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 ASiddiqui

    Ali J. Siddiqui

    Sponsor, JS Group & Managing Partner, JS Private Equity

    “Fundamentally, Acumen is different from the rest of the sector. It’s innovative & it tries to take risk and tries to fund companies that actually are changing the way business is done.” [READ MORE]

    Ali is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of JS Private Equity, an emerging markets investment firm he established in 2006.  He began his career in Hong Kong in the private equity industry, managing funds for various Asian governments and investors.  He has co-founded or invested into a number of emerging market companies within the Agriculture, Aviation, Banking, Energy and Ports sectors.  Ali is passionate about finding and implementing large scale solutions to poverty and disaster relief and is CEO of the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation, which funds projects in healthcare, education, social enterprise and disaster relief.  He is also actively involved with the Government of Pakistan in an advisory capacity as Member Board of Investment (Provincial Government of Sindh), Member Community Development Board (a large Government funded charitable grant maker) and in addition, serves as a Member of the Corporate Advisory Council of the National University of Science and Technology.  He graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Economics.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 HBoll

    C. Hunter Boll

    Deputy Chair of Investment Committee & COO, Source Audio LLC

    “Hunter is the Executive Chairman of Acumen's Investment Committee and a former managing director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, one of the largest private equity firms in the world.” [READ MORE]

    C. Hunter Boll is a former managing director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, which was one of the largest private equity firms in the world. He joined the firm in 1986. In 2005, he co-founded Source Audio LLC, a start-up venture focused on providing consumers with next generation accessories for the musical instrument market. Mr. Boll is Chief Operating Officer for Source Audio LLC. From 1984 to 1986, Mr. Boll was with the Boston Consulting Group, a corporate strategy consulting firm. He previously served as an Assistant Vice President, Energy and Mineral Division of Chemical Bank. Mr. Boll received a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

    CONTACT

    E:hboll@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 GPrasad2

    GV Prasad

    CEO, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad, India

    “GV Prasad leads the core team which drives growth and performance at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.” [READ MORE]

    Prasad leads the core team that drives growth and performance at Dr. Reddy’s. His efforts have led the company to a leadership position in the Indian pharmaceutical sector and helped create a strong presence globally. Dr. Reddy’s is today recognized widely for scientific innovation, people practices, and corporate governance.

    In addition to Acumen, Prasad serves on the boards of Indian School of Business, Dr. Reddy’s Institute of Life Science, and Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad.

    Causes closest to his heart are sustainable development and higher education. The premium Prasad places on sustainability thinking has helped Dr. Reddy’s embrace green technologies and processes, and thereby reduce the company’s ecological footprint.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JStiglitz2

    Joseph E. Stiglitz

    Professor, Columbia University

    “Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.” [READ MORE]

    Joseph E. Stiglitz is a University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors under President Clinton and chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank from 1997-2000. Stiglitz received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded biennially to the American economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the subject. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, held the Drummond Professorship at All Souls College Oxford, and has also taught at M.I.T, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton. He is the author most recently of The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 KOfori-Atta2

    Ken Ofori-Atta

    Non-Executive Chairman & Co-founder, Databank

    “Ken Ofori-Atta is the non-executive Chairman of Databank and its Co-founder. He was the Executive Chairman from 1990 until his retirement in February 2012.” [READ MORE]

    Ken Ofori-Atta is the Chairman of Databank and its Co-founder. He was the Executive Chairman from 1990 until his retirement on February 14, 2012. Databank has been awarded numerous professional, social and leadership awards during his incumbency including being awarded the 2007 Most Respected Company in Ghana.

    Ken is a director of two publicly listed companies – Enterprise Group Ltd and Trust Bank Ltd of The Gambia of which he is Chairman. He is a Director at the International Bank of Liberia and is also a Board Member of the Acumen Fund, a global Private Equity Social Investment Fund in New York and Chairman of AAF SME Fund LLC, a US$ 30m private equity for SME agribusiness in Africa with offices in Accra, Douala and Johannesburg.

    Ken has keen interest in education. He is on the Boards of New York University in Ghana, Central University College, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies. He is also Chairman of the College of Agriculture and Consumer Science of the University of Ghana; and a member of the President’s Council on International Activities of Yale University. He is Co-founder of the Africa Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

    Prior to co-founding Databank, Ken worked at Morgan Stanley and Salomon Brothers on Wall Street in New York. Ken went to Achimota School in Accra, Ghana; he has a BA in Economics from Columbia University in New York and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Ken was honoured as a Donaldson Fellow at Yale University in 2010 and a John Jay Fellow at Columbia University in 2011. He was twice honoured by PWC Ghana as one of the Most Respected CEOs in Ghana.

