Advisory Council

Dr Evan Girvetz

Principal Scientist and Global Program Leader, Finance and Investments for Climate Action CIAT


​Dr Evan Girvetz is a Principal Scientist and Global Program Leader, Finance and Investments for Climate Action, at the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), part of the One CGIAR. His research spans agricultural risk management, climate-smart agriculture (CSA), agricultural investment planning, and sustainable agricultural intensification.

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr Girvetz works on these issues globally through innovative partnerships with the private sector, NGOs and key public sector partners. Dr Girvetz earned a PhD from the University of California, Davis, and is widely published with his research being featured in top media outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, New Scientist magazine and Financial Times of London.

Jamie Anderson

Senior Financial Sector Specialist CGAP

Jamie Anderson is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist focused on better understanding and including the financially underserved, particularly women, youth, smallholder households, and migrants. Ms Anderson led CGAP’s demand-side research with smallholder households—which included financial diaries in three markets and six nationally-representative household surveys—and dissemination of results on the CGAP Smallholder Families Data Hub. Before joining CGAP, Ms. Anderson worked as a technical adviser in Rural Finance at the International Fund for Agricultural Development and as an independent consultant for the Boulder Institute of Microfinance and GIZ. Her agricultural experience is both in research with the University of California Small Farm Center and on-farm in fresh-market organic vegetable production.

Johann Bezuidenhoudt

Senior Mobile Payments Specialist

Johann Bezuidenhoudt is a consultant specialising in the use of payment systems and mobile technology in the developing world. He supports financial regulators in national payment system regulation and the oversight of electronic payments systems. He has recently been involved in academic work on the regulation of crypto exchanges. Previously he oversaw business development at a large multinational mobile network operator which included the launching of mobile money and value added services. He also worked for a large electricity utility where he was involved in the start-up of the sale of prepayment electricity. He holds electrical engineering and business degrees. He also serves on the board of a citrus processing and marketing company.

Matthew Shakhovskoy

Senior Advisor
ISF Advisors, GDI

Matt is a Senior Advisor with ISF Advisors at the Global Development Incubator. Over the past fifteen years Matt has worked in the areas of private equity and development advisory for a number of leading organisations including GDI, Agis Investments, Dalberg and Deloitte. Over this time, Matt has been involved in over 60 projects in 25 counties working with partners such as the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, USAID, MTN and the G8. These projects have included the design of over 500 million dollars in development programming, the mobilisation of large amounts of capital and the development of some industry leading initiatives such as ANDE, Ag Results and the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance. Within this portfolio of work Matt has worked on direct investment strategies in Zimbabwe including the assessment of consumer goods and agricultural sub-sectors and due diligence on a range of investments. Matt holds a MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of London and Bachelors of Business and Economics from the University of Queensland.

Mwombeki Baregu

Head of Agriculture and Rural Finance – Financial Sector Deepening Trust Tanzania

Mwombeki Baregu is responsible for project design, implementation, and management of the projects and portfolio of the Agriculture and Rural Finance theme. The theme project interventions focus on reducing transaction costs and growing product development for agriculture and rural finance. The projects focus areas include microfinance, digital financial services, value chain financing, sector development, and financial and agriculture research and policies.

He has experience in banking, finance, agriculture and policy research, and economics. He has worked for various institutions including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in their Financial Institutions Group, with NMB Bank in Tanzania as Head of Product Development and Research with a focus on Agribusiness; and with the World Bank in Tanzania as a Consultant in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit (PREM) where he researched and consulted on agriculture and economic policies in Tanzania. Mwombeki has published on agriculture policies, has participated in various agriculture related workshops, and is active in agriculture and policy initiatives.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics with minors in Business Administration and Political Science. An enthusiastic economist from his early years of study, he received recognitions for Economic Excellence and for Macroeconomic Theory during his undergraduate studies. He holds a Masters in Business Administration.

He is an avid reader of financial and economic history and is a follower of financial and economic trends.

