Speaker and Panelist Bios:
Akula, Chairperson and Founder, SKS Microfinance
SKS Microfinance's mission is to eradicate poverty by providing financial
services to poor households. He was named by TIME Magazine as one
of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006, and SKS Microfinance
was named one of BusinessWeek's Top 5 Companies to watch in 2009.
Vikram launched SKS in 1998 because a fundamental flaw he saw with microfinance--
namely, its inability to scale. Vikram identified three constraints
to scaling, the three "Cs": lack of capital, capacity constraints,
and the high costs of delivering micro-loans. He then set up SKS
to overcome this challenge on the basis of three innovative principles:
(1) using a profit-oriented model to overcome capital constraints (2)
leveraging best practices for scaling from the business world to overcome
capacity constraint (3) using technology to automate processes and lower
costs. Using these three inter-linked principles, SKS has been able to
scale in an unprecedented manner—having provided micro-insurance
products and over $1.3 billion in micro-credit to close to 4 million
poor women and their families spread across 70,000 villages and slums
of India while maintaining a 99% repayment rate and growing at 150% per
year. This pace has attracted equity investments from premier venture
capitalists including Vinod Khosla (co-founder of Sun Microsystems) and
Sequoia, (early investor in companies such as Cisco, Yahoo and Google).
Vikram is a former management consultant with McKinsey, has a B.A. in
philosophy from Tufts, an M.A. from Yale, a Ph.D. from the University
of Chicago, and was a Fulbright Scholar. He has received several awards,
including the Social Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2006), the Ernst & Young
Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2006) and he has been profiled
in media ranging from CNN to front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Susan Alnaqib, Co-President, Chicago Community Ventures
As Co-President of CCV, Susan brings more than a decade of experience
in community and economic development. In her current role, Susan is
responsible for fundraising and marketing strategy for the organization.
In this capacity she has raised over $4 million through investment, donations
and the implementation of new earned income strategies. She also oversees
the delivery of client services and the development of strategic initiatives.
Susan joined CCV in February 2004 as assistant director and subsequently
director of the Chicago West Side Entrepreneurship Center (CWSEC), a
partnership between the University of Illinois at Chicago and CCV. In
addition to working with more than 125 clients and helping access over
$5.5 million in capital and contracts, Susan created and launched Innovate
Illinois, a competition engaging over 100 stakeholders to identify the
most innovative small businesses across the State of Illinois.
Prior to joining Chicago Community Ventures, Susan worked as an analyst
with Foursome Investment Management in London, an early stage fund making ‘positive
impact’ investments in environmental technology, renewable energy
and organics; and provided business-planning consulting to start-up for-profit
and not-for-profit organizations in Chicago.
Previous experience includes managing more than $20 million in public
health projects in Africa and the Middle East for the Lions Clubs International
Foundation and tripling programmatic impact as Director of Foundation
Programs and Administration for Zonta International, a global association
of female executives. Susan holds an undergraduate degree in English
from the University of Michigan, a Master's in Public Service Management
from DePaul University and an International MBA from the University of
Bieneman, Director of Financial Advisory Services, BlueOrchard
Jane worked at Citigroup’s investment bank from 1995 to 2007. She
originated and executed private equity financings and advised clients
on debt and equity capital markets transactions and mergers and acquisitions. In
addition, Jane was a senior member of the team that launched Citigroup's
Public Sector Group, which is responsible for the firm's business globally
with public sector clients. Most recently, Jane worked with Women’s
World Banking to establish an equity fund for its network members. Jane
began her career as a commercial loan officer for The Fifth Third Bancorp. She
holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate
School of Management at Northwestern University.
Jane joined BlueOrchard Finance USA, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary
of BlueOrchard Finance, S.A., in June 2008. She is leading BlueOrchard’s
new initiative, Financial Advisory Services, which advises Microfinance
Institutions (MFIs) on financial transactions and issues, and raises
funding for MFIs from investors globally. This initiative was launched
in 2008 to continue BlueOrchard’s strategy of supporting MFIs’ growth
Paul Blyth, Chief Financial Officer, MicroPlace
Paul Blyth is CFO, Financial & Operations Principle, and Head of
Business Development at MicroPlace Inc, an eBay company. For the last
18 months he has headed an innovative team of financial services professionals
creating retail investments that raise capital for microfinance institutions
in some of the world's poorest regions. MicroPlace was founded to provide
opportunities for a new kind of microfinance investor - the average American.
