Trustees

The GSG Board of Trustees is comprised of ten Trustees, including a Chair and Vice Chair. Together, these leaders represent eight countries and four continents.

The global leadership of our Board is crucial to our movement’s success. Our Trustees bring the innovative vision and energy they have demonstrated in their home countries to leading our global movement. Learn more about their work by clicking on their profiles below.

Sir Ronald Cohen

Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair

Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman

Sir Ronald Cohen is Chairman of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and The Portland Trust.  He is a co-founder director of Social Finance UK, USA, and Israel, and co-founder Chair of Bridges Fund Management and Big Society Capital.

For nearly two decades, Sir Ronald’s pioneering initiatives in driving impact investment have catalyzed a number of global efforts, each focused on driving private capital to serve social and environmental good. These efforts are leading the global impact investment movement towards an Impact Revolution.

He chaired the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8 (2013-2015), the Social Investment Task Force (2000-2010) and the Commission on Unclaimed Assets  (2005-2007). In 2012 he received the Rockefeller Foundation’s Innovation Award for innovation in social finance.

He co-founded and was Executive Chairman of Apax Partners Worldwide LLP (1972-2005). He was a founder director and Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association and a founder director of the European Venture Capital Association.

He is a member of the Board of Dean’s Advisors at Harvard Business School and a Vice-Chairman of Ben Gurion University; a former member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers; a former director of the Harvard Management Company and the University of Oxford Investment Committee; a former Trustee of the British Museum; and a former trustee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

He is a graduate of Oxford University, where he was President of the Oxford Union and serves as an Honorary Fellow of Exeter College.  He has an MBA from Harvard Business School to which he was awarded a Henry Fellowship.

In 2007, Sir Ronald published: The Second Bounce of the Ball – Turning Risk into Opportunity and today is authoring a book on the “Impact Revolution.”

Nick O'Donohoe, Vice Chair

Nick O’Donohoe, Vice Chairman

Nick O’Donohoe is Chief Executive of CDC and is also a member of the CDC Board. He was previously a Senior Adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he specialised in the use of blended finance models. Prior to taking this role, Nick co-founded, Big Society Capital (BSC). He served as its Chief Executive Officer from 2011 to December 2015.

Previously Nick worked at JP Morgan, as Global Head of Research. He was a member of the Management Committee of the Investment Bank and the Executive Committee of JP Morgan Chase, as well as the senior sponsor for JP Morgan’s Social Finance Unit. Nick co-authored “Impact Investments: An Emerging Asset Class”, published by JP Morgan and the Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to JP Morgan, he worked at Goldman Sachs.

Nick served as Chairman of the UK Dormant Assets Commission. He is also a board member of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and Deputy Chairman of the Global Steering Group on Impact Investment.

Nick has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA in Mathematical Economics and Statistics from Trinity College, Dublin.

Nicola Cobbold

Nicola Cobbold

Nicola has spent the last 12 years in the not for profit sector, with a particular focus on improving outcomes through sustainable economic development and social impact investment.

Since October 2015, Nicola has been exploring the role impact investment tools might play to help create solutions at scale to the global refugee and migration challenge. This follows nearly eight years as CEO of The Portland Trust, a British non profit ‘action tank’, working with a range of partners to help develop the Palestinian private sector and relieve poverty in Israel through entrepreneurship and social impact investment. Previously Nicola worked as a lawyer, specialising in media and copyright. Between 1995 and 1999 she lived in South Africa. In 1998 she headed up the legal team which bid for and won the first private South African free to air terrestrial television license, subsequently launching e.tv in a record breaking six months. Prior to specialising in media, Nicola worked as a corporate lawyer at Linklaters in London and Paris.

Interspersed with her legal career, Nicola worked in reconciliation and coexistence. In addition to compiling a report for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, she was a trustee (2001-2003) of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality. She has been a governor of the Hebrew University (2010-2013) and a Board Member of Seeds of Peace (2011 – 2014) and the Eastern Mediterranean International School in Israel (2013-15).

Nicola is a founding shareholder of Social Finance Israel and currently a Trustee of each of The Portland Trust, The Institute for Jewish Policy Research, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, Mercy Corps Europe and Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe.

Nicola is a graduate of Cambridge University.

