A Global Community

Acumen’s dedicated team works across its five global offices in Accra, Karachi, Mumbai, Nairobi, and New York to support our work investing in companies, leaders, and ideas. Our entire global community — including our staff, board, and advisors — are integral to the success of our team.

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    Farrukh H Khan

    Senior Director of Business Development, London, UK

    “The environment, my colleagues, and the discourse at Acumen has reinvigorated me internally and intellectually, motivating me to do the hard work everyday.” [READ MORE]

    With over 25 years of senior management and board level experience, Farrukh H. Khan is the founding partner and former CEO of BMA Capital Management Limited. Under his stewardship, BMA established itself as the leading investment banking group in Pakistan and received several international awards, including the 2010 Euromoney award for the best investment bank in Pakistan.He has worked on many landmark transactions, including advising the Privatization Commission on the US$813 million GDR offering of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), which was listed on the London Stock Exchange, and successfully advising Etisalat on their $2.6 billion acquisition of PTCL, the largest M&A and foreign direct investment in the history of Pakistan. He has a deep understanding of business and investment environment in Pakistan and has worked with the senior most levels in companies and governments. He also has an excellent network and knowledge of business in the Middle East and South Asia

    Before founding BMA he worked with American Express Bank in Pakistan and Deloitte in London. He has previously served as the President of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI), Pakistan Chapter Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization and on various private and public sector boards. Farrukh qualified as a Chartered Accountant from the UK and read BA (Hons.) in Economics and Finance from the University of Manchester.

    CONTACT

    T:+44 (0) 7933 -616657
    E:fkhan@acumen.org

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    Dr. Ambika Sampat

    Business Development Manager, London, UK

    “The journey at Acumen has been one of (re)discovering the significance of generosity and humility in being a leader, and the power of audacity and integrity in making dreams come true.” [READ MORE]

    At Acumen, Ambika manages Partner engagement across Europe, resource mobilization and revenue generation across multiple sectors in Acumen’s impact investing regions in developing markets. She leads Acumen’s Education investment portfolio business development strategy in Asia and Latin America.

    Ambika has a PhD in Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialising in normal and preterm pregnancies, and previously worked at St. Thomas’ Hospital, King’s College London. With growing interests in the development sector, she co-founded of iNUT-Who? to spread awareness of, empower and fundraise for social impact initiatives, and later worked as a Management Consultant at Alcimed. Dedicated to leadership development, Ambika is an Introduction Leader for Landmark, an Advisor to London+Acumen, and a member of the Women in Social Finance Group. She also has a well-established Speaker’s profile. Ambika completed her BSc and MSc (Hon) degrees in Biomedical Science from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

    CONTACT

    T:+44 20 7961 2522
    E:asampat@acumen.org

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    Eleanor Murphy

    Business Development Associate Director, New York, USA

    “Acumen isn’t afraid to be pushed beyond its limits. Taking risks and learning from each imperfect experience drives Acumen to be innovative in its approach to tackling poverty and creative in finding new pathways to change.” [READ MORE]

    Eleanor Murphy joined the Acumen team in 2014 and works as the Associate Director of Business Development. She is involved in extending our community of supporters, increasing fundraising efforts and cultivating committed partners across the US.  Prior to joining Acumen, Eleanor spent 8 years in the financial services industry at established financial institutions including Eaton Vance Management in Boston, MA and more recently with Alps Distributors in Denver, CO.   She was responsible for creating and implementing strategic plans to manage multi-territory client relationships and ultimately increase awareness of differing product lines.  Most recently she received a Master’s degree in Humanitarian Studies through the NOHA network in Dublin, Ireland and also holds a bachelors degree in International Relations from Boston University.

    CONTACT

    E:emurphy@acumen.org

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    Emily Wilson

    Senior Business Development Associate, New York, USA

    “Acumen, both as an organization and as a collection of individuals, excels at breaking down colossal, world-changing ideas into nitty-gritty, down-to-earth solutions.” [READ MORE]

    Emily joined Acumen’s Business Development team in July 2014, where she provides analysis and insight to our global fundraising efforts to expand and cultivate our network of dedicated supporters. Prior to joining Acumen, she taught English in Marseille, France, and spent three years working on systems upgrade projects and customer relationship management database administration at Interaudi Bank in New York. She holds a BA from Columbia University in Francophone Studies and Sustainable Development. In her spare time, Emily is also a volunteer SAT tutor and indoor rock climber.

