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The SEEP Network 
Annual Conference

October 1-3, 2018



We are delighted to welcome a variety of speakers to share their knowledge and expertise at the 2015 SEEP Annual Conference.

enary Sessions

Private Sector Partnerships: Creating Sustained Impact

Beyond Access: Catalyzing Women’s Economic Empowerment in Market Systems
 Bob Annibale Wade Channell
 Vince Mountaga Diop Caren Grown
 Susan Rae Ross Aslihan Kes
Sarah F. Thorn Amit Vatsyayan
Mark Viso  
Lunch Dialogues
The Future of Sustainability in Agricultural Value Chain Development Context Matters: How Can We Use Behavioral Principles to Design More Effective Financial Products?
Laté Lawson-Lartego  Saugato Datta
Kevin McKague  Marina Dimova
Scott Merrill  
Nurul Siddiquee  
Carrie Thompson  
Christian Pennotti  

Plenary Sessions

Private Sector Partnerships: Creating Sustained Impact


Bob AnnibaleBob Annibale

Global Director, Citi Community Development and Citi Inclusive Finance

  Mr. Annibale leads Citi’s partnerships with global, national and local organizations to support inclusive finance and community development through economic empowerment, focusing on responsible and accessible finance; financial coaching and asset building; neighborhood preservation and revitalization; access to college education; and small business and microenterprise development. He also leads Citi’s commercial relationships with microfinance financial institutions, corporations, investors and municipalities, working across Citi’s businesses and geographies to expand access to financial services in underserved communities.  

Bob is a member of the Policy Committee of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford and represents Citi on the boards of the Microfinance Information Exchange, the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the U.S. FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion and the Citi Foundation.  

diopVince Mountaga Diop

CEO of BelCash & WOS Holding

Mr. Diop is the founder and CEO of WOS Holding, BelCash and its subsidiaries. Mr. Diop has extensive professional experience in information technology, banking and telecommunications. Mr. Diop’s areas of specialization consist of business architecture, marketing and strategy solutions, entrepreneurial business-building, and business support/intelligence. Previously, Mr. Diop developed the first worldwide outsourcing company to turn paper maps into digital blueprints. He served as President of the I.T. National Commission of Senegal where he created a 15-year roadmap for the future development of the I.T. industry in Senegal. He graduated with an engineering degree from the Polytechnic School of Thiès University, Thiès, Senegal.


Susan RossSusan Rae Ross

Founder & CEO, SR International

 Susan Rae Ross is a highly regarded multi-sector partnership expert, international health and development specialist, author and speaker.  As founder and CEO of SR International, she provides corporations, nonprofits and government agencies with strategies to manage their stakeholder engagement processes and facilitates successful cross-sector partnerships. She has conducted assessments on the interface between responsible business and development objectives, developed private sector engagement strategies, designed, and evaluated many partnerships. As a strategic advisor to nonprofit and corporate initiatives, she guides the development of new operating models that are mutually beneficial for all parties. 


Sarah Thorn

Sarah F. Thorn

Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Sarah manages international policy issues as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In this capacity, she advocates for Walmart priorities in legislation and trade negotiations that impact the company's worldwide sourcing and retail distribution rights. She also leads a team that manages food and nutrition policy, transportation, and supply chain issues. Sarah previously led the team that developed Walmart's Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative, focused on empowering women throughout Walmart's global supply chain. Before joining Walmart, Sarah worked at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, leading the food, beverage, and consumer products industry advocacy on international trade issues. Sarah has also worked as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers on business mobility, after beginning her career in Washington as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Information Agency.


Mark Viso

Mark Viso

 President & CEO, Pact 

Mark Viso is president and CEO of Pact, an international nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Mr. Viso brings more than 25 years of international development experience along with a deep appreciation of creative, entrepreneurial approaches to solving complex development challenges. His vision for Pact is rooted in his belief that global impact results from development projects that are locally designed, implemented in partnership with the community, and grounded in a uniquely integrated approach that seeks to transform lives holistically. Before taking up the helm at Pact, Mark served as senior vice president for international programs at World Learning, after 12 years at World Vision, where he was responsible for programs in 80 countries.


Beyond Access: Catalyzing Women's Economic Empowerment in Market Systems

Wade ChannellWade Channell

Sr. Economic Growth Advisor, Office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, USAID

 Wade Channell, J.D., is an economic development expert specializing in the use of law and legal reform to stimulate economic growth. A senior legal reform advisor for USAID, Wade has more than 20 years of experience in identifying legal and institutional constraints to private sector activity and economic freedom. He has worked extensively in Africa, Eastern Europe and Eurasia on economic reform projects and has lived in Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Croatia and Belgium. While in Croatia, Wade also served as president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).


Caren GrownCaren Grown

World Bank Group Senior Director, Gender

Caren Grown is an internationally recognized expert on gender issues in development. Prior to joining the Bank, she was Economist-In-Residence and co-director of the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University (AU) in Washington, DC. In 2013-2014, she led the UNU-WIDER program on aid effectiveness and gender equality, an international effort which resulted in 22 commissioned papers and a global synthesis. During 2011-2013 she served as Senior Gender Advisor and Acting Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), where she crafted the Agency’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment policy and led efforts to implement it in systems and programs.

Aslihan Kes
Aslihan Kes

Economist and Gender Specialist, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

 Aslihan Kes is an Economist and Gender Specialist with over 10 years’ experience at the International Center for Research on Women, providing technical expertise in economic empowerment, property rights, and food security. She provides gender research, TA and capacity building support, and helped introduce a training curriculum which aims to address key domains of women’s empowerment and gender relations and practices to create an enabling environment for improved nutrition for women and their children (the latter in collaboration with Helen Keller International). She recently concluded a USAID-funded project in Kenya, evaluating the impact of a gender-transformative intervention on women’s empowerment and food security.


Amit VatsyayanAmit Vatsyayan

Regional Economic Empowerment Manager, Oxfam Great Britain, Asia

Amit is a thought leader on sustainability and inclusive business with expertise in nurturing public-private partnerships, women leadership and corporate social responsibility (CSR). He has advised widely in Asia and Europe, supports research in the field and facilitates policy dialogues at national, regional and international forums. Some of his initiatives include the development of CSR frameworks for Indian and Sri Lankan governments, as well as supporting sustainable agriculture supply chain development, skill development, inclusive renewable energy development, and financial inclusion in South & East Asia. Following his entrepreneurial spirit, Amit set up three companies involved in commodities and textiles and helped establish the first cause-related entertainment venture fund in India.


Lunch dialogues

The Future of Sustainability in Agricultural Value Chain Development


lateLaté Lawson-Lartego

Director, Agriculture and Market System Team, CARE USA

Laté Lawson-Lartego is Director of the Agriculture and Market System Team at CARE USA. With his team, he provides strategic and technical leadership and assistance to CARE’s programs in agriculture, markets, and social enterprises to achieve food and nutrition security and economic empowerment for women and youth. Laté is a member of the Strategic Leadership Group of the Aquatic Agriculture System Research Program of WorldFish, a center in the CGIAR system. He contributed to CARE’s recent book, ‘Making Markets More Inclusive: Lessons from CARE and the Future of Sustainability in Agriculture Value Chain Development’. He has an MBA, MA, and is completing his Doctoral Degree in 2016.



Kevin McKague

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Cape Breton University

Dr. Kevin McKague is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Shannon School of Business, Cape Breton University, and an internationally experienced academic and researcher of market-based and social enterprise-led approaches to global poverty alleviation. Kevin has led major research projects for the International Finance Corporation (World Bank), The UN’s Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative, and the International Development Research Centre. He has an MBA and a PhD from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto.

merrillScott Merrill

Senior Technical Advisor,  Markets & Livelihoods, CARE USA


siddiqueeNurul Siddiquee

Technical Advisor for Sustainable Agriculture, CARE USA

Nurul Siddiquee, Technical Advisor for Sustainable Agriculture, supports CARE’s women-focused agriculture program, Pathways, in six countries of South East Asia and Africa. He is a key contributor to CARE’s agriculture and market systems work on climate-smart agriculture and resilience, with a focus on addressing the adaptive capacity of CARE impact groups, specifically women and youth. He coauthored CARE’s recent book, ‘Making Markets More Inclusive: Lessons from CARE and the Future of Sustainability in Agriculture Value Chain Development’.

northCarrie Thompson

Deputy Assistant Administrator, E3, USAID

 Carrie Thompson serves as Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, or E3. In this capacity she oversees the work of the Global Climate Change, Forestry and Biodiversity, and Land Tenure and Natural Resources offices. Before returning to Washington she served as Deputy Director of USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia based in Bangkok, Thailand, where she provided oversight to regional programs that address trans-boundary challenges such as infectious diseases, human and wildlife trafficking, economic integration and shared use of natural resources, and to bilateral programs in China, Thailand and Laos.

 Ms. Thompson is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. Additional prior assignments include Director of Strategic Planning for E3 (2009-2011), Director for East African Affairs (2007-2009), and Program Office Director for Guatemala and Central America Programs (2001-2006).  She also served in USAID missions in Peru (1997 – 2001) and El Salvador (1993 – 1997). Prior to joining USAID she worked for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in Washington and various international trade and finance companies. 

 Ms. Thompson holds a M.S. in national security strategy from the National War College (2007); an M.A. in international business, trade and development economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (1988); and a B.A. in American studies from Northwestern University.

pennottiChristian Pennotti

Senior Technical Advisor for Learning and Impact, Economic Development Unit, CARE USA

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.

Context Matters: How Can We Use Behavioral Principles to Design More Effective Financial Products?


dattaSaugato Datta

Managing Director, ideas42

Saugato Datta is a Managing Director at ideas42, working with partners to design, test, and scale applications of behavioral economics to benefit poor people in developing countries. He is also helping ideas42 think about its strategy for impact in the developing world. He has published papers on discrimination in Indian labor markets, the effects of infrastructure development in developing countries, HIV risk and learning, behavioral economics and development, and nudges for water conservation. Saugato has a PhD in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Delhi.

dimovaMarina Dimova

Vice President, ideas42

Marina Dimova is a Vice President at ideas42, where she develops and tests behavioral innovations in consumer finance and international development. She has led projects with financial institutions in the US to improve bill and loan repayment outcomes, and has developed savings, lending, and agricultural finance products for the developing world context. Marina also leads ideas42’s efforts in developing and scaling a heuristics-based financial management training for microentrepreneurs. Prior to ideas42, she worked on agricultural value chains and private sector development with the World Bank. Marina holds an MPA degree in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School.

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