Clare Akamanzi, Chief Operating Officer, Rwanda Development Board

Clare Akamanzi Pic

Clare Akamanzi is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), a government institution in charge of accelerating economic growth and development in Rwanda. Prior to this, she was Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Business Operations and Services at RDB, in charge of investment promotion, export promotion, enterprise development and business facilitation through investment climate reform, company registration and environmental clearances. Prior to RDB, Akamanzi was Deputy Director-General of the Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA), a position she held from 2006-2008. She was also Rwanda’s commercial diplomat in London and a trade negotiator in Geneva for the Government of Rwanda at the World Trade Organization. Akamanzi is an international trade and investment lawyer. She attained her law degree in Uganda, and a Master’s in International Trade and Investment Policy in South Africa and the Netherlands.



Frederick Barton, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations


Ambassador Frederick (Rick) Barton of Maine is the Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations and the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Prior to this position, Mr. Barton served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State on Conflict and Stabilization. From 2009-2011 Ambassador Barton served in New York as the U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), working on development, peacebuilding, climate change, and human rights.

Ambassador William M. Bellamy (Ret.), Former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya


Ambassador William M. Bellamy (ret.) is currently the Warburg Professor of International Relations at Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts. From 2008 to mid-2012 he was Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Previously he was a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and served as Senior Vice President of National Defense University. Amb. Bellamy retired from the Foreign Service after a 30-year career in 2007. His last overseas posting was as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya (2003-2006). In Kenya he directed U.S. security programs in the Horn of Africa.

Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau (Ret.), Former Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria


Lt Gen (Rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau CFR PhD. Born on 14 March 1954. Started cadet training at Nigerian Defense Academy in Dec 1974 and commissioned into Nigerian Army Infantry in June 1977. He held several staff, instructional and command appointment, until his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff in August 2008, until his disengagement in September 2010. He holds a BSc Criminal Justice, MA International Relations, MEd Higher Educational Administration, PhD Criminology.

Stevie Hamilton, Foreign Affairs Officer, Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, U.S. Department of State


Mr. Stevie B. Hamilton, Jr. is a Foreign Affairs Officer with the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications at the U.S. Department of State, where he develops and coordinates counterterrorism communications messaging strategies to counter extremist rhetoric of al-Qa’ida, affiliate organizations, and adherents in West Africa. He has extensive experience working on counterterrorism issues at the analytical and operational levels and has advised senior civilian, military, and foreign leaders for the Departments of State, Defense, and Justice, and for the Special Operations Community. He is also currently a Major in the US Air Force Reserves (USAFR) serving as an Air Attaché for Sub-Sahara Africa. Mr. Hamilton holds a BA from Morehouse College and a MALD from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he was an Earhart National Security Fellow.

Darren Kew, Executive Director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development, University of Massachusetts-Boston 


Darren Kew studies the connection between democratic institution building in Africa and the development of political cultures that support democracy, particularly in terms of the role of civil society groups in this development. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development. Darren has worked with the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Preventive Action to provide analysis and blueprints for preventing conflicts in several areas around the world, including Nigeria, Central Africa, and Kosovo. He has also been a consultant to the United Nations, USAID, the US State Department, and to a number of NGOs, including the Carter Center in a 1999 effort by former President Carter to mediate the Niger Delta conflicts.

Margherita Zuin, Political Affairs Officer, Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), UNDPKO


Ms. Margherita Zuin has been working on rule of law and security institutions-related issues for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations at Headquarters, in South Sudan and Darfur since 2008. Her previous experience focused on development, gender and project management for the United Nations in Jordan, Amnesty International Ecuador, the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Ms. Zuin conducted field research on the formal and informal justice systems in Central Somalia. She holds a law degree from the University of Milan, Italy, and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School.


Randall Spalding, Senior Advisor, Carbon Limits


Randall Spalding-Fecher has more than 15 years’ experience in energy and climate change analysis, much of it at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He has special expertise in CDM methodology and project development, energy economics, climate mitigation analysis, and energy efficiency analysis. His experience includes leading the “Impact of CDM” at the High Level Panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue, reviewing and consolidating more than 35 CDM methodologies, as well as serving as a consultant to the UNFCCC. He develops carbon market projects for private sector industry clients, has served as a climate advisor to governments and has led capacity building programs for government, NGOs and the private sector.

