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.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 BHassan

    Batool Hassan

    Director, Global Fellows Program, New York, USA

    “Acumen believes in building local institutions that endure and sustain, that spread hope and make the impossible, possible.” [READ MORE]

    Batool has been with Acumen since 2008, starting with Acumen Pakistan where she led business development, strengthened Acumen’s local presence and built a community of supporters.  She then joined Acumen in New York, and served a number of business development roles, ultimately serving as the Director of Business Development, leading the organization’s global fundraising strategy.  In September, 2014, Batool became the head of our Global Fellows program, overseeing the recruitment, training, and mentorship of our Global Fellows.

    Batool has keynoted at TiE Karachi on the role of social entrepreneurship in Pakistan and has co-written a knowledge paper on low-cost, affordable housing in Pakistan, The Challenges of Expanding Saiban, Scaling Affordable Housing. She also helped launch the first TEDxKarachi 2010 along with TED Fellows in Pakistan.

    Before Acumen, Batool worked in lending at TD Bank and in Marketing at HSBC. She has experience consulting in microfinance. Batool holds a BA from Rutgers University, and a Masters of International Affairs in Economic Development from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.

     

    CONTACT

    T:646-747-3969
    E:bhassan@acumen.org

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    Godfrey Mwindaare

    West Africa Director, Accra, Ghana

    “Many are called, but few are chosen.” [READ MORE]

    As West Africa Director, Godfrey Mwindaare is responsible for all West Africa related investments, operations and business development activities. Additionally, as part of the Portfolio Leadership Team, he is jointly responsible for the global portfolio of Acumen with special focus on the new West Africa investments.

    Prior to this role, Godfrey was Chief Investment Officer in the African Development Bank, based in Tunisia, with specific responsibility for the Extractive Industry in the Bank’s 53 member states in Africa. He also worked with Standard Bank in South Africa and Tanzania as Senior Manager (Strategy and Special Projects) and Head of Retail and Business Banking and Barclays Capital in London as an investment banker in the Mining & Metals Team. He has over a decade of experience in investment banking, commercial banking and development finance.  Godfrey has a First Class Honours degree in Mining Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana and an MBA from the University of Hull Business School in the UK, specializing in financial management. He is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK).

    CONTACT

    T:+233 208991606
    E:gmwindaare@acumen.org

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    Farrukh H Khan

    Chief Business Development Officer, 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]

    Farrukh H. Khan is the Country Director & CEO of Acumen Pakistan and one of the leading independent business and financial advisors in the country.

    With over 25 years of senior management and board level experience, Farrukh 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

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JNovogratz

    Jacqueline Novogratz

    Founder & Chief Executive Officer, New York, USA

    “I believe that we have a chance to build a world in which all human beings can live with dignity, freedom and choice. It starts with imagining that world and then working together.” [READ MORE]

    Prior to Acumen, Jacqueline founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. She also co-founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda. She began her career in international banking with Chase Manhattan Bank. Jacqueline currently sits on the advisory boards of Sonen Capital and the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative. She also serves on the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and the board of IDEO.org, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, World Economic Forum and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Jacqueline was recently awarded the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship. 

    CONTACT

    E:cerb@acumen.org
    @jnovogratz

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    Sachindra Rudra

    Chief Investment Officer, New York, USA

    “I believe capital and leadership in enterprises are potent factors to cause change. Acumen focuses these on low-income consumers and makes a vital contribution to reducing poverty” [READ MORE]

    Sachindra is an experienced investor and has substantial experience in running and scaling organizations with a focus on the consumer products, processed foods and healthcare sectors. Prior to taking on his current role of Chief Investment Officer, Sachindra was Country Director and CEO of Acumen’s operations in India where he was responsible for the full gamut of Acumen’s activities, and represented Acumen on the boards of Ziqitza Healthcare, Orb Energy, Lifespring Hospitals and PVRI.

    Prior to joining Acumen, Sachin was a Director in the India office of Navis Capital, an Asia-focused and sector agnostic private equity firm where he managed investments in the range of $15-50M through the full lifecycle of sourcing, due diligence, deal structuring, portfolio management and exit. He brings over 15 years experience, working in private equity, consulting and operations. Sachin began his career at Hindustan Unilever Ltd (the Indian subsidiary of Unilever) in Calcutta as an Area Sales Manager, where he did considerable work in rural markets and he then moved into consulting at McKinsey in Delhi, which included an assignment working for the American India Foundation. Sachin then spent a number of years at Piramal Healthcare, one of the leading pharmaceuticals companies in India, where he held various positions of increasing responsibility, including President – Strategy and Business Development and Business Head – Orthopedics. He has wide-ranging sector exposure in the investing space with a high degree of focus on healthcare, consumer products and processed foods.

