Joy Akapa

Joy Akapa is a dynamic young lady dedicated to achieving the best results in any given situation. She holds a degree in Accounting from the Lagos State University in Nigeria. In 2008, she qualified as a chartered accountant under the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and has practiced her profession in three different companies including service oriented organizations. She is presently the financial Manager for Ashoka Anglophone West Africa.

Mbali Gushu

Mbali Gushu (Zondi) was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, on the East Coast of South Africa. She was selected to be a part of the inaugural class of the African Leadership Academy for outstanding leadership potential and academic promise. She attended Barnard College of Columbia University in New York studying Economics. Mbali has worked in the media industry abroad at NBC Universal and as a writer for business lifestyle magazine, DESTINY. She believes in the transformative power of social innovation and knows this will make great strides to positively developing the African continent.

Ndeye Binta Houma

Après avoir démissionné d’un poste dans le secteur privé où elle ne se sentait pas dans son milieu, elle intègre l’équipe d’Ashoka Sahel de Dakar en 2004 pour un stage de 06 mois. Ce premier contact avec le secteur social la séduit.  En septembre 2005, elle est rappelée par le bureau Ashoka Washington pour assurer l’intérim des postes laissés vacants par la représentante régionale et l’assistante de programme. Pendant un an, elle assurera la survie du bureau et coordonnera les activités du Fellowship. En septembre 2006, elle est recrutée officiellement comme Assistante de Programme.

Sanjana Janardhanan

Sanjana has been working with Ashoka for the last four years, where she was instrumental in launching the Ashoka Changemaker Schools network in South Asia. With a broad-based knowledge and understanding on the role of ‘Changemaker Institutions’ in building children up for success in the 21st century, Sanjana hopes to see more institutions building ecosystems where Everyone can be a Changemaker. From 2016, Sanjana has been based out of the Johannesburg office, and has recently transitioned into managing Venture and Fellowship in Southern Africa.

Josephine Nzerem

Josephine Nzerem is a Social Entrepreneur who was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2002 for her innovative work in the protection of women from disinheritance and other socio-economic abuses. In 2004 she received an award from the Junior Chambers International as the outstanding young person for the year, in the area of contribution to children, world peace and/or human rights. Josephine believes that women’s human rights must be recognized and upheld at all times. In 2011, she became the Regional Director of Anglophone West Africa.

Adaoha Onyebuchi

Adaoha Onyebuchi is an Entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Estate Management from the University of Lagos. In 2012 she joined Ashoka Anglophone West Africa as a volunteer, working as an Administrator and assisting in the search and selection of system changing social entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Ashoka she worked as an Estate Surveyor, maintaining High class Facilities and connecting prospective buyers to stakeholders. In 2014 she became a full staff with Ashoka, working as the Frame-Work Change leader.

Vincent Otieno Odhiambo

Vincent is the founder of Informed Mashinani, a Youth Serving social enterprise working with young people to solidify their role in areas of leadership, policy influencing and socioeconomic development. Some of the sectors he has worked in include education where he developed a leadership and life skills program for beneficiaries of a scholarship program he was managing and in social service where he led the development of a model exit plan for children in charitable children institutions amongst other initiatives.

Stéphanie Schmidt

Stéphanie joined Ashoka Africa Leadership team since September 2017, after 13 years with Ashoka on different continents: at the Global Headquarters in the US, Mexico City and Paris. Stephanie is leading the launch of the “Changemaker Company” initiative in Africa to create more bridges between the corporate world and social entrepreneurs and engage businesses in developing their full changemaker potential. Stéphanie is also an international evaluator for the selection of new Ashoka Fellows and a board member of Ashoka Romania.

Kpare Tchanlandjou

Très impliqué dans les mouvements associatifs comme CliMates, Together2030, MAJ, SIFE, JCI, notamment AIESEC qu’il intègre en 2009, pour être le directeur pays de 2011-2012. Un stage de 03 mois en 2009 au Nigéria, dans le cadre des programmes de stages de AIESEC, lui a permis de mieux comprendre l’entrepreneuriat. Dès son retour, il devient membre actif et travail à la promotion de l'entrepreneuriat au sein de AIESEC. En 2010, il découvre l'entrepreneuriat social et s’y passionne. Ce sera le début d’une collaboration avec ASHOKA.