    CONTACT

    E:ewilson@acumen.org

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    Esha Mufti

    Senior Business Development Associate, New York, USA

    “Acumen tries to recognize the way the world is, and doesn’t settle for what it sees in a very real, gritty, and tenacious way.” [READ MORE]

    Prior to joining Acumen, Esha worked at the Stimson Center, a think tank in Washington, DC. She focused on researching and writing about global development and security issues and working to develop cross-sector responses to these challenges– partnering with governments, foundations, corporations, and NGOs. Esha holds a BA in International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma, graduating magna cum laude and with honors. She spent time in Turkey during and following her undergraduate studies, first studying at Bogazici University in Istanbul and later working at Baskent University in Antalya.

    CONTACT

    E:emufti@acumen.org

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    Hazel Taylor

    Head of Business Development, Europe, London, UK

    “What’s amazing about Acumen is that we’re succeeding in changing the system, combining capitalism and philanthropy to promote dignity, choice and opportunity. Our movement is helping to create the kind of world we all want to live in.” [READ MORE]

    As Head of Business Development in Europe, Hazel builds partnerships to support the development of our enterprises, leaders and ideas across the world. Hazel previously worked at the Vitol Foundation, where she managed a global entrepreneurship grant portfolio, building co-funding partnerships and investing in agriculture, energy, workforce development and job creation. In 2014, Hazel co-founded the International Corporate Foundations Network to develop strategic partnerships and share learning around effective philanthropic giving. She has worked as a CSR consultant to the energy and mining industries in West Africa, working closely with government ministers, multinational institutions and companies to ensure that local communities and vulnerable groups benefited appropriately from local supply chain opportunities and development investments. Prior to this, as Deputy Director of the Karen Hilltribes Trust, she lived and worked closely with tribal communities along the Thailand-Myanmar borders and has a deep understanding of socioeconomic development challenges. Before moving into the development sector, Hazel spent five years working in European financial markets as a project manager for the Swiss Stock Exchange. She is an avid sailor, a keen linguist and holds an MSc in Development Management, an MSc in ICT and a BA in Latin American Studies.

    CONTACT

    E:htaylor@acumen.org

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    Xaira Ferrara

    Business Development Lead, New York, USA

    “Acumen is forging partnerships based on trust, integrity, dignity and our shared vision of a global leadership that stands with the poor and works together to tackle society’s biggest challenges.” [READ MORE]

    Xaira Ferrara joined the Acumen team in 2017 as Business Development Manager in New York. As a major gifts fundraising and management professional, she is responsible for cultivating partner relationships to expand our network along the east coast, and increase fundraising goals.

    Prior to joining Acumen, Xaira was Managing Director at Hudson Ferris, advising small to mid-sized non-profit organizations on development of fundraising and new business strategies, and managing a team of account executives responsible for executing program platforms. Over the past ten years, she has worked with a diverse group of non-profit organizations in the areas of at-risk youth, cancer support, reproductive health and women’s leadership helping them surpass their fundraising targets. She received a Master of Public Administration from the NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Florida International University.

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    Yasmina Zaidman

    Chief Partnerships Officer, New York, USA

    “Nothing is more motivating than working towards a big dream, to change the way the world tackles poverty, and how, in a million ways, we are making progress towards that dream.” [READ MORE]

    Yasmina Zaidman is the Chief Partnerships Officer at Acumen, where she leads Acumen’s efforts to engage with strategic corporate partners who share Acumen Fund’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurial approaches to tackling poverty. She initiated and managed the Water Portfolio at Acumen Fund, and has worked in the arenas of international development, corporate sustainability and social entrepreneurship for the past 16 years. She received a BA from Vassar College and her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business with a certificate in Public Management.

    CONTACT

    T:646-747-3974
    E:yzaidman@acumen.org
    @yasminajz

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    Prerna Khanna

    Senior Business Associate, Mumbai, India

    “It’s truly inspiring to be part of an organization that sees infinite potential for innovation and leadership where the world sees despair, and whose team’s ambitions are as big as the problems it seeks to tackle.” [READ MORE]

    Prerna joined Acumen in 2013 and manages our business development and communications activities in India. She is focused on strengthening our local partner community and brand presence, by finding meaningful ways to engage individuals and institutions with Acumen’s mission of changing the way the world tackles poverty. Most recently, Prerna helped launch a local strategic partnerships function to channel the burgeoning interest in CSR from leading Indian business houses toward social entrepreneurship.