Paul's leadership has increased the company's portfolio to include 81
investment opportunities in 62 countries. Its investor base now includes
seniors, college students, parents, and professionals aged 18 to 98,
meeting the goal of making microfinance an accessible, easy investment
opportunity with competitive rates of return. Under Paul's direction,
MicroPlace has achieved many industry 1st's: he headed the creation of
the 1st ever liquid microfinance security, 1st guaranteed retail microfinance
security, 1st "green" microfinance security, 1st certified "fair
trade" microfinance security and more. He’s particularly proud
of that fact that MicroPlace securities have outperformed all major world
indices by 50+%
Before MicroPlace, Paul spent nearly two decades in finance. Beginning
as an auditor at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, London, he migrated into PwC's
management consulting practice. Paul later led the commercial finance
activities at CHEP Europe (the world’s largest pallet business).
After 5 years, Paul was lured into the world of advertising by Mother
London - the fashionable, cutting edge agency noted for its development
of Bono's (RED) brand, and its work for Amnesty International.
Paul has lived and worked in the UK, Canada, France, India, pan-Europe,
and the US. Born in London, he obtained an undergraduate Honours degree
in Politics & Business and 3 year Chartered Accountancy qualification
in the UK, before moving to the US. Paul now lives in San Francisco.
Brereton, Chief Executive and Lending Officer, ACCION
Jonathan Brereton joined ACCION Chicago in November of 2000 as a Community
Outreach Coordinator through the AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer program.
With a degree in Business and Economics from Wheaton College, he was
responsible for both fundraising and the establishment t of additional
community partnerships. Following his year of service, Jonathan was named
Director of Operations in November of 2001 and was responsible for the
creation and maintenance of relationships with funders, as well as various
operational matters. Jonathan was promoted in October of 2003 to Chief
Operating Officer, and again in October of 2004 to Chief Executive and
Chu, Senior Lecturer in the Initiative on Social Enterprise
of the General Management Group of the Harvard Business School
Mr. Chu is also Managing Director of the IGNIA Fund, an investment firm
based in Monterrey, Mexico, dedicated to investing in commercial enterprises
serving low-income populations in developing countries, which he co-founded
in 2007. He continues to serve as Senior Advisor and a founding
partner of Pegasus Capital, a firm in Buenos Aires dedicated to deploying
equity capital in Latin America, with a portfolio which includes major
companies in Argentina.
Chu teaches the second year elective course Business and the Base
of the Pyramid, developed and taught together with Professor V. Kasturi
Rangan. He is Faculty Co-Chair of the Executive Education program Strategic
Leadership for Microfinance. In the past, he has taught the course Investing
and Managing in Emerging Markets and Effective Leadership of Social Enterprises.
Chu is co-head of Project Antares, a collaboration between HBS and the
Harvard School of Public Health focusing on commercial approaches to
delivering high-impact primary health care to low-income populations
in developing nations. Project Antares is part of the Social Enterprise
program on Global Health and Low Income Populations.
Before Pegasus, as President & CEO of ACCION International, Chu
worked to develop financial services for the working poor as a new segment
of banking capable of outstanding returns. He participated in the founding
of several microcredit financial institutions and regulated banks throughout
Latin America, including Banco Solidario which under his chairmanship
has been the most profitable bank in Bolivia, Mibanco in Peru and Banco
Compartamos, which following its IPO in the Mexican Stock Exchange in
April 2007 has been incorporated as part of the exchange's index.
From 1989 to 1993, as an executive and limited partner in the New York
office of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Chu was one of sixteen professionals
deploying KKR’s $5.7 billion private equity fund and managing an
investment portfolio with aggregate annual revenues in excess of $60
billion. He joined the private equity firm from PACE Industries, a KKR-sponsored
leveraged buyout, where he served as Senior Vice President & CFO.
