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 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 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 Sustainable Development.

     

    CONTACT

    E:lcamacho@acumen.org
    @jnovogratz

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 HBoll

    C. Hunter Boll

    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 DHeller

    David B. Heller

    Trustee, The New Museum of Contemporary Art & 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 is a private investor.  Prior to managing his own money he was the Co-Head of the Goldman Sachs Global Securities Division where he sat on the firm’s Management Committee.  His current investment focus is on financial companies that benefit from regulatory and technological disruption as well as consumer brands that benefit from demographic and lifestyle changes.  His largest current investments include stakes in the Standard Hotel management company, the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, Crystal Palace Football Club, Peloton Fitness and Stone Ridge Asset Management.  Other investments include iSentium, Openfolio, The Infatuation, Aloha and The New Stand.  David currently serves as a trustee of The New Museum of Contemporary Art where he also chairs the Board of Advisors for their incubator NEW INC.  He is also on the boards of Acumen and Third Way, and co-chairs the fundraising efforts of his class at Harvard College. He lives in New York with his wife and three children.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 PMitchell2

    Pat Mitchell

    Senior Advisor, Paley Center for Media

    “Pat Mitchell is the Senior Advisor 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, and a board member of Global Green USA.  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 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 Regional Chair of International Agency for Prevention of Blindness for the South East Asia Region and now serves on its Human Resource Working Group. Mr. Thulasiraj currently is a trustee of the Dhan Foundation and serves on the boards of the Seva Foundation, Friends of Aravind, the Indian Institute of Management, and the Institute of Health management and Research, Bangalore. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from Madras Christian College and a MBA in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

  • 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 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 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 on the Social Impact Advisory 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/Paine Webber, in equity research, sales, trading and asset management.  Ms Alexander is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Harvard Business School.  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 board of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee and The New York Stem Cell Foundation.

  • Close Drawer Stuart Davidson Photo SC

    Stuart Davidson

    Chair, Acumen Investment Committee & 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 Chairman and co-founder of Sonen Capital, a dedicated impact investment management firm generating financial returns with lasting social and environmental impact. Previously, Stuart was CEO and founder of Combion, Inc., which was acquired by Incyte Genomics (INCY) and President of Alkermes, Inc. (ALKS), a biopharmaceutical company. Prior Alkermes, he 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. Stuart is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. In addition to his board membership of Acumen, he is Board Chair of IDEO.org, Vice-Chair of REDF and a Trustee of Woodcock Foundation.

  • 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.

  • 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 $20 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 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 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 bob collymore

    Bob Collymore

    CEO, Safaricom

    “Robert (Bob) Collymore is the CEO of Safaricom Limited, a leading communications company in Africa and pioneer of M-PESA, the world’s most developed [READ MORE]

    Robert (Bob) Collymore is the CEO of Safaricom Limited, a leading communications company in Africa and pioneer of M-PESA, the world’s most developed mobile payment system.

    His work experience spans across diverse countries such as Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom where he’s held senior roles in marketing, purchasing, retail and corporate affairs. Bob has more than 30 years of commercial experience working in the telecommunications sector and is passionate about how businesses can be catalysts in transforming communities.

    The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mr. Collymore to the United Nations Global Compact Board. This is seen as a recognition of Safaricom’s commitment to environmental, sustainability and anti-corruption issues as well as the work it is undertaking to address the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on maternal health and child mortality.

    Mr Collymore has served as a Commissioner on the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for women and children. In Kenya, he sits on The Vision 2030 Delivery Board and the United States International University advisory board.  He is also the chairman of the TEAMS (The East African Marine System) Board.