Our Team

K. Shelly Porges
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
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K.Shelly Porges

K. Shelly Porges is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women and Beyond the Billion. She is also a Board Member of the Financial Alliance for Women and on the Advisory Board for Cornerstone Capital, Mindshift Capital, Different Funds and Global Invest Her. Ms. Porges also served as President of the North American Jury for Cartier Womens Initiative for over a decade and as the former Senior Advisor, Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) at the U.S. State Department, a program she expanded to almost 150 countries, under Secretary Hillary Clinton. Before joining the State Department, she had a distinguished career in the private sector, including both corporate and entrepreneurial ventures. She served as executive head of marketing for American Express Canada and as chief marketing officer for Bank of America during a historic turn-around. Ms. Porges co-founded six ventures including Porges/Hudson Marketing; Scudder Weisel Capital LLC, a joint venture between Thomas Weisel Partners and Zurich Scudder Investments; and Global Payments Experts LLC, a payments industry advisory firm. Ms. Porges holds both a BS with Honors and MPS degree from Cornell University. 

Sarah Chen-Spellings

Co-Founder & Managing Partner

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Sarah Chen-Spellings

Based in Washington DC, investor & entrepreneur Sarah Chen is Co-Founder of Beyond The Billion (launched as The Billion Dollar Fund for Women), a global consortium of over 100 venture funds and limited partner investors that have pledged to invest beyond $1B towards women-founded companies. In under two years, the consortium has deployed $638M and counting into close to 800 female-founded companies, of which 11 have been recognized as unicorns. Previously, she was on the pioneer team of a corporate venture capital unit within a $13B publicly traded Asian conglomerate, investing in later-stage biotechnology companies. Since then, she has been at the forefront of multi-million cross border investments, structuring and executing commercialization plans with her portfolio companies.

Determined to see more women at the helm, she sits on multiple boards, including 131 & Counting, a bipartisan effort to fete the unprecedented number of women serving in the House and Senate, encouraging more women to run for office in the US; and Lean In Malaysia, which she co-founded, a platform accelerating women into leadership in Muslim- majority Malaysia. Named Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and Forbes Under 30 VC, Chen is a recognized speaker, strategist and commentator on venture capital, startups and women in leadership, having been featured on Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg, Der Spiegel and at the United Nations, and is a celebrated host on the show and podcast #BillionDollarMoves. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Laws, LL.B (Hons.) from King’s College London.

Andrée-Lise Méthot
Canadian Co-Lead (Cycle Capital)

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Andrée-Lise Methot

Andrée-Lise is the founder and Managing Partner of Cycle Capital. She boasts more than 25 years of experience in venture capital, management and engineering. She has set up Cycle Capital, an impact investor and the Canada’s largest cleantech private investment platform. Today, Cycle Capital manages four funds in North America and one in China and has almost half a billion under management. In addition to serving on portfolio companies’ boards of directors, she is the Founder and Chairperson of the Ecofuel Accelerator and the Co-Founder of the Ecofuel Fund. She is a member of the Board of Directors and Investment Committee of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). She also sits on the Board of the Société Québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) and the Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal. She is also a member of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Pioneers’ Selection Committee and a member of the Cleantech Group’s North-American Advisory Committee. She co-founded Écotech Québec, Québec’s cleantech cluster and SWITCH, the Alliance for a green economy.

Named an Officer of the Ordre National du Québec, she has been honoured with many distinctions including awards from the Association of Quebec Women in Finance and the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec. She was also recognized as one of Canada’s Clean16, named one of the Top 20 cleantech investors by CleanTechnica and amongst the most influential women in sustainable development and in the cleantech industry by Corporate Knight. She has a Master’s degree in Science from the Université de Montréal and a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering from Université Laval. She also studied atmospheric physics at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Kamal Hassan
Canadian Co-Lead (Loyal VC)

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Kamal Hassan

Kamal Hassan is a founding partner of Loyal VC, a fund that addresses bias in VC through eliminating pitching. Loyal's Startup Index Fund has invested in >120 companies in >30 countries globally since 2018. Of those, over 30%, both by number of companies and by dollars have a woman CEO. Loyal is also proud that a similar percentage of their capital has been sourced from women LPs. Loyal starts with small initial cheques, providing non-wealthy entrepreneurs with more equal opportunity, then mentors and diligences each company for months before leading or sharing in seed and A-rounds. Prior to Loyal, Kamal had a 20-year career as an entrepreneur/CEO, did angel investing for 15 years, and designed and ran programs for Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed accelerator. He has personally advised and mentored almost 500 entrepreneurs. Kamal has also worked as a consultant for Bain & Co, and as an engineer. He has an MBA from INSEAD and did his undergrad in Engineering Physics at Queen's. He speaks six languages, to varying degrees, and has traveled to over 100 countries.

