Team

We are a team of systems strategists, facilitators, partnership builders, network managers, data analysts, and innovation managers that bring a systems perspective to conversations, strategies, and ideas that have the potential to shift stakeholder perspectives and catalyze system change. Working together, we bring valuable systemic insights into the practical reality of collaborative decision-making, problem-solving innovation, and learning.

Steve Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Steve joined GKI as CEO in August 2023.  He brings over 35 years of experience as a senior executive, founding, operating, advising, and investing in diverse initiatives in technology, media, energy, life sciences, and financial services across the globe. He is excited to bridge his business acumen and experience in sustainable investing to enhance GKI’s impact.

Steve began his journey in venture operations at GE and later Ritchie Capital, Global Technology Investments, and Pegasus Capital. For the past several years, Steve has continued to work with dozens of early-stage companies as an advisor on capital raise and business development initiatives. His early professional years were spent in strategy consulting, where he worked with Booz Allen in New York, Dallas and Singapore.

Throughout his career, Steve has supported global development activities including aquaculture in the USA and Africa; financial inclusion in Indonesia, Mexico and Poland; distributed energy in Africa and the Middle East; water access in Mumbai; off-grid lighting with Light a Billion Lives in India; and malaria mitigation technologies with the Fund for the Global Good.

In his new role at GKI, Steve seeks novel ways to leverage private capital to scale and sustain GKI’s systems-informed innovation platforms which need to balance global goals and solutions with locally determined strategy, priority and implementation.

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Staff

Alycia Ikegami

Manager

Natalia Oyola-Sepulveda

Senior Manager

Boris Ristovski

Systems Data Adviser

Gabrielle Rivera

Manager

Megan McGlynn Scanlon

Chief Operating Officer

Practitioner Community

Abir Ahmed Chowdhury

Engagement Manager

Eleonora Corsini

Evaluation Expert

Judith Mong’eri

Network Manager

Whitney Pyles Adams

Expert Learning Facilitator

Mashrik Farhan

Project Consultant

Ilena Paltzer

Director

Mashiat Chowdhury

Innovation Manager

Sumaiya Ferdous

Project Consultant

Jacey Spratt

Expert Facilitator

Monica Cuneo

Network Facilitator

Brendon Johnson

Engagement Designer & Facilitator

Jenn Hrebik

Financial Director

Robin Chowdhury

Strategic Partnerships Builder

Board of Directors

David Ferguson runs a boutique consultancy that operates at the intersection of international development, creating evidence of what works, and building partnerships to support innovative, collaborative programs to solve complex challenges.

He was the Director of the Center for Development Innovation in the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID from its inception until 2018. He was one of the leaders of institutional change at USAID. The Center for Development Innovation created both directed and open innovation approaches, many involving a consortium of donors, to sourcing and accelerating solutions that have the potential to be transformative in bettering the lives of millions of people. As a leader of the International Development Innovation Alliance, an alliance of the heads of innovation at a dozen large donors and foundations, he facilitated partnerships that accomplished more than would have been possible otherwise. Before joining USAID, he worked on international development at the nexus of development, technology, and the private sector. His first career was 27 years at AT&T where he created and ran AT&T’s Professional Services Division, developing it into a US$200M profitable entity. He was based in Hong Kong for seven years and focused on the developing markets of China, India, and Indonesia, for telecommunications investment opportunities. He built seven joint ventures during this period. He began his career with AT&T at Bell Labs as a member of technical staff.

Mr. Ferguson holds a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

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