Previously, he held senior management positions in U.S. corporations
and was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. Chu
currently serves on the boards of Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE), ACCION
International (Emeritus) and is a Trustee of Dartmouth College.
Chu graduated with an A.B.(Honors) from Dartmouth College and received
a M.B.A. with highest distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business
Chu was born in Kunming, China and grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. He
and his wife Victoria Cowling Chu reside in West Newton, MA.
Cons, Director of Research and Project Design, The Goldin
Since 2007, Cons has directed the Institute’s “Improving
Microcredit by Listening to Recipients” initiative, which focuses
on recipient experiences with microcredit in rural, Northern Bangladesh. His
work for the Institute is grounded in community-based research and engagement
strategies. Cons is completing a doctorate in Development Sociology
at Cornell University and in 2006-2007 was a Social Science Research
Council International Dissertation Research Fellow for work on the India-Bangladesh
border. He and colleague Kasia Paprocki are completing a manuscript
on the Goldin Institute’s microcredit research for FoodFirst.
Dadina, Managing Director and Senior Credit Officer, Minlam
Mr. Dadina has more than 20 years of emerging market credit experience. During
this period, he has analyzed, structured and executed a variety of debt
financings across various industries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe,
Latin America and the Middle East. Most recently Mr. Dadina was
a Managing Director in the International Debt Capital Markets group at
Bear Stearns. Prior to Bear Stearns, he worked as a senior transactor
in the Emerging Market Structured Finance groups at MBIA and Fitch Ratings. Mr.
Dadina received his MBA from the University of Chicago, is a CFA Charterholder
and member of the New York Society for Securities Analysts and the Indian
Institute of Chartered Accountants.
L. Darragh, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs for
the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago
Booth School of Business
In addition to teaching the New Venture Lab, co-teaching the Social
Entrepreneurship class and coaching for the New Venture Challenge, Ms.
Darragh recently launched the Global version of the New Venture Challenge
that assists Executive MBA students on the London and Singapore campuses
to start and expand entrepreneurial businesses. She also initiated the
Entrepreneurial Immersion trip series that went to China in 2007 and
will go to India in 2008.
Previously, Darragh was an assistant clinical professor of entrepreneurship
at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Darragh
was a finalist for the Most Outstanding Professor Award in 2004. She
initiated the formation of the Ceres Venture Fund and is former vice
president of the Women's Business Development Center. She served on former
Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne's High Technology Task Force as well.
Darragh was recognized as the winner of the Women's Business Advocate
award for the U.S. Small Business Administration for Illinois and the
Midwest in 2002 and an SBA Financial Services Advocate for the same regions
in 1998. In 2002 Darragh received the Business/Technology/Finance Trailblazer
Award from the Illinois State Treasurer. The Chicago Sun-Times and i-Street
Reporter placed her among the Top 100 People Influencing Technology
in Chicago for 2001, 2002, and 2003.
As she earned a master's degree in planning from the University of Toronto
in 1978 and a bachelor's degree from Queen's University in 1976. Darragh
is a board member of the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center, Illinois IT
Association, ACCION Chicago, and Learning Point Associates.
Ulysses de la Torre,
Director of Research, DistributedCapital Group
DCG is focused on increasing access to wealth opportunity and higher
standards of living for the global majority, accomplished by means of
commercially sustainable economics. The company's first products
serve cross-border capital flows by eliminating currency risk, even where
conventional swaps and forwards are not available or are too expensive. They
further serve central banks and ministries of finance in the complex
goal of maintaining growth and stability in the context of changing liquidity.
Prior to joining Distributed Capital, Ulysses completed a journalism
fellowship at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
(ITAM) in Mexico City, where he pursued a multi-year investigation of
the effects and stresses of Globalization through researching Microfinance
and Remittances throughout Latin America. He received a joint Master's
degree in Journalism and Latin American Studies at New York University
in 2005 while concurrently reporting for the Inter-Press Service News
Agency at the United Nations.