Cristina Camara, Head of Planning, Government of Angola Urban Renewal Office

Cristina_CamaraCristina works for the Angolan Government as head of planning at the Cazenga, Sambizanga and Rangel Urban Renewal Office in Luanda. Also a writer and Lev’Arte Movement member, she created a debate program called Sharp Table, which builds public discourse and knowledge around themes such as human rights, climate change, environment, leadership, property rights, housing and citizen participation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a master’s degree in GIS from the Universidade Técnica in Lisbon, Portugal. At MIT, she will focus on the role of community leaders, public participation and local media broadcasting in urban planning.

Cauam Cardoso, PhD Candidate in International Development, MIT

Photo - Cauam Ferreira CardosoCauam Cardoso is a PhD student in International Development at MIT. His research interests lie in the interface between technological change and economic development in emerging countries, with particular emphasis on national innovation systems and the role of appropriate technologies in contemporary development practice. A Brazilian national, Mr. Cardoso has a Master’s in Political Economy from University of Sydney (Australia) and a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering, with qualification in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil).

C.N. Desrosiers, Co-Founder, Qorax Energy


Nicolas coordinates Qorax’s international relationships and co-manages the company’s World Bank grant. Before co-founding Qorax, he consulted with Somaliland’s Ministry of National Planning & Development and taught at Abaarso Tech University. Before coming to Somaliland, he worked in non-profit education and human rights advocacy in Indonesia (where he was on a Fulbright) and Myanmar. Nicolas earned a BA in English from Amherst College and is currently completing a Master in City Planning with a concentration in renewable energy.

Dr. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy


Senior Associate Dean, International Business & Finance and Executive Director for Institute for Business in the Global Context. Bhaskar Chakravorti is the executive director of Fletcher’s innovative Institute for Business in the Global Context and Council on Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME) and a professor of practice in International Business. Prior to Fletcher, he was a Partner of McKinsey & Company and a Distinguished Scholar at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. He also served on the faculty of the Harvard Business School and the Harvard University Center for the Environment.


Rakeb Abebe, Founder and CEO, GAWT International Business


Rakeb Abebe is the founder and Managing Director of GAWT International Business P.L.C, which focus on trading agro-commodities, agro-chemicals, fertilizers and seeds in Ethiopia. She is an entrepreneur who has had a wide array of experience in the business sector worldwide. Prior to founding GAWT, she served as a Project Manager and Financial and Business Analyst at investment banks and financial institutions in the US, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Fannie Mae and NASD. She was also nominated by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper for her outstanding achievements, leadership potential and commitment to making an impact. Rakeb holds a Masters in Management Information Systems and Finance from George Washington University.

Ayodeji O. Balogun, Business and Investment Officer, Africa Exchange Holdings Ltd. (AFEX)


Ayodeji Balogun currently serves as the Business and Investment Officer and Acting Country Representative for AFEX in Nigeria. In addition to developing the company’s new market entry strategy in East and West Africa, Ayodeji doubles as the Product Development Manager, leading value chain development in the Agriculture Sector, and designing physical and derivative contracts for commodities across markets in Africa.
Prior to his role at AFEX, Ayodeji supported several private sector enabling policy initiatives at the Tony Elumelu Foundation including designing the Nigerian National Competitiveness Council and drafting a bill to regulate the non-profit sector in Nigeria. He has also worked as an analyst with Unilever Nigeria Plc. and an associate at Doreo Partners where he contributed to the development of Nigeria’s Agriculture Transformation Plan (in 2011). He is a MBA graduate of the Lagos Business School.

Dr. Bharat Kulkarni, Director, Stalwart Management Consultancy Services


Dr. Bharat Kulkarni is Director of Stalwart Management Consultancy Services, a Dubai consulting firm, working in the field of Agricultural investments, Agricultural Value chain and market microstructures. Bharat has provided advisory to several agribusiness investment projects in Africa and Asia, ranging from Private investors to Governments. The projects Bharat consulted on include establishment of Agro processing parks, Commodity exchanges, Warehouse receipt systems, food processing industries and Commercial farming. Bharat started his career as a commodity trader and then worked for different reputed organizations like MCX India, IFPRI and United Nations Development Program. During his stint with UNDP, he worked on redeveloping the value chain of Coffee and Sesame in Ethiopia. Since 2011, his consulting firm is advising several Agri investment projects. He has a PhD in Commodity Markets and has written two books, one on Agri risk Management and another on Commodity Markets and Derivatives.


