Accion's board of directors brings to the organization diverse experience from both the private and public sectors, including commercial and investment banking, corporate and nonprofit management, and international community development.
Diana Taylor is currently Vice Chair of Solera Capital LLC. She previously served as managing director at Wolfensohn Fund Management L.P., a strategic consulting and investment firm. Prior to Wolfensohn, she served as New York State superintendent of banks and chairwoman of the New York State Banking Board. Before her government service, she worked in the private sector as vice president for KeySpan Energy and as an investment banker with Smith Barney, Lehman Brothers and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. Diana serves on the boards of Citigroup, Brookfield Asset Management and Sotheby's. She also serves on several charitable boards. She chairs the boards of Accion and Hudson River Park Trust. Other board memberships include the New York Women’s Foundation, the YMCA of Greater New York, Dartmouth College, the Mailman School of Public Health, the International Women's Health Coalition, and the Mayo Clinic. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of New York. She earned her AB from Dartmouth College, her MBA from the Columbia School of Business, and her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia.
Henry Miller has more than two decades of experience in communications and public affairs, managing the reputations, visibility and public policy issues of corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, both domestically and internationally. In addition, Mr. Miller has served as a managing director at Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart (now Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide), one of the top ten public relations firms in the world; as CEO of New York ’92, the nonpartisan nonprofit organization created to manage New York City’s hosting of the 1992 Democratic National Convention; and as deputy chief administrative officer of the City of Atlanta, responsible for external affairs. Mr. Miller holds MA and BA degrees in sociology from the University of Virginia.
Titus Brenninkmeijer is a social entrepreneur whose work has focused on assisting global entrepreneurs to grow sustainable businesses through the development of commercially viable applications. Mr. Brenninkmeijer’s experience in international retail allows him to leverage deep knowledge of consumer behavior and trends to help his partners successfully target current and future consumer needs. Before entering the solar energy industry in 2003, he spent twenty-five years in the retail industry in the UK, Germany, Spain, Brazil and the US. In 2005, Mr. Brenninkmeijer founded Solgenix, an investment company with a focus on privately held solar energy companies in developed as well as emerging markets. He is also a co-founding member and sits on the steering committee of the REDCO Alliance (Rural Energy Delivery Companies), a group of 13 solar energy entrepreneurs from Latin America, Africa and Asia. Mr. Brenninkmeijer serves as chairman of the Energy Access Foundation, which he co-founded in 2006. The EAF is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing support and funding for innovation in clean energy delivery in the rural marketplace in emerging markets. He is a board member and partner of Phatenergy, a company focused on the installation of solar systems in Southern California, and Pod Generating Group, a Canadian company installing utility-scale solar systems in Canada and the US. He is a board member of TechnoServe, a nonprofit that works with agricultural entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Mr. Brenninkmeijer holds a BA from Boston College and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, and resides with his family in a solar-powered home in Pasadena, California.
Tara Kenney is a managing director for Deutsche Asset Management, Inc., and has acted as a portfolio manager for Scudder's Latin American equity product for over seven years. Ms. Kenney's group has approximately US $1.5 billion under management in Latin America. In March of 2001, she was made a co-manager of Scudder's Emerging Markets equity products. Prior to joining Scudder, Ms. Kenney was employed by Bankers Trust in their Latin America Merchant Bank from 1987 to 1994. She was involved with the firm’s corporate finance activities in the Andean region, including mergers and acquisitions and capital markets activities. Ms. Kenney earned an MBA in finance from New York University's Stern School of Business in 1991. She holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame and did post-graduate work in economics at the Pontifica Universidad Catolica in Peru.
Paul Tregidgo is a managing director of Credit Suisse in the investment banking division, based in New York. He is vice chairman – debt capital markets, responsible for the international DCM business, across investment grade and emerging markets globally. Mr. Tregidgo also leads the firm's global government client segment, which is charged with the integrated delivery of the firm's expertise and capabilities to government clients worldwide, and is a member of the firm's Emerging Markets Council. Previously, he was head of global and emerging debt capital markets at Credit Suisse, and, from 1995–2000, head of Latin American debt capital markets. During his career at Credit Suisse, Mr. Tregidgo has served on the global investment banking and fixed income operating committees. Mr. Tregidgo has originated and executed numerous groundbreaking financings in the international capital markets for European, Asia–Pacific and Latin American Governments, agencies, banks and corporations. In particular, in the emerging markets, over the last 20 years Mr. Tregidgo has been active with borrowers around the world opening new markets as this dynamic sector has developed. Prior to joining Credit Suisse First Boston (as then was) in London in 1985, Mr. Tregidgo practiced international financial law in London and Hong Kong. Mr. Tregidgo obtained his law degree from Downing College Cambridge. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.
