrastructure Projects to countries like Israel, Germany, US, Indonesia and China.

Christopher Tan, Regional CEO, Asia, Grameen Foundation


Christopher Tan leads and oversees Grameen Foundation’s portfolio and activities across Asia. As Regional CEO, he also serves as Grameen Foundation’s senior representative in the region. He has more than 16 years of experience in development finance, nonprofit management and public interest law, having worked for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC/Chicago), ShoreBank Advisory Services (SAS), and SALIGAN in the Philippines. He holds an MPP from The University of Chicago and a JD from the Ateneo de Manila University.    

Amando Tetangco Jr., Governor, Central Bank of the Philippines

AmandoTetangcoAmando Tetangco Jr. assumed office as Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in July 2005. He is a career central banker, occupying different positions in the organization in a span of over three decades. Immediately prior to his appointment as BSP Governor, he was Deputy Governor in-charge of the Banking Services Sector, Economic Research and Treasury. As BSP Governor, he is also the Chairman of the Monetary Board, Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and Philippine International Convention Center (PICC); Vice-Chairman of the Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC); Member of the Capital Market Development Council (CMDC), Export Development Council (EDC), PhilExport Board of Trustees (PHILEXPORT), Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PHILEXIM); and Director of Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), National Development Council (NDC) and National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC). Mr. Tetangco took up AB Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University where he graduated cum laude. He took up graduate courses in business administration in the same institution. As a central bank scholar, Mr. Tetangco took up his MA in Public Policy and Administration (concentration in Development Economics) at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA. Earlier, he finished his elementary and high school education at Don Bosco Academy in Pampanga.

Kadambelil Paul Thomas, Managing Director, ESAF Microfinance, India

Kadambelil Paul Thomas, the Founder and Chairman of ESAF Group of Companies including ESAF Microfinance is a man with sharp business acumen who has successfully established various social businesses with the primary motive of ‘creating opportunities’ for all including those who remain underprivileged. After his Bachelor’s degree in science he got his first job as the marketing manager with one of the leading fertilizer companies -IFFCO. He traveled to the interior and remote parts of Kerala, meeting the farmer groups and understood the impoverished conditions of various families who did not have a regular income of their own. They borrowed money from money lenders under high interest rates and struggled to repay it back. Educated but unemployed youths were a frustrated lot without any life skills. Having encountered countless issues, Paul was determined to address the issues of unemployment, access to finance, education and health, among others, and thus formed ESAF-Evangelical Social Action Forum in 1992 and registered in 1995 as a Charitable Society. From then there was no looking back, as ESAF emerged as a development organization with programs and projects supported from well-wishers. State and central governments and international donors too took notice of the sustainable community development programs which included career building sessions for youths, skill building training to establish micro and small enterprises for women, health awareness programs with the motive of decreased spending on health care and more productive days of work. With a small fund of Rs.30,000 he gave the first microcredit loan to a group of 10 women in Thrissur in 1995.The group utilized the money as startup fund to start an income generation activity of their own and repaid the money without any default. As the word spread in other areas too, there was a plethora of women who approached Paul for microcredit. Meanwhile, a meeting with Prof.Muhammad Yunus in New Delhi reinforced Paul’s commitment and ardent desire to extend finance to the unbanked population. In August of 2007, the microfinance operations were transformed into an NBFC under the name ESAF Microfinance and Investments Pvt Ltd (EMFIL). Since then, the MFI has witnessed impressive growth of its client base, increasing its outreach from 46,677 borrowers in 2006 to 5,000,000 borrowers in 2013 with 154 branches across India. Paul played a remarkable role in institutionalizing the microfinance business into an organized form of lending with emphasis on formation of sangam, encouraging mutual co-operation and trust, democratic way of leadership selection and empowerment in the state of Kerala that has not witnessed such microfinance operations that gave voice to the sangam members in early 1990s. An apex federation of SHG women was formed by Paul with the vision to give equal stake to these poor women by getting them elected through a process of democratic election to the Board of ESAF Microfinance. ‘Microfinance is something more than mere lending’, says Paul. Paul believed that unless MFIs try to uplift the poor clients from their poverty levels the true meaning of microfinance is not realized. Paul’s consultancy is sought by various social investors, debt investors, networks and technical providers in the Microfinance sector. He is on the board of Sa-Dhan and MFIN and has held several discussions with political groups to positively push the draft of an MFI bill. He has strongly given his opinion through leading national dailies about the positive impact MFIs have been making and the fact that state governments should refrain from bringing MFIs under the purview of state laws. He has strongly raised his voice against the withdrawal of MFIs from the Lenders Act in Kerala. He has spearheaded the efforts to facilitate the formation of KAMFI-Kerala Association of Microfinance Institutions, which has been formed to lessen competitiveness among the MFIs and inculcate shared values of microfinance. Paul has been invited by National and International Academic and Research Institutions and Business Schools such as IIM and ILO-Geneva to deliver lectures on the scope of microfinance for livelihood promotion. He has been instrumental in bringing several awards to ESAF such as the Microinsurance Award and the Social Performance Reporting Award. For the stature he holds, Paul remains low-key and relatively humble and is highly admired by his co-workers for maintaining high ethical standards.