Peris Wakesho

Born and brought up in the Coastal town of Mombasa in Kenya, where not many young girls went past primary school. Peris knew from a young age that she had to change that, by being a role model to other girls and youth in her home town and create opportunities for others to also succeed. She informally taught neighborhood children while still in primary school and led many other ventures. Currently she runs a Public Benefit Organization, Asilia Africa focused on improving Reproductive Health Services for marginalized and vulnerable women as part of reducing maternal morbidity and mortality.

Latin America

Liliana Agudo

Liliana inició su carrera como docente en escuelas carenciadas de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires.  Con posterioridad se desempeñó como Secretaria de un Embajador de la República Argentina.  En el año 1994, ingresó como asistente ejecutiva del capítulo Argentino- Uruguayo del Consejo Empresario de América Latina, asociación que nuclea a destacados hombres de negocios de la región. Actualmente ocupa el cargo de coordinadora en la misma entidad y es miembro del equipo de trabajo de Ashoka, colaborando con tareas administrativas y de soporte en el desarrollo de los programas.

Stephanie Haapalainen Ambar

Formada em Estudos Globais e de Paz, teve um trajetória em diversos projetos socioambientais, como o "Composta São Paulo", e em educação colaborativa entre diferentes culturas e no apoio a sobreviventes de violência sexual. Voluntaria em iniciativas educacionais e de agroecologia. Atualmente, é Articuladora de Redes do Changemakers da Ashoka, promovendo conexões entre empreendedores sociais e oportunidades do programa.

Flavio Bassi

Flavio Bassi was born in Brazil and grew up in Algeria. He has degrees in Biological Sciences, Public Health and Social Anthropology from the University of Sao Paulo and Université Paris XIII. After taking part of several social movements in Brazil in the fields of land and environment, he founded, in 2002, the CSO Ocareté ( to work closely with indigenous peoples in Brazil's Amazon, among other ethnic groups. For the past 5 years, Flavio has worked for Ashoka in Brazil and currently leads its operations in Southern Africa.

Maria Jose Cespedes

María José Céspedes leads the Venture and Fellowship initiatives for Ashoka Mexico and Central America, where we identify, select and support leading social entrepreneurs in the region. Before joining Ashoka, María José was executive director at Sanando Heridas A.C., a CSO focused on providing health and education solutions to indigenous communities in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico; and obtained a Master of Development Studies at the University of Sydney, as an Australian Leadership Award fellow.

Ana Carolina Corbelle

Ana Carolina es Licenciada en Relaciones Públicas (Universidad Argentina de la Empresa). Tiene un Posgrado en Organizaciones Sin Fines de Lucro (Universidad San Andrés/Torcuato Di Tella). Se formó como Coach Ontológico(Consultora ALAS). Es Co-fundadora de SOY más que un trabajo, emprendimiento que acompaña a quienes están en una búsqueda o cambio laboral. Durante 5 años coordinó a los Voluntarios de la Fundación Aiken, organización social, que acompaña a niños y adolescentes en duelo.

Mirella Domenich

Mirella Domenich

A Brazilian journalist by training, Mirella has created multiple ventures in her home country as well as outside Brazil. Inspired by her work on reporting elections in Africa for global news media channels, she co-founded Minibus Media, a participatory journalism initiative for local citizens to produce and share their own news. As an intrapreneur, Mirella has worked for the main media outlets in Brazil and for several citizen organizations, including Ashoka Fellow organization Redes da Maré and streetfootballworld.

Bárbara Teo Domínguez Nagel

Periodista de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, recién egresada formó parte del equipo de Ashoka Chile el año 2013. Desde entonces, ha coordinado y gestionado las iniciativas de Búsqueda y selección de Emprendedores Sociales, Fellowship, Comunicaciones y desde el año 2015 asumió el rol de encontrar nuevas Escuelas Transformadoras chilenas para unir a la red de Changemaker Schools internacional de Ashoka. Desde el año 2014 coordina el espacio para niños del Festival Internacional de Innovación Social (FiiS Niños).

Maria Fonseca

María es Licenciada en Psicopedagogía (Universidad Católica de Santiago del Estero). Tiene un posgrado en Gestión Cultural y Comunicación (FLACSO). Trabajó durante cinco años como coordinadora de programas educativos y capacitación en Fundación Leer. Fue coordinadora de proyectos, a cargo del diseño e implementación de programas de voluntariado y RSE en Fundación Compromiso. Actualmente es responsable del programa de búsqueda y selección de emprendedores sociales de Ashoka y coordinadora de la red de emprendedores sociales de dicha organización.

