Meet the Board

Board of Directors (UK)

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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.

Mari-Sawai

Mari Sawai, Co-founder

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.

 

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.

Board of Directors (Thailand)

Mario Ferro (1)

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.

Napawong Snidvongs cropped

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.

Natthanicha

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.

Board of Directors (Cambodia)

Phearong

Phearong Sdeung

Phearong Sdeung is a Programme Manager for Women and Youth Empowerment in Leadership at Transparency International Cambodia. She earned a two and haft years professional experience with British Embassy in Cambodia as a Programme Manager and Personal Assistant to the Ambassador. She is one of the first Rising Stars from Cambodia. Her desire is to change social norm and gender stereotype that limited the gender equality in the society to be a society with equality norm instead. She works to empower women and girls to get higher education and to achieve their dream career. Her priority is to connect youth with the idea of equality by mentoring them as much as she can. She co-founded a youth organisation called “Joint of Youth Cambodia”. She hold a Bachelor’s degree of International Relations at Royal University of Law and Economics and currently pursuing her Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia, expected to graduate by the end of 2019.

Ly Chhay

Ly Chhay Loem

Ly Chhay Loem holds a Bachelors in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and Development Studies from Asian University for Women (AUW), Bangladesh and short courses on Leadership and International Cooperation at University of San Diego, USA and a course on Political Economy at the University of Hong Kong. Her story is part of the book, “Diving Deep Going Far” the collection of five young female leaders in Cambodia. She is currently working as an Advisor- Local Governance at 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 a Communication and Documentation Specialist for GIZ/GFA Consult GmbH, she was leading the documentation, communication and knowledge management functions. She has more than 6 years volunteering experiences with local and international organizations in creating social changes focus on education and promoting income generation for local people.

Sreymao

Sreymao Mean

Sreymao Mean is an E-commerce Manager at Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank. She have more than 10 Year experiences in Sales and Marketing with Telecom and Banking Company. She like social work and build a community school with her 4 friends for pre- school in Takeo province. She spend her weekend for working with women and community. She want to create many job for people in her society and she promote education in her society.

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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.