Richard Thorsten, Director, International Programs,, USA

Rich Thorsten joined in 2007. As the director of International Programs, Rich oversees the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of’s water and sanitation programs in South Asia, East and West Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean region. He also works closely with the Development and Communications teams on donor and special outreach projects. Thorsten brings nearly 20 years of experience in non-profit management, advocacy, research, and evaluation to He spent several years in program and executive positions at resource conservation organizations in the United States and served as a board member for non-profit groups specializing in international development. Thorsten has worked in advocacy, advisory, and research roles with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several state and local government agencies. Rich has also worked with the World Bank in evaluating the sustainability of rural water systems in Peru and Ghana and studied public-private water and sanitation partnerships in Asia. Thorsten holds a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in economics and master’s and doctorate degrees in international planning.

Sahar Tieby, Executive Director, Sanabel- The Microfinance Network of Arab Countries

Sahar Tieby joined Sanabel – The Microfinance Network of Arab Countries, as their Executive Director in the beginning of 2013. She has over 20 years of experience working in the Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean on sustainable development, of which the last 15 years have been dedicated to the development of the microfinance industry. She has extensive experience in designing microfinance services and streamlining the management of institutions’ operations. She is also a certified trainer for microfinance courses for practitioners, policy makers and donor agencies. Before joining Sanabel, Tieby was the Microfinance Specialist at the ITC ILO in Turin, Italy. She worked on several microfinance initiatives globally with organizations including Save the Children, UNICEF, World Bank, EU, CGAP, IFAD, ILO, CHF, Chemonics and Bearing Point. She has also served on the policy team of CGAPs’ MENA Hub Office and conducted a review of the policy constraints and diagnostics for selected countries in the MENA region. Other activities focused on capacity building and advocacy for microfinance initiatives in conflict zones and transitional economies in Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Tieby also serves as a faculty member at ILO’s Sustainable Enterprise Academy since its inception in 2008, and is a faculty member of the Boulder Institute.

Gisela Tiongson, Executive Director, Jollibee Group Foundation

Gisela Tiongson

Gisela Tiongson is the Executive Director of Jollibee Group Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Jollibee Foods Corporation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2007, she was connected with the AIM-TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Societal Divides, managing collaborative leadership programs. She also served as a mentor on training programs on Cross Sectoral Partnership organized by the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry and the International Business Leaders Forum (UK). Ms. Tiongson was formerly Regional Director for Southeast Asia of The Synergos Institute and Director for Corporate Citizenship at the Philippine Business for Social Progress. She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University in 1986 and holds a Master’s degree in International Policy and Practice from the George Washington University.

