* = Duke alumni
Beth Bafford, Vice President, Syndications and Strategy, Calvert Impact*
Beth Bafford is Vice President of Syndications and Strategy. She leads Calvert Impact’s services to accelerate capital flows into communities through loan structuring and syndications. She also oversees the organization’s strategy, communications, and impact measurement functions. Prior to joining Calvert Impact, Beth was a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s D.C. office where she focused on U.S. Health Reform strategy. She has also worked as a Special Assistant at the White House Office of Management and Budget during the drafting and passage of the Affordable Care Act, as a Regional Field Director for the 2008 Obama for America campaign, and as a Senior Associate at UBS Financial Services. Beth received both her BA in Public Policy and MBA in Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. In business school she was fortunate to work closely with Cathy Clark to launch the CASE i3: Initiative on Impact Investing.
Dana K. Bezerra, President, Heron
Dana K. Bezerra is the president of Heron. Bezerra began her career in agriculture in California. Her family owned a dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley, where she bore witness to the bankruptcy of a local creamery, the formation of an independent milk producers’ cooperative, and the provision of a local tax abatement package to a multinational food company. Those experiences left Bezerra with a lasting impression about the importance of social cohesion within a community — and the complicated relationship between communities and capital markets. Bezerra proceeded to work at Merrill Lynch in the Private Banking & Investment Group, where she specialized in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management. For the next decade, Bezerra managed client money, where she earned an appreciation for the nuances of intergenerational wealth and learned to navigate complex financial transactions and markets. In 2006, Bezerra joined Heron. As a program officer, Bezerra engaged with nonprofit and community leaders who were operationalizing Heron’s mission on the ground in communities that had been waylaid by globalization, mechanization, and disintermediation. It became clear in that role that Heron’s responsibility was to feed the agency of local leaders by supporting them and their enterprises. Over the next 10 years, Bezerra played a key role in rotating Heron’s entire portfolio (including debt, equity, and grants) to better reflect Heron’s mission. Bezerra became responsible for sourcing deals, identifying and developing relationships across a spectrum of investors, syndicating capital when possible, and cultivating opportunities to deploy the full range of Heron’s philanthropic and market-rate toolkit. As president, Bezerra hopes to build on Heron’s history and leverage the lessons it has learned over the past 25 years — both on the ground in communities and within the capital markets. In addition to her role at Heron, Dana has been active in the leadership of several national and local philanthropic organizations over the last two decades, including the Board of Capital Impact Partners, the Steering Committee for Mission Investors’ Exchange, the Innovation and Selection Committee for the Nature Conservancy, and as a reviewer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of its Grand Challenge Exploration Program. Bezerra also participates actively in the Weantinoge Land Trust. Bezerra has a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business and Public Policy from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Melissa L. Bradley has more than 20 years of entrepreneurship, investment, and leadership experience. She is currently Co-Founder of Ureeka, which helps small businesses build their roadmap to growth. She has also served as Director, Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at the Kogod School of Business at American University. Melissa has served as a faculty advisor for the Social Venture Lab and runs experiential learning opportunities for students across the entire University. Previously Melissa served as a political appointee at the Corporation for National Service (CNCS). Her most recent role was as Acting Director of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a White House Initiative and program of CNCS. Prior to this role, Melissa served as Chief Strategy Officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). During her tenure at CNCS, Melissa was detailed to the Department of Education to continue her work in support of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Before joining CNCS, Melissa served as Chief Executive Officer of Tides, a network of entities committed to helping donors and doers create a better world. Melissa’s corporate experience includes her role as Director of Investment Services at CIT GAP Funds and Vice President at UBS in the Private Client Group. Melissa’s educational background includes graduation from Georgetown University in 1989 with a bachelor’s of science degree in Finance from the School of Business, and a master’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing from American University in 1993. (Watch Melissa’s CASE Chat here)
John is Professor of the Practice of Finance at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. In 2012, John retired from JP Morgan, where he was Head of Principal Investing for Social Finance. As a unit of JP Morgan’s Investment Bank, the Social Finance Group is responsible for investing JP Morgan’s capital commitment of $100mm in impact investments in the Emerging Markets. Prior, John was Chairman and Head of the Investment Committee of JPM Mezzanine Capital, a proprietary investment strategy focused on subordinated debt and equity co-investment for mid-cap U.S. and European companies. JPM Mezzanine Capital invested over $1bn in over 40 private companies in the U.S. and Europe during his tenure. John has held Board of Director responsibilities or Board observer rights for over 20 private U.S. companies. John started his career as an attorney in the banking practice of White & Case. John earned a J.D. from Temple University and an LL.M in International Taxation from Villanova University. John is a member of the New York Bar and admitted to practice in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. (Watch John’s EDGE Chat here.)