    Sachin holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics from St Stephen’s College in Delhi, a Masters Degree in Economics from Cambridge University and an M.Sc from the London School of Economics. He has MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

    CONTACT

    E:srudra@acumen.org

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    Yasmina Zaidman

    Director of Strategic Partnerships, 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 Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at Acumen, where she is responsible for Acumen’s external communications and leads its 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

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 VBarco

    Virgilio Barco

    Latin America Director, Bogota, Colombia

    “Virgilio joined Acumen as Director of Latin America in September 2013. He is responsible for all Latin America related investments, operations and business development activities. Before...” [READ MORE]

    Virgilio joined Acumen as Director of Latin America in September 2013. He is responsible for all Latin America related investments, operations and business development activities.

    Before joining Acumen, he was the Executive Director of the non-profit Social Investment Bank (Banca de Inversión Social), which has helped lead the development of the impact investing space in Colombia. Prior to that, he was the Founding Director of Invest in Bogota, a public-private partnership that promotes foreign direct investment to the Greater Bogota region. In 2009, Invest in Bogota was ranked as the top non-OECD investment promotion agency in the world by the IFC. Virgilio also headed the privatization unit at the Colombian Ministry of Finance and was an advisor on local economic development for the Bogota Planning Department. He has worked in private equity with FondElec Group, as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in Brazil and as a financial analyst at Citibank Spain. He holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard College, an M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and an M.A. in Economics from NYU.

    CONTACT

    E:vbarco@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer SabrinaDupré_headshot

    Sabrina Dupré

    Global Head of Brand Strategy and Communications, New York, USA

    “If any organization is going to make a serious and lasting dent in our world’s biggest problems, it’s going to be Acumen.” [READ MORE]

    Sabrina is Acumen’s Global Head of Brand Strategy and Communications. Based in New York City,  she is responsible for overseeing all of Acumen’s marketing, communications and digital function globally—including driving our messaging and communications strategy, and transforming how our key stakeholders, across all channels, experience the Acumen brand, value proposition and positioning.

    Sabrina joined Acumen after more than 15 years of leading brand, digital and communications strategy for start-ups, corporations and non-profits. She worked closely with supermodel and activist Christy Turlington, launching Every Mother Counts, a global maternal health initiative, as well as with Jochen Zeitz to build his private foundation for sustainability. Prior to Acumen, she was Chief Communications and Engagement Officer for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Her expertise in building purpose-driven brands, developing and launching cutting-edge digital initiatives, and driving change has resulted in an accomplished track record of growing businesses, mobilizing audiences and transforming interactions.

    Sabrina is a frequent speaker on the topics of social innovation, digital engagement and nonprofit impact. A native Texan, she has a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. from Columbia University, enjoys running (most of the time), has traveled to more than 28  countries, and was a 2014 SmartCEO Executive Management Award winner.

    CONTACT

    T:(646) 747-3964
    E:sdupre@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer CatherineCaseyNanda_profile

    Catherine Casey Nanda

    Director, San Francisco, USA

    “What appeals to me most about Acumen's experiment is that it is working!” [READ MORE]

    Catherine has led Acumen’s geographic expansion to 3 new regions over the last 5 years– setting strategy, building teams, fundraising and investing in new regions.

    Currently focused on building Acumen America, Catherine most recently helped launch Acumen’s Latin America office, based in Bogota, Colombia, and West Africa office, based in Accra, Ghana.

    Prior to this, Catherine helped build social enterprises in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, which included expanding HealthStores’ clinics in rural Kenya. She also acted as chief of staff to Acumen’s CEO.

    Catherine holds a BA with Highest Honors from Princeton University, and an MPP from Harvard University, where she was a Reynolds Fellow. She is a Board Member of Jacaranda Health, a chain of maternity hospitals in Kenya.

    CONTACT

    E:ccasey@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 DOnyango

    Duncan Onyango

    East Africa Director, Nairobi, Kenya

    “Any far reaching development can be achieved by implementing what we believe: That the promise of a continent can be achieved when the full human potential is unleashed” [READ MORE]

    Duncan Onyango joined Acumen as Director of East Africa in September 2012. He has been a long supporter of Acumen and informally served as an advisor to the East Africa team over the years, as well as being actively involved in the Fellows Program.