Uli Grabenwarter

Uli Grabenwarter

Uli is Deputy Director – Equity Investments at European Investment Fund (EIF). In this capacity he oversees EIF’s activities in Impact Investing, Technology Transfer and Venture Capital. He has led the build-up of the Social Impact Accelerator (SIA), the first pan-European social impact investing fund-of-funds and has brought impact investing as a new business line of EIF mainstream, with currently four impact investing product lines under management.

From 2010 to 2012 Uli conducted a 20 months research project on impact investing in collaboration with IESE University of Navarra in Barcelona and the Family Office Circle Foundation based in Switzerland, analysing best-market-practices for impact investing in the private equity and venture capital space. He is a visiting Professor for Venture Capital and Impact Investing at IESE University and regularly publishes articles and white papers. Uli is also chair of the European Impact Investing Luxembourg think-tank platform (www.eill.lu) and member of several expert groups on impact investing and impact metrics across Europe. Uli holds a Master’s degree in Business and Finance of the University of Graz.

Hamdiya Ismaila

Hamdiya Ismaila

Hamdiya has over 20 years’ experience in Finance and Investments and over 13 years’ experience in Venture Capital and Private Equity investing. She has supported the Venture Capital and Private Equity ecosystem development through education and influencing policy and regulatory outcomes for the industry in Ghana.

She is currently the General Manager of Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), where she oversees the investments and general operations of the Trust. Prior to joining VCTF, she was a Deputy Director at the Ministry for Private Sector Development.

She is an Angel Investor and was instrumental in the design of the Ghana Angel Investor Network (GAIN). She is also a Director of the Ghana Angel Fund and a Founder of the Lady Angel Network – which invests in women owned/led businesses. She chaired the Ghana Taskforce which successfully led to the establishment of a National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Investing Ghana (IIGH). She also supported the establishment of the GIMPA Centre for Impact Investing.

Ms. Ismaila Holds an Executive Certificate in Private Equity and Venture Capital from Harvard Business School, a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and an LLB degree from the GIMPA Law School.

She is a Fellow of the 2019 Class of the Aspen Finance Leaders Fellowship and a Member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Elias Masilela

Elias Masilela

Elias Masilela is the Executive Chair of DNA Economics, Commissioner of the 1st & 2nd National Planning Commission and the Chair of the South Africa National Advisory Board on Impact Investing. Elias holds a BA in Social Science from the University of Swaziland, MSc in Economic Policy and Analysis from Addis Ababa University as well as several professional certificates with Harvard University. Elias chairs several entities in South Africa, including V&A Waterfront, Absa Asset Management and Capital Harvest. He sits on the boards of Multichoice Group, Multichoice SA, Alternative Prosperity Holdings, Future Planet Capital in London, Strate, Absa Financial Services as well as Eskom Pension and Provident Fund.

Giovanna Melandri

Giovanna Melandri

Giovanna Melandri, President and founder of Human Foundation, was a member of the Italian Parliament from 1994 to 2012 and has held the position of Minister for Culture (1998- 2001) and Minister for Youth and Sport (2006-2008).

During her political career, she has been mostly engaged in international relations, cultural affairs, human rights, youth policies, sport and environment. She has developed close cooperation with other multilateral organizations, such as UNESCO and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), whose creation she has successfully advocated for.

Giovanna started her career at Montedison study center where she worked from 1985 to 1988 and from 1982 to 1994 she was a member of the National Secretariat of Legambiente.  Since November 2012, Giovanna was nominated President of the MAXXI Foundation for contemporary arts.  Giovanna graduated cum laude in Economics at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and was awarded an H.C. degree from the John Cabot University in 2000. In July 2003, she was awarded by the French President Jacques Chirac with the title of “Officier de la Legion d’Honneur”. 

Tracy Palandjian

Tracy Palandjian

Tracy Palandjian is co-founder and CEO of Social Finance US, an impact investing nonprofit that develops new models to finance social change. Building on the work of its UK sister organization, the firm pioneered the Social Impact Bond in the United States, a cross-sector approach to addressing social challenges in criminal justice, education, health, and homelessness. Social Finance became a fund manager in 2019 to launch its Career Impact Bond strategy, which increases access to career-based education and training to improve economic mobility. These outcomes-based strategies mobilize capital to deliver measurable and lasting impact in communities. With Sir Ronald Cohen and David Blood, Tracy co-founded Social Finance US in 2011. Tracy was a Managing Director at The Parthenon Group and worked at Wellington Management and McKinsey. Tracy is vice-chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, a trustee of the Surdna Foundation and the Boston Foundation, and a Director of Affiliated Managers Group. She is a former vice-chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers and a recipient of the HBS Alumni Achievement Award. A native of Hong Kong, Tracy received her B.A. from Harvard College and holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar.