Juan Pablo Cappello is a well-known entrepreneur and is deeply involved in supporting venture capital and impact investing in Latin America. In the past few years he has co-founded www.idea.me, the leading Latin America crowdfunding site; www.thelabmiami.com, a 10,000 sq.ft. campus for creative entrepreneurs in the Wynwood Art’s district in Miami; and www.melaartisans.com, a leading retail site that promotes a sustainable livelihood for artisans in India by providing a customer base for their handmade products. Juan Pablo was a partner in and a director of Patagon.com, which was sold to Banco Santander for a transaction value of over US$750 million, and currently runs a law firm he founded, Private Advising Group. Juan Pablo, a Duke University alumnus, was named one of the “Most Influential Hispanics” by Poder magazine in the areas of science and technology and was selected as a “Top 50 Entrepreneur” by Business Leader magazine. Juan Pablo serves on the Advisory Committee of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. He is also a GAB member of Endeavor.org and a member of the Legal Committee of the Latin American Venture Capital Association.
Maya Chorengel is a Co-Managing Partner for The Rise Fund, launched by TPG Growth in 2017. The Rise Fund is a global, multi-sector, institutional scale fund committed to achieving measurable social and environmental impact alongside competitive financial returns. Maya also co-founded of Elevar Equity, a leading venture investor with a strong track record of financial return and high impact investing in high growth companies in India and Latin America, in 2008. Maya grew up in and has worked in Asia, the US, and Europe. She has over 20 years of private equity and venture investing experience, including over 10 years in impact investing, with a passion for using bottom-up, market-based solutions to development challenges. Prior to Elevar, Maya was Managing Director of the Dignity Fund, a commercially focused impact investment fund that provided local-currency loans and guarantees to high-growth microfinance institutions globally. Before entering the impact space, Maya was at the private equity firm, Warburg Pincus, working in New York, Hong Kong, and Menlo Park on investments spanning venture capital, growth equity and leveraged buyouts. Earlier in her career she was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated in Asia and the USA. Maya serves on the boards of Globokas/GKN, Kiva, and Salish|Growth. She is also an advisor to several social enterprises, impact investing funds, and impact organizations. Maya holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. (Watch Maya’s CASE Chat here)
Stephen DeBerry, Founder and Managing Partner, Bronze Investments
Stephen DeBerry runs the Bronze Venture Fund, where he makes and manages innovative investments that align strong financial returns with positive social impact. He is the founder of Bronze Investments and a former partner at Kapor Capital, Investment Director at Omidyar Network, and Trustee and Member of the Investment Committee at The California Endowment. Stephen also chairs the investment committee for the national board of directors at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Bronze’s Eastside investment thesis argues that pushing innovation from large categories like health, education and financial services into communities on the social and economic margin is a viable strategy to drive sustainable economic growth. Stephen is a 20+ year Silicon Valley veteran who earned his stripes as an entrepreneur and investing in over 80 companies. He has also managed limited partner positions in over 20 top-performing venture, hedge, and real estate funds. Stephen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with highest honors from UCLA as well as a Master’s in Social Anthropology and MBA degrees from The University of Oxford. He is a British Marshall Scholar and Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute who Ebony Magazine and The Root/Washington Post named one of the 100 most powerful African-Americans in the United States. He was also named to the 2018 Yerba Buena 100 list for his work at the intersection of art, community, and business. In addition to his life as an investor, Stephen is a proud father of two girls and an adventurer. In 2013 he was a member of Expedition Denali, the first African-American mountaineering team to ascend Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The film An American Ascent chronicles that expedition and the effort to bring more diversity to the outdoor community. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife and two daughters. (Read about Stephen’s CASE Executive Speaker visit here).
