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Board of Directors
Sharon D'Onofrio (Executive Director)
Sharon is the Executive Director of the SEEP Network. Prior to this, Sharon was Lead Facilitator in SEEP’s Association Development Community of Practice providing strategic direction in SEEP’s service to its association members and overseeing the creation of a suite of association development tools. Sharon’s experience in microfinance spans twenty-three countries in Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. As Senior Technical Advisor for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) she led the creation of a new microfinance institution in El Salvador, serving as the institution’s first Executive Director. While with CRS, Sharon also held the positions of Regional Technical Advisor for Latin America as well as Program Trainer in the organization’s Small Enterprise Development Technical Unit.
Deborah Drake (Chair)
Deborah Drake has worked with ACCION International since 1990. She is Program Manager, Investing in Inclusive Finance, of the Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International. The Center, launched in September 2008, is a collaborative effort to advance the commercial model of microfinance while upholding the interests and needs of poor clients worldwide. Ms. Drake directs the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds (CMEF), a membership organization of private entities that make equity investments in microfinance institutions (MFIs) of the developing world. The Council spearheads the advancement of the field of equity investment in MFIs through research projects, publications and biannual meetings.
Alison Griffith (Vice-Chair)
Alison Griffith is the Senior Policy and Practice Advisor for Markets and Private Sector at Practical Action (formerly ITDG). She is the lead for the organisation’s work on pro-poor market development and private sector engagement. Her previous roles included 8 years heading an international team developing innovative approaches, such as Participatory Market System Development.
In addition to her position on the Board of SEEP, she is also an advisor to Traidcraft, the UK’s leading fair-trade organisation.
Alison has been with Practical Action since 2001 and previously worked in development consultancy, fair trade, livestock services in Africa and UK agriculture. She has a BSc in Agriculture and Food Marketing and a Masters by Research.
Lynn Exton (Treasurer)
Lynn is the Chief Risk Officer for Opportunity International. In this role, she manages Opportunity International’s risk profile and related policies and practices aimed at supporting Opportunity’s growth in a prudent manner and in keeping with good stewardship. The role of the risk officer is integral to Opportunity’s efforts to impact millions of hard working entrepreneurs, at minimal credit, operational, market and reputational loss to the organization. Lynn has been involved with the SEEP’s Financial Services Working Group since 2009 and during 2010, served as the Facilitator for the FSWG. She was elected to the SEEP Network’s Board of Directors in November 2010.
Jhale Hajiyeva (Secretary)
Jhale Hajiyeva is currently an Executive Director of Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA), a public association dedicated to strengthening the capacity of microfinance institutions and to promote effective collective action in advancing the interests of the microfinance community and its clients. Jhale has worked in the field of microfinance since 1999 in the areas of project design, network development, and project implementation. She is a publisher of the quarterly Azerbaijan microfinance sector portfolio statistics, organizer of country level Conferences on microfinance, policy dialogues, actively promoting financial transparency in the market and best practices in microfinance.
Ranya Abdel-Baki is an economist by education and is the former executive director of Sanabel – the Microfinance Network of Arab Countries. Prior to working at Sanabel, Ranya worked as a corporate credit analyst and supervisor for five years at National Société Générale Bank. Ranta has also worked as an Urban Economist & Development Specialist in EcoConServ, an environmental consultancy firm where she has undertaken a number of consultancy assignments assessing the social impact and financial sustainability of development projects in Egypt. Experience in microfinance includes the co-writing of the Arab Microfinance Analysis and Benchmarking Report for the past three years, training on financial analysis for microfinance, and lecturing on microfinance in the American University in Cairo. Ranya holds a MSc. in Urban Economic Development from University College London.
Davy Serge Azakpame
Davy Serge Azakpame joined AFMIN in 2005. As CEO of AFMIN, he designed regional and country-specific programs which address the needs of networks members and the microfinance sector in Africa. He coordinates a social performance management regional project and consumer protection initiatives in Africa. He has served as a consultant at UNDP, UNCDF, MIX, Women's World Banking, Frankfort School of Finance and Management, European Union and Planet Finance. He is also a member of Global Microcredit Summit Committee, a regional coordinator of SEEP’s Social Performance Working Group for Africa and the Chairman of GRID (Group for Research and Integrated Development) a Benin-Based Organization. He held from Morocco a Master Degree in Agricultural Economics with a major in Rural Economics.
Camilla Nestor joined Grameen Foundation in August 2005 and previously served as Growth Guarantees Manager and Director of the Capital Markets. She has 15 years of experience in microfinance and commercial banking. Before joining Grameen Foundation, she worked in Citigroup’s Structured Corporate Finance Department where she executed credit-enhanced debt financings for emerging markets firms in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining Citi, she spent five years in Southeast Asia, the Balkans, and Africa working with microfinance institutions and rural banks on start-up, new product development, and capital raising. Camilla holds an MBA and a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Colorado College. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs and serves on the boards of Grameen Capital India and Microlumbia. Camilla has been engaged with SEEP as a practitioner for over a decade, initially during her tenure working in Asia and Eastern Europe, and more recently in leading Grameen Foundation’s global financial services efforts, which includes mobile money/financial services, savings, and agricultural finance.
Christian Pennotti is a Senior Technical Advisor for Learning and Impact with CARE’s Economic Development Unit. With 10 years of experience in international development and expertise in economic development, market facilitation, food security, knowledge management and organizational learning Christian plays a leading role in advancing CARE’s global market engagement portfolio. Since joining the organization in 2009 he has provided direct technical and M&E support to flagship programs in over 15 countries across Africa and Asia while also putting in place the foundations for an organization-wide system to enhance CARE’s capacity in market facilitation. He has played a leading role in industry-level learning initiatives including the Growing Organizational Value Chain Excellence Network and the Children, Youth and Economic Services Network. Prior to joining CARE, Christian served as a Program Manager in the AED Center for Enterprise & Capacity Development where he oversaw a portfolio of financial services and enterprise development innovation grants and led knowledge management efforts across a broad-based association of industry-leading NGOs. Christian has worked with a range of NGO and private sector development organizations including the Inter-American Development Bank and The QED Group and has country-level experience in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He holds a MA in International Development Studies from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and began his career as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan.
Mathew Titus is the Executive Director of Sa-Dhan, the Association of Community Development Finance Institutions, based in New Delhi. Sa-Dhan works with Community Development Finance Institutions in identifying areas of work that will contribute to the development of the sector. This includes the organizing training programs, identifying and building industry standards, and bringing together policy initiatives.Mr. Titus is in the Prime Minister’s Council on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Mr. Titus is a Member of the Board, Microfinance Development and Equity Fund, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in Mumbai, and also a member of the advisory committee of INSURANCE REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (IRDA). Some of his recent publications include: Expanding “Secular Growth”: The role for innovations in microfinance and Financial Inclusion: - Does MF demonstrate any lesson for public policy? He is a post-graduate from the Department of Economics and International Development at the University of Bath, England, and has a Masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Javier Vaca is currently Executive Director of the Red Financiera Rural Ecuador, national network that brings together 43 MFI, which has won the award three times by SEEP Network as Network of the Year. He teaches at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar and Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, has contributed to several studies, systematization and research, and has been a speaker at international forums and seminars. His experience includes over 13 years in research and product development in the economic and microfinance field. He obtained a degree as Economist specialized in Finance and Microcredit from Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and also a Master in Business Administration from Cambridge International University.