Paul Breloff

CEO & Co-Founder

Paul is the Co-Founder and CEO of Shortlist, a talent matching platform connecting skilled professionals to great careers across Africa and India. Since its founding in 2016, Shortlist has worked with 700+ companies and 1,200,000+ job seekers across 26 countries. Before Shortlist, Paul was the Founder and Managing Director of Accion Venture Lab, a financial inclusion-focused venture capital fund, where he invested in 24 fintech startups across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the US, including investments in mobile banking, marketplace lending, digital SME and ag finance, and Big Data credit analysis. Prior to that, Paul worked with SKS Microfinance, India’s largest microfinance institution, leading a team of 20 in Hyderabad, India on business development, product, and strategic partnerships across education, clean energy, mobile, and rural distribution. Paul has also advised CGAP, Root Capital, Shell Foundation, BRAC, and others on access-to-finance issues globally; practiced corporate law with Mayer Brown; and worked as an advertising account executive for Leo Burnett. He has also been a corporate lawyer and advertising account executive, and speaks and writes regularly on topics related to impact investing, human capital, and talent. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

Scott Onder

Senior Managing Director
Mercy Corps Ventures

Scott Onder is the Senior Managing Director of Mercy Corps Ventures where he invests in high-impact, high-growth startups in frontier and emerging markets. Mercy Corps Ventures leverages the global reach of a leading development agency to provide early stage capital, value-added support, and catalytic partnerships so ventures can scale to positively impact millions of people. Scott is focused on investments in startups that drive financial inclusion through blockchain, crypto and other digital financial solutions. MCV also backs technology innovations that help communities adapt in the face of climate change. Scott is on the boards of directors of multiple portfolio companies and on the Advisory Council of Mercy Corps AgriFin, an initiative supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation, that bundles digital financial and information services over mobile to improve small farmer productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. He graduated magna cum laude from Duke University.

Sean Krepp

Senior Program Officer

Sean Krepp is an award winning tech for humanity entrepreneur with 20 years of international telecom and internet experience. He is currently working on Google Cloud (AI) Talent Solution, a search and recommendations suite of products, to address under/unemployment. He is also certified privacy professional, who was on the core team at Google which initiated the GDPR program.

Passionate about digital and financial inclusion, Sean led Google’s Emerging Markets Operations in Africa and previously led Grameen AppLab Uganda where he was recognized as a 2012 Tech Award Laureate. He also led Nokia Life Tools business development in Middle East and Africa as Head of Nokia Emerging Markets Services in the region. He serves as an advisor on various digital inclusion related initiatives such as the Berkeley Big Ideas Competition.

Sean is a graduate of the TRIUM 2009 (LSE, NYU Stern, HEC Paris) GEMBA program which ranks 2nd in the FT global business education rankings. He also holds an MA from the College of Europe in Bruges and a BSc Honors from the University of Western Ontario. He has lived and worked in 9 countries on three continents North America, Europe and Africa and speaks 3 languages.

Stefan Wilhelm

Program Officer, Social Impact
Bayer Foundation

​Stefan is a Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation veteran with 10+ years of professional experience in the sector and a passion for Impact Measurement and Management. Before joining Bayer Foundation, he helped build and scale, two award winning Social Impact Startups in Germany, Colombia and Mexico, where he also worked as a Senior Consultant for CAF – Development Bank of Latin America.

At Bayer Foundation, Stefan is responsible for the Social Innovation program portfolio with a specific focus on high impact ventures in sustainable agriculture and access to health. Stefan holds a diploma in Cultural and Business Studies from the Universities of Passau and Salvador da Bahia as well as a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Humboldt University Berlin and Europa University Viadrina. He is a Global Good Fund Fellow, LAJF scholar, and a Vodafone World of Difference Fellow. Stefan is fluent in German, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Stewart Collis

Senior Program Officer, Digital Agriculture Solutions
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Stewart Collis is Senior Program Officer for Digital Agriculture Solutions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he focuses on digital farmer services, smart farming and digital agricultural systems in low and middle income countries across Africa and South Asia. Mr Collis has over 24 years’ experience in agricultural information technology and was co-founder and CTO at aWhere, a Benefit Corporation providing global ag-weather content, agricultural modeling and analytics to private and public sector partners.