    He is married to Dr. Angela Lamensdorf Ofori-Atta (a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Ghana Medical School). They are practicing Christians and have three children. They live in Accra.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 MNovogratz2

    Michael Novogratz

    Principal & Board of Director, Fortress Investment Group LLC

    “Michael Novogratz is a principal and a member of the board of directors of Fortress Investment Group LLC & Co-Chief Investment Officer of the Fortress Macro Fund and the Drawbridge Global Macro Fund.” [READ MORE]

    Michael E. Novogratz is a principal and a member of the board of directors of Fortress Investment Group LLC and Co-Chief Investment Officer of the Fortress Macro Fund and the Drawbridge Global Macro Fund. Mr. Novogratz joined Fortress in 2002 after spending 11 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was elected partner in 1998. Mr. Novogratz serves as a member of the New York Federal Reserve’s Investment Advisory Committee on Financial Markets.  Mr. Novogratz founded and serves as the Chairman of  the Board for Beat the Streets, a non-profit organization which builds wrestling programs in New York City public schools and is also the Honorary Chairman of USA Wrestling Foundation.  Mr. Novogratz is Chairman of The Friends of the Hudson River Park.  He also serves on the board of the Acumen Fund, NYU Langone Medical Center, Princeton Varsity Club and The Jazz Foundation of America.  Mr. Novogratz received an AB from Princeton University in Economics, and served as a helicopter pilot in the US Army.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 PMitchell2

    Pat Mitchell

    President & CEO, Paley Center for Media

    “Pat Mitchell is the President & CEO of the Paley Center for Media.” [READ MORE]

    Pat Mitchell’s diverse background in media includes work as a journalist and producer and executive. She has worked in front of the camera and behind, anchoring the news and reporting for broadcast networks, producing award winning documentaries as President of CNN Productions, becoming the first woman President and CEO of PBS, and currently is the President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media whose mission is to convene media professionals and media consumers for programs that explore the role of media in society.

    Throughout her career, Mitchell has engaged the power of media and storytelling as an agent of social change.  She was the first woman to launch, produce and host her own nationally syndicated Emmy winnng talk program “Woman to Woman,” and continues to be active in breaking new ground for women across the media landscape, including a current series of initiatives and programs called Women@Paley which includes producing an annual TEDxWomen conference in partnership with the TED organization. Her many awards, include multiple Emmy Awards, five Peabody’s and two Academy Award nominations.

    Mitchell is also a sought after speaker and mentor.  Most recently featured in Fast Company’s Special Report, The League of Extraordinary Women and Huffington Post named Pat one of the Powerful Women Over 50.  Pat was named one of the 21 Leaders For The 21st Century and Newsweek’s 150 Women who Shake the World. She has received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership, the Women in Cable’s Woman of the Year Award, was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. The Women’s Media Center has honored Ms. Mitchell with the Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement award, an award that will be given annually in her name.  Ms. Mitchell serves on the boards of VDAY, a movement to end violence against women and girls, is Vice Chair of the Sundance Institute, a Trustee of the Mayo Foundation, a board member of Global Green USA and Acumen Fund.  She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Forum Inc. and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mitchell also sits on the corporate board of AOL.

  • Close Drawer shaiza

    Shaiza Rizavi

    Partner at Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.

    “Shaiza Rizavi is a partner at Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co., a growth equity brokerage firm committed to giving the small investor who possesses long-term patience and...” [READ MORE]

    Shaiza Rizavi is a partner at Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co., a growth equity brokerage firm committed to giving the small investor who possesses long-term patience and fortitude an opportunity to create wealth.  She finds stocks of companies with disruptive, innovative approaches which, when well executed can change people’s lives while building capital. While a student at Vanderbilt University,  Rizavi worked in Mexico, raising awareness of best sanitation practices.  After graduating, she worked in Southeast Asia analyzing opportunities for global replication of successful youth development programs and then went on to obtain an MBA from Columbia Business School.
    Rizavi remains active at Columbia Business School where she serves on the Advisory Board of the Social Enterprise Program and chairs the Columbia Alumni Arts League Events and Programs subcommittee.  She sits on the Board of Trustees of the Calhoun School, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the American Museum of Natural History and is a member of the Economic Club of New York. Rizavi lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband and four children.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 TRavilla2

    Thulasiraj Ravilla

    Executive Director, Aravind Eye Care System

    “Thulasiraj Ravilla is Executive Director of Aravind Eye Care System, the largest eye care facility in the world.” [READ MORE]

    Thulasiraj Ravilla is Executive Director of Aravind Eye Care System, the largest eye care facility in the world. Mr. Ravilla heads the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology which focuses on contributing to the prevention and control of global blindness through teaching, training, consultancy, advocacy and research in eye care delivery. He was the Chairman of International Agency for Prevention of Blindness for the South East Asia Region and now serves on its Human Resource Working Group. Mr. Thulasiraj holds a BSc in Mathematics from Madras Christian College a MBA in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 AColombel2