Leo Tobias, Technology Program Manager, Financial Services, Grameen Foundation

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Leo Tobias is a Technology Program Manager for Grameen Foundation. His work with microfinance organizations initially concentrated on enabling institutions to offer voluntary savings products, a transformative process. He advises on providing access and convenience for the rural poor leveraging technology enablers using GF’s Solutions Innovation Process (SIP). SIP is a framework that tests and scales the next generation of breakthrough products and channel innovations that improve the lives of poor people and the bottom line of our commercial partners. Leo architected the mobile financial services offering at CARD Bank (Philippines) based on mobile-enabling existing financial transaction of the poor with a venerated, trusted institution. He helped navigate the technical integration of Cashpor (India) in their business correspondence relationship and has advised in efforts elsewhere in Asia and Africa. Leo has over 20 years of technology management experience delivering solutions in the financial and service sectors. Leo has a BA in Accounting from Kent State University and is a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Pia Naima Unte, Doctoral Student, University of Mannheim

Pia Naima Unte pursues her doctoral studies at the Chair of Econometrics at the University of Mannheim, Germany. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Passau and a master’s degree in Economic Research from the University of Mannheim, one of the leading schools for economics in Europe. She writes her PhD thesis on impact evaluation and applied micro-econometric analysis in developing countries. In her research she focuses on improving the wellbeing of the liquidity constrained and imperfectly insured poor in developing countries by offering them well-designed microfinance products and training programmes. On behalf of the Microfinance for Decent Work (MF4DW) Action Research Programme of the International Labour Organisation, she has collaborated with Nyèsigiso, a Malian microfinance institution, to evaluate a microfinance intervention focusing on child labour and productivity with respect to its social and financial impact. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute, she has analysed the impact of a training programme for leaders and members of producer organisations in Senegal on trust and collaboration within those producer organisations. In a joint project with the Negros Women For Tomorrow Foundation, a Philippine microfinance institution, she is introducing a novel insurance product and analysing its impact on clients’ financial decisions and repayment rates. The empirical analysis of the project draws on high frequency data combining weekly administrative data and weekly survey data. For the collection of the weekly survey data, a call centre has been established at a local college where students were trained as call centre agents and are now conducting the weekly phone calls.

Cesar Augusto Vela Bazan, Self-Construction Manager, Financiera EDYFICAR, Peru

Cesar Vela

Cesar Augusto Vela Bazan is an Economist by profession with post-graduate studies at the University of Alicante, Carlos III of Madrid, and Autonoma de Barcelona and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree, Diploma in Business Administration, ESAN Diploma and Management Tools UPC. Vela Bazan was a panelist at the first Meeting of Adequate Housing in Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia in September 2012, with 18 years of experience in microfinance, along which he fulfilled various roles and responsibilities. Vela Bazan started as a Credit Analyst in the Municipal Maynas, where he managed professional development and employment, covering a wide-range of positions including front office management, credit management, savings and financial management and administration management. Vela Bazan had the opportunity to migrate to Financial Solution, Bank Credit, and Interbank MiBanco, always focusing his work to the microfinance sector. Vela Bazan currently works in Financiera EDYFICAR as Head of Product in Self-Construction, assuming the challenge to design, propose and implement strategies for the development of new products, channels and credit facilities to the progressive construction of housing, while seeking to reach the needs of adequate housing for the greatest number of our customers and in the lower segments of the population. EDYFICAR has defined an active and strong presence in this sector with a deep conviction of social responsibility, which allows us to achieve ever greater leadership and coverage across the country, with international projection. This is our commitment and our main objective.

Carmen Velasco, Independent Consultant, Bolivia


Carmen Velasco completed her education at the University of Chile, with postgraduate studies in microfinance and human development. She was a professor at the Catholic University of Bolivia for 15 years. In 1990, she co-founded Pro Mujer where she worked until December 2012. During her tenure at Pro Mujer, she participated in the creation and development of the Integrated Service Model, which serves to integrate microfinance and human development programs in order to achieve changes in the daily conditions of women living in poverty and exclusion. Along with the organizational team, she designed the initial basic health model in order to provide health care for Pro Mujer’s clients in Bolivia. This concurrent model of financing health services was replicated to other countries as well. Ms. Velasco participated in the expansion and operation of Pro Mujer internationally in four Latin American countries. Velasco promotes the microfinance movement for socioeconomic inclusion through forums, conferences and summits locally and internationally in order to foster greater involvement and commitment to the integrated model as means to sustainable human development. She is currently developing a savings model for rural communities and integrating microfinance and health, in addition to holding membership in the SPTF Steering Committee, the Truelift Executive Committee (as Co-Chair), and the Global Advisory Committee for the Microcredit Summit. She has been nominated as a CNN Hero, and was awarded the Veuve Cliequot Award, as well as the TIAW Award in 2012.

