Emily Allen (Secretary)
Emily Allen is an entrepreneur with over seven years of experience in social entrepreneurship and international development, including economic analysis, market research and project management. She first worked in international development in the Mexico-US division of an international NGO, where her economic and market research informed the department's economic development projects in Latin America. There she was introduced to microentrepreneurship and microfinance as her department supported former factory workers in opening their own textile manufacturing factory in Mexico. Emily enjoyed the entrepreneurial aspects of the project and soon started a translation business contracting with translators in low-income regions throughout Latin America.Emily studied finance and economics at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. from Haverford College. She speaks Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. She is on the leadership board of Net Impact, where she also serves as a consultant providing pro-bono services to socially-oriented local businesses.
Denitza Andjelic (Scholarship)
Denitza Andjelic is an international development professional with over eight years of experience in research, evaluation, and project management in areas including international health, microfinance, rural business, and small enterprise development. She currently works at International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, monitoring and evaluating (M&E) sexual and reproductive health programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to that, she provided M&E and research support to the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University, BRAC USA, and Pro Mujer Bolivia. While working at Pro Mujer, Denitza became convinced that poverty alleviation cannot be tackled effectively without providing adequate access to health services to poor and vulnerable populations. As such, she remains involved in activities that address both economic development (including access to financial services) and health in developing countries. Denitza holds a Master's in Public Affairs, with a focus on international development, from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a B.A. in Economics from Smith College. Denitza joined the WAM-NY Steering Committee in January 2011.
Lara Cely (Marketing)
Lara Cely works at Morgan Stanley as a project manager for strategy, communication & technology initiatives. She enjoys working with nonprofits on fundraising & marketing projects. Lara's experience includes raising $1M in corporate donations for United Way, marketing a home & garden re-use store for Habitat for Humanity, starting a healthy cooking class for the South Bronx Food Co-op, developing computer training materials for several charities, and creating an online fundraising campaign for Arts to Grow. Lara lives with her husband near Hoboken. They enjoy healthy cooking, sci-fi, BBC television dramas, home DIY projects, and hiking.
Rebecca Feinberg (Membership)
Rebecca Feinberg, Grant Writer of Pro Mujer International, is a non-profit professional with 6 years of experience in international economic development, rural development, microfinance and social entrepreneurship. Rebecca has previous experience as an independent consultant on projects including poverty assessment and data analysis in Mexico for FINCA International, small business management, and micro-insurance program development in Central America. She has a Master's of Public Administration from NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where her focus was in international development and microfinance. During her studies, she worked as a consultant to the United Nations Capital Development Fund and interned at Pro Mujer International and the Financial Access Initiative. She also has a Professional Certificate in Fundraising from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in international relations and Spanish. Prior to joining the Pro Mujer team, she was a paralegal at Legal Services NYC Bankruptcy Assistance Project assisting low-income New Yorkers file for bankruptcy. Rebecca has four years of private sector experience in retail banking and online advertising. She is on the Steering Committee of the New York chapter of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) and also a member of the Microfinance Club of New York (MFCNY).
Sophie Forbes (Marketing)
Sophie Forbes is an economic development and capacity building expert with 16 years of international and US experience working in conflict, post-conflict and transitional economies. Her experience covers a range of technical areas including: microfinance/rural & ag finance, value chain analysis/development, enterprise development/market linkages, and curriculum development/training. She has worked as program director, technical adviser and consultant on both project strategy and operations for non/for profit organizations. Ms. Forbes has experience in urban and rural development working with entrepreneurs (especially women and youth), small holder farmers, social enterprises, NGOs, MFIs and other stakeholders. She has worked in 17 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe/Caucus, the Middle East and Asia.
Rosa Franco has extensive experience in microfinance services. She works as Director of Lending for Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union in New York City, where she oversees loan portfolio strategy, including design, planning and implementation of lending products and development of lending practices. She is also involved with community outreach and coordination with partner organizations. Previously, she worked with organizations such as Credit Where Credit is Due, SEEP, USAID, and the Inter-American Development Bank on business and employment development and capacity building in the US and throughout Latin America. She holds an MPA from City University of New York-Baruch College.
Mugdha Gangopadhyay (Marketing)
Mugdha Gangopadhyay is Director of Strategy and Development at Grameen America, Inc in New York City. Prior to joining Grameen America, Mugdha worked in the Finance, Pharmaceutical and Information Technology sectors as an Organizational Development professional. She holds a Master's degree in Organizational Behavior from Delhi University, India and a Certificate in Leadership and Human Capital Management from NYU, New York. Mugdha is also trained in Microfinance and Social Business from Grameen Bank, Dhaka.