Maria Laura Tinelli

Maria Laura Tinelli

María Laura Tinelli is the Director and Founder of Acrux Partners (www.acruxpartners.com), an impact investment intermediary and market developer focused in South America. She founded and heads the Impact Investment National Advisory Board for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. She is an Investment Committee Member for NXTP Impact Investment Fund in Latin America. Together with Social Finance UK, Acrux and the IADB has structured the first Social Impact Bond for Argentina in 2018, and is currently working on the second one. She currently serves as Impact Investment advisor to the UNPRI.

Masataka Uo

Masataka Uo

Masataka UO is the Vice Chair of the Japan National Advisory Board for the Global Steering Group for Social Impact Investment. He is also the founder and CEO of Japan Fundraising Association, a nationwide platform that promotes social impact investment and philanthropic giving in Japan, and the founder and CEO of Fundrex.Co.Ltd, a leading consulting company for social impact organizations. The Social Impact Center at the Japan Fundraising Association is performing a pivotal role in creating Social Impact Bonds projects, facilitating Social Impact Measurement Initiatives and advocating a dormant bank account utilization policy.

Aside from serving at the Economic Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, he also worked for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Rodrigo Villar

Rodrigo Villar

Rodrigo is the Founding Partner of the New Ventures Mexico. Following its mission of transforming the private sector into one that generates triple bottom line, Rodrigo has been instrumental into the development of the Impact Investing Industry. New Ventures is an organization that catalyzes the growth of green and social enterprises. New Ventures combines a diverse set of technical assistance and acceleration services with Adobe Capital, its equity and mezzanine finance arm.

Rodrigo was also the founder of Las Paginas Verdes the Ecofest and the FLII (Latin America Impact Investing Forum). As an Ashoka Fellow, Rodrigo is widely recognized as one of the region’s leading figures on social and environmental sustainability, and accordingly received the 2008 UBS Visionaris Social Entrepreneur of the year award and was named one of the 40 leading young CEO’s in Latin America by Latin Trade Magazine. Rodrigo is the Chair of the Mexico Impact Investing Aliance and serves in several boards like the Aspen Network for Developing Entrepreneurs (ANDE), Iniciativa México, and CI Banco. Rodrigo received an MBA from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management degree from the Tecnologico de Monterrey.

Specialties: Impact investing, sustainable enterprise, venture capital, private equity, entrepreneurship

Ambassadors

The GSG Global Ambassadors are leading figures who advise the GSG board and help to drive progress on GSG’s initiatives. Learn more about their work by clicking on their profiles below.

Rosemary Addis

Rosemary Addis, Ambassador for Impact Governance

Rosemary is a globally recognised director and strategist at the forefront of innovation and investment for impact. In the international portfolio of Board and Advisory roles she holds as Executive Director of Impact Strategist, Rosemary is bringing impact to the tables where decisions are being made. Her current portfolio includes Senior Strategic Adviser to UN Development Programme’s SDG Impact, Director, Impact Investing Australia, and Chair, Climate Ready Initiative at Griffith University.

Rosemary’s work is the subject of international case studies and she is extensively published, including developing the Handbook for establishing and leading a highly effective National Advisory Board. She has provided expert advice to impact related initiatives of the OECD and World Economic Forum and collaborated with Social Finance UK, Skoll Centre at Oxford University and Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard Kennedy School.

Rosemary was made a Member of the Order of Australia (2020) for significant services to social innovation, impact investment and the law, ranked among Australia’s AFR 100 Women of Influence for achievements in innovation (2015) and top thought leaders as finalist for Women in Finance Thought leader of the Year (2017). Impact Investing Australia, which she co-founded in 2014 was named Market Builder of the Year 2018.