Luciana Goles

Ingeniera Comercial de la Universidad Alberto Hurtado, luego de trabajar como la coordinadora de innovación y emprendimiento en la Facultad de Economía de la Universidad de Chile en el área de responsabilidad social universitaria se integra al equipo de Ashoka en el año 2015, donde coordina y gestiona las iniciativas Youth Years y Ashoka U, se encarga de la administración y finanzas de la oficina. Desde que se integró al equipo coopera con el grupo de Arquitectos de Finanzas para Latam.

Daniela Kreimer

Daniela es Directora Ejecutiva de Ashoka Argentina, Uruguay y Paraguay. Especialista en negocios de impacto y desarrollo local, es referente del Movimiento Internacional de Empresas Sociales desarrollado por el Premio Nóbel de la Paz Muhammad Yunus. Licenciada en Administración de Empresas y Magister en Desarrollo Local, trabajó en el Grameen Bank y Yunus Centre en Bangladesh, Alemania y Colombia.

Maria Merola

María es Licenciada en Relaciones Internacionales (UCA) y terminó de cursar la Maestría en Políticas Públicas y Gerenciamiento del Desarrollo (UNSAM-Georgetown). Trabaja en el sector social desde los 20 años, cuando se incorporó al equipo de Mujeres 2000, impulsando el desarrollo de emprendimientos liderados por mujeres de bajos recursos. Se sumó al equipo de Ashoka en 2014, como responsable del programa Ashoka Joven

Vitória Moraes

Master in Social management and undergraduated in economics, Vitória has active participation in the third sector, with experience in coordinating social projects. She has served in the administrative and financial area of social organizations with private and public partnerships, especially with municipalities. Other activities in the third sector include integration in Municipal Councils and technical chambers; experience in preparation of environmental projects as well as experience with traditional communities.

Héctor Moyetón

Hector was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He joined Changemakers and Ashoka Mexico as the Network Manager for Latin America, which combines his interests in social change and understanding what are the incentives that guide human decisions.

Angelika Roth

Angelika cuenta con experiencia de trabajo en diferentes organizaciones sociales y en proyectos de cooperación internacional en Argentina, Ecuador, Brasil y Alemania. Angelika estudió Economía y Estudios Latinoamericanos en la Universidad de Passau en Alemania y Relaciones Internacionales en la Universidad Católica de Córdoba en Argentina. Desde el 2011 está trabajando para Ashoka y actualmente está dirigiendo Venture y Fellowship - la búsqueda y el apoyo de Emprendedores Sociales en Ashoka México y Centroamérica.

Anamaria Schindler

Anamaria served as Ashoka Global Co-President from 2005 to December 2007. She joined Ashoka in 1996 to launch a joint venture between Ashoka and McKinsey & Company. She has worked on business social bridges, the Ashoka global business plan, and a global shared vision process. She launched the Instituto Arapyaú in Brazil in 2008 with leading business entrepreneur Guilherme Leal, of Natura Cosmetics.

Nallely Valdez

Nallely es Licenciada en Comercio Internacional y actualmente estudia un Master en Ecología emocional. Ha trabajado en distintos proyectos sociales, ambientales y educativos. Es co-fundadora de la Asociación Conciencias Unidas. Actualmente pertenece a la Red Botín de Jóvenes Latinoamericanos en búsqueda del Fortalecimiento de la Función Pública de la región y trabaja en el empoderamiento de jóvenes a través del debate como coach y juez de torneos nacionales e internacionales.

Valentina Valech Torres

En su juventud, Valentina se ha comprometido en diferentes actividades sociales que le mostraron el impacto directo que podía hacer en la vida de las personas, tomando un rol activo para crear cambios. Interesada en las humandidades y las interacciones sociales, decidió estudiar Psicología. Tras graduarse, trabajó en la área de Recursos Humanos en un Banco Internacional. Su principal objetivo personal fue identificar talentos y nivelar las motivaciones de la gente a las de la compañía, a modo de crear sistemas fluídos y conectados.

Sara Lee Wolfe

Sara believes in the power of individuals to change the world, and she has been working in doing so for the past couple of years. From her small town in Northern Spain, to places such a India, Morocco, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Malaysia, Sweden, and now Mexico, Sara has been involved in different youth and entrepreneurship projects. She holds a Masters in Leadership for Sustainability from Malmö University and a degree in International Relations from Complutense in Madrid. Want to talk about social sustainability, youth empowerment, design thinking or dance? Sara is your person.