Prior to NYU, Ulysses worked as a financial systems engineer for Wall
Street Systems, Inc. for five years, half of which was in Asia. His
primary responsibilities were implementing Foreign Exchange and Fixed
Income trading floor systems and advising clients on the design and deployment
of software-based risk analysis tools for Emerging Markets trading desks
in London, Moscow, New York, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo. Fluent
in Spanish and Portuguese, Ulysses also spent nearly two years traveling
independently across Latin America before changing careers. He
earned a joint Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business
Administration from the University of Vermont in 1996.
Thomas Derdak, PhD, Founder and Executive Director,
Global Alliance for Africa
Thomas Derdak brings sixteen years of management experience in the creation
and implementation of development programs for countries in sub Sahara
Africa, including Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania, and Uganda. He received his
PhD from the University of Chicago in Philosophy and his B.A. from Butler
University in English Literature and Philosophy.
Dominicé, Executive Director, Symbiotics
Roland Dominicé was appointed executive director of Symbiotics
in 2008, after having been in charge of client relationship and business
development since co-founding the company in 2004. He also worked
for BlueOrchard Finance, SA as their chief financial officer for three
years, as well as for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Geneva in management
consulting, for McKesson in San Francisco in corporate finance, and for
UBS Switzerland in institutional asset management. Roland Dominicé holds
a master’s degree in international relations from the Graduate
Institute in Geneva and a master’s degree in social sciences from
the University of Chicago.
Jesse Fripp, Vice
President, ShoreBank International
Jesse Fripp is based in Washington, DC and leads ShoreBank International's
Global Microfinance Community of Practice as well as managing the MENA
and South Asia regional project portfolios. With nearly fourteen
years of international experience in the Balkans, the Middle East, and
South Asia, Mr. Fripp has designed and managed large-scale development
finance and economic development programs including projects recognized
for their innovations and impact in such forums as the World Bank’s
Global Development Network and elsewhere.
In addition to his economic development experience, Mr. Fripp has designed
and/or overseen Greenfield microfinance institution start-ups in four
countries (Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iraq, and Afghanistan),
including non-bank financial services companies, credit unions, and traditional
MFIs, as well as MFI commercialization/transformation initiatives in
Pakistan and Romania. He has directly managed and/or overseen micro & small
enterprise, energy-efficiency, and housing loan portfolios ranging from
$1 million to $25 million in size, and built operations processes and
professional teams in challenging development and post-conflict environments.
Mr. Fripp holds a Master's in Public Management with a concentration
in International Economic Development from the University of Maryland
at College Park.
Associate, Grameen Foundation
Mike Gabriel is the Asia Regional Product Manager for Grameen Foundation’s
Capital Management & Advisory Center. He brings 10 years of
experience in investment banking and social enterprise development. Previously
he was an Enterprise Development Manager with Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services
Foundation, Inc. in Manila and Chicago where he helped Philippine migrant
workers return home through savings, investment and entrepreneurship
programs. He spent a summer working with Ashoka’s Social
Financial Services initiative during business school. Prior to
that, he spent three years as an analyst with Banc of America Securities’ short-term
finance group helping to execute commercial paper programs for large
multi-nationals. Mike received his MBA from Thunderbird School
of Global Management and his BA in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt
Galbraith, Director of Development and Evaluation, Opportunity
Opportunity Fund is one of the largest microlenders in California. Previously,
she was a strategic development consultant focused on major gifts fundraising,
strategic planning, communications, and financial analysis for a variety
of nonprofits, including Opportunity Fund, The Rockridge Institute, and
the Arthur Ross Gallery. Gwyneth spent five years as a development
director at the University of California, Berkeley, and has also worked
at the University of Chicago and The New Yorker magazine. Gwyneth
holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from UC Berkeley. She
serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Nonprofit and Public
Leadership at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Since its founding in 1995, Opportunity Fund has originated $9.8 million
in loans to small businesses and has invested more than $130 million
into needy communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Opportunity
Fund’s leadership team has received the Skoll Award for Innovation
in Silicon Valley, the Wachovia Impact award, the James Irvine Foundation
Leadership Award and the SBA Financial Services Advocate of the Year. In
addition to the Small Business Loan Program, Opportunity Fund operates
one of the largest matched-savings account programs in the country and
is a leader in providing innovative financing to community real estate
projects in the Bay Area.