Ahu Serter
Turkey Lead (Arya Women Investment Platform)

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Ahu Serter

Ahu Serter is a serial entrepreneur and investor. She is also President of Fark Holding, a 50-year-old family-enterprise specializing in automotive and white-goods sectors, and founder of Arya Women Investment Platform and Fark Labs, a global innovation hub, built to design a better version of the future by transforming legacy businesses. Empowered by her multi-potentiality, as the second generation business leader, she cultivated a dual transformation approach by encouraging new business lines, incentivizing intrapreneurship, and founding a corporate venture capital arm, F+ Ventures. This quickly paved the way for the company to nurture spin-offs, new ventures and strategic partnerships. Guided by her vision, Fark Holding was named one of the 20 most innovative companies in Turkey by Forbes. Ahu is one of Turkey's 50 most powerful women according to Fortune and the recipient of the Enterprising Women Award in the $100 million+ category in the US..

Adrian Chong

Operational Advisor

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Adrian Chong

Adrian Chong is an investor at TPG, a global private equity firm with approximately $109 billion in assets under management. There, he has worked on control buyouts and growth equity investments, particularly in the healthcare and financial services sectors. His investments at the firm include Singlife with Aviva, Pathology Asia, TE Healthcare, BFI Finance and Jetanin Institute. 
 
Adrian is also part of The Rise Fund, the world’s largest private markets impact investing platform with $13 billion of assets under management. A particular focus of his with The Rise Fund has been on expanding access to quality healthcare and education in developing economies. His experience there has galvanised him into contributing to causes that drive capital towards social impact. As a soon-to-be father of a girl, he feels passionately about promoting gender equity in entrepreneurship. Prior to joining TPG in 2015, he served in Investment Banking at Credit Suisse, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. 

Meghna Choudhury
Fellow

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Meghna Choudhury

Meghna Choudhury is a freshman at Georgetown University studying economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Her involvement in Georgetown Ventures, a student-run start-up accelerator, first sparked her interest in venture capital and entrepreneurship. This led her to work in a consulting capacity with a social media startup called DreameFactory, and a compost startup named Compost’d. Both have added fuel to her passion for start-ups, mainly for their ability to address emerging global issues transcending past just markets, like climate change and mental health. As fellow at Beyond The Billion, Meghna supports the firm's diligence and platform development initiatives. 

Catherine Bérubé
Canadian Co-Lead (Cycle Capital)

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Catherine Berube

Catherine is Vice-President, Sustainable Development, Investor Relations and Public Affairs at Cycle Capital Management and Ecofuel. She handles public and government relations, she’s in charge of Cycle Capital’s impact investment practice and is a mentor for the Ecofuel Accelerator. Catherine is also Vice-president of Écotech Québec, Quebec cleantech cluster, sits on the Board of SWITCH Alliance, Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) and is a member of the CVCA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee (Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association).

Catherine is the coordinator of the “Bioenergy” working group for the Québec Green Economy Plan and was part of the consultation comittee for the Principle for Responsible Investment – Quebec Chapter. Previously, she worked in a municipal political cabinet. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Université du Québec à Montréal and a Master’s degree in Public Communication from Université Laval, for which she also completed an exchange at École supérieure de journalisme de Lille in France.

Daniel Lane
Technical Director
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Dan Lane

Daniel Lane serves as the Technical Director for Beyond The Billion, helping to drive the technical strategy for the organization. Daniel has over 10 years of experience as an Information Technology consultant working in the Government sector for various clients across the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, and Department of Justice. He has served in a multitude of capacities across the IT spectrum and is currently a program manager and scrum master for Koniag Government Services, where he leads a geographically distributed IT team in agile software development. Daniel is an active member of the Air National Guard. He is the Commander of the 146th Weather Flight and has over 16 years of military experience as a Staff Weather Officer. Throughout his military career he has gained valuable leadership experience in the tactical, operational, and strategic levels and has exhibited this knowledge in his civilian career. In addition, he has learned the importance of resiliency and adaptability and these have been a driving factor in his success. Daniel earned a Bachelors in Management Information Systems from Slippery Rock University and currently lives with his family in Northern Virginia. Daniel has a passion for people and excels at mentoring, team building, facilitating, and developing lasting relationships.

Fengwei Zou
MIA Venture Fellow (Columbia University)

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Fengwei Zou

Fengwei Zou is a first-year master's degree student in International Affairs at Columbia University. Coming from a small town in China, she moved to Shanghai in 2013, where she later co-founded one of China’s first social enterprise startup incubators “Impact Hub Shanghai”, providing capacity building and financing solutions for early-stage sustainability projects. She became intimately aware of the sector’s limitations, such as lacking sustainable business models, insufficient funding, and deficient talents pool. 