Rolando B. Victoria, Executive Director, Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), Philippines

Rolando VictoriaMr. Rolando B. Victoria is the Founding Executive Director of ASKI. He is one of the founding Board Members of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI), the Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development (APPEND), RIMANSI Organization for Asia and the Pacific, Inc., Social Initiative Against Catastrophe, Inc. and Pinoy AKO Insurance. Mr. Victoria is an Independent Director of Inter-Asia Development Bank (IADB). Mr. Victoria has established seven (7) other Corporations around ASKI MRI. ASKI as an MFI, has more than 20,000 farmer clients and has a robust expanding value chains for agriculture program.  

Dwiti Chandragupta Vikramaditya, Advisor, KIIT University & KISS, India


Dwiti Chandragupta Vikramaditya’s family background, education and work experience have offered him the unique opportunity of exposure to environments ranging from the KBK region in Orissa to different parts in India and abroad. He has been working in the social & economic sector for UN Agencies, different Corporate houses, Global Foundations and Grassroots level organisations with areas of interest being Monitoring & Evaluation, Displacement issues, Tribal Education, Life Skill issues, Programme management, Networking, Institutional building, Fund raising etc for over twelve years. Currently, he’s working as a Trust Member and Advisor to the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), which is known as the largest residential tribal Institute of South Asia and also with UN Women and Tata Steel as a consultant. He’s also supporting different Global Foundations like Bernard Van leer Foundation of Hague, FXB of Geneva and Pure Water Project of US in different capacities. From the year 2003 to 2009 he worked in different capacities for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Resettlement & Rehabilitation Policy Project and was part of the team, which formulated the first ever-comprehensive R&R Policy for the State. Because of his commitment to the state and the displaced community he was taken as a member Project Executive Group (R&R) of Government of Orissa. Currently he’s assisting Government of Odisha in formulating the State Youth Policy in the capacity of State Steering Committee member. Mr. Vikramaditya has done his Graduation and Post Graduation from two prestigious colleges of India and in the year 2008 he was selected by the US Government for the International Leadership Programme in NGO Management.

Lurraine Villacorta, Senior Technical Adviser, Environment and Decent Work, International Labour Organization Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Thailand


Lurraine Villacorta represents the International Labour Organization (ILO) at the senior level and provides guidance for the development of the regional Green Jobs Programme for Asia and the Pacific, providing institutional and technical support to ILO Country Offices and Green Jobs Project Team in the Asia and Pacific region on matters relating to green jobs. She is formerly the Project Manager of the MDG-F Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP), a successful pilot project on innovative risk transfer mechanisms led by the ILO with main government partners- the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Under CCAP (2009-2011), she has spearheaded the development and testing of three models of an “Integrated Financial Package (IFP)” for climate risk-vulnerable farming communities in Agusan del Norte, a province in Southern Philippines. A critical bundle of financial and non-financial services, the IFP includes Weather Index-based Insurance (WIBI). First developed and tested under CCAP, the WIBI products for rice and corn served to provide affordable and responsive insurance enabling farmers to better cope in times of bad climate. Ms. Villacorta, to the present continues to provide advice and guidance to the ILO and its partners in the Philippines as they continue to deliver the IFP and WIBI for five cycles now and work towards the up-scaling of the CCAP. Ms. Villacorta has taken doctoral level studies on Environmental Toxicology and Ecology from Universidad del Pais Vasco in Spain. She has also taken postgraduate studies on Gender and International Development from Dalhousie University and St. Mary’s University in Canada. She holds a M.Sc. degree (Aquaculture) from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and a B.Sc. degree (Fisheries Business Management) from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She has led various other projects and programmes of the ILO including the Interdepartmental Programme on Environment and the World of Work- Asia and Pacific (1994-1995) and the Nationwide Application of the Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning (IRAP) Programme -Philippines (2000-2002). With more than 20 years of development work experience, she has also been part of major programmes for aquaculture development, local government planning and capacity building, environment and resource management of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID).