Michael C. Dorsey has a successful 12-year record in Impact Investing, having co-founded the innovative Bay Area Equity Fund (now DBL Investors). He is currently raising the Bay Area Growth Fund, which seeks to recreate the success of the Bay Area Equity Fund. He has also managed two funds for the Westly Group and serves on the Board of Directors of Revolution Foods and Ioxus. Prior to co-founding the Bay Area Equity Fund, Mr. Dorsey worked as an investment banker, primarily to technology companies, for 20 years. He served as Head of Technology Investment Banking of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and Cowen & Co. In this capacity, he worked with most leading venture capital firms as an agent and made venture capital investments as a principal. Mr. Dorsey holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Yale School of Management. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco and various Advisory Boards of Stanford University. (Watch Mike’s CASE i3 Speaker presentation here)
Sasha is the Co-Founder of 60 Decibels, an impact measurement company that helps organizations around the world better understand their customers, suppliers, and beneficiaries. Its proprietary approach, Lean DataSM, makes it easy to listen to the people who matter most, bringing customer-centricity, speed and responsiveness to impact measurement. Prior to co-founding 60 Decibels, Sasha worked for 12 years at Acumen, most recently as Chief Innovation Officer. In this role, Sasha spearheaded the creation and growth of Lean DataSM and of +Acumen, the world’s school for social change, as well as overseeing the Acumen Fellows Program. In his prior role as Acumen’s Director of Business Development, Sasha led global capital raising, including executing a successful $100M capital raise. Sasha is also a noted speaker and blogger on generosity, philanthropy and social change, the author of the Manifesto for Nonprofit CEOs, and the creator of Generosity Day. His talks have been featured on TED.com and Aspen IDEAS Festival, and he has been recognized as an Innovation Agent by Fast Company magazine. Sasha holds a BA from Harvard College, a Masters in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. (Watch Sasha’s CASE chat here.)
Ali Hartman, Head of Tiger Global Philanthropic Ventures, Tiger Global Management
Ali is Head of Tiger Global Philanthropic Ventures for Tiger Global Management. In her role she also leads the organizations ESG strategy and DEI strategy. Before Tiger, Ali Hartman was Head of Global Citizenship and a Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Strategy at KKR. Ali joined KKR in 2011 to support the firm’s growing work on ESG issues and stakeholder engagement across its investment portfolio. Over the course of five years, she helped to build the ESG platform to encompass a range of asset classes and focus areas. In 2016, Ms. Hartman was named the Head of Global Citizenship for KKR. In this role, she oversees the firm’s approach to strategic philanthropy, community impact and employee engagement. Previously, Ms. Hartman worked at Coca-Cola in the public affairs department, where she managed a range of social and environmental issues in North America and Europe. Prior to this role, she studied worker rights at the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Paris and completed fieldwork in child labor issues at the Working Boys Center in Quito, Ecuador. Ms. Hartman holds a B.A. from Columbia College at Columbia University and completed her M.A. in International Affairs at L’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Ms. Hartman is involved in a number of philanthropic activities. Most notably, she serves on the Board of Directors for Hour Children Inc. and for Conservation X Labs. Ms. Hartman is also a long-time volunteer with Camp Fatima of New Jersey and a chapter leader for Moms Demand Action.
Hilary Irby, Head of Impact Strategy, Soros Fund Management, LLC
Hilary Irby was most recently Chief Operating Officer of the Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance (GSF) group and Head of the Morgan Stanley Investing with Impact Initiative. GSF harnesses the power and discipline of the capital markets to enhance environmental sustainability, advance economic opportunity and promote community development. The firm’s Investing with Impact initiative aims to provide clients with investment opportunities focused on providing financial returns as well as positive environmental and social impact. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Hilary was Operating Partner at JVP, a leading Israeli venture capital fund with over $900 million under management, where she oversaw the Firm’s fund management, international operations, investor relations and marketing. She also worked as part of the management team to drive the Firm’s organizational strategy and spearheaded business development in the US for JVP and its portfolio companies. Previously, Hilary worked at Goldman Sachs & Co., helped manage the growth of an internet consulting and integration firm, Fort Point Partners, and worked for four years as a change management consultant at Andersen Consulting. Hilary holds a Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science from St. Lawrence University.