Seeking to overcome these barriers, she enrolled in the master's program at the School of International and Public Affairs (“SIPA”) to grow her knowledge in public policy and sustainable finance, with a concentration on international finance and economic policy. Carrying new insights gained from SIPA, she pivoted into impact investing to finance sustainability solutions on a larger scale, interned at the ESG office of a top-tier Chinese financial group, then later worked at the digital team at Boston Consulting Group, taking sustainability and innovation concepts into implementation.

Passionate about promoting social equality, she wants to apply her background in impact investing to advance the progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Venture Capital space.

Nadia Zaidi
MPA Venture Fellow (Cornell University)

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Nadia Zaidi

Nadia Zaidi is currently serving as a Venture Fellow at Beyond The Billion, focused on special ESG initiatives. She is pursuing a Master of Public Administration ('22) with a concentration in Economic and Financial Policy at Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy, Cornell University. She is a Cornell SC Johnson College of Business - Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise Environmental Finance and Impact Investing fellow. Prior to Cornell, she completed her dual degree in Bachelor of Laws and Social Legal Sciences [JD equivalent] from the University of Pune, India, and a Master of Laws [LLM] with a concentration in Intellectual Property Law from the George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC, USA. As a bilingual attorney with over 10 years of legal experience, she has worked and addressed complex legal issues across three regions, namely the USA, United Arab Emirates-Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and India in areas ranging from trademark law, international trade law to technology, media and telecommunications law.  In 2014, she founded Breathe, a non-governmental organization that provided legal services to local communities in India.

Minsik Hong

MBA Venture Fellow (Georgetown University)

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Minsik Hong

Minsik Hong is a MBA student at Georgetown University, studying mainly finance and entrepreneurship, complementing his engineering undergraduate degree. Originally from South Korea, Minsik has amassed work experience in three different countries. Before his MBA, he founded two startup companies in Silicon Valley and South Korea. His most recent startup, Neutralizm Inc., deals with inequity in healthcare access problems to support a minority group and received funds from the South Korean government in 2021. His other startup, qlair is the leading platform for proactive clean air management in commercial buildings using Artificial Intelligent (AI) based technology.

After serving his country in military service, Minsik started his career in a trading business between Asia and North American markets and transited his career as a sourcing manager of MANN+HUMMEL, a leading global company in filtration technology. Under its two business units Transportation and Life Sciences & Environment, the Ludwigsburg-based Group develops intelligent solutions that enable cleaner mobility, cleaner air and cleaner water. Thus, the company makes an important contribution to a clean earth and the sustainable use of limited resources. In 2020, over 21,000 employees at more than 80 locations generated a turnover of EUR 3.8 billion.

Minsik recently joined the Beyond The Billion team and will be focused on supporting diligence and platform development efforts of the firm.

Jonathan Hera
Toronto Lead
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Jonathan Hera

Jonathan Hera has nearly 10 years’ impact investment experience – domestically and within lower and middle income countries – having worked with and for government agencies, multilateral organizations, large financial institutions, venture capital and private equity funds, angel groups, enabling intermediaries (accelerators/incubators), collective impact platforms, and universities. He has led the development of investor relations, impact reporting and investor reporting at Sarona Asset Management; investor relations, due diligence and portfolio construction and management at the Royal Bank of Canada and the Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund; and most recently the investment strategy, due diligence, portfolio management and funder relationships at Grand Challenges Canada. It is here where Jonathan co-led the development of the organization’s gender strategy and its implementation throughout its investment process and entrepreneur supports. He lives in the west end of Toronto with his partner and two young daughters, who helped inspire his approach to impact investing – and Marigold itself. For more on Jonathan’s ‘why’, please see How to invest with a Gender Lens where he shares pieces of his personal journey.

Arzu Tekir
Turkey Lead (Arya Women Investment Platform)

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Arzu Tekir

Arzu Tekir is a business strategist specializing in urban tech and the immersive tech industry as Founder & CEO of Urbanite Venture. She helps angel investors, VCs, entrepreneurs, technology companies define market opportunities, develop marketing and communication strategies, market development, and start-up fundraising. She is the business and strategy partner of VRAcademi.

Arzu is a published author and a social entrepreneur. Arzu’s articles were published in Forbes and other magazines. She has been featured in various media outlets including, The Guardian, National Geographic Energy Challenge Blog, Jazeera Magazine, Bloomberg HT TV, and NTV-MSNBC. Her most significant work is Your Time Is Now: Lessons Learned to Transform Career, which Elma Publishing House published in April 2021 after completing the manuscript in August 2020. Arzu founded Career Transformation Academy to help professionals and entrepreneurs transform their careers, move on with confidence, and grow their businesses. As a social entrepreneur, she aims to raise funding to support MSc and Ph.D. students studying STEM subjects in her home country, Turkey. She has produced and hosted Out of the Box Talks, weekly live shows, since November 2020.