    Andrea Soros Colombel

    Founder & President, Trace Foundation

    “After visiting Water Health International, I saw all that Acumen could be; a vehicle for growing sustainable businesses delivering critical goods and changing lives in profound ways.” [READ MORE]

    Andrea Soros Colombel is the Founder and President of Trace Foundation. Trace Foundation supports the continuity and development of Tibetan culture, language and places. Andrea is a member of the Open Society Foundations global board. In addition, she is a co-founder and trustee of Tsadra Foundation, which promotes authentic understanding of Tibetan wisdom traditions in the West. Andrea serves on the board of the French American School of New York and as an advisor to Scenic Hudson and the Bard MBA program. She received her B.A. from University of Chicago with honors in literature and holds a graduate certificate from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 DHeller

    David B. Heller

    Trustee, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Project Morry & Third Way

    “He is former Co-Head of the Goldman Sachs Global Securities Division where he sat on the firm's Management Committee as well as the Firmwide Risk Committee, Business Practices Committee and Finance Committee.” [READ MORE]

    David B. Heller currently serves as a trustee of The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Project Morry (a youth development organization) and Third Way (where he also serves as Vice-chairman). In addition he co-chairs the fundraising efforts of his class at Harvard College. He is former Co-Head of the Goldman Sachs Global Securities Division where he sat on the firm’s Management Committee as well as the Firmwide Risk Committee, Business Practices Committee and Finance Committee. David joined Goldman in 1989 in New York as an equity derivatives trader. He worked for Goldman in Japan from 1993-1998, initially as an equity derivatives trader and eventually as the co-head of Goldman’s Japanese equity business. David transferred to London in 1999 to become the global head of equity derivatives trading and returned to New York in 2002. He lives in New York with his wife and three children.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JNovogratz

    Jacqueline Novogratz

    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 Fund, 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 serves on the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and the board of IDEO.org, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Social Innovation.

     

    CONTACT

    E:lcamacho@acumen.org
    @jnovogratz

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JGaudio

    Julius Gaudio

    Managing Director, D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.

    “Julius is a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and, as a member of the Executive Committee of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and D. E. Shaw & Co., L.L.C., jointly supervises the group’s worldwide asset management businesses” [READ MORE]

    Julius Gaudio is a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and, as a member of the Executive Committee of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and D. E. Shaw & Co., L.L.C., jointly supervises the D. E. Shaw group’s worldwide asset management businesses. In addition, Mr. Gaudio is a member of the firm’s Risk Committee, which is responsible for firmwide risk management and capital allocation, and he has oversight responsibility for the D. E. Shaw group’s financing activities. He joined the D. E. Shaw group in 1993 and has been engaged in the formation, trading, and management of a number of investment strategies operated by the D. E. Shaw group. Mr. Gaudio oversees certain businesses focused on the Asia-Pacific and European regions and is ultimately responsible for the firm’s global corporate credit, convertible, asset- backed securities, and special situations investment activities. He earned his A.B. in honors economics at Harvard University in 1993, graduating magna cum laude, and was awarded a John Harvard Scholarship for academic distinction, with coursework focusing on international monetary economics.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 MaAlexander2

    Margo Alexander (Chair Emeritus)

    Retired Chairman & CEO, UBS Global Asset Management

    “Margo served as Board Chair for nine years of Acumen's first decade and continues to work with the organization as Chair Emeritus and Chairman of the Social Impact Investing Committee.” [READ MORE]

    Margo Alexander served as Board Chair for nine years of Acumen’s first decade and continues to work with the organization as Chair Emeritus and Chairman of the Social Impact Investing Committee. She is the retired Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management (previously, Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management).  She retired in 2003 after thirty years at UBS/PaineWebber, beginning as a research analyst and later directing major businesses in equity research, sales, trading and asset management.   Ms. Alexander is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1968) and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration (1970).  She is a member of the Advisory Board of Haas School and its Center for Responsible Business, is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee and The New York Stem Cell Foundation.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 NRiaz2

    Naveed Riaz

    Group Director of Finance and Financial Services at the Al-Futtaim Group

    “Naveed is currently the Group Director of Finance and Financial Services at the Al-Futtaim Group in Dubai, U.A.E. The Al-Futtaim Group is one of the oldest, established, and...” [READ MORE]

    Naveed is currently the Group Director of Finance and Financial Services at the Al-Futtaim Group in Dubai, U.A.E. The Al-Futtaim Group is one of the oldest, established, and diversified business conglomerates in the Middle East.