Tricia Keller, Director, Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives, Virgin Unite
Tricia Keller is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives for Virgin Unite, the foundation of Richard Branson and the Virgin Group. As part of the leadership team, Tricia is responsible for building disruptive collaborations and helping the foundation transform the way businesses, government and nonprofits work together to tackle global challenges. She leads Unite’s work to explore new strategic areas and incubate leaderships initiatives, such as The B Team, Virgin Unite Entrepreneurs and Ocean Unite. Tricia has worked across the business and social sectors, bringing them together to develop lasting solutions to global challenges. Prior to joining Unite, she served as a Senior Advisor at both the White House National Economic Council and the State Department. During this time, she created global partnership initiatives to drive economic growth through entrepreneurship, increase women’s economic participation, and expand the field of impact Investing. Previously, Tricia spent six years in the Middle East and Africa with the National Democratic Institute, where she developed and directed its first revenue-generating social enterprise. She also served as a corporate and start-up advisor focused on integrating CSR into core business functions, and as an economic development consultant to the President’s office in the Maldives. She holds a master in international business from the IUP de Commerce International and master in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO & Co-Founder, BlueMark and Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Tideline
In January 2020, Christina Leijonhufvud became CEO of Tideline’s new verification business, BlueMark, with responsibility for leading all aspects of the business strategy, new product development, and external relations. Christina supervises the BlueMark team and has directly led over 20 verification assignments across an array of investor types and asset classes. As a Managing Partner at Tideline, she also oversees the firm’s strategy and operations and has led many of the firm’s consulting engagements with leading foundations, some of the world’s largest financial intermediaries, and select ultra-high-net-worth family offices and non-profits. Prior to Tideline, Christina was Managing Director at J.P. Morgan where she worked for over 15 years, leading a ratings business and several risk management groups, including for the credit portfolio and emerging markets trading businesses. She also created an innovative methodology for measuring and managing country risk and advised numerous sovereign governments on their public credit ratings. In 2017, Christina created and launched J.P. Morgan’s Social Finance business, a novel investment banking unit that published seminal research on impact investing, made proprietary investments in impact funds, and structured and distributed innovative impact products to clients, such as the Global Health Investment Fund, a $100+ million impact investment fund backed by the Gates Foundation. During her time at J.P. Morgan, Christina grew the Social Finance team to eight full-time employees and also managed an internal volunteer corps of more than 2,000 engaged employees. Christina currently sits on the CASE i3 and BRAC USA Advisory Boards and has served on several other non-profit boards. She earned an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a MA in International Affairs from George Washington University, and a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. (Watch Christina talk about our IMMforSDGs Coursera course here.)
Michael brings 15+ years of executive experience applying entrepreneurial and investment approaches to build profitable companies improving global health, human nutrition, agricultural livelihoods, and energy access. Michael most recently served as a Special Advisor to Babylon Health, building the market entry strategy for the AI-enabled digital health platform in sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Michael led the Social Ventures team at Mercy Corps, building one of the first and most active impact investment funds in the international development sector. The Social Venture Fund invests across the fintech, agriculture, logistics, and employment sectors in east Africa, Indonesia, and Colombia. Michael co-founded Simpa Networks, one of India’s leading rural rooftop solar leasing companies. The company was backed by global high-impact investors including the Asian Development Bank, Schneider Electric, OPIC, Proparco, and Developing World Markets. Simpa was acquired by ENGIE in India in 2018. Prior to Simpa, Michael led Arc Finance’s research into micropayment approaches for financing pro-poor clean energy and water enterprises in developing countries. Michael also served as a strategic consultant to a solar energy provider targeting off-grid health facilities globally. Prior to Arc, Michael consulted to the social venture capital fund, Acumen Fund, mapping private sector investments across east Africa. Michael was a founding staff member of the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company, the Institute for OneWorld Health, whose goal is clinical development and distribution of affordable new medicines for diseases of poverty in the developing world. Michael spent his early career with the Social Development Department of the World BanMichael holds an MBA from Duke University (CASE Scholar), a BA from Vanderbilt University (Ingram Scholar), and has studied at the Universidad de la Habana in Cuba. (Watch Mike’s CASE Chat here)
Tom has two decades of experience integrating and applying business and market-based solutions to social sector challenges. Currently, he is a Partner of Cambridge Associates, where he serves as an investment adviser to institutions and families with assets that range from $35 million to $4 billion. Tom is a founding member of Cambridge’s Mission-Related Investing (MRI) Practice, and specializes in developing and implementing investment strategies that integrate environmental and social objectives and seek holistic returns. While his primary role is to build and manage investment portfolios, he also dedicates time to investment sourcing and diligence, producing research, and engagement with the larger community of impact investors. Previously, Tom was an analyst with Agora Partnerships, an impact venture group in Latin America, and began his financial career consulting to the World Bank on education projects in Brazil. Earlier, Tom was the Director of Program Development for KaBOOM!, where he cultivated and managed funding partnerships with leading corporations and foundations, and built scores of play spaces for deserving children. Prior to KaBOOM!, he worked for a startup enterprise that launched the ZOOB play system, and toured the country in a classic milk truck for over 9 months to execute a guerilla marketing campaign. His commitment to the social sector was cemented while he served two years in AmeriCorps NCCC, as both a Corps Member and Team Leader. Tom began his career in technology marketing, which helped him understand the immense power and rapid feedback loops inherent in dynamic business models. Tom earned an MBA from Duke University, where he was an inaugural CASE Scholar, a Master of Regional Planning (MRP) from UNC Chapel Hill, and a BA from Stanford University where he was also a scholarship athlete on the water polo team. (Watch Tom’s CASE chat here.)
Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal, Blue Haven Initiative
Liesel Pritzker Simmons is Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, where she oversees, as an investment strategist, a portfolio focused on holdings that generate competitive financial returns and address social and environmental challenges. The portfolio spans asset classes, from traditional equities and direct investments to philanthropic programs. In addition to working closely with entrepreneurs, nonprofits and co-investors on companies and initiatives that create social, environmental and financial value, Liesel develops strategic partnerships with organizations that support and advance more informed investing. Liesel co-founded Blue Haven with her husband, Ian Simmons. Together, they systematically assessed their portfolios based on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria and financial performance. The restructured portfolios became the foundation of Blue Haven, one of the first family offices created with impact investing as its focus. Liesel is also Co-Founder of IDP Foundation, a private Chicago-based foundation focused on achieving universal primary education. There, she helped create the IDP Rising Schools Program, which leverages microfinance networks to empower nearly 450 low-cost private schools—established and managed by local entrepreneurs—in some of the least-developed regions of the world. Liesel, an engaging and sought-after speaker on impact investing and Next-Gen investors, serves on for-profit and nonprofit boards and investment committees of organizations including ImpactAssets, Synergos, Toniic, Eco-Post, and The ImPact, a network of families committed to the conscientious stewardship of wealth. Liesel attended Columbia University in New York City, where she studied African History. She lives in the Boston area with Ian and their daughters.
Ommeed Sathe, Head of Strategy, Lafayette Square
Ommeed Sathe is Head of Strategy, at Lafayette Square. Formerly, he was Vice President and head of the Impact Investment unit in the Office of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential, where he oversaw all underwriting, origination, pipeline development and portfolio management activities for the group. The Impact Investment unit managed an impact investing portfolio of $1 billion in 2020. Before joining Prudential in June 2011, Mr. Sathe was director of real estate development for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), a quasi-public entity that alleviates blight, redevelops residential and commercial properties and implements crucial public projects in New Orleans. At NORA, he spearheaded the revitalization of historic commercial corridors like Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and redeveloped over 1000 properties. Previously, he was a real estate and land use attorney with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in New York City. Mr. Sathe has an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and urban planning from Columbia University; a Masters degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Mr. Sathe serves on the board of the Military Park Partnership, B-Lab, Non-Profit Finance Fund, and The Community Development Trust. (Listen to Ommeed on the CASE in Point Podcast, or read about his CASE Executive Speaker talk here.)
Eric Savage is the Co-Founder & CEO of Unitus Capital. Eric moved to India in 2007 to help set up Unitus Capital (UC). At UC, he has led the company in raising over $1.3 billion for various socially impactful businesses in Asia. He has had the privilege of working with many innovative companies that do life changing work in the fields of microfinance, affordable health care, renewable energy, affordable education, women empowerment and agriculture. Unitus Capital was ranked the #1 most active Indian investment bank by Venture Intelligence and VCCircle in 2013 and 2014. Previously, Eric directed Citigroup’s Asia Power & Infrastructure Investment Banking Group and helped secure and execute multiple landmark equity, debt and M&A transactions totaling many billions of dollars. Eric was based in NYC and Hong Kong for 14 years with Citigroup/Salomon Brothers. Eric also headed Salomon’s utilities sector equity research and was selected to Institutional Investors’ All-Asia research team. Eric is a graduate (cum laude) of Duke University, serves on the CASE i3 Advisory Board, the Duke Alumni Board and has the most all-time wins at the K Academy. He is also a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School, where he received the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow Award, the program’s top honor. Eric serves on the Board/Advisory Board of a variety of top companies, funds and academic institutions. He is a much sought after speaker on the topics of impact investing and entrepreneurship. In 2014, Eric was named Indian Expat Entrepreneur of the Year by Expat Entrepreneurs Circle. (Watch Eric’s CASE chat here.)