Maria Zapata

Maria Zapata is Ashoka´s Globalizer Co-Director, a program she co-founded in 2009 to help social entrepreneurs scale their impact and to re-shape the field of social scaling. Globalizer has engaged over 1000 CEOs, senior execs and consultants to support 200+ leading global social entrepreneurs to scale their impact. Maria joined Ashoka in 2003, to launch Ashoka Spain and to support the setup of Ashoka in Western Europe. She has been a key figure in the development of the SE field in Spain. Prior to Ashoka, Maria worked for GE eight years in the US, UK, Netherlands, Mexico and Spain.

East Asia

Ho Yun Jung

Strategic and financial sector professional with over 16years in Non-Profit sector in South Korea. Industry background includes developing strategy, designing field projects, planning budget, financial services and analysis. Has controlled an overall budget up to $200m as finance team leader and held a strategy execution (program & operation) accountability for over 20 domestic branches including HQ and 2 oversea regional offices as a strategy specialist. Now, I am working for Ashoka Korea as a director of Finance & Operations.

Hae-young Lee

아쇼카가 한국에 설립된 첫해인 2013년부터 현재까지 아쇼카 한국 대표로 활동 중임. 첫 3년간 첫 한국인 아쇼카 펠로우 7명의 선정과정을 관장했고, 한국의 교육과 경제 생태계에 체인지메이커 무브먼트를 확산시키기 위한 전략과 실행을 이끌고 있음. 북한인권과 탈북자 문제를 국제사회의 공식 의제로 부각시키고 국제적인 협력을 이끌어내기 위한 인권활동가로 시작해, 20대 중후반에는 동북아시아 내 “인권과 개발의 조화”라는 비전을 실현하기 위해 직접 스타트업 NGO를 설립해 5년간 일했다. 또한, 탈북 여성의 인신매매 및 강제결혼 문제에 대한 국제적인 보고서 ‘Lives for Sale’의 주요 저자로도 활약했음. 아쇼카를 통해 처음 ‘Social Entrepreneur’라는 스스로의 정체성을 발견한 것에 힘입어, 더 많은 사회혁신가들에게 힘을 실어주는 일을 사명으로 생각해 아쇼카에 합류함. 1남 1녀를 두고 있음. 아쇼카 한국 초대 대표 2013.1.1~ 현재. Blanket And Sponge Project In Asia(BASPIA) 공동설립 및 공동CEO, 2005~2010, 서울 대한민국.

Nana Watanabe

As a professional photographer/artist and writer, Nana observed Japan start failing after its economic prosperous period roughly between 1982 and 1993. The observation made her believe Japan was missing a role-model for youth and triggered her to search social change-makers and recount their stories to Japanese audience as a new role model. Along the journey of hunting and interviewing over 150 social innovators between 2000 and 2006 she noticed some of the interviewees were recognized as “Ashoka Fellows”.


Miguel Alves Martins

O Miguel juntou-se à família Ashoka como director da Ashoka Portugal. O Miguel é o co-fundador e director executivo do IES Social Business School em Portugal. Ele também é Professor Auxiliar Convidado na NovaSBE onde ensina Empreendedorismo Social e Gestão de Organizações Sem Fins Lucrativos. Antes de fundar o IES-SBS, Miguel trabalhou no sector privado, nomeadamente em telecomunicações, turismo e RSE. No entanto, desde 2007 que tem dedicado os seus esforços a desenvolver o ecossistema do empreendedorismo social em Portugal e nos países de língua oficial Portuguesa.

Julie Auffray

Julie Auffray

Julie joined Ashoka in 2015 and leads the search and selection of new Ashoka Fellows in France. She came to social entrepreneurship through participating in the Enactus program when she was still a student. She then volunteered in a Filipino inclusive business. She is graduated from Grenoble School of Management, that has the particularity to focus on the Management of Innovation.

Elena Arène Ghiringhello

After completing her degree at the London School of Economics (LSE), Elena has worked within organizations in a broad array of sectors and contexts including communications and public affairs at Weber Shandwick, Volvo CE, Nutrition Third World (NTW), and as a diplomat for El Salvador in Sweden and Belgium. As a diplomat, she was responsible for all relations between Swedish and Nordic NGOs as well as EU and commercial affairs, bringing governments and Chambers of Commerce together with the business and investment community.