Jacob Haar, Managing
Director and Co-Founder, Minlam Asset Management
Since 1997, Mr. Haar has successfully conducted business in emerging
markets and worked with international non-government organizations on
issues of sustainable economic development and human rights. Prior to
co-founding Minlam, Mr. Haar worked with Azeri Star Microfinance, a microfinance
institution in Azerbaijan. Mr. Haar received his M.A. from the University
of Chicago's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, is a Fulbright Scholar
and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with his A.B. from the University
Christoph Kneiding, Consultive Group to Assist
Christoph Kneiding joined CGAP's Market Intelligence team in 2008. Through
Market Intelligence, CGAP provides insight into topics critical to the
microfinance sector such as the impact of the global financial crisis,
developments in access to finance, and trends in market behavior. Previously,
Christoph worked for Citibank, the Boston Consulting Group, and the German
Development Agency. He holds a PhD in Economics from Frankfurt University.
His thesis focused on small business finance in Germany and the UK.
Erin Koch, Designer, IDEO
An innately curious industrial designer, Erin Koch has broad expertise
in topics ranging from healthcare design and design for sustainability
to user-centered product development methodology and design strategy
and planning. Since joining IDEO Chicago in 2005, she has worked on or
led such diverse projects as redesigning the membership experience for
a large labor union, creating a growth strategy and signature spaces
for a 100-plus-member pediatric association, developing a pain-medication
delivery device for patients suffering from chronic pain, and imagining
the workplace of the future for a major multinational networking and
A consummate traveler, Erin has taught design-innovation classes at
the Universidad de los Andes in Columbia, South America, and recently
helped to conduct ethnographic and qualitative research for a new HIV/AIDS
test in Africa with the Kellogg Global Health Initiative and Northwestern
Prior to becoming a designer, Erin spent two years working in emergency
and operating rooms, with cardiology staff, and in various pediatric-care
centers. She has also worked as a freelance industrial designer for a
variety of clients and design firms. Erin holds a BA in Industrial Design
from The California College of Arts in San Francisco, California
Novak, Emerging Markets Consultant
Christian Novak has over 17 years of banking experience with JPMorgan,
ING and Morgan Stanley, mostly working in their credit risk management
and fixed income divisions covering the emerging markets. In addition,
Christian has been in contact with microfinance and economic development
projects for over 10 years: he assisted in the development of one of
the leading MFIs in Argentina (Emprender, formerly FIS) as a member of
the Advisory Board and investor, he co-founded and was a Board member
of two foundations aimed at implementing sustainable development projects
and fostering education (Fundación Cruzada Argentina and Fundación
Makro, respectively), he is a member of the Credit Committee of the Association
Communautaire d'emprunt de Montréal, and he was a member of Morgan
Stanley’s Microfinance Institutions Group, participating in three
groundbreaking transactions that raised in aggregate U$250 million of
debt financing for MFIs globally. Christian is currently an emerging
markets consultant, including microfinance consultancy. He carried
out his studies at the Catholic University of Argentina, where he graduated
as a public accountant and where he also received a bachelor degree in
G. Rajan, Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor
of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
From 2003-06, Prof. Rajan served as the Economic Counselor and Director
of Research at the International Monetary Fund. He is an expert on international
finance and banking, particularly in areas concerning the growth and
development of poor nations.
Among Prof. Rajan's many honors, he won the inaugural Fisher Black Prize
awarded by the American Finance Association in January 2003 as the person
under 40 who has contributed the most to the theory and practice of finance.
He is also the co-author (with Luigi Zingales) of Saving Capitalism
from the Capitalists (Random House, 2003).
After his original professorship at Chicago Booth (1991-96), Rajan served
as the Bertil Daniellson Visiting Professor of Banking and Finance, Stockholm
School of Economics, 1996-97; the Visiting Professor of Finance, Northwestern
University, 1996-97; and the Fischer Black Visiting Professor, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, 2000-01. He earned his MBA in 1987 from the
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and his Ph.D. in 1991 from
Kathleen Robbins, PhD,
Co-Founder, Jatropha Pepinye
Jatropha Pepinye is a biofuels program in Haiti designed to empower
small farmers and address the energy, economic and environment issues
in rural Haiti.
