Wedu | Meet the Board
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Meet the Board

Ankur Shah

Ankur Shah (UAE)

Ankur leads overall sector strategy of Acumen’s investments in New York, with direct responsibility for the Education portfolio. Prior to Acumen, he helped to set up WaterHealth India and managed a project for Robin Hood Foundation. Ankur started his career with McKinsey & Co. He has an Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Masters in International Development from Harvard’s Kennedy School, where he was a Reynolds and a Soros Fellow. Ankur is also an Advisory Board member for the Centre for Civil Society, an independent non-profit research and education organization in Delhi.

Cassandra Kelly 2

Cassandra Kelly (Australia)

A corporate leader and entrepreneur, Cassandra is a known strategist and tactician.  She has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, North America, Europe and Australia. In 2003, she co-founded Pottinger, a recipient of the ABA’s “Recommended Employer” award for seven years in a row. Cassandra’s track record in assisting organizations to embrace new opportunities, challenge the status quo and seize business opportunities placed her on the list of 100 Women of Influence in Australia by the Financial Review/Westpac. She is a Director of Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, Allpress International, the University of New South Wales Foundation and an Ambassador for One Million Women. She is also on the Advisory board of the Resolution Project proudly supporting the work of young leaders. Previous directorships include Starlight Children’s Foundation and Children’s Cancer Institute Australia.  She served as Vice President of Women in Banking and Finance and was a member of the Advisory Board of the CEO Sleepout.

Gyanesh Pandey

Gyanesh Pandey (India)

Gyanesh is Co-Founder, CEO & Chief Technology Officer of Husk Power Systems (HPS), winner of the Real Heroes of India Award 2011 and a TED Fellow. HPS received awards such as the Green Globe Foundation Awards 2012, Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy 2011 among others. Prior to HPS, he was Senior Yield Enhancement Engineer in Power Management Semiconductor. Gyanesh holds a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Benaras Hindu University and M.S. in Electric Power and Power Electronics Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Jane Horan (Singapore)

Jane is the founder of the Horan Group, accelerating women leaders, innovation and learning. Previously, she was a Director for Kraft Foods Asia in Singapore, Executive Director of Organizational Development for The Walt Disney Company based in Hong Kong. Jane holds an Educational Doctorate from Bristol University on Asian Women Leaders, focusing on Transformational Asian Women Leaders, a Masters in Organization Design and Effectiveness from The Fielding Institute in California and a BA in Social Ecology and Spanish from the University of California at Irvine. Jane holds a board position as First Vice President with PrimeTime.

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Jocelyn Wyatt (USA)

Jocelyn is the Co-Lead and Executive Director of IDEO.org. Jocelyn received an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Grinnell College in Iowa. She has taught social enterprise and human-centered design at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and Thunderbird. She is an advisory board member to Clinton Global Initiative, Fenix International and Hattery, an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow,and one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top Global Thinkers.

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Manoj Sinha (India)

Manoj is Director at Standard & Poor, McGraw Hill Group. Previously he was at Intel in R&D and worked in the investment banking arm of UBS. He is the Co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise Husk Power System. Manoj is a mentor at the Unreasonable Institute and holds a B.Tech in Electronics Engineering with Honours from Institute of Technology, BHU in 1999 and later an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Manoj also received an MBA from Darden Graduate School of Business in 2009 where he was awarded the Genovese Fellowship.

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Mariko Tada (USA)

Mariko leads Rockefeller Philanthropy Adviser’s (RPA) communications, events and outreach efforts, which includes overseeing the implementation of Philanthropy Roadmap, the firm’s multifaceted donor education and communications initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to this, she served as Communications Manager at Acumen Fund, Vice President at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management and English language reporter for NHK television. Mariko holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Stuart Davidson (USA)

Stuart is Senior Managing Director at Sonen Capital, managing partner of Labrador Ventures, a Palo Alto-based early stage technology-focused venture capital fund, which he joined in 1995. He serves on the boards of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and REDF where he established the Farber program, and IDEO.org. He is a trustee of the Woodcock Foundation and served as a member of the investment committee of the Skoll Foundation. Stuart is a member of the Impact Assets Investment Committee and advisory board member to Filanthropia Inteligente and the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS). Stuart is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

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Cyndie Berg (USA)

Cyndie is Director of Business Development at Splash, a NGO focused on water, sanitation and hygiene for kids in urban Asia and Africa.  She has extensive experience fundraising for environmental and social impact organizations, including Room to Read, Amazon Watch and American Land Conservancy.  Most recently at Room to Read, Cyndie led the corporate and foundation relations team while developing new philanthropic partnerships in the US, Europe and Asia.  She began her career as a consultant for the UN Industrial Development Organization in the Philippines.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

William Mayer

William Mayer (USA)

William worked for The First Boston Corporation (now Credit Suisse), a major investment bank, for 23 years. During his career at First Boston, Mr. Mayer held numerous management positions including President and Chief Executive Officer.