Ambassador Leslie Rowe, Acting Special Representative, Office of Global Health Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State


Ambassador Leslie Rowe serves as Acting Special Representative in the Office of Global Health Diplomacy. In this role, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office, fulfilling the mission of the office to support ambassadors as they engage in diplomatic efforts to advance US global health goals and help countries eventually own their health care response. As a Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Rowe has served in a number of positions at posts throughout the globe. From 2010 to 2012, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique, representing the Embassy on issues relating to global health, regional security, democracy and good governance, food security, and the promotion of bilateral trade. Ambassador Rowe holds a B.A. from Washington State University, an M.A. from the Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a M.Ed. from Northeastern University. She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she was Director of the International Office at Tufts University.

Richard Wamai, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Northeastern University

Richard G Wamai Picture

Richard G. Wamai, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of public health at Northeastern University Department of African American Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in international health and development from the University of Helsinki Finland (2004). Prior to joining Northeastern Wamai was a research fellow in the Takemi Program in International Health at the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to that Wamai was a research associate at Oxford University Department of Social Policy. Wamai has previously worked in a number of institutions including the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Public Policy and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the World Bank, the London School of Economics, the Nordic-Africa Institute in Sweden, and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Wamai conducts research in the areas of HIV/AIDS, neglected and infectious tropical diseases (NTDs) and health systems and policy.

Julia Maxwell, Global Programs Manager, Containers 2 Clinics


Julia Maxwell is a public health professional with more than five years of experience both domestically and abroad. After graduating from The George Washington University in 2003, she served as a public health Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa, from 2004 – 2006 where she focused her service on issues of sexual and reproductive health. Upon returning from the Peace Corps, Julia worked at City Year Boston as part of the Recruitment Department, recruiting 140 Corps Members annually to serve in the Boston Public Schools as teachers, tutors, and mentors. In 2009 Julia received her MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Upon completion of graduate school, she served as a Prevention Coordinator for The MENTOR Initiative in post-earthquake Haiti, managing a large scale dengue fever prevention campaign in six different earthquake affected areas of Port-au-Prince. She then worked at Massachusetts General Hospital as a Project Coordinator for the Medical Practice Evaluation Center, an HIV cost-effectiveness research group. Julia is currently the Global Programs Manager at Containers2Clinics, which is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Namibia to provide free healthcare, particularly to pregnant women and children.

John Pollock, Global Technical Leader, Management Science for Health (MSH)

John Pollock

John Pollock, Senior Fellow, Health Reform and Financing, MSH, serves with the MSH Country Presence Unit and Technical Centers to develop and deliver the MSH strategy for improved health systems and to build capacity to execute targeted efforts to sustain improved health outcomes. He maintains and disseminates state of the art practices in health delivery systems within new and current MSH projects. He also provides leadership for maintaining the global network of MSH professionals and documentation of successful and innovative tools to improve health service delivery. He has formerly served MSH as Acting Vice President for the Center for Health Services, Global Technical Lead for Health Delivery and Finance Systems and as MSH Director of Human Resources and Administration. Before joining MSH, Mr. Pollock served as Assistant Director of the Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University. Mr. Pollock earned a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Mūthoni Ngatia, Assistant Professor of Economics, Tufts University

Muthoni Ngai_moderatorMũthoni Ngatia is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tufts University. Prior to joining Tufts University in 2013 she was a post-doctoral researcher with MIT’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Her research interests are in development economics and applied microeconomics. Her work includes the design and analysis of a randomized field experiment in Malawi, showing that the stigma of being identified with HIV matters for individuals’ decision to get tested and that such stigma has negative externalities in social networks. In other research, Mũthoni and co-authors have evaluated the impact of educational interventions reducing out-of-pocket expenditures in poor communities in Kenya. Mũthoni holds a BA in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard University and a PhD in Economics from Yale University.