She serves as the Corporate Communications Director at Arya Women Investment Platform, Advisory Board Member at Farklabs Innovation Center, and a Board Member Social Impact Movement, NGO located in Miami, FL.

Chris Aw
Operational Advisor

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Christopher Aw

Christopher Aw is an advisor at Beyond The Billion as well as Investment Director at Alpha Square Group Family Office. Additionally, he invests in early-stage technology companies that are revolutionizing traditional industries. He also continues to consult for nations, venture capital firms, and conglomerates in multiple areas of technology and investments. He served in the United States Air Force in technology and intelligence fields both operationally and in research and development. He has also worked at a US government think tank and has subsequently founded his own companies in cyber security, technology, consulting, and distribution.

Chris volunteers with programs that support female entrepreneurs such as the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, Creating Responsible Innovative Business (CRIB), and Women In Tech (WIT).  He has a particular interest in companies in renewable energy, water, waste management, food, and health. 

Chris’ education includes a BA in Business (Information Systems) from the University of Washington, an MS in Information Systems from Bowie State University, an MBA from the University of Maryland, and an Asset Management program at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.

Emmie Twombly
Fellow- Media & Communications

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Emmie Twombly

Emmie Twombly is a Communications Specialist who recently worked in biotech on corporate profile initiatives, executive thought leadership, portfolio company financings, company launches, as well as day-to-day media relations and executive communications.
 
She is a graduate of Bates College and won the Vital Voices, Rising Voices Essay Contest in 2009.  She has interviewed individuals, such as Martha Stewart for CosmoGIRL and Katharine Weymouth for The Huffington Post.

Aakriti Kamal
Marketing Intern

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Aakriti Kamal

Aakriti Kamal is an international student majoring in BA Psychology (Liberal Arts Honors Program) at The University of Texas at Austin. She holds leadership positions at the Women in Business Association and the Liberal Arts Honors Student Council at her school. She is passionate about working in a field involving the intersection of psychology and business. In the past, she has handled social media marketing for startups in India. Being an integral part of the Texas Women in Business Association at her school sparked her interest in entrepreneurship and marketing. She is excited to bring her creativity and artistic skills to make a contribution to Beyond The Billion where she works as a Marketing Intern. In her free time, she likes to do calligraphy and workout.

Supported by Eminent Leaders: our Global Advisory Council

Cheryl Alston
Executive Director & CIO, Dallas Retirement Fund

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Cheryl Alston

Cheryl D. Alston is the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of the Employees' Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas, Texas ('ERF'), a $3.6+ billion pension plan for the City's civilian employees. Cheryl has over twenty-five years of expertise in the financial services industry. She serves on the Board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City and is Chair of the Finance and Investment committee. She also serves on the board of Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, CHRISTUS Health and Torchmark Corporation. In 2018, Women Inc. Magazine selected Cheryl as one of the most influential corporate directors. In 2011, Cheryl was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Advisory Committee and served two terms. She served as an Executive with CIGNA Retirement & Investment Services and Chase Global Services. Cheryl has an M.B.A. in Finance from the Leonard N. Stern School at New York University and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Alston received awards from Institutional Investor magazine, D CEO Power 500 and the Dallas Power 50.

Anna Snider

Managing Director and Head of Due Diligence, CIO's Office, Bank of America

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Anna Snider

Anna Snider is a Managing Director and Head of Due Diligence for the Chief Investment Office (CIO) within Bank of America Corporation. In this role, she leads the Due Diligence team and is responsible for manager research and implementation guidance across all asset classes supporting Bank of America Private Bank and Merrill. She is a voting member of the Global Wealth & Investment Management Investment Strategy Committee (GWIM ISC), which sets asset allocation guidance. Anna also co-leads the Sustainable and Impact investing initiative for the wealth management businesses, focusing on investment solutions research and development, metrics and measurement.

Previously, Anna was part of the Alternative Investments group where she advised clients on hedge fund and private assets portfolio construction and became head of research for externally managed alternative investment fund of funds. She was also a

senior analyst in the risk management division at Bank of America Private Bank. Anna offers many years of investment and risk analysis experience, having held positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, JP Morgan and UBS focusing on market, credit and operational risk management.

She graduated from Connecticut College. She holds the Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM (CAIASM) designation. Anna serves as chair of the board for High Water Women, a foundation based in New York City. She was cited within Barron’s magazine as one of “The 20 Most Influential People in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Investing” and is a Aspen Institute First Mover Fellow.