Stefania Avanzini

Stefania has 10 years of experience in Marketing and Innovation in Africa & Europe. She holds a diploma in Management of Public Administrations from Bocconi Business School and a master in Alternative Management from ESCP Europe and HEC Paris. Stefania started her career by working on social business projects in Senegal and in Algeria for the social business investment fund created by Danone with Professor Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank.

Valentina Barp

Valentina ha iniziato a collaborare come volontaria per la mappatura dell’innovazione sociale italiana, nel 2015 è stata responsabile del progetto Ashoka Changemaker Schools ed è la referente per il Piemonte. Laureata in Scienze Sociali ad indirizzo criminologico, durante il periodo universitario ha collaborato con il Gruppo Abele, nella casa di fuga per donne vittime della tratta della prostituzione e con TRANSCRIME, centro universitario di ricerca sulla criminalità organizzata.

Anu Bhatnagar

Anu Bhatnagar joined the Ashoka UK team in May 2019 - as Partnerships and Support Network Manager - after having volunteered, and loved working with the team earlier. She is an On Purpose Fellow, and recently worked in social investment in the UK, including at Big Society Capital. In a previous life, she was a stockbroker at Morgan Stanley. Her change in career was sparked by experiences with purpose-driven organsations, fighting food waste with FoodCycle, and supporting the opening of the world's first Partition Museum in India.

Thomas Blettery

Diplômé de l'ESSEC BBA (Epsci), Thomas a mis le pied dans le secteur de l'entrepreneuriat social dès 2006 en s'impliquant dans un projet de création d'une boulangerie sociale en Inde. Il a depuis participé à la création de plusieurs social business, et a rejoint Ashoka en 2010. Après avoir travaillé sur la communication et l'événementiel, Thomas travaille en parallèle sur la sélection des entrepreneurs sociaux Ashoka et sur les programmes d'Ashoka visant à impulser une nouvelle génération d'acteurs de changement.

Clara Bräuer

Clara Bräuer unterstützt die Koordination des Auswahlprozess neuer Ashoka Fellows in Deutschland und arbeitet an der Umsetzung und Weiterentwicklung der Angebote im Fellowship-Programm mit. Vor Ashoka hat sie ihren Master in Public Policy mit Schwerpunkt Social Policy und Social Innovation absolviert.

Maira Cabrini

Maira es la responsable de Comunicación. A través de su labor busca definir y difundir el mensaje de que todos somos Changemakers! Antes de incorporarse al equipo, gestionaba la comunicación de un proyecto del PNUD en Egipto, promocionando los valores del voluntariado entre los jóvenes de la región árabe. También codirigió un proyecto de deporte para el desarrollo en Camerún en 2012, proporcionando espacios deportivos y formación para más de 900 niños refugiados.

Caroline de Cartier

Caroline de Cartier

Caroline joined Ashoka Belgium in September 2016 as our newest Programme Manager. She devotes most of her time at Ashoka to the management of the Changemaker’s Schools Programme and the supervision of the team’s daily operations (finances, HR and admin). After graduating at the Louvain School of Management, Caroline took her first steps in the world of work as a consultant in CRM and Change Management at Deloitte.

Tatiana Cary

Tatiana Cary

Tatiana manages the search and selection of new Ashoka Fellows in the UK. Prior to joining Ashoka she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco focusing on youth programming and sport for development. She has extensive experience in the NGO sector working as a researcher, journalist, facilitator, and program manager. Tatiana holds an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the London School of Economics and is pursuing a PhD in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh.

Laura Catana

Laura è un'intraprenditrice sociale nata in Romania. Durante i suoi studi nel suo paese di origine ha realizzato diversi progetti di empowerment dei giovani e di sviluppo comunitario. La sua laurea in sociologia presso l’Universita’ di Bucarest l'ha portata anche a studiare in Svezia e a conseguire un Master sulla Gestione delle Imprese Sociali in Italia. Data la sua passione per il sociale, Laura si è unita ad Ashoka nel 2014 da Bruxelles per coordinare "This Works", un’iniziativa che sostiene l’espansione di soluzioni innovative per l'occupazione nel sud Europa.