    Prior to joining Acumen, Prerna was placed as a William J. Clinton Fellow for Service at Magic Bus, a sports-for-development organization in India, to start an independent livelihoods venture that trained and placed Magic Bus youth in entry-level jobs. She began her career in Washington DC with an international non-profit called Plan International where she worked on the Foundation Relations team, designing global development projects for corporations and foundations such as Nike and the Gates Foundation.

    Prerna has a BA in International Relations, with a concentration in Political Economy and Development, from Brown University. While at Brown, Prerna co-headed the largest student-run organization on campus, which matched student volunteers with recently-resettled refugee families to provide English tutoring and support their integration into local communities.

    CONTACT

    E:pkhanna@acumen.org

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    Jo Opot

    Head of Business Development, West Coast, San Francisco, USA

    “This is not just another approach towards addressing poverty – it is the radical yet humbling idea of patiently investing where others have overlooked potential.” [READ MORE]

    Jo is Acumen’s Head of Business Development – West Coast where she leads the organization’s partner engagement and fundraising strategy.

    Prior to Acumen, Jo provided technological and business modelling support to early stage sustainability ventures as the Director of Business Development at Singlebrook Technology. Jo started her career as the Director of Programs and subsequently the Executive Director of StartingBloc, a social innovators training institute, which has supported over 1,000 fellows from 70 countries, including 30 early stage start-up entrepreneurs. She then joined TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company as the Global Vice President of Business Development and oversaw their partnership development in twenty-two markets.

    Based on her commitment to social innovation and sustainable business, Jo is a recipient of the Sundance Eco-Warrior Award, is a Social Venture Network fellow and has been featured in the New York Times and Fast Company among other leading publications.

    Jo holds a BA in Political Science and French from Middlebury College and a Masters in Sustainability from the University of Cambridge.

    CONTACT

    E:jopot@acumen.org

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    Priyanka Bhasin

    Strategic Partnerships Manager, New York, USA

    “Acumen’s model levels the playing field. It blurs the lines between beneficiary and grantor, puts focus back on human dignity and ensures we can work together to change how the world tackles poverty.” [READ MORE]

    Priyanka is a Manager at Acumen working on the Strategic Partnerships team to create synergies between large corporations and Acumen’s work.

    Prior to joining Acumen, Priyanka was at Catchafire, a for-profit social venture that works to match professionals with nonprofits on meaningful skills based volunteering projects in order to build capacity for non profit organizations. While at Catchafire, Priyanka’s roles ranged from leading the Account Management team to setting up some of Catchafire’s first corporate partnership engagements, with corporations such as Merck, Viacom, and GLG. Previously, Priyanka was an Associate at Sanford C. Bernstein’s Private Wealth Management group. Priyanka has also worked as an entrepreneur, launching her own event planning company, catering to the niche market of South Asian weddings.

    Priyanka holds an MBA from NYU Stern as well as a BS in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

    CONTACT

    E:pbhasin@acumen.org

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    Loise Nduati

    Senior Business Associate, NAIROBI, KENYA

    “Acumen is challenging the world’s status quo-allowing people to gain choice, dignity and hope in building their own futures. This is what excites me about being part of the team.” [READ MORE]

    As the Senior Business Associate for East Africa, Loise holds a cross-functional role working on the Business Development, Communications and Talent teams. She was previously the Executive Officer of the Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations, the umbrella body of women entrepreneur associations in Kenya leading policy advocacy, capacity building, strategic business development and entrepreneur mentorship for an enabling business environment for women. Just prior to joining Acumen, Loise was training business member organizations in East Africa on how to engage government for policy change. Loise holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Kenyatta University and a MBA from United States International University-Africa.

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    Zoha Arshad

    Business Development and Communications Associate, KARACHI, PAKISTAN

    “Acumen has taught me to view the world through a multi-faceted lens, and to be more self-aware and reflective in my work. The Acumen model enables innovation, leadership and social responsibility, characteristics needed to tackle poverty across the globe.” [READ MORE]

    Zoha Arshad is the Associate, Business Development and Communications, at Acumen Pakistan. Zoha joins us from Habib University, where she worked in Student Recruitment and Marketing for three years. She joined the HU team in its planning phase, and helped build the print and online communications portfolio for the University. Before joining HU, Zoha worked at the Washingtonian Magazine in D.C. Zoha has a Master’s in Communications from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Anthropology from LUMS.

    CONTACT

    E:zarshad@acumen.org