Paul Conley

CEO, General Inception Venture Studio

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Paul Conley, PhD

Paul Conley brings more than 30 years of technology, development, commercialization and venture capital experience, including in U.S. national laboratory R&D, technology start-up operations, management consulting and technology venture capital across software, semiconductor and life-science sectors.  Since 2007 Paul has been a partner affiliate of venture capital firms that include Paladin Capital Group (PCG), Vertical Venture Partners (VVP), OMX Ventures and Genoa Ventures.  Over that time span, he has been responsible for all aspects of investment activities, including deal sourcing, evaluation and diligence, deal structuring and negotiation, and portfolio management.   He has been an investor Board Member for more than 40 companies, including QuantaLife (sold to BioRad), Twist Bioscience (NASDAQ: TWST), 10X Genomics (NASDAQ:  TXG), Ginkgo Bioworks(NYSE:  DNA), HealthTell (sold to iCarbonX), Intabio (sold to Danaher), Verodin (sold to FireEye), Arsan (sold to TA Associates), Inscripta, Menlo Microsystems, Sestina Bio, Nanocellect, Nortis Bio, TOMA Bio, Switchback Systems, Rubryc Therapeutics and many more.         

Paul brings a strong track record of investment experience in companies which operate at the intersection of physics and biology.   At Paladin, he founded the Digital Biology practice area in 2009 and has since led over a dozen life-science investments with applications in genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic and microbial research, as well as therapeutic discovery and diagnostics platforms.  Additionally, Paul invests against a thesis that a prior century of advances in the physical and computing sciences is underpinning an 21st century renaissance in the science and engineering of biology.  With a penchant for company creation around extraordinary scientists and their discoveries, in 2020, Paul launched General Inception (GI), a venture studio company focused on launching science-based companies.  GI is staffed with over 50 fractional executives and enjoys on-demand access to over 500 scientists and engineers with over 120,000 sq ft of lab space in Silicon Valley and Boston.    

Prior to beginning his venture capital career Paul spent several years as founding CEO of two venture-backed technology companies.  As founding CEO of AppFluent (acquired by Attensity), a pioneer in the in-memory database market, he contributed to the development of patented technologies and led all aspects of defining and executing a commercialization plan, including capital raising, team building and market development through to early sales ramp.  As founding CEO of BrightScale, a pioneer in the multi-core embedded processor space, he once again contributed to the development of patented technologies and led all aspects of the business through market entry and early sales ramp.   

 

Rebekah Woo
CEO, Pioneer Group of Companies & Former Senior Director, CDPQ

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Rebekah Woo

Born and raised in Singapore, Rebekah has more than 20 years of investing and business experience, spanning across government, major investment institutions such as J.P. Morgan Asset Management, CDPQ and Fosun and family offices, with her current role as the CEO & CIO of a family office in Singapore.  Rebekah graduated from the UK, US and also has the CFA and CAIA professional designations.   With her education and experience, Rebekah also actively contributes to the broader investment and business community by volunteering at various organisations, such as BANSEA as the Vice Chair of the Board, Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) as the Committee member for Diversity and International Relations.  Rebekah is passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs and diversity in companies.

Angela Outlaw-Matheny
Director, Investment Staff & Head, Diverse Manager Equity, Crewcial Partners

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Alifia Doriwala

Alifia Doriwala is a Managing Director at RockCreek, responsible for OCIO and Multi-Asset Class portfolios. She focuses on sourcing, directing, and managing relationships with public and private investments, as well as portfolio management, asset allocation, and investment decisions.

Prior to joining RockCreek, Alifia was an Equity Arbitrage Trader at Wolverine Trading, L.P., where she was responsible for sourcing, analyzing, and modeling equity linked trades together with equity options. She started her career as an Investment Banking Analyst at Merrill Lynch and member of the Financial Sponsor Group assessing the suitability of potential targets for private equity portfolio companies.

Alifia graduated from Georgetown University, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Economics and English and holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is a board member of the Georgetown University Global Business Initiative Advisory Board and a former Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee at The Langley School. She is board member for the Teach for America-DC Region and Chair of the Teach for America Stewardship Committee.

Alifia is a frequent panelist and speaker at investment conferences focused on sustainable investing, diversity and alternative investments, and she supports various non-profit organizations focused on education and women’s initiatives.

Brenda Chia

Director, Paladin Capital Group

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Brenda Chia

Brenda is a Director at Paladin Capital Group a leading, global venture and growth stage investor in cyber security technologies. Paladin is based in Washington, DC , with offices in Palo Alto, London and Luxembourg. Brenda’s responsibilities include identifying and developing new opportunities for Paladin in the areas of LP relationships, investments, co – investments and exits. She is also a sought – after advisor to funds and companies with ambitious growth plans.