    Duncan most recently served as the Group Chief Finance Officer of Rift Valley Railways, where he led the structuring of a $287M debt and equity capital investment in the rail sector. He began his career with over ten years at Abbey National, a major international bank in London, gaining cross-functional business experience in both the retail and corporate arms of Abbey, including serving as the bank’s Head of Training & Management Development for the Wealth Management Division. Building on that experience, Duncan moved into consulting at Strategic Workforce Limited in London, before returning to East Africa where he founded Quantum Africa in 2006, working with many small businesses and entrepreneurs. He has expertise in strategic & business planning, organizational alignment and business transformation. Duncan holds an honors degree in Computing and Retail Management from Oxford University.

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:donyango@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JTan

    Jo-Ann Tan

    Lead Architect, +Acumen, San Francisco, USA

    “It’s really inspiring and energizing to meet so many amazing individuals committed to creating a better world. Being able to learn and grow with them is true privilege.” [READ MORE]

    Jo-Ann is the lead architect of Acumen’s community.  She is working to create a step change in terms of awareness and engagement for Acumen through its online presence and +acumen volunteer chapters.

    Before Acumen, Jo-Ann built a marketing analytics team and developed and new marketing strategies for a $1 billion apparel distributor. Jo-Ann has also worked at strategy consulting firm Marakon Associates in New York and Singapore. She began her career at the Monetary Authority (Central Bank) of Singapore. Jo-Ann received a BA in Economics and an MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.

    CONTACT

    E:jtan@acumen.org

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    Lynn Roland

    General Counsel, New York, USA

    “Acumen connects me to a global community, and promotes respect for and listening to that community. It tests my craft and judgment by insisting on accountability and innovation.” [READ MORE]

    Lynn joined Acumen in 2010, and is General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and a member of our Extended Leadership Team and Portfolio Leadership Team.  In such capacity, Lynn ensures that our programs are carried out in furtherance of our mission and in compliance with law, and advises on organizational strategy and board matters.  She leads the global legal function, and works across functions and geography to develop and implement organizational structure, policy and projects.  Her role involves protecting Acumen, while also enabling it to function with efficiency and creativity.  Prior to joining Acumen, Lynn had a short stint at a digital services company as in-house counsel; she spent the majority of her career at McDermott Will & Emery, where she was a partner in the corporate/transactional practice and supported the pro bono program of the New York office.  Lynn obtained a BA as an English major from the University of Pennsylvania, and a JD from Columbia Law School.

    CONTACT

    T:646-747-3955
    E:lroland@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 SDichter

    Sasha Dichter

    Chief Innovation Officer, New York, USA

    “Ultimately, the big question is: how do we change the whole game in the fight on global poverty?” [READ MORE]

    As Acumen’s Chief Innovation Officer, Sasha oversees Acumen’s work in Leadership and the spread of ideas. The encompasses Acumen’s Lean Data work, the Acumen Fellows Programs, +Acumen and other efforts to help Acumen change the way the world tackles poverty. In his previous role as Acumen’s as Director of Business Development, Sasha led global capital raising, including executing a successful $100M capital raise.

    Sasha is also a noted speaker and blogger on generosity, philanthropy and social change, the author of the Manifesto for Nonprofit CEOs, and the creator of Generosity Day. His talks have been featured prominently on TED.com, the DO Lectures, SOCAP and other major conferences; he has been recognized as an Innovation Agent by Fast Company magazine; and he has been a contributor to Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review and other leading publications. Sasha also serves on the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs.

    Before Acumen, Sasha worked at GE Money to expand financial offerings to underserved communities globally; at IBM, spearheading the company’s corporate citizenship strategy and launching a leadership program for school administrators; and at the microfinance group of Bank Rakyat Indonesia. Sasha began his career at Booz | Allen | Hamilton consulting to telecommunications companies in Latin America and Europe.