Previously she developed FonkoSel Aktive pa Digicel, a replication of
the Grameen Bank Village Phone program, creating a partnership between
Digicel, the largest cellular provider and Fonkoze, the largest MFI in
Haiti. Prior to that, Dr Robbins was CEO of a cellular company
in the US. Her educational background includes an engineering degree,
MBA and DMin. Her doctorial dissertation was on the impact of wireless
communications in the developing world.
Ruehmer, Co-Founder and Partner, Perfect Point Partners
Perfect Point Partners srl (PPP), is a consulting company with focus
on efficiency and risk management for microfinance and microenterprises,
based in La Paz, Bolivia. Mr. Ruehmer has been involved in Microfinance
since 2001 and worked with over 40 MFIs and organizations in Latin America,
Europe, Africa, and Asia. PPP is known for its pragmatic approach
to operational and risk-related problems and its thorough understanding. Christian
has worked in the financial sector since 1989. His areas of expertise
include risk management, treasury management, investment management and
structured finance. Christian graduated from Hochschule fuer Bankwirtschaft
(HfB) in Frankfurt, Germany in 1995 and is also a Chartered Financial
Analyst (CFA) and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM). Christian is
the founder and president of Proyecto Horizonte Ushpa-Ushpa, a village
development project that supports over 800 children and their families
in Bolivia. The program also offers microenterprise support.
Sengupta, Vice President for Knowledge Exchange, ShoreBank
Urmi Sengupta joined ShoreBank International in 2004 to work with ShoreCap
Exchange as a Program Consultant. Urmi is currently the Vice President
for Knowledge Exchange and is responsible for managing the Knowledge
Exchange Program, which is focused on strengthening partner banks through
banker to banker peer learning mechanisms. Prior to joining the
ShoreBank team, Urmi worked in corporate banking in India and has extensive
small business banking experience. She holds a graduate business
degree with a concentration in finance from the Indian Institute of Management
in Bangalore, India, and a graduate degree in public policy from the
University of Chicago. Urmi also worked with the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Trade
and Investment Division in the summer of 2003.
A. Snyder, Dean of the University of Chicago Booth School
of Business and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Economics at the School
In his role as Dean, Mr. Snyder oversees the overall academic, financial,
and administrative leadership of the school, including its academic programs
in Chicago, London, and Singapore.
During his tenure beginning in July 2001, Mr. Snyder has focused on
strengthening the school's values with the objective of ensuring that
Chicago Booth continues to offer the most challenging academic programs
of any business school in the world. His other main strategic imperative
has been to strengthen the school's relationships with business and alumni
around the world for the dual purposes of (a) increasing opportunities
for Chicago Booth students and alumni, and (b) increasing the school's
influence so that it can continue to help improve business practices,
increase performance, and strengthen the world's market-oriented economies.
As a scholar, Mr. Snyder is interested mainly in industrial organization,
antitrust economics, law and economics, and financial institutions. Mr.
Snyder co-teaches a course, Economic Analysis of Major Policy Issues,
with Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy.
Mr. Snyder received his PhD in economics and an M.A. in public policy
from the University of Chicago. His research develops insights into business
practices, specifically distribution and contracting practices, antitrust
enforcement, and public policy. Before joining Chicago Booth, Mr. Snyder
was Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration at
the University of Virginia's Darden School. He began his academic career
at the University of Michigan Business School.
Dr. Robert S. Spich, Faculty, Global Economics
and Management, Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA
Dr. Spich specializes in international management, negotiations, leadership
and international entrepreneurship. He is a founding faculty member (2000)
of the Principal’s Leadership Program, where he teaches a course
on leadership for teachers on career track to become principals of urban
After earning his first degree in international relations at Lafayette
College, Dr. Spich gained field experience in development projects for
the Peace Corps in Latin America and AID in Southeast Asia. After earning
both his MBA and PhD in management and international business from the
University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Spich was awarded fellowships
from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University as
well as the Fulbright Scholars Program. His Latin American cross cultural
capability has continued to create teaching and consulting opportunities
with both private and academic executive programs in Chile, Peru, Argentina
Dr. Spich is Faculty Program Director of the Center for International
Business Education and Research at the Anderson School. CIBER creates,
supports and runs programs and events to facilitate the internationalization
of management curriculum and research. Dr. Spich has worked with students
teams to develop business and international marketing plans with over
30 international startup companies.