Dolika Banda

Dolika Banda, Ambassador for Women

Dolika Banda is an Independent Consultant based in Zambia and South Africa. She is a Zambian national and has extensive and deep experience in capital markets development, managing portfolios of several billion US dollars, often focused on the MSME space. She has served with Citibank, Barclays Bank, the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC Group) and the African Union’s African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Ltd (ARC Ltd). With a focus on banking and finance, her international banking and financial management experience combines operational investments as well as policy advice. She has worked across the globe, including Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Central Asia and the United States of America.

Current Board Roles
– CDC Group, the UK’s Commonwealth Development Company
– Harith General Partners, South Africa, fund manager of a US$1 billion pan
– African platform for infrastructure development across the African Continent.

Recent Awards
– Zambian Woman of the Year Award 2018
– Africa Femmes Performantes (Africa’s Performing Women) Dream Catcher’s Award for Courage 2012.

Matt Bannick

Matt Bannick, Ambassador for US West Coast

Matt Bannick is the former managing partner of Omidyar Network, a philanthropic venture capital firm. For 12 years, Matt led all aspects of Omidyar Network’s strategy and operations in pursuit of its mission: to create opportunity for individuals to improve their lives, and the lives of their family, their community and society, with the objective of social impact at scale. Under his leadership, Omidyar Network invested more than $1.2 billion in early stage for profit and social ventures, impacting hundreds of millions of lives and helping to build the impact investing sector.  From 1999 to 2007, Matt was a member of eBay Inc.’s executive staff and served in a number of senior executive roles, including as President of PayPal and President of eBay International.

Prior to joining eBay, Matt served for five years as the North American president of NavTeq, a provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation systems and a forerunner of Google Maps. Prior to joining NavTeq, Matt was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and served as an American diplomat in Germany during thetime of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification.

Matt developed and teaches two courses at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University:  one on impact measurement and other on new business models in emerging markets.  Matt earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree, Phi Beta Kappa, in international studies and economics from the University of Washington.

Nick Hurd

Nick Hurd, Ambassador for Policy

Nick Hurd served as a Member of Parliament in the UK for fourteen years. During that time he served three different Prime Ministers as a UK Government Minister for nine years. As one of the longest serving Minister for Civil Society, he led the Government work that helped establish the UK as a world leader in developing the impact investment market. That included the setting up of Big Society Capital as the first impact investment wholesaler, and the establishment of the first social outcome funds to support Social Impact Bonds. Having stepped out of politics in December 2019, he is the Chair of the Access Foundation for Social Investment; a Global Ambassador for the GSG , and serves on the Advisory Council for the UK Institute for Impact Investment.

Alejandro Preusche

Alejandro Preusche, Ambassador for Latin America

Industrial Engineer at Universidad Católica Argentina, MBA at Stanford University. Over 45 years of business and civil society experience. McKinsey Senior Partner, Partner at PE Firms, and President of ACDE (a Christian business leaders association), member of Justice and Peace Commission. Founded Almado in 2003 to develop innovative businesses and investment programs to make substantial impact on vulnerable populations in Argentina, Chile and Paraguay, with a distinctive focus on value creation at the territory level. Currently GSG Ambassador. Has helped set up various GSG NABs in South America. Board roles at Foundations. Married to Maria Dolores Morad, 7 children and 18 grand children.

Paul Romer

Paul Romer, Ambassador

Paul Romer is an economist and policy entrepreneur and co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences. He has spent his career at the intersection of economics, innovation, technology, and urbanization, working to speed up human progress. His title is University Professor at NYU, with an affiliation in the School of Law. Before coming to NYU, Paul taught at Stanford, and while there, started Aplia, an education technology company he later sold to Thomson Learning. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Laurie Spengler

Laurie Spengler, Ambassador

Laurie J. Spengler is an impact investment banker, board member and active contributor to the impact investing industry. Among her current board engagements, she serves as a non-executive director of the CDC Group (the UK DFI), the UK Impact Investing Institute and Bridges Insights. Laurie serves as Global Ambassador to the Global Steering Group on Impact Investing and is Senior Fellow and Advisory Council member at Casei3 at the Fuqua Business School. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Previously, Laurie was CEO of Enclude Ltd. and Enclude Capital UK Limited, formerly part of the Shore Bank and Triodos family of companies, and now a Palladium Company. Prior to building Enclude Capital, 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.