    Sasha holds a BA from Harvard College, a Masters in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard’s Kennedy School and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

    CONTACT

    T:646-747-3861
    E:sdichter@acumen.org
    W:http://sashadichter.wordpress.com/
    @sashadichter

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    Carlyle Singer

    President, New York, USA

    “Carlyle joined Acumen in March of 2013, as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for Acumen’s core operating activities.” [READ MORE]

    Carlyle joined Acumen in March of 2013, and currently serves as President. Prior to joining Acumen, Carlyle spent seven years as President and CEO of Katun Corporation, a global, middle market, privately held company in the compatible consumables imaging space.  In that role Carlyle was responsible for all aspects of Katun’s business operations throughout the world. During her tenure with the Company, her key areas of focus were the development and execution of strategies designed to properly position Katun in a rapidly changing industry, to ensure sales execution around the world and to drive strong financial discipline throughout the organization. Prior to Katun, Carlyle was employed for nine years at IKON Office Solutions, a $4.7 billion publicly held office equipment distributor, before being acquired by Ricoh in 2008. She held positions as Senior Vice President of Operations, Vice President and Corporate Controller, and President of IKON France.

    Carlyle is an MBA graduate from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, with a concentration in Latin American Economic Development. She is also a Six Sigma Green Belt.

    CONTACT

    T:646-747-3694
    E:csinger@acumen.org

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    Ajit Mahadevan

    India Director, Mumbai, India

    “I have always felt existing business models in emerging economies have been limited in their ability to generate employment, income or genuine innovation for those who need it most. Acumen plays a vital role in creating an ecosystem that is both sustainable for entrepreneurs while also meeting the needs of the many. These new paradigms will be vital towards building the economies of tomorrow that provide opportunities for all.” [READ MORE]

    Ajit joins Acumen from Ernst & Young, where he has served as Advisory Partner & Leader (Life Sciences) for the past six years. At EY, he was a strategic advisor to the leadership of some of the leading Indian and global life science and healthcare players with the focus being business transformation and growth. Prior to his time at E&Y, Ajit was President of Piramal Healthcare, one of the leading pharmaceuticals companies in India, where he built the international business from inception in 2002 to $300M by the end of 2008. Ajit held multiple leadership roles across strategy, M&A and business leadership. During his tenure at Accenture’s Strategic Services practice in UK and India, he led the development of one of the firm’s largest and most successful internal projects – the Offshore Development Centre in 2001, which has now grown to about 100,000 people across multiple cities in India. Ajit has worked in an advisory capacity to Acumen in the past, most recently participating in Regional Fellows selection panels in Mumbai.

    Ajit holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Sciences from PSG College of Technology, India and a Masters of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business).

    CONTACT

    E:amahadevan@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Naeem Zamindar_Headshot

    Naeem Zamindar

    Pakistan Director, Karachi, Pakistan

    “Accelerating the rate of innovation enabled by Acumen’s commitment to developing companies, leaders and ideas to focus on lifting the lives of the poor will enable our vision of a more inclusive and empowered world.” [READ MORE]

    “We are enabling a world where all of humanity reaches its full potential, is happy.”  Naeem Zamindar is a results-driven leader with experience in venture capital, entrepreneurship, finance, operations, general management, in public and private companies. He is inspired to create a happier world and has a great track record of envisioning the future, transformational leadership, leveraging innovation and technology, and fostering collaborations to enable others to consistently deliver strong business results. As the Pakistan Country Director of Acumen, he is excited about the opportunity to invest and build social enterprises/entrepreneurs that will bring about a transformative change in the way the world tackles poverty. 

    Previously, as the CEO of Wateen, he turned around Pakistan’s leading communications and cloud services provider, where he restructured and refocused the company, and invested in high growth areas such as mobile financial services.  He was on the founding team of Mobilink, which has become one of the most successful companies in Pakistan.  He left Mobilink to go do his MBA at INSEAD where his team won the European Business Plan Competition and started his venture funded social networking startup (Facebook before its time).  His company became a casualty of the dotcom bust in the year 2000 after which he moved to the Silicon Valley to become a venture capitalist with Intel Capital, to invest and build successful expotential growth innovative companies.   He returned to Pakistan in early 2004 to startup a successful non-profit venture called the Art of Living, an organization enabling the self-actualization of human potential for happiness.  After the Art of Living started getting momentum and did not require his full time attention, he returned to Mobilink to lead the Strategy, Program Management Office and Business Development functions.  He was a part of the team that massively scaled mobile users from around 2 million to 32 million within 5 years and started up and launched the broadband business division.

    He is actively involved in the development of entrepreneurship as the current President of The Indus Entrepreneurs Lahore chapter and sits on the Advisory Board’s of The Center for Entrepreneurial Development, the business incubators Plan9 and Nest I/O, the leadership development organization AIESEC,  and the Punjab Vocational Training Council.

    CONTACT

    T:+92-21-3584-6430 x102
    E:nzamindar@acumen.org