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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    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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    Ashley Speyer

    Impact Associate, Nairobi, Kenya

    “I am inspired by Acumen's commitment to moving beyond the status quo, challenging conventional solutions to global poverty, and pioneering a new approach with powerful results.” [READ MORE]

    Prior to joining Acumen in June 2014, Ashley worked at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York where she conducted research on Cuba’s energy landscape and Brazil’s foreign policy strategy in Africa. Her passion for international development and social entrepreneurship began during her experiences in East Africa where she learned the importance of local ownership in development efforts. In 2007, while in high school, she partnered with a women’s cooperative and created a non-profit organization to build a school in Arusha, Tanzania. During college, Ashley spent time in Uganda studying international development and the impact of decentralization on citizen participation. She volunteered at a local human rights organization and wrote her undergraduate thesis on transnational advocacy networks and their role in enforcing international norms. Ashley received her B.A. in Sociology from Colorado College and enjoys hiking and skiing.

    CONTACT

    T:(646) 747-3852
    E:aspeyer@acumen.org

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    Venu Aggarwal

    Impact Senior Associate, New York, USA

    “Acumen’s endless appetite for supporting bold new ideas is what motivates me to work here. Some succeed, others don’t, but the culture of thoughtfully experimenting stays firmly embedded in the organization’s core.” [READ MORE]

    Venu’s work focuses on assessing and optimizing the social impact of Acumen investees in our Latin America and global portfolio, and finding rigorous, cost-effective ways to do this. Venu also leads Acumen’s effort to synthesize learning and insights from our work.

    Venu started her career as management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she worked on strategic challenges faced by clients across the private, public and development sectors. She transitioned to PRADAN, a grassroots non-profit in India that focuses on livelihood generation and helped define its first proactive global fundraising approach.

    Just before joining Acumen, she completed a master’s degree in public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

    CONTACT

    T:+1 (646) 747-3692
    E:vaggarwal@acumen.org

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    Ushnisha Ghosh

    Senior Associate Impact, Mumbai, India

    “One only dreams about the abundant value Acumen is creating for each of its stakeholders, and here I have a chance to be part of the change, drive it and live it every day!” [READ MORE]

    Ushnisha Ghosh joined the Impact Team as Senior Associate in April 2016 and leads our impact and Lean Data work in India. Prior to joining Acumen, she gained significant experience across the social enterprise sector as a consultant and project manager. With her experience in impact measurement, she was part of the core team building PRISM, Intellecap’s financial and social measurement platform. Ushnisha has specialized in several sectors including clean energy, healthcare, and water and sanitation. Ushnisha holds an MBA from the Indian School of Business.

     

    CONTACT

    E:ughosh@acumen.org

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    Tom Adams

    Director of Impact, London, UK

    “With data we learn how our investing works, where and why, to help our companies penetrate deeper into their markets, creating more delightful and impactful products for their customers.” [READ MORE]

    As Director of Impact for Acumen, Tom heads the organization’s work to understand the how and why of both creating, and improving, social performance through patient capital investing. Prior to Acumen Tom worked for the UK Department for International Development (DFID), first as Country Economist in Nigeria and subsequently leading its Wealth Creation and Climate Change team in Ethiopia. Tom has also worked as a diplomat for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and as an Economic Advisor to various UK Government departments. He began his career working at Credit Suisse pricing derivatives.

    Tom holds a BSc (Hons.) in Econometrics from Nottingham University and a MSc (Distinction) in Development Economics from the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

    CONTACT

    E:tadams@acumen.org

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    Kasia Stochniol

    Impact Manager, London, UK

    “What stands out to me about Acumen’s model is its audacity: supporting daring entrepreneurs in some of the world’s most challenging business contexts.” [READ MORE]

    Kasia joined Acumen’s Impact team in June 2014. Her work focuses on helping Acumen’s investee companies better understand their customers in order to improve business and social performance. She is heavily involved with Acumen’s Lean Data Initiative which is testing new, low-cost ways of communicating with customers often utilizing mobile technology.

    Kasia graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA in 2014. Prior to that, she gained wide-ranging experience including various strategy consulting roles for both private-sector and government clients, working with start-ups in London, Jakarta, and Nairobi where she helped to launch M-KOPA, an Acumen portfolio company which finances mini solar home systems. She is a Fulbright Scholar, holds a First Class degree in Economics and Management from Oxford University, and in her spare time, enjoys snowboarding, hiking and triathlons.

    CONTACT

    E:kstochniol@acumen.org

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    Kat Harrison

    Impact Associate Director, London, UK

    “Acumen’s model offers an impactful way to contribute to positive change in the world; investing in companies working to deliver choice & dignity through products & services to those living in poverty.” [READ MORE]

    Kat comes to Acumen from international development charity, SolarAid where she created and grew the research and impact measurement activities to be a resource for the off-grid energy sector, now housing some of the most comprehensive data on energy access in rural Africa. SolarAid won the 2015 UK Social Enterprise Award for proving impact and was a finalist for the Best Practice in Research Award by PEGNet in 2013. She brings to Acumen the three years of data and learning from this work and a number of funded large-scale research projects being delivered throughout Africa. Kat chairs the impact working group at the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association and led the development of the sector’s harmonised impact metrics framework, being adopted by IRIS.

    Kat was recognised as Recharge 4040 Young Leader in Renewable Energy, was a finalist for the 2014 Red magazine Women of the Year award and launched the 2015 UNESCO International Year of Light alongside HRH Duke of York.

    Kat acts as a Research Advisor to the United Nations Capital Development Fund, previously created and led the monitoring and evaluation system at social enterprise Riders for Health and worked in M&E and programme management for the United Nations World Food Programme in Malawi. She has a BSc in Economics and International Development from the University in Bath and an MSc in Development Policy, Process and Practice from the University of Reading.

    CONTACT

    E:kharrison@acumen.org
    @Sunrise_Kat

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    Tori Klein

    Innovation Associate, New York, USA

    “Tori joined Acumen in April 2016 as an Innovation Associate. Prior to Acumen, she worked at the Legal Aid Society, representing low-income immigrants in New York in their immigration cases.” [READ MORE]

    Tori joined Acumen in April 2016 as an Innovation Associate. Prior to Acumen, she worked at the Legal Aid Society, representing low-income immigrants in New York in their immigration cases. She has also interned at the International Rescue Committee, preparing newly-arrived refugees for the workforce, and at the East Harlem School at Exodus House, as a student teacher in Humanities and Spanish. Tori holds a BA in Sociology and minors in Spanish and Inequality Studies from Cornell University.

    CONTACT

    E:tklein@acumen.org