From 2007 until 2012, Brenda was a Founding Board member and the first President of the Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM). She led AAAIM to national prominence as the diversity and inclusion advocate for Asian Americans in the investment industry. Brenda is the current Board Co – Chair for the organization. She provides tangible board leadership in setting the vision and pace for AAAIM, fundraising and building consensus around current key initiatives. She plays a major role in fostering the organization’s key relationships with U.S. public pension funds, endowments, foundations and Asian sovereign wealth funds.

While attending business school at Harvard, Brenda developed the strategy and ma rket approach to commercialize a proprietary technology for reconfigurable computing developed at MIT. The company, Silicon Spice, was funded by Kleiner Perkins, Cisco Systems and New Enterprise Associates, among others. Broadcom acquired Silicon Spice in 2000.

Brenda has broad U.S. and international experience developing and executing business, marketing, and operational strategies for emerging and established companies. She served as a case leader with The Boston Consulting Group in Boston and a project manager for Accenture in Asia and Europe. Brenda has worked abroad extensively in Singapore, London and Jakarta.

She holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science, graduating at the top of her year with First Class Honors from National University of Singapore, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and Bahasa Indonesia.

Carol Schwartz

Chair, Trawalla Group

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Carol Schwartz

Carol Schwartz AO is one of Australia’s most dynamic business and community leaders with a diverse career across property, the arts, finance, investment, entrepreneurship, government and health. Carol is highly regarded as a public commentator and agitator on issues of gender equality, women’s leadership, governance and business. Carol has been recognized for her leadership via a range of honors including her 2019 appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia, an Honorary Doctorate from Monash University, induction
into the Australia Property Hall of Fame, and a Centenary Medal. Carol was also named one of Australia’s most influential women in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s Inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards and inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honor Roll. In November 2020 Carol was recognized with the nation’s highest philanthropic honor, the ‘Leading Philanthropist’ Award by Philanthropy Australia. Carol has chaired and participated in numerous listed and private company boards, and has also chaired major government boards and conducted significant inquiries on behalf of government. Carol’s current board roles include the Reserve Bank of Australia, Trawalla Group and Chair of EQT
Holdings Limited. Throughout her career Carol has been a passionate advocate for women in leadership, particularly in business, politics and the media. As Chair of the Trawalla Foundation and the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, she has catalyzed a range of practical solutions, including the Pathways to Politics Program for Women, the Panel Pledge, and the Women for Media database. Carol is also the Founding Chair of Our Community, a member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board, and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership Advisory Board, Kings College.

Geoff Davis
CEO, Sorenson Impact

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Geoff Davis

Geoff Davis is an entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur and impact investor. He has founded, co-founded or advised more than 25 start-ups and investment funds, sat on 21 boards, and his work has helped more than 10 million people work their way out of poverty. He is currently CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah, David Eccles Business School. Sorenson Impact combines impact investing, data science, policy and storytelling to drive capital to solve social and environmental problems. 

Additionally, he is currently Chairman of the board of Align17; investment committee member of the MIT Solve fund; board member of Summit Series Social Impact Fellows; board member at Arctaris Impact Capital, and Senior Advisor at Cicero Group

Prior to Sorenson Impact, he was the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Cicero Impact Capital, the private equity impact investing arm of Cicero Group, a top 15 global boutique consulting firm. Previously, Geoff led the Perpetual Education Fund and helped build Self-Reliance Services for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where his team gave 20,000 higher education loans each year and started 50,000 small businesses per year in 100 countries. Prior to that he was CEO of Unitus, a global pioneer in microfinance, and a founding board member of Kiva.org, a pioneering p2p lending platform. Earlier in his career he worked with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and helped launch the Grameen Foundation

 

Ginger Lew
Co-Founder, Cube Hydro Partners & Former Co-Chair NASDAQ Listing Review Council

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Ginger Lew

Ginger is the CEO of Three Oaks Investments, LLC, a n advisory services firm based in Naples, Florida.

Ginger was one of the co-founders of Cube Hydro Partners, and its predecessor company, Enduring Hydro. She served as Managing Director and General Counsel. She guided the company through an expansive acquisition period g rowing from one 6 Megawatts Western Pennsylvania hydropower plant and five employees to nineteen facilities, 374 Megawatts in five states along ten river systems with 130 employees in less than four years. She provided a broad range of advice and led critical regulatory and financial negotiations throughout the life cycle of the company. In October 2019 Cube Hydro was sold to Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, owned by Ontario Power Generation of Canada. She continues to provide consulting transition services to the new owners. In addition, since 2014, Ginger is a senior policy advisor to I Squared Capital, a $13 billion global infrastructure fund based in Miami, Florida.