Rajitha Vinnakota, Head of Citizenship & Community Development, Citi Asia Pacific, Singapore

Rajitha VinnakotaRajitha Vinnakota is Head of Citizenship and Community Development for Citi Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. In this role, Rajitha is responsible for driving Citi’s citizenship activities across 18 markets in Asia Pacific, including overseeing the Citi Foundation grant portfolio, business donations, employee volunteerism, environmental sustainability and disaster response. She joined Citi in 2011 as a senior manager for community development. Prior to joining Citi, Rajitha worked for Symbiotics, a Geneva-headquartered microfinance investment company, where she established and oversaw its Asia operations as a senior investment analyst. Earlier, she worked in Wachovia’s Capital Markets business as a fixed income research associate and an institutional investor management analyst. She also taught English in the Dominican Republic. Rajitha holds a BA in Public Policy from Duke University, an MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Rodger Voorhies, Director of the Financial Services for the Poor initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA

Rodger VoorhiesRodger Voorhies is director of the Financial Services for the Poor initiative, and leads the foundation’s effort to make high-quality financial services widely accessible to poor people throughout the developing world. The Financial Services for the Poor team works with a wide range of public and private sector partners to foster the development of digital payment systems — such as mobile money — that can reach hundreds of millions of people with the financial tools they need to mitigate risks and capture opportunities to move out of poverty. Before joining the foundation, Voorhies lived for nearly 20 years in emerging markets. He worked extensively in Africa and Eastern Europe to establish and grow successful and sustainable microfinance organizations with client-driven cultures that delivered innovative financial services to poor households and communities. He served most recently as CEO of Opportunity Bank of Serbia where he managed the bank through a successful turnaround. He also founded Opportunity Bank of Malawi, the first commercial microfinance bank in Malawi, and grew it to become one of the largest providers of financial services in the country using alternative delivery channels, including biometric smart cards, and mobile banking. Today, nearly one out of every five Malawi families has a relationship with the bank. Voorhies was a post graduate in organizational behavior and sociology at Northwestern University, he holds a master’s degree in management from Kellogg School of Management, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Biola University. He has contributed to numerous publications in the microfinance industry and is a former member of the board of Nyika-Vwaza Conservational Trust, an organization dedicated to conserving the wildlife and habitats of northern Malawi.

Gera Voorrips, Remittances & Microfinance Expert, Mobile Financial Services, PHB Development, Netherlands


Gera Voorrips has worked almost 20 years in the retail-banking sector. In the last nine years she has specialized in microfinance, remittances and mobile payments and payment products for unbanked clients. She is an experienced consultant, project manager and coach, with expertise in designing go-to-market strategies; implementation of new products and delivery channels; partnerships and training and development of mobile money ecosystems. In 2010, she joined PHB Development as a Partner and has worked on numerous projects across Latin America, Africa and the Pacific Islands Previously, Gera worked for ING on microfinance, until 2009. Gera has a Master’s degree in Theoretical and Development Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.Previous speaking engagements: Numerous such as eMFP Microfinance Week 2010, 2011, 2012 (on remittances); Clarion Conference Dubai 2012 (mobile money); Hanson Wade conferences in 2011 and 2012 (mobile money); Micro Credit Summit in Halifax, Canada in 2006 (corporate banks in microfinance); ING’s A Billion to Gain in 2006 and 2008 (microfinance and banks). Trainings on Remittances for African MFIs, Train-the-Trainer for African MFIs (mobile money, agents).