    Immediately prior to joining the Al-Futtaim Group, Naveed spent three decades with Citigroup and managed various regions and businesses across its network. Most recently, Naveed was the CEO for Citigroup Africa, and was responsible for managing all of its businesses in the 15 presence Countries (including the Maghreb and North Africa), where it has a fully established banking franchise, as well as, across another 23 Countries where business is conducted on a non-presence basis.  Immediately prior to that assignment, he was based in London as the Head of Citigroup’s Emerging Markets Commercial Banking business.  Naveed was based in New York from 1999 to 2005 during which time he was the COO and Head of Strategic Planning for Citigroup’s Emerging Markets Group – followed by a stint as Citigroup’s Global Head of Trade and Structured Trade Finance.  This was preceded by a four year stint as the CEO for Citibank’s business in the northern half of Latin America across 16 countries.  Naveed joined Citibank in 1979 as a Foreign Exchange and Money Market trader.  Over the next 17 years, he completed diverse assignments in country management, corporate banking, treasury and trading, trade finance across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.  Amongst others, this included an assignment as the country manager for Nigeria, culminating in his first stint as the CEO responsible for Citibank’s business in Africa (including, North Africa) in 1995.

    Naveed has been involved in business, community and educational organizations in all of the countries that he has worked in.  Amongst others, he has served on a number of Business Advisory Boards and Banking Associations in various countries. Naveed has an MBA from the University of Punjab.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 BNiehaus

    Robert H. Niehaus (Chair)

    Chairman & Founder, GCP Capital Partners LLC

    “Robert H. Niehaus is the founder of Greenhill Capital Partners and oversees private equity funds totaling $1.8 billion in committed capital.” [READ MORE]

    Robert H. Niehaus is the Chairman and Founder of GCP Capital Partners LLC which currently manages four private equity funds totaling $1.8 billion in committed capital, consisting of three U.S. private equity funds and a European private equity fund.  Mr. Niehaus formed GCP Capital Partners in 2009 as the successor to Greenhill Capital Partners, the merchant banking business of Greenhill & Co., Inc.  Mr. Niehaus joined Greenhill & Co. in 2000 to begin the formation of Greenhill Capital Partners and served as its Chairman and Chair of its Investment Committee from 2000 to 2009.  Prior to joining Greenhill in 2000, Mr. Niehaus spent 17 years at Morgan Stanley & Co., where he was a Managing Director in the merchant banking department from 1990 to 1999.  Mr. Niehaus is a Trustee of the Asia Society and serves on the Board of Student Sponsor Partners, The Touch Foundation (which helps fund a medical school in Tanzania), Teach for America’s NYC Board of Advisors, and the Princeton University Investment Company (‘PRINCO”), which oversees Princeton’s $17 billion endowment. Mr. Niehaus received a B.A. in International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 SDavidson

    Stuart Davidson

    Managing Director, Labrador Ventures

    “Stuart has been working with and investing in early stage companies for over 20 years.” [READ MORE]

    Stuart Davidson has been working with and investing in early stage companies for over 20 years. He is a managing director of Labrador Ventures and a founder of Sonen Capital, an asset management firm. Prior to Labrador, Mr. Davidson was CEO and founder of Combion, Inc., which was acquired by Incyte Genomics (INCY) and President of Alkermes, Inc. (ALKS), a biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Mr. Davidson worked for MCI Communications and for Warner Communications, where he was engaged in the development of businesses in electronic messaging, data networking and interactive cable TV. Mr. Davidson is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. In addition to his board membership at Acumen Fund, he is a Trustee of Woodcock Foundation, Vice Chair of REDF and Board Chair of IDEO.org.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 BMeyer

    William E. Mayer

    Senior Partner, Park Avenue Equity Partners

    “William is the Senior Partner of Park Avenue Equity Partners, a private equity firm. Previously, Mr. Mayer was a professor and Dean of the College of Business and Management at the University of Maryland.” [READ MORE]

    William E. Mayer is the Senior Partner of Park Avenue Equity Partners, a private equity firm. From the fall of 1992 until December 1996, Mr. Mayer was a professor and Dean of the College of Business and Management at the University of Maryland. During his tenure, he organized and led an effort that significantly improved the school’s programs and made it one of the top 25 ranked business schools in the country. From 1991 to 1992, he served as a professor and Dean of the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester. Mr. Mayer worked at The First Boston Corporation (now Credit Suisse), a major investment bank for 23 years, where he held numerous management positions including President and CEO. He is currently a board member of BlackRock Kelso, DynaVox, Premier and Lee Enterprises, and a member of the Boards of Trustees of Columbia Group of Mutual Funds. Over the past 40 years, he has been a board member of numerous other public and private companies. Mr. Mayer was Chairman of the Aspen Institute from 2000 to 2008 and is currently on its Executive Committee. He is also past Chairman of the Board of the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.  He is a board member of Miller Buckfire, Acumen and the Atlantic Council. He is also a member of the Board of Governors at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Vietnam Dialogue Group, and Vice Chairman of the Middle East Investment Initiative.  Mr. Mayer was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and holds a BS and an MBA from the University of Maryland.