Meet the Board

Board of Directors (UK)

Mario Ferro (1)

Mario Ferro, Co-Founder

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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Sophiya Maharjan, Trustee

Sophiya brings demonstrated leadership in women’s entrepreneurship, leadership and grassroots empowerment in Asia to the board. Over her career, she has explored how social entrepreneurship optimises impact at the community level; led gender-inclusive empowerment projects for agencies like UK Aid and the World Bank; and held governance positions at NGOs championing women’s leadership in Nepal. After obtaining an MBA from Singapore Management University, Sophiya now works in Singapore’s tech sector, developing policies that represent grassroots voices and enhance safer product experiences. Sophiya became a Rising Star at Wedu in 2016 and she is excited to leverage her strategic thinking, stakeholder engagement and communication skills to advance Wedu’s mission through this role.

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Vittoria Zipoli Caiani, Interim Chair

With 30 years of experience working globally, Vittoria brings a passion for women empowerment and exploration to the board. Serving as Interim Chair combines her professional focus on leadership development, mentoring, transition coaching, and cross-cultural awareness with her personal mission to empower people to be catalysts for the change they want to see for themselves and their world. As a Professional Certified Coach, Vittoria has partnered with professionals from various industries (banking, nutrition, travel, finance, fashion, education) as well as change-makers in startups and Fortune 500 MNCs. Vittoria welcomes complexity while honouring and caring for the beauty and fragility of our human experience.

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Ana-Luiza Georgescu, Treasurer

Treasurer, Ana-Luiza is a senior business executive with over 20 years of experience in Europe and North America. She is a Tax Partner with EY, focusing on international taxation and compensation and advises private and public boards in matters relating to governance, financial health and compensation programs. Ana-Luiza passionately supports women leadership and mentorship initiatives and has developed financial literacy programs for women entrepreneurs. She currently supports the global connection and mentorship of women through her service on Stanford Graduate School of Business Women Circles’ Global Board, Growth and Operations Committee, and Regional Leadership Board. In addition to various law and accounting degrees, Ana-Luiza holds the Corporate Board certification from the Silicon Valley Institute and is currently enrolled in the director programme at IMD Lausanne. As Treasurer, Ana-Luiza builds and strengthens Wedu’s financial frameworks at a local and global level.

Board of Directors (Thailand)

Ada

Ada Chirapaisarnkul, Secretary and Interim President

Ada is a pioneer in the fields of social entrepreneurship and social investment in Thailand. Ada is currently holding a full-time position as CEO of TaejaiDotcom, the first and largest crowd giving platform in Thailand. She is also a Founder and Managing Director of the Thai Young Philanthropist Network (TYPN) and Board member and advisor to several impact organizations in Thailand and Asia. She plans to utilize her expertise and social capital to expand Wedu’s work in the country, especially on FISA,

Previously, Ada was ChangeVentures Head of Social Impact Advisory, a university lecturer and co-founding executive director of GLab (Social Innovation Lab) at Thammasat University and a Deputy Secretariat of the National Sub-Committee on Social Finance at the Office of the Prime Minister. She graduated with MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London and MA in International Finance and Economic Policy from Columbia University. She is a Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellow on Social Innovation and Asia 21 Young Leader of the Asia Society.

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 Oranutt Narapruet (Fai), Vice Chair

Oranutt is an international humanitarian consultant and serves as Governing Member of the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP). Previously, Oranutt worked at the International Rescue Committee in Thailand, where she steered the advancement of refugee and migrant assistance programmes, leading the organisation to win awards in innovation in access to legal aid and higher education.

Oranutt has also worked in philanthropy development in the UK and across Asia and the BRICS. She has written for several publications and has lectured at Thammasat University in Bangkok.

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Nudhi Paricharttanakul, Treasurer

Nudhi Paricharttanakul has over 20 years of experience, starting his career in the private sector in the telecommunications and banking sectors before moving to the development sector for the past decade working for GIZ, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, WWF, and FHI360.
He brings with him demonstrated leadership in setting up project financial reporting systems, as well as assisting in the formulation of policies and procedures, and governance structures at a start-up INGO.  He holds a Bachelor of Management in Finance and MSc in Finance both from Texas A&M University, College Station, and has worked in the United States, Malaysia, and Thailand.
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Kelly Perry, Board Member

Kelly brings demonstrated leadership and diverse experience in healthcare research, academia, business development, and public health nonprofit work to the board. As a Senior Technical Officer at FHI 360, she leverages her public health research and storytelling background to spearhead Asia Pacific’s regional thought leadership strategy.

Kelly has studied and worked in the United States, Thailand, Morocco, and South Africa and collaborates with colleagues and organisations across Asia. She has an MPH from UNC-Chapel Hill and a BA from Vanderbilt University.

Serving as a Wedu Thailand Foundation board member combines Kelly’s vision for health equity with cultivating women’s leadership potential and establishing equitable structures for gender equality to be realized and sustained.

Board of Directors (Cambodia)

Ly Chhay

Ly Chhay Loem, Chairperson of the Board of Directors

Ly Chhay holds a Bachelors in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and Development Studies from the Asian University for Women (AUW), Bangladesh, short courses on Leadership and International Cooperation at the University of San Diego, USA, and a course on Political Economy at the University of Hong Kong.

Ly Chhay has more than 6 years of volunteering experience with local and international organizations in creating social change, focused on education and promoting income generation for local people. Her leadership journey is featured in the book, “Diving Deep Going Far”, a collection of stories from five young women leaders in Cambodia.

She currently works as an Advisor-Local Governance at the Regional Economic Development (RED) IV GIZ GmbH. Her role is to facilitate the development and implementation of program activities aimed at capacitating local governance bodies, in particular with regard to their roles and functions in inclusive economic development. As their Communication and Documentation Specialist for GIZ/GFA Consult GmbH, she led documentation, communication, and knowledge management functions.

Phearong

Phearong Sdeung, Member of the Board of Directors

Phearong is one of Wedu’s first Rising Stars from Cambodia. Today, she is a Programme Manager for Women and Youth Empowerment in Leadership at Transparency International Cambodia. Previously, she worked with the British Embassy in Cambodia as a Programme Manager and Personal Assistant to the Ambassador.

Her desire is to change social norms and gender stereotypes that limit gender equality. She works to empower women and girls to get higher education and to achieve their dream careers through mentorship. This is why Phearong co-founded the youth organisation, “Joint of Youth Cambodia”.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Royal University of Law and Economics and a Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law at the Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia.

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Nareth Chhoun, Chief of the Executive Board

With more than 10 years of professional experience in the development sector, Nareth brings diverse expertise and a passion to nurture the leadership journeys of women changemakers in Cambodia by helping manage its programmes and partnerships.

She is experienced in working closely with Cambodian government officials and other stakeholders, conducting research on local governance and decentralization, system strengthening, and delivering leadership training to government officials, women and youth at the national and sub-national levels.

She holds a Master of Arts in Asia-Pacific Studies from Thammasat University, Thailand, and has engaged in activities across the region–from peacebuilding activities in Malaysia to supporting research in Vietnam.

Sreymao

Sreymao Mean, Treasurer of the Executive Board

Sreymao is an E-commerce Manager at the Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank. She has more than 10 years of experience in Sales and Marketing with telecommunication and banking Companies.

Sreymao firmly believes that education is key to changing one’s life. This is why she is active in social work, spending her weekends working with women and underserved communities. She has also built a community pre-school with four of her friends in the Takeo province.

Advisors

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson (USA)

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.