William is currently a board member of the following public companies: BlackRock Kelso, DynaVox, Premier and Lee Enterprises, and a member of the Boards of Trustees of Columbia Group of Mutual Funds. He was Chairman of the Aspen Institute from 2000 to 2008 and is currently on its Executive Committee. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of Miller Buckfire and a board member of 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.

Board of Directors (UK)

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Kate James

Kate joined Pearson as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer in January 2014. A member of the Pearson Executive she oversees communications, government relations, the Pearson brand, investor relations and the company’s social impact work.

A graduate of Magdalene College, Cambridge, Kate supports a number of organisations focused on gender equality and women’s leadership and sits on the board of Vital Voices, dedicated to empowering women in business, civil society and politics around the world and Wedu who invest in women leading change in Asia.

Kate is a director of the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF), helping millions of the world’s poorest children access a high quality education in a cost-effective way.

 She divides her time between the UK, New York and Seattle.

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Mari Sawai

Co-founder of Wedu, Mari acts as an adviser to Wedu. Mari brings her passion in women’s issues, particularly education; experience working with disadvantaged youth in Peru and the U.K.; and a background in communications and partnership development.

She holds a Masters from the LSE in Political Economy of Late Development and a BA in French and Hispanic Studies from the University of Bristol.

 

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Mario Ferro

Co-founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of Wedu, Mario brings innovation and experience in social entrepreneurship. He is a former Senior Advisor for Energy Investments for Greenpeace and a former Senior Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Advisory as well as Acumen Fellow.

Previously he worked on in the post-disaster relief effort after the earthquake on January 2010 in Haiti and trade promotion from small medium enterprises working in China. He holds a Master in Economics and Management from University La Sapienza and a MSc in Development Management, from the LSE.

He has studied and worked in Italy, Finland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Haiti, India, United States, Cambodia and Thailand.

AudreyMandela

Audrey Mandela

Audrey Mandela is an entrepreneur, consultant, and angel investor. She chairs Informilo, a technology news site that links business with innovation; and Women in Telecoms & Technology, a networking group. Audrey runs Mandela Associates, which provides consulting services for clients in the telecom, internet and geographical information sectors.

She was Co-Founder of Multimap, one of the world’s leading online mapping providers(Multimap was sold to Microsoft in December 2007). Audrey was also Senior Vice President, International, for the Yankee Group, a leading IT research firm.

Board of Directors (Thailand)

WeduFund_PressConference_RominaHendlin-74 (web)

Mario Ferro

Co-founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of Wedu, Mario brings innovation and experience in social entrepreneurship. He is a former Senior Advisor for Energy Investments for Greenpeace and a former Senior Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Advisory as well as Acumen Fellow. Previously he worked on in the post-disaster relief effort after the earthquake on January 2010 in Haiti and trade promotion from small medium enterprises working in China. He holds a Master in Economics and Management from University La Sapienza and a MSc in Development Management, from the LSE. He has studied and worked in Italy, Finland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Haiti, India, United States, Cambodia and Thailand.

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Napawong Snidvongs

Napawong is Director at Ceres Private Wealth and Project Manager of A Square Athakravi Co. Ltd. She currently chairs the London School of Economics alumni association in Thailand. She holds an MSc in Politics and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

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Natthanicha Aneksomboonphon

Natthanicha worked with the European Commission Delegation to Thailand as a political analyst, overseeing the Thai political situation and co-advising the Trade Counsellor on legal issues. At the Delegation, she was also a trade analyst, with a focus on speculative economic policies. Natthanicha also oversaw contracts as an in-house lawyer at Windprospect in Bristol, England. She holds an LLB and an LLM in European Legal Studies from University of Bristol.

Jacqueline Novogratz, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 7, 2010

Jacqueline Novogratz

Jacqueline is currently the CEO of Acumen, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty. 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.

Reese Fernandez

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz 

Reese is the President and Founding Partner of Rags2Riches, Inc., an eco-ethical lifestyle brand based in the Philippines that creates urban artisanal home and fashion masterpieces made by the community of artisans who are empowered through their craft to lift their families out of poverty. Rags2Riches is now considered one of the most successful and pioneering social enterprises in the Philippines and in Asia and has been recognized internationally through the Business In Development Challenge Award, Ecouterre, Fast Company, Sundance Channel, and many others. Reese has been recognized as one of five Rolex Young Laureates for 2010, the youngest recipient in history of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service for 2010, Young Entrepreneur Awardee of the World Entrepreneurship Forum 2011, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum 2012, one of the top 20 of MEGA Magazine’s Global Filipinos, one of ten of People Asia’s Women of Style and Substance, Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, and Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 for 2015. She holds a BS in Management (with Honors) from Ateneo de Manila University.