Chief Executive Officer

Celebrating Leadership Transitions

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Seema Patel is handing the baton to incoming CEO Steve Smith

Under her leadership over the last five years, Seema further positioned GKI as a unique partner in the sustainable development and social impact space – doubling the resources, redesigning GKI’s service lines and programs, and strengthening key relationships. 

I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead the organization and its team of talented and passionate people. Together, we re-engineered our consulting services into an engine for systems innovation; we remixed the technical practices of systems, collaboration, innovation, and networks to create meaningful participant experiences; and we positioned ourselves as a trusted partner in service to the vision and energy of local stakeholders.  I am grateful for all I have learned and gained through this experience. 

Seema Patel

Across diverse geographies and challenges from youth empowerment, agriculture development, and climate resilience, GKI:

  • Conducted 10 participatory systems sensing labs
  • Designed 5 innovation challenges
  • Built 3 learning networks and activated 2 collective action networks
  • Provided strategy support to over 20 social impact organizations
  • Launched 2 systems innovation programs 
  • Packaged our toolkit for systems innovation for practitioners everywhere

Thank you to our supporters, USAID, US State Department, World Bank, MCC, DFAT, FAO, CGIAR, Making Cents, Resonance, DAI, JSI, GAIN, Lutheran World Service, Polaris Project, Heifer International, CARICHAM.

Seema will be greatly missed for her passion for building strong, values-driven teams and challenging how practitioners think about fostering systems change with innovative approaches. We’re excited to see where the next chapter takes her!

Steve Smith is enthusiastic about building from this foundation and finding new ways to sustain GKI’s impact. He brings over 35 years of experience as a senior executive, founding, operating, advising, and investing in diverse businesses in technology, media, energy, life sciences, and financial services. He is excited to bridge his business acumen and experience in sustainable investing to enhance GKI’s impact.

I am honored and excited to join the GKI team: engaged and diverse individuals making meaningful impact. GKI brings a collaborative, multi-stakeholder, locally-led, and systems-informed approach to building innovation platforms that tackle the most important development challenges. I aim to build on this successful approach and find novel ways to access private capital to further enhance and sustain these platforms.

Steve Smith

We’re excited to begin this next chapter with Steve and are grateful for all Seema has done for the organization.

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