Ginger has held numerous roles in federal government. She was the Acting Chief Counsel for the Western United States, Department of Energy. She was appointed by Secretary Vance to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia. When Bill Clinton was elected President, she served on the transition team and subsequently joined the White House Presidential Personnel Office with a focus on economic agencies. Ginger was nominated and unanimously confirmed as the General Counsel for the Department of Commerce under Secretary Ron Brown. She was nominated and unanimously confirmed as Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the Small Business Administration under Administrator Phil Lader. Ginger worked on the Obama transition team as co-chair of the SBA agency team. She then joined the Obama White House National Economic Council as a senior advisor and focused on small business issues, entrepreneurship and women in the economy.

For ten years, Ginger was a member and Board Chair of the Slovak American Enterprise Fund – a US government authorized investment fund in Central Europe to promote small business and entrepreneurship. She was a managing member and venture partner of two venture funds in Washington DC. Ginger also served on the NASDAQ Listing and Hearing Review Council for ten years as a member and Co-Chair.

Ginger has also served on numerous corporate and not for profit boards including Yo semite National Institute (now NatureBridge), the Meyer Foundation, the Smithsonian Institute Travel Exhibitions, Asian Americans for Advancing Justice, and the East West Center. She is the Co-Founder of the Association of Asian American Investment Managers, a trade organization that promotes diversity and inclusion in the investment industry.

Alifia Doriwala
Managing Director & Co-CIO, Rockcreek

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Alifia Doriwala

Alifia Doriwala is a Managing Director at RockCreek, responsible for OCIO and Multi-Asset Class portfolios. She focuses on sourcing, directing, and managing relationships with public and private investments, as well as portfolio management, asset allocation, and investment decisions.

Prior to joining RockCreek, Alifia was an Equity Arbitrage Trader at Wolverine Trading, L.P., where she was responsible for sourcing, analyzing, and modeling equity linked trades together with equity options. She started her career as an Investment Banking Analyst at Merrill Lynch and member of the Financial Sponsor Group assessing the suitability of potential targets for private equity portfolio companies.

Alifia graduated from Georgetown University, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Economics and English and holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is a board member of the Georgetown University Global Business Initiative Advisory Board and a former Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee at The Langley School. She is board member for the Teach for America-DC Region and Chair of the Teach for America Stewardship Committee.

Alifia is a frequent panelist and speaker at investment conferences focused on sustainable investing, diversity and alternative investments, and she supports various non-profit organizations focused on education and women’s initiatives.

Alexandra Poe

Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed

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Alexandra Poe

Alexandra is a partner in Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s Corporate Department. She has over 25 years of experience in investment management practice, representing investment advisers and institutional investors.

Alexandra counsels private equity, venture, and hedge fund advisers in all stages of their business, including fund formation, domestic and cross-border structuring, adviser registration, compliance program development, compliance training and advice, governance and fiduciary issues, closed-end fund registration and compliance, placement arrangements, marketing, client relations, side letter and seeding arrangements, implementation of liquidity strategies, blockchain utilization, including NFTs, and day-to-day trading and operations advice. She also advises clients as key or strategic investors in private funds, and in sponsoring or participating in managed account programs or other bespoke investment service platforms.  Further, she has represented financial industry clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, strategic joint ventures, regulatory examinations, implementation of prosecutorial settlement agreements, governance matters and due diligence.

Alexandra also has considerable in-house experience in general counsel and chief legal officer roles, advising boards and C-suite officers on matters of consequence, including responses to government examinations and investigations, investor litigation, and fiduciary and auditor independence issues. She is a co-Founder and Chair Emeritus of High Water Women Foundation and chaired the HWW Symposium: Investing for Impact, in 2013 and 2014.

Perry Hollowell

Head of Equities & Sustainable Investing, CFI Partners

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Perry Hollowell

Perry Hollowell has over 15 years in the financial services industry and a passion for investing for profit and purpose. As the Head of Equities and Sustainable Investing at CFI Partners, he oversees public and private equity strategies aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the integration of ESG best practices across all of the firm’s equity and fixed income portfolios.

In his prior role as a Managing Director at Guggenheim Partners, he managed over $750 million in equity derivative strategies. While at Guggenheim, Perry was instrumental in establishing the firm’s Social Justice Initiatives Operating Committee, which seeks to invest in and support minority-owned businesses. Before Guggenheim, Perry was a Vice President and macro portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs in the firm’s internal hedge fund, Principal Strategies. 