Internationally, Dr. Spich has had the honor to teach in the most distinguished
universities in Latin American including the Pontificia Universidad Catolica
(PUC) and the Universidad de Adolfo Ibanez of Chile, Universidad Austral
(IAE) of Buenos Aires and ESAN of Peru. More recently Dr. Spich has been
invited to participate as consultant and teacher in the building of new
business schools and programs in Central Europe including the USBSP (U.S.
Business School Prague), the PEF/IBSS programs in Graz, Austria. Dr.
Spich continues to research and write about topics which include security
and risk in IB and global leadership development.
Thetford, Program Manager, Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities
Tamra heads FIELD’s MicroTest program. MicroTest is a national
program performance measurement and client outcomes tracking project
for the microenterprise industry. With MicroTest, she oversees
primary data collection and compilation, provides written data analyses
and feedback on data use to MicroTest members, and designs and delivers
trainings related to program performance and client outcomes. Additionally
with FIELD, Ms. Thetford has conducted primary research and presented
findings on the links between microenterprise and the informal economy. Ms.
Thetford has coordinated a project funded by the Ms. Foundation’s
Collaborative Fund for Women’s Economic Development to both assess
the performance of microenterprise agencies and social businesses, and
monitor client-level outcomes. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute,
she was a Managing Associate for a consulting firm focused on international
microenterprise and microfinance. She holds a B.A. in International
Studies from American University.
Lisa G. Thomas,
Vice President of Capacity Building and Operations, ShoreCap Exchange
Ms. Thomas is responsible for assisting in the development and management
of client one-on-one capacity building relationships in Asia and Africa
and oversees all the operations of SCE. She also supports the President
of SCE in fundraising and strategic activities. Prior to joining SCE,
Ms. Thomas was a manager at The Clement Group, a Chicago-based strategy
In 2006, she completed an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School
of Business with concentrations in international business and economics.
Before beginning her MBA, Ms. Thomas worked in investment banking at
Merrill Lynch in New York and distressed debt/equity research at CRT
Capital in Connecticut.
Ms. Thomas holds a BS (Honors) in Finance from the University of Oregon.
Wheelan, PhD, Sr. Lecturer in Public Policy, Harris School
for Public Policy at the University of Chicago
Charles Wheelan teaches several courses on understanding the policy
process for Master’s students. For the 2004-05 academic
year, he was voted Professor of the Year in a Non-Core Course by the
Harris School student body.
In the fall of 2005, Wheelan taught the inaugural International Policy
Practicum (IPP), in which 12 students studied economic reform in India
for an academic term followed by a 10-day trip to Bangalore and Delhi
to meet with economists, politicians, educators, civic leaders, and other
experts. The 2006 IPP examined poverty alleviation and income inequality
in Brazil; Wheelan and students visited Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and Rio
de Janeiro to meet with experts on the topic. The 2007 IPP visited
Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank. During the summer quarter, Wheelan
is a visiting assistant professor of economics at Dartmouth College,
his undergraduate alma mater.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Chicago, Wheelan was
Director of Policy and Communications for Chicago Metropolis 2020, a
business-backed civic group promoting healthy regional growth in the
Chicago area. From 1997 to 2002, Wheelan was the Midwest correspondent
for The Economist. He has written freelance articles for the Chicago
Tribune, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.
Wheelan’s first book, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science,
was published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2002. The bookwas released
in paperback in September 2003 and is now being published in 10 languages,
including Arabic and Hebrew. In 2007, the book was selected by 360 Degrees
of Reading as one of the 360 books that every college bound student should
Wheelan also writes a monthly column for Yahoo! Finance called “The
Naked Economist” that applies basic economic analysis to issues
ranging from health care costs to traffic congestion. He is currently
working on a public policy textbook that will be published by W.W. Norton & Company.
Wheelan holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago,
a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a B.A.
from Dartmouth College.