Mark Cheng

Mark is a member of the Leadership Group at Ashoka, based in Hong Kong. Mark started with Ashoka in 2007 as a Senior Advisor on Social Finance, based in London. He became UK Director in 2011, and European Director in 2014. Mark led the European Diamond from 2014-19, before moving to Hong Kong where he has launched the Hong Kong Chapter for Ashoka. Prior to joining Ashoka, Mark founded Chelwood Capital, a global social investment advisory firm, which he continues to actively manage.

Felix Cheung

Felix looks after the back office functions for the Ashoka UK team, Ireland team and the EU Hub. He joined Ashoka in June 2017, after 5.5 years of working as an actuarial consultant in the pension advisory industry. Felix holds two Master's degrees, in actuarial science and MORSE. (No, not MORSE of Morse code, but Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics & Economics. I know, tell me about it.)

Enrica Cornaglia

Enrica si è unita ad Ashoka Italia nel 2014 come volontaria per coordinare la ricerca sull’innovazione sociale italiana. E’ entrata nello staff stabile nel 2016. Laureata in Scienze Politiche e Studi Internazionali, ha un master in Comunicazione. Ha una grande esperienza nel campo del sociale, sin da adolescente ha infatti fatto volontariato con disabili fisici e mentali. Negli anni di scuola superiore ha partecipato ad un programma di scambio internazionale che l’ha portata ad avere un marcato interesse per il lavoro in contesti multiculturali.

Ezgi Dahlberg

Ezgi Dahlberg

Ezgi holds a Master's degree in environmental studies and sustainability science, and a Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. Having an environmental background and being particularly interested in active learning methods and non-traditional education techniques, Ezgi researched cases where young students' understanding of global sustainability challenges significantly improved by hands-on learning practices. Before joining Ashoka, Ezgi worked with different NGOs and environmental companies in South Africa, Turkey, Sweden and USA.

Perrine de le Court

Perrine de le Court joined Ashoka Belgium as Co-Director in September 2018. Together with Elena Arène she will lead the Belgian Ashoka office by sharing responsibilities among Ashoka Belgium's different programmes. Perrine has professional experience, both in the private sector (5 years at Regus, her last job) and with International Organisations like UNICEF & IMBEWU, where she has worked for over 10 years in Europe and in Africa. After an enriching experience at Regus, she was missing the passion and sense of purpose that working in the social sector gave her.

Arianna De Mario

Arianna is Partnerships and Products Manager for Ashoka Changemakers and the Executives in Residence program. Her role involves working with partners to identify social innovators worldwide and assess their potential for Ashoka fellowship, connect them in powerful communities, and develop strategies to help them scale their impact. As part of her role, Arianna also works directly with companies to help them deepen their knowledge, expertise and experience of social innovation, and increase their social impact.

Sarah Ertel

Sarah Ertel

Diplômée en Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication de l’Ecole du Celsa, Sarah Ertel a rejoint Ashoka France début 2017 après 8 années d’expérience dans le domaine de l’innovation et l’ingénierie sociétale. Après 5 ans en tant que consultante chez Be-linked, cabinet de conseil en stratégie spécialisé sur les relations entre les ONG et les entreprises, elle part au Burkina Faso travailler avec l’entreprise Nutriset. Durant 2 années, elle sera en charge de lancer la mise sur le marché d’un produit de prévention nutritionnel destiné aux populations à bas revenus.

Michela Fenech

Michela helps co-ordinate and implement programs within the Globalizer Team, across various partnerships within Ashoka. She is part of a team that works to engage social and business entrepreneurs in a process that challenges traditional notions for scaling social impact. Before joining Ashoka she worked as a corporate lawyer in Malta and was involved in local human rights, environment and social business initiatives. She studied International Environment Law and Corporate Law at Cambridge University and is finishing a part-time MSc in Sustainability.

Aroa Fernandez Alvarez

Aroa Fernandez Alvarez

Aroa joined Ashoka in 2013, starting her journey at the Spanish office. After working for 4 years in Spain and the UK in Operations and Partnership Development, in November 2017 Aroa joined the Global Partnerships team, where she now works managing the global engagement with Philips Foundation, focused on increasing access to healthcare for disadvantaged communities. Aroa holds a degree in International Relations with a focus on sustainable development and international security.

Maja Frankel

Maja Frankel joined Ashoka in December 2011 to launch and be the Director of Ashoka Scandinavia. Maja is a life-long social entrepreneur: At age 16 she became the Sweden Youth Delegate during the United Nations Special Session about Young People’s Rights and at age 18 she became a UNICEF youth ambassador, a role that led her to write a book called 