Anna Kanze (Treasurer)
Anna Kanze is an Investment Officer at Grassroots Capital Management, leading the investment monitoring and reporting, industry research, and social performance measurement functions in collaboration with colleagues based in Southeast Asia and Latin America. She is also responsible for due diligence, the evaluation of debt and equity investments, and has been active in the co-creation of regional funds. Prior to Grassroots, Anna spent three years working at Citi Investment Research in Equity Research and the Global Capital Markets groups, creating and maintaining financial valuation models, and writing published industry and company research reports.
Anna has a BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. She is on the Steering Committee of the New York chapter of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) and also a member of the Microfinance Club of New York (MFCNY).
Danielle LeBlanc is the Director, Programs and Grants at the microfinance nonprofit, Grameen America. She has previous experience providing capital loans to nonprofit organizations. Prior to that she provided grants for capacity building and capital projects. Her first encounter with microfinance was when she did an analysis of microfinance provision in the Philippines for Catholic Relief Services. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelors degree from Brown University. She is on the Steering Committee of the New York chapter of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM).
Sarah Leshner (Event Advisory)
Sarah Leshner has more than 10 years experience in emerging markets and microfinance. She is currently a Senior Vice President in Latin American Fixed Income at HSBC. Previously she worked at BlueOrchard Finance as a Senior Investment Analyst managing the Firm's Social Performance activities and covering Mexico and Central America for the debt business. Sarah has also worked at Women's World Banking, Endeavor, Bear Stearns, and Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman). She is fluent in Spanish and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance and an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
Renuka Nayani (Membership)
Renuka Nayani is a senior Associate in the Investment Banking Global Technology Group at Morgan Stanley and an active member of the Environment and Social Finance Steering Committee, responsible for planning events for Morgan Stanley employees. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, she worked at Accenture as an IT consultant during which she had the opportunity to work in Sri Lanka with the ICTA Agency dedicated to narrowing the digital divide between rural and urban areas in Sri Lanka. She has an MBA from Duke University and a BS in Computer and Electrical Engineering from the University of California Irvine. Her interest in international development and microfinance began with her work in Sri Lanka and deepened during her time at Duke where she served on the Social Impact Club cabinet and consulted for a venture philanthropy fund based in Nicaragua.
Praveen Prasad (Co-Chair)
Praveen Prasad is the Development Director with TrustAfrica- a leading Pan-African foundation that focuses on democracy, governance, and development. Praveen is also the Co-Chair of the New York chapter of Woman Advancing Microfinance (WAM-NY). Originally from the Fiji Islands and Australia, she has worked for over 10 years in International relief and development with a background in conflict/post conflict program management, micro-credit, gender equity, and philanthropy. Her field postings and experiences have included working in 17 countries in Africa. Prior to being based in New York, Praveen was based in Sudan and in Liberia overseeing multiple large-scale relief and development programs. She previously held positions with the World Health Organization in Geneva and International NGOs. Currently, she is also leading the "Africa for Haiti" initiative. She is a fellow with the Council on Foundations in its Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy Program and holds a MA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations. In her spare time, she enjoys sports, photography and exploring history of world cultures.
Susan Salerno has been involved in microfinance for several years in both professional and volunteer capacities. As an independent consultant, Susan has worked with a well-known microfinance network to develop their first proposed private equity microfinance fund and has developed business plans for new self-sustaining microfinance ventures. Susan has given presentations about microfinance and has written a published article about institutional investing in microfinance for Microfinance Insights magazine. Susan has also served as Director at UBS Private Banking where she developed private equity funds for a global client base. Previously, Susan was an analyst and project manager for large-scale commercial real estate developments, and analyzed real estate financing and investment opportunities.
Susan presently serves on the Grameen America Advisory Board, the Direct Loan Committee of Project Enterprise, the Board of the Microfinance Club of New York, and the microfinance committee of High Water Women. Susan holds an MBA and a B.A. in Economics.
Archana Shah (Co-Chair)
Archana currently acts as Co-Chair of the New York chapter of Woman Advancing Microfinance (WAM). She s a senior Executive Director in the Emerging Markets Derivative Sales group at Morgan Stanely, who also supports Equity for Africa (EFA), a U.K based charity that provides capital to small business owners through lease financing in northern Tanzania, and is active within the Microfinance community at Morgan Stanley. She was born in Kenya to Indian parents and raised in Hong Kong and Tanzania. She moved to the United States to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a B.S. in Finance and a B.A. in French. She continued on to New York University to receive her Master's in Economics. She is an avid cook and blogger and keeps healthy by practicing karate and pilates in her spare time. Archana and her husband, Rumit both live in New York City, where Rumit runs a boutique travel company that focuses on African travels.