Thomas Barry is the president and chief executive officer of Zephyr Management, L.P., an investment management company he founded in 1994. Zephyr sponsors 13 specialized investment funds with approximately US $2 billion in committed capital. Zephyr’s private equity funds invest in Mexico, Africa (Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management Company) and India, and in debt of housing and healthcare facilities in the U.S. Zephyr’s marketable securities funds invest in stock markets of developing countries. Prior to founding Zephyr, Mr. Barry was president and CEO of Rockefeller & Co., the investment management arm of the Rockefeller family, from 1983 to 1993. Previously, Mr. Barry was employed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., from 1969 to 1982. Mr. Barry received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1969 and an undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1966, where he majored in Latin American studies. He is a chartered financial analyst. Mr. Barry is active in numerous nonprofit institutions. Currently, he serves as a director/ trustee of TechnoServe, Trickle-Up and the Kucetekela Foundation. He was a trustee of Princeton-in-Africa from 2004 to 2007.
Nancy Birdsall is the founding president of the Center for Global Development. Prior to launching the center, Dr. Birdsall served for three years as senior associate and director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her work at Carnegie focused on issues of globalization and inequality, as well as on the reform of the international financial institutions. From 1993 to 1998, Dr. Birdsall was executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank, the largest of the regional development banks, where she oversaw a US $30 billion public and private loan portfolio. Before joining the Inter-American Development Bank, she spent 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank, most recently as director of the Policy Research Department. Dr. Birdsall is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books and over 100 articles in scholarly journals and monographs, published in English and Spanish. Shorter pieces of her writing have appeared in dozens of U.S. and Latin American newspapers and periodicals. Dr. Birdsall holds a PhD from Yale University, a master's from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a BA from Newton College of the Sacred Heart.
Roberto Dañino is a Peruvian attorney who currently serves as deputy chairman of Hochschild Mining PLC, a gold and silver producer listed in London, and chairman of Fosfatos del Pacífico, listed in Lima. He also serves as independent director in the boards of various corporations and non-profits in Peru, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. He has practiced as an international corporate lawyer for more than 30 years, most recently as a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering LLP, now Wilmer Hale LLP, where he headed the Latin American Practice. In the public sector, he served as prime minister of Peru, ambassador of Peru to the United States and, early in his career, as secretary general of economy, finance and trade. In the multilateral world, he was the founding general counsel of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the private sector affiliate of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. He later served as senior vice president and general counsel of the World Bank Group and as secretary general of ICSID, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Catholic University of Peru. He is married to Pauline Beck, and they have four sons.
Joseph Hill is currently a managing director and the head of legal and compliance for Latin America and Iberia at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager. Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Hill served as the principal lawyer for Latin America at MetLife for six years and J.P. Morgan Chase for 12 years. Previously, Mr. Hill was an associate at Mayer Brown in New York and Uría & Menéndez in Spain. He is admitted to practice in both jurisdictions. He is a member of the New York City Bar Association, where he has served on the Executive Committee and chaired the Committee on Inter-American Affairs. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a BA, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Fordham University, a JD from Columbia Law School and MBA degrees from Columbia and London Business Schools. Mr. Hill is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Ron Hoge is a venture advisor for New Enterprise Associates and serves as a director and consultant to several clean tech startups in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Engines, Inc. a new ultra efficient, low emission internal combustion engine company. Mr. Hoge has over 40 years of business experience with executive leadership roles in seven different companies on three continents from Fortune 500 firms to venture-backed startups. He was president of Cummins Brasil S.A, president and chief executive officer of Onan Corporation (now Cummins Power Generation), president and chief executive of Magnetek, and president of a $1.5 billion aerospace division of Allied Signal. Since 2000, he has focused his leadership efforts on a variety of venture-backed startups. Mr. Hoge has served on a dozen public and non-profit boards over the years. In the non-profit world, he is currently a trustee at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and a trustee of the EARTH University Foundation. Mr. Hoge has a BA in mathematics from Amherst College and an MBA in marketing from Stanford University. He speaks Portuguese from his many years living in Brazil.
Barbara Lucas is a securities and banking lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in law, business and government. A former partner and chairperson of the banking department at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Ms. Lucas has represented major U.S. and foreign banks, broker-dealers, primary dealers, derivatives companies and hedge funds on a wide range of banking, securities, corporate, compliance and governance issues. Prior to joining Cadwalader, she was general counsel to what was then known as Citicorp's Investment Bank, with responsibility for oversight of all legal and compliance functions in Citi's wholesale securities, commodities, derivatives, structured finance and foreign currency businesses in the U.S. and OECD countries. She also served as chief counsel to the CFTC's Division of Enforcement and director of its Office of Policy Review, as well as special counsel to the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, in charge of its Corporate Governance Task Force and various regulatory initiatives, including actions culminating in passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A pioneer in the derivatives business and a long-time adviser to all types of financial services companies, she is the author of numerous articles appearing in a wide range of publications. Ms. Lucas received her undergraduate degree in English from Cornell University and her JD from the Washington College of Law at American University.