Reynold Walter, Executive Director, FAFIDESS, Guatemala


Reynold Walter is a Guatemalan civil engineer with higher studies in mathematics and post-graduate studies in higher education at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala. Mr. Walter is a specialist in microfinance programs at INCAE, Nicaragua and COLCAMI, Mexico and has completed higher level studies in Economic and Social Development at ICAP, Costa Rica; Politics and Social Planning at CIDES, Argentina, and Organizational Administration of Private Sector Development Organizations at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain. He has served as a university professor and the Director of Statistics in the engineering department at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. He has participated in summits and international events both as organizer and attendee. He was a panelist, along with the Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, at the Regional Microcredit Summit for Latin America and the Caribbean in Cartagena, Colombia in June of 2009 and at the Global Microcredit Summit in Nova Scotia, Canada and Valladoid, Spain. Mr. Walter has negotiated and executed projects with various international agencies such as the Inter American Development Bank (IDB); Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID); UN Development Programme (UNDP); Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) and the Ford Foundation, among others. Mr. Walter’s previous positions include serving as founder and president of the Red Centroamericana y del Caribe de Microfinanzas (REDCAMIF); Red de Instituciones de Microfinanzas de Guatemala (REDIMIF); Forum for Rural Finance in Latin America and Caribbean and the Society for Investment in Microenterprise in Central America and Caribbean. He is currently a member of the Global Committee for the Microcredit Sumit and the Regional Committee for the Microcredit Summit in Latin America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, he is co-director of Walter Palmieri Consulting and executive director of the FAFIDESS Foundation in Guatemala.

Ben Warren, Founder and CEO, Kubaru Microfinance, UK


Ben Warren is the Founder and CEO of Kubaru. Kubaru specialises in post-disaster microfinance, supporting field partners in the Philippines and Burkina Faso in communities prone to natural and man-made disasters. He established the organisation after returning from working in Vientiane, Laos in 2009 and runs the charity on a voluntary basis with support from a dedicated team of trustees and interns. Alongside Kubaru, Ben works as a Social Investment Policy Adviser at the Cabinet Office where he most recently worked on the G8 Social Impact Investment Forum. He has previously worked in investment management at The SIB Group – the UK’s largest social investor – and holds a MSc in International Development and Security from the University of Bristol.

Aarti Wig, India Country Director, Yunus Social Business, India

Aarti Wig leads the India operations of Yunus Social Business, helping build an ecosystem for social businesses in India. She helped set up and continues to run the world’s first social business fund that follows the Yunus philosophy -in Mumbai. Aarti was previously an investment banker at JP Morgan in Mumbai and has a Masters degree in Finance from the London School of Economics.

Rabeya Yasmin, Director of Extreme Poverty Programs, BRAC


Rabeya Yasmin is the Director of Extreme Poverty Programs in BRAC. She joined the organisation in 1995, and has extensive experience in designing, planning, implementing, and managing the livelihood development, social protection, and microfinance programs for the ultra-poor. She has been the key person in the overall development of BRAC’s flagship program for the ultra Poor called “Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction- Targeting the Ultra Poor” (CFPR-TUP). She has also made significant contributions in the development of poverty reduction programs in other countries across the globe. She serves as a board member of several national and international foundations and development organisations, member of the Executive board of the biggest Urban coalition network in Bangladesh called “Coalition for Urban Poor”, member of project advisory committee of several national NGOs. Ms. Yasmin obtained her Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Dhaka, and in Poverty and Development from the IDS, Sussex University, UK.

Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is the father of microcredit, the father of social business, the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. For his constant innovation and enterprise, the Fortune Magazine named Professor Yunus in March 2012 as “one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time.” Professor Yunus was born in Bangladesh in 1940. In 1965, he received Fulbright Scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, U.S.A., and did his Ph.D. in economics in 1969.Professor Yunus returned to Bangladesh in 1972 and joined the Department of Economics, University of Chittagong, as its chairman. In 1976, Professor Yunus started to experiment with providing collateral free loans to the poor. The project was called Grameen Bank Project and later, in 1983, became a full-fledged bank for providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh. Today Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women and disburses over one and a half billion US dollars each year. In 2006, Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Professor Muhammad Yunus is the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees from universities across 20 countries. He has received 112 awards from 26 countries including state honors from 10 countries. He is one of seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. Other notable awards include the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1984), World Food Prize (1994), International Simon Bolivar Prize (1996), Sydney Peace Prize (1998), The Prince of Austurias Award for Concord (1998) and Seoul Peace Prize (2006). The concept of social business, which he introduced into the economic framework, is defined as a non-dividend company dedicated to solving social problems, such as healthcare, education, sanitation, water pollution, unemployment, environmental degradation, etc. His microcredit idea has spread to almost all the countries of the world, including the industrialized countries of the West. United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, invited Professor Yunus to serve as an MDG Advocate. He sits on the Board of United Nations Foundation, Schwab Foundation, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Grameen Credit Agricole Microcredit Foundation and Chirac Foundation. He is one of the founding members of The Elders. Professor Yunus serves as Nobel Laureate in Residence at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia). Professor Yunus was chosen by Wharton School of Business as one of “The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years.” AsiaWeek (Hong Kong) selected him as one of “Twenty Great Asians 1975 – 1995).” Ananda Bazaar Patrika (India) selected Professor Yunus as one of “Ten Great Bengalis of the Century (1900 – 1999).” In 2006, Time magazine listed Professor Yunus under “60 years of Asian Heroes” as one of the top 12 business leaders. In 2008, in an open online poll, Yunus was voted the 2nd topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States). In 2010, The New Statesman (UK) listed him as one of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures.” Professor Yunus has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Hardtalk on BBC and The Simpsons. He has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and Newsweek. In June 2012, Professor Yunus was named Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University. On Google+, Professor Yunus is one of the most followed person worldwide, with over 2 million followers.

Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director, Kashf Foundation, Pakistan

Roshaneh ZafarMs. Roshaneh Zafar is a graduate of the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, USA and also holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from Yale University, USA. She has worked with the World Bank as a women-in-development associate in the water and sanitation sectors. Ms. Zafar founded Kashf Foundation in 1996 after a chance meeting with Professor Yunus, and has also founded the Kashf Microfinance Bank in 2008. She has been representing Kashf and Pakistan on many international forums including the World Economic Forum and has been the recipient of many international and national awards. She is also on the board of other not-for profit organizations including Sahil, Women’s World Bank and Karvaan Krafts, while she is also a Director on the Board of Engro Foods.

Daniel Zoltani, Regional Director for Asia/Pacific, Whole Planet Foundation

Daniel Zoltani 2Daniel Zoltani, Daniel Zoltani is the regional director of Asia/Pacific for Whole Planet Foundation. Daniel is responsible for overseeing and expanding WPFs portfolio spanning the region, identifying and developing high-impact grants and 0% interest loans towards the Foundation’s microfinance partners. WPF funds are directed to support further outreach and portfolio depth by viable, responsible, pro-poor MFIs in communities worldwide that supply Whole Foods Market stores with products. Whole Planet Foundation was born out of Whole Foods Market’s desire to give something back to those who have helped it succeed while focusing on the persistent problem of world poverty and hunger. The foundation was formed in 2005 with the entrepreneurial spirit of Whole Foods Market in partnership with Professor Muhammad Yunus and Grameen. Prior to joining Whole Planet Foundation, Daniel worked in Latin America with Grameen Trust. During this time, Daniel supported the planning, implementation, and coordination of the establishment of Grameen Build-Operate-Manage (BOM) microfinance institutions in Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia. The role involved facilitating the collaboration between local commercial banks, as funding partners, the management teams of Grameen microfinance experts from Bangladesh, and the local field staff. He holds degrees in Economics and International Affairs from the University of Colorado. Daniel strongly believes that microcredit is a tremendous and powerful tool to alleviate poverty when implemented appropriately. He believes microcredit is an opportunity, a means to provide intelligent, motivated entrepreneurs an opportunity to unleash their own skills and talents in order to improve their livelihoods.