Perry has a Bachelor of Science with majors in accounting and finance from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in econometrics and statistics from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. He is a charterholder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Market Technician (CMT), Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst (CAIA), and Certified ESG Analyst (CESGA) designations. Perry also has completed the Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR) certification and the CFA Institute Certification in ESG Investing. The World Economic Forum has recognized Perry as a Young Global Leader in 2022. He is an alumnus of the Robert Toigo Foundation Fellowship and a 40 Under 40 honoree. 

Rajive Keshup
Investment Director, Cathay Innovation

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Rajive Keshup

Rajive is an Investment Director at Cathay Innovation, a global venture capital partnership, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital, investing in startups at the center of digital revolution across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. As a multistage fund with over $1.5 billion assets under management and offices across San Francisco, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs and startups positively impacting the world through technology.

Prior to joining Cathay, Rajive played instrumental roles in scaling a number of Southeast Asian startups. Before moving to Singapore, Rajive was a Managing Director at PwC Strategy (formerly Booz & Co.) in New York City where he led the TMT sector for the firm’s Private Equity practice. Rajive started his career at AT&T doing corporate strategy & development in Dallas, Texas. He is also a former-founder having built, scaled and successfully exited a US-based startup in the pet services space. Rajive earned an MBA from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and a Bachelor of Science from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. 

Cherie Nursalim

Vice Chair, GITI Group & Philanthropist

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Cherie Nursalim

Cherie Nursalim is Vice Chairman of GITI Group, a diversified group with real estate development, manufacturing and consumer lifestyle presence partnering with world‐renowned brands throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Cherie Nursalim earlier worked as a research associate at the Harvard Business School. She published an award‐winning book on an American‐Chinese Architect, and was among the co‐authors of a book ‘Indonesia Matters’ published by the World Economic Forum.

She serves on the International and Asia Advisory Boards for Columbia University and MIT Sloan School of Management respectively. She is Chairman of the United Nations Global Initiative SDSN in Southeast Asia that will be based in Kura Kura Bali Indonesia, serves on the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development and the University of Indonesia Research Center for Climate Change and the Singapore Science Center boards. She is the trustee of the Tsinghua University Institute for Sustainable Development Goals, Institute of Philanthropy and among the founding trustee of the United in Diversity Forum. She is among the co founding members of the Global Philanthropic Circle with Synergos Institute in New York and Asian Philanthropic Circle Singapore. Cherie Nursalim is a recipient of Baiyulan Award from the Shanghai government and won Ministry of National Development award from Singapore government. She initiated initiatives for HIV AIDS awareness in Indonesia for GT organization which won awards from UNAIDS, International Labor Organization and the Indonesian government. A new Orchid species of Dendrodium was named after her as founding board of ‘Gardens by the Bay’ Singapore. Ms Nursalim serves on the Executive Board of International Chamber of Commerce, ICC Research Foundation Board and ICC Academy.

She recently joined as advisory board to Teach for All and the Friends of the Oceans invited by the United Nations Envoy. Ms Nursalim is recently appointed on the advisory committee of One Belt One Road and as co‐chair of the Tri Hita Karana Forum on “Blended Finance and Innovation for Better Business Better World” co‐hosted with the Indonesian government.

Susana Garcia-Robles

Senior Partner, Capria

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Susana Garcia-Robles

Susana Garcia-Robles is a Senior Partner with Capria. She is a recognized expert on development finance innovation, an investor in seed and VC funds, and a builder of entrepreneurial ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In 2020, she left the Inter-American Development Bank where she was Chief Investment Officer and Gender Initiatives Coordinator. Today, in addition to her role with Capria, she is also Executive Advisor to the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA).

 

During her twenty-one years at the Inter-American Development Bank, Ms. Garcia-Robles was the principal architect of IDB Lab’s (formerly MIF/FOMIN) seed and VC investment program as well as its high impact entrepreneurship, angel investment and women’s economic empowerment strategies. She analyzed, coached and trained hundreds of seed and venture capital funds of the LAC region, and invested in ninety of them. She designed programs to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems in most countries in LAC.

In 2012 she co-founded WeXchange, the first pitch-competition and platform of encounter for LAC women entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors. In 2019 she co-founded WeInvest Latam, a network of women investors. She continues mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs and early stage fund managers.

An avid supporter of ecosystems, she is a co-founder of the Argentinean VC/ PE association/ (ARCAP) and the Colombian VC/PE association/ (Colcapital). She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Brazilian VC/PE association/ (ABVCAP), the Future Perfect Ventures Fund, and the CITES company builder/fund, as well as the Board of Directors of Village Capital and the Investment Committee of Bancoldex Fund of Funds.

Susana earned a Master’s Degree in International Economic Policy from Columbia University and a Master’s in Philosophy and Education from the Catholic University of Argentina.

 

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