Elizabeth provides a broad range of financial and regulatory advisory services to clients in the United States and Europe, including assistance with matters related to safety and soundness, risk management, corporate governance, and capital markets. Elizabeth joined Promontory after serving as the Superintendent of Banks of the State of New York, where she was responsible for supervision of some of the world’s largest institutions and most of the foreign banks operating in the United States, as well as community banks, mortgage companies, and the overseas banking activities of investment banks and insurance companies. All told, she oversaw financial institutions representing $2 trillion in assets. She is well recognized for her safety and soundness and risk management credentials. As Superintendent, she introduced capital markets specialists to the examination teams, established targeted hedge fund reviews, opened a Tokyo office, and helped banks and securities firms comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the USA PATRIOT Act. In her early days as Superintendent, Elizabeth directed a $22 billion banker’s bank, following its liquidity problems. After the 9/11 attacks, she worked with banks, securities firms, and the Federal Reserve to get the U.S. markets reopened and functioning properly. She subsequently worked with federal regulators and top law enforcement officials to create mechanisms to help guard against the use of the U.S. banking system for financial terrorism. Elizabeth served as the chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and as a member of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). She was an instructor on corporate governance at the Financial Stability institute at the Bank for International Settlements. She also worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs from 1985 to 1995. Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Arts at Boston University and received a scholarship from the German government to the Common Market Program at the Institute of European Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany.
Michael Miebach is chief product officer for MasterCard. In this role, he leads the development, commercialization and management of the company’s global core products offerings, which include consumer credit and debit, commercial, prepaid and loyalty solutions. Mr. Miebach is also a member of the company’s Management Committee. Prior to assuming this role in January 2016, Mr. Miebach was president of the company’s Middle East and Africa region, focused on driving the evolution of payments and delivering increased value to MasterCard stakeholders. He joined MasterCard in 2010 from Barclays Bank PLC, where he was the managing director for Middle East and North Africa, responsible for the bank’s corporate, commercial and consumer business in the region. He also served as managing director for Barclays Africa. Prior to Barclays, Mr. Miebach held several senior-level positions over 13 years at Citibank in Germany, Austria, UK and Turkey. His experience spanned cards and consumer finance, corporate and investment banking, operations and financial control. He is a member of the Accion board of directors, providing insight and guidance to the organization as it works to support the two billion adults across the world lacking access to formal financial services. Mr. Miebach also is a member of the G-20Y Association Advisory Board. Mr. Miebach holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Passau in Germany.
Raza Dean is a private investor and Board member. Mr. Dean has over fifteen years of experience in commercial banking and worked primarily for Citibank and BankBoston. His international banking exposure includes six years in Saudi Arabia, two years in Bahrain, and two years in Greece. His banking expertise was principally in commercial lending to SMEs in the Middle East and in the Greater Boston area. He also worked in treasury and marketing. After his time in institutional banking, Mr. Dean spent more than seven years as an independent turnaround consultant helping revitalize distressed manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the US and Europe. As part of these turnarounds, he frequently led efforts in balance sheet repair including capital raising and debt restructuring. Mr. Dean has been an advisor to investment banks based in Saudi Arabia and Oman. In this role he assisted US and European firms in identifying local partners and establishing strategic relationships in major Middle East markets. Mr. Dean served for seven years on the board of Boston Retail Products, a middle market manufacturer and distributor based in the Boston area. He was also a member for six years of the supervisory board of Boston Retail Products BV, an affiliated Dutch distributor with offices in Holland, France, Germany, and the UK. The latter role included a time as acting COO and as a trustee of the company's employee pension plan. In the NGO and arts world, Mr. Dean is a member of the Collections Committee of the Harvard University Art Museums. He has also served on the boards of several Boston based non-profit institutions including WorldBoston (a World Affairs Council affiliate), The Boston Classical Orchestra, and the Shattuck Shelter for the Homeless. At present, Mr. Dean is a 10-year member of the boards of Fifield Fabrics, a Boston-based middle market distribution company, and Fifield Asia, a Chinese affiliate. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Business School.