Previously Mr Collis worked on climate-driven spatial crop simulation modeling and ag-data management tools at the International Center for Research in Agroforestry and Texas A&M University. Mr Collis has a Masters of Engineering Science in Geomatic Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Tamara Cook

Financial Sector Deepening, Kenya

Tamara Cook was appointed the CEO of FSD Kenya in July 2019. She has been with FSD Kenya since 2014 as the Head of Digital Innovations with a focus on using finance to create value for low-income households and enterprises. She has been involved with many digital innovations including digital savings and credit, mobile health, mobile treasury bonds, mobile agricultural finance, merchant payments and mobile bank payments. She served on M-Kopa’s board for five years and is now a member of their Credit Committee. Prior to FSD Kenya, Tamara spent seven years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation managing a global portfolio of grants and loans supporting financial service providers reaching poor people with digital financial services. She also spent ten years with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), housed at the World Bank, including two years in Paris working on aid effectiveness and a year on secondment with Equity Bank in Kenya. She has an MBA from INSEAD, a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University and a diploma from the Academy of Executive Coaches.

Tamer El-Raghy

Managing Director
Acumen Resilience Agriculture Fund

Tamer El-Raghy is the Managing Director of the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF); a $58 million impact fund and the world’s first equity fund designed to build the climate resilience of smallholder farmers. Tamer has more than 20 years of private equity, venture capital, M&A, entrepreneurial, and innovation experience in Africa, the Middle East, the United States, and Europe.

Prior to joining ARAF, Tamer was with responsAbility AG as Head of Agri&Food PE Fund in Africa where he co-led the structuring, due diligence, and closing of transactions that impacted 35,000 smallholder farmers. Before responsAbility AG, he led Cargill’s growth strategy and M&A activities in Africa with a focus on animal nutrition, animal protein, and commodities value chains in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Zambia, and Ghana, impacting 50,000 smallholders.

Tamer started his career as a materials engineer, where he co-invented a new class of materials, held nine patents, and founded 3-ONE-2 LLC, as a joint venture, commercializing the technology for both civilian and defense applications. Tamer earned an MBA from the New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business, a PhD in Materials Engineering from Drexel University, and a BSc in Metallurgical Engineering from Cairo University.

Philip Tigo

Senior Director for Africa
Thunderbird School of Global Management

Philip Thigo is a technology, data & public policy expert. He is the Senior Director for Africa for the Thunderbird School for Global Management, a Technical Advisor at the Presidency on Data and Open Government and Senior Consultant for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa. He was recognized by Apolitical as one of the World’s 100 most influential people in digital government in 2018. He is currently a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Futures Council on Global Public Goods for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Mr Thigo has previously advised the Minister for Agriculture, key in developing the Joint Agriculture Mechanism, the Big Four Food and Nutrition Security Presidential Priority and the Agriculture Transformation and Growth Strategy while he was at this a Member of the World Economic Forum Global Councils on Food Systems Innovation.

He has previously held executive positions, notably Infonet Africa and Foundation El Taller with experience spanning across Asia, Africa, MENA & Latin America. He has co-created unique technology initiatives such as Apps4Africa with the US State Department, Uchaguzi to monitor Elections in over 9 Countries in Africa, Budget Tracking Tool for citizen engagement and Sauti Yetu (Huduma) on public service delivery monitoring, #GOKInteracts for engaging high-level Government Officials with the public. Mr Thigo has previously supported the African Union Commission, Bureau of the Chairperson & the African Governance Architecture (AGA) where he co-created the first-ever AU digital engagement through #DGTRENDS.

He currently serves as the Point of Contact for Open Government Partnership (OGP), acts as the national focal point for the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data, which he co-founded with colleagues from Governments of the United States, Colombia, the United Kingdom and the Private Sector. Mr Thigo is worked to bring the Africa Regional Data Cube (ARDC) a founding steering committee member of Digital Earth Africa where he now serves in its Technical Advisory Committee.

He is an Advisory Board Member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Nairobi Hub and the Chair of the Board of Mtoto News, an award-winning digital platform based in Kenya that uses technology to make children and their issues visible. Philip was honored at the 50th Anniversary of the Academy of Achievement as a Delegate.