Jason Scott was Co-Managing Partner and on the Board of Directors of Encourage Capital. He was a co-founder of EKO and is a member of the Investment Committee of the EKO Green Carbon Fund. Prior to EKO, Jason was a founding Director and investment analyst at Generation Investment Management, co-founded by David Blood and former Vice President Al Gore, Jr. As its first employee, Jason helped build the firm and its first and second products, investing in global listed equities and climate change solutions respectively. From 1999 to 2004, Jason worked with Acumen Fund, Flatiron Future Fund/Foundation and New Philanthropy Capital. From 1996-1999, Jason was President of a NYC-based software company. Previously, Jason helped found and build Public Allies, a youth and community development organization. In 1998, the Rockefeller Foundation selected Jason as a fellow in its Next Generation Leadership Program. He co-founded Cleantech for Obama and served on several transition advisory boards for the Obama Administration and is currently on the boards of Oil Change International, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and Public Allies. Jason also co-founded and jointly leads a network of family offices investing in Cleantech, Renewables and other Environmental Opportunities (called the CREO Syndicate). Jason graduated from Duke University cum laude and has an M.B.A. with honors jointly from Columbia and London Business Schools.
Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance
Fran Seegull is the Executive Director of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance which is being incubated at the Ford Foundation. The Alliance works to increase awareness of impact investing in the United States, foster deployment of and demand for impact capital across asset classes globally, and partner with stakeholders, including government, to build the impact investing ecosystem. Seegull was the Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of Investments at ImpactAssets where she headed investment management for The Giving Fund—an impact investing donor-advised fund. Seegull also oversaw product development and managed the Global Sustainable Agriculture and Microfinance Plus Notes. Prior to joining ImpactAssets, Seegull was Managing Director at Funk Ventures, an early-stage impact venture capital firm. She also served as Vice President of Business Development at Novica, an online retailer of products made by artisans in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Seegull has consulted to National Geographic and NPR West as well as a number of family foundations and offices. Seegull has a BS in Economics from Barnard College at Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She serves on the Investment Committee of Align Impact and on the Investment Advisory Committee of RSF Social Finance. Seegull served on the Investment Committee of the Goldhirsh Foundation and on the G7 Social Impact Investment Task Force Working Group on Asset Allocation. She tweets on impact investing at @franseegull. (Listen to Fran talk about the state of impact investing in 2022 with CASE’s Cathy Clark and Monique Aiken of TIIP here.)
Laurie J. Spengler, Founder & CEO, Courageous Capital Advisors, LLC
Laurie J. Spengler is Founder & CEO, Courageous Capital Advisors, LLC, and former President & CEO of Enclude (formerly ShoreBank International Ltd. and Triodos Facet), a global specialist advisory firm dedicated to building inclusive, sustainable and prosperous local economies. The firm delivers integrated capacity and capital solutions to financial institutions, business support organizations, private-sector companies, funders, and investors. Laurie has 25+ years’ experience in strategy and transaction services, specifically capital raising, M&A, and private equity transactions. She has developed a particular expertise in structuring and launching impact investment vehicles that align different types of capital to allow operating enterprises, financial institutions, and funds to generate positive social, environmental, and development outcomes while delivering appropriate financial returns. Previously, Laurie was founder and CEO of Central European Advisory Group, a regional advisory firm she sold to her management team in 2005. She also worked as an attorney with the New York, Brussels, and Prague offices of White & Case. Laurie has a JD from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University. Among her active board engagements, she serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. Laurie is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. (Watch Laurie’s CASE i3 Speaker Presentation here)
Eric Stephenson, Director, Align Impact
Eric Stephenson is Director of Client Services at Align Impact and member of its investment committee, advancing the firm’s work helping investors and their advisors form and execute effective impact investing and philanthropic strategies. For five years prior to joining Align Impact, Eric was the Portfolio Director at the Cordes Foundation, tasked with assessing, proposing, and implementing a strategic plan towards 100% mission alignment across asset classes, and overseeing the Foundation’s philanthropic initiatives. He was previously part of the fund investments team at Hamilton Lane and started his finance career with the global leasing group at Xerox. In addition to being a CASE i3 Advisor, Eric serves as co-chair of the Cordes Foundation, is a due diligence mentor at Harvard University’s Initiative for Responsible Investment, and is a frequent speaker at universities and industry conferences on the topics of impact investing and social enterprise. Eric earned his BBA from Temple University, MA from University of the Pacific, and is an active CAIA charterholder and alumnus of the SEO Career Program.
Megan Walsh Thompson, Mission Investment Officer, Ford Foundation*
Megan Walsh Thompson is a member of Ford’s Mission Investments team. As Mission Investments Officer, Megan is responsible for underwriting and managing impact investments for the Foundation’s Program Related Investment (PRI) and Mission Related Investment (MRI) portfolios. In recent years, Megan supported the development, approval and launch of the Foundation’s first ever $1 billion allocation to MRI’s. She also contributed to strategic planning efforts for the impact investing grant and PRI portfolios. Megan’s work primarily focuses on themes including Affordable Housing, Financial Inclusion, Quality Jobs and Diverse Managers. Megan represents the Foundation on several fund advisory committees. Before joining Ford, she spent several years working in securitization at Citigroup covering on auto, credit card, and middle market loan transactions. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from The College of the Holy Cross, and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Jackie VanderBrug is Head of Sustainability Strategy. She is responsible for leading Putnam’s ESG-focused business functions, including Stewardship, Engagement, Partnerships, and ESG Strategy and Integration. Ms. VanderBrug reports directly to Putnam President and CEO Robert L. Reynolds and is a member of Putnam’s Operating Committee. She joined Putnam in 2022 and has been in the investment industry since 2004. A recognized thought leader in sustainable investing, Ms. VanderBrug joined Putnam from Bank of America, where she served as Head of Sustainable and Impact Investment Strategy in the Chief Investment Office, was a Managing Director in Portfolio Construction. Previously, Ms. VanderBrug was Managing Director at Criterion Ventures, where she worked with institutional and high-net-worth investors on impact strategies and established the field of gender lens investing. Earlier, Ms. VanderBrug led the business development efforts for technology firm iBASIS and co-founded Work in Progress, a nonprofit focused on job placement for disadvantaged youths. She began her career as a domestic policy analyst for the U.S. Congress. Ms. VanderBrug is the author of several ESG-focused works, including the book Gender Lens Investing: Uncovering Opportunities for Growth. She serves on the advisory boards of GenderSmart and Duke University’s CASE i3 (Initiative on Impact Investing). In addition, Ms. VanderBrug is a First Mover Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a trustee of the Trustees of Donations to the Protestant Episcopal Church. Ms. VanderBrug holds her Series 7 and 63 licenses with FINRA.
Matthew Weatherley-White was Co-Founder and Managing Director of The CAPROCK Group, a multi-family office with over $2.5 billion in assets under advisement. Having shaped The CAPROCK Group’s initiative in Impact Investing, Matthew is a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the discipline. In addition to keynoting the 2013 European Commission’s Annual Award for Social Innovation, Matthew has guest-lectured on sustainable business management and non-financial value creation at Harvard, Tuck, Kellogg, Booth, and the American University in Paris business schools, has presented at conferences throughout the US and Europe, serves as a strategic advisor to several Impact Investing funds, and has been quoted in Barron’s, International Business Daily, Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes, MarketWatch, ImpactAlpha and The New York Times. More recently, he successfully shepherded two pieces of legislation through the Idaho Statehouse, the first authorizing Pay For Success Contracting and the second awarding legal status to businesses structured as Benefit Corporations. Prior to co-founding The CAPROCK Group, Matthew was a partner in The Owyhee Group, a boutique advisory team within Smith Barney. During his fourteen years with the company, he was a member of Citigroup’s elite Leadership Development Program and helped craft the firm’s Private Wealth Management platform. Matthew graduated from Dartmouth College, has competed internationally in five different sports, is a high-altitude climber and skier, and continues to serve as a Director for the Lee Pesky Learning Center, an organization he helped launch nearly 20 years ago. When not working, Matthew can usually be found outside, running, skiing, mountaineering, cycling… and generally encouraging his daughter to enjoy the wilderness with the same irrational exuberance as her father. (Read about Matthew’s CASE i3 Speech here. )