Nick Talwar is Amazon's executive responsible for leading the company's global expansion into the lending industry, leveraging the Company’s relationships with 2.5MM businesses and 250MM consumers to serve them in ways the traditional financial services industry can’t. He previously led Visa's credit card business in North America and spent several years at Citi, with his last role as Country Manager for Citibank in Sweden, a digital bank in the market. Mr. Talwar began his professional career at the management consulting firm Bain & Company, and worked at Schwab Bank, where he was a founding director of the online bank and ran the liabilities business. Mr. Talwar has a personal interest in microfinance and serves as a board member of Accion USA. He has also served on the board of MYC4, as an adviser to Kiva and worked as the Chief Revenue Officer of Prosper, an online peer-to-peer lender.Mr. Mr. Talwar has lived and worked internationally for more than twenty years across Europe, Asia and Latin America; and has travelled extensively, having visited over 70 countries. He was elected into the 2013 class of Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. He serves on the advisory board of the National Outdoor Leadership School and is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Talwar has a BS in International Politics from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
Michael Chu is the co-founder and managing director of Ignia, an investment firm, and a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School, joining the Initiative on Social Enterprises. Previously, Mr. Chu was president and CEO of Accion for six years. Prior to joining the staff, he served on the Board of Accion since 1989. Mr. Chu has extensive private-sector experience and serves on the board of various private companies. He graduated with an AB from Dartmouth College and received an MBA with highest distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School.
Robert Helander is currently managing partner at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler. From 1965 to 1976 he worked for International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC), where he served as group vice president, general counsel, and president and director of several companies associated with IBEC. Mr. Helander is affiliated with a number of organizations with international interest, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Fund for Multinational Management Education. Mr. Helander is also director of the Pan American Society, the Fundacion San Martin de Porres, the Americas Society and the International Center.Mr. Helander graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Law School.
Daniel Martin is an associate professor at Pace University in New York. He was formerly the president and COO of Milestone Scientific and the president and CEO of E-Z-EM Corporation. Prior to E-Z-EM, Mr. Martin was the president of Sterling Latina and Sterling Europe, with Sterling Drug, Inc. in New York. Before that he also was president and 50 percent owner of the Howland Martin Corporation in New York. Mr. Martin is a board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Colombia and Peru, as well as the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Peru. Mr. Martin received a BA in economics from Cornell University and an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Rodríguez Arregui is the founder and chief executive of Ignia, an enterprise building investment firm based in Monterrey, Mexico, focused on investing in and developing commercial enterprises serving the base of the socio-economic pyramid. Formerly, he served as CFO of Vitro, one of the largest glass manufacturers in the world, and of Grupo Salinas’ retail arm, Elektra. He is one of the founders of Banco Azteca, among the two largest banks in Mexico in terms of coverage, and also worked at Accion. Mr. Rodríguez Arregui sits on the boards of Banco Compartamos, an Accion partner microfinance institution; Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; LASPAU; IMEF (Mexican Institute for Finance Executives); and UNIDOS Lo Lograremos, A.C., a Mexican nonprofit dedicated to the social integration of mentally and physically disabled persons, where he also serves as chair. Mr. Rodríguez Arregui holds a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. in economics from the Instituto Technológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). In 2005, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
John Scott is a retired corporate vice president of CPC International, where he was employed for forty years. While there, he was responsible for the company’s capital expenditures as well as the coordination of its computer systems worldwide. Earlier, he managed businesses for the company in many Latin American countries. Mr. Scott is a graduate of Princeton University.
Nancy Truitt is senior advisor to the Tinker Foundation Inc. and president of Truitt Enterprises Inc., a development consulting company. Ms. Truitt has more than 35 years of experience in economic and political policy issues in the developing world, working with both multinational corporations and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Truitt received a BA from Stanford University and an MBA in management and international business from New York University. She serves as chair of the Board of the Collaborative Arts Project 21 and as a director of the Yorktown Land Trust.
Sean Foote has been a venture capitalist investing in early stage companies since 1998. He was most recently a Managing Director at Labrador Ventures, investors in more than 100 technology companies including Hotmail and Pandora. Before venture investing, Sean was a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group, working in a wide range of industries such as telecom, computers, healthcare, banking, and automotive on topics ranging from strategic alliances to Internet strategies. Sean also worked as a systems engineer for AT&T Bell Laboratories, developing artificial intelligence systems for testing the most complicated telecommunications networks. Philanthropically interested in education, social investment and microfinance, Sean is founder of Community Promise, an educational focused nonprofit. He is on the boards of directors of Freedom From Hunger and Silicon Valley Microfinance Network, and is the co-founder of Toniic, an angel investor group for impact investors, and Village Capital, a combination of YPO style entrepreneur support and business plan competition style equity investment. Sean is also on the Center for Financial Inclusion Faculty Council and the Frontier Investments Advisory Council. Sean is on the Professional Faculty of the University of California's Haas School of Business. He teaches Venture Capital and Private Equity as well as the Ashoka Innovation award winning Microfinance Simulcast, which is broadcast in real time to more than 75 business schools around the country. He has also taught classes on entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan's Business School, University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Sean received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri Rolla (1988), and his MBA from the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business (1993), where he received the Shermett Award granted to the top 3% of students. He has been on the US National Amateur Triathlon Team and is a singer songwriter (www.myspace.com/seanfoote). For random blog entries, you can visit his blog at http://seanfoote.wordpress.com.