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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Featured Speakers


Thomas Abell - Senior Manager, Accenture Development Partnerships

Thomas has more than 20 years of experience in international development and technology, with expertise in technology strategy and innovation, financial inclusion, organizational strategy, ICT for development and ICT for education. He has led Accenture projects with CGAP, the Government of Tanzania, Financial Sector Deepening Trust, Gates Foundation, UNHCR, Inter-American Development Bank, Government of Ethiopia and the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR). He has worked in over 30 countries, across Europe, East Africa, Asia and Latin America. Thomas has experience advising governments, NGOs and development organizations on a variety of technology-related issues. He supported UNHCR in developing an assessment of global refugee connectivity needs, and he helped CGAP develop a future vision for financial inclusion. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Alan Vernon - Management Consultant, UNHCR

During an international career of over thirty-five years with UNHCR and Non-Governmental Organizations, Alan Vernon has extensive managerial, organizational development and training experience with particular strengths in strategic planning, program development and organizational design.

With UNHCR, Mr. Vernon held a variety of senior management positions including Country Representative in Malaysia and Sri Lanka, Director of Organizational Development and Management and Deputy Director Deputy-Director of the Division of Information Systems and Telecommunications in UNHCR Headquarters. His most recent with UNHCR assignment was as the Project Lead for UNHCR’s Connectivity for Refugees Program which he completed in July 2017. He is now working as a management consultant.

Mr. Vernon has done post-graduate study in urban design and planning at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and holds a master’s degree from Temple University and a Bachelor’s degree from Elizabethtown College. 

Felipe M. Vasquez de Velasco - CEO, Pagos Digitales Peruanos

Pagos Digitales Peruanos operates BIM in Peru, the world’s first fully-interoperable national mobile money platform. Mr. Vasquez de Velasco CEO of Pagos Digitales Peruanos  has worked for more than 15 years in the financial sector, leading different business lines including credit cards, internet banking, mobile banking, ATMs, correspondent agents, and retail banking products in Peru. He was CEO at a mutual funds company and member of the Board of Directors of companies acquiring payments of Visa, MasterCard and American Express. He has experience in other sectors, in companies such as IBM, BellSouth, and a Peruvian university owned by Laureate International Universities. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA.


Kate Wilson - CEO, Digital Impact Alliance

Kate Wilson believes that digital technology products, new technology policies and updated business model practices are required to bring about transformative change in the lives of the under-served and decrease the growing digital divide. She has committed the past 26 years to bringing diverse stakeholders together to find common ground in business, technology, and policy, holding leadership roles in both the corporate and non-profit sector. Prior to DIAL, Kate co-founded and led the Digital Health Solutions Group at PATH, the Seattle-based international health organization driving transformative innovation to save lives, where she designed and led several global projects, working in both Africa and Asia, most notably those including the use of digital technology to improve the delivery of immunization services and health information systems for universal health coverage. Kate holds an M.B.A. and an M.A. in Southeast Asian studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a B.A. in International Relations from the College of William and Mary.

Mae Watson Grote - Founder and Executive Officer, The Financial Clinic

For over a decade, Mae has been an important voice in New York City’s public interest, legal and social service communities, leading a number of diverse initiatives for organizations such as the Legal Aid Society and FoodChange. In founding the Clinic, Mae established one of the nation’s first nonprofits dedicated to building financial security through an integrated approach, including direct services, new tools and strategies for practitioners, and large-scale solutions to advance lasting change. Nationally, Mae is a respected speaker on issues of workforce development, income inequality and financial mobility, frequently sought to participate in panels and conferences throughout the country, including engagements with such prestigious institutions as the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), The New America Foundation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Reserve Board. She received a B.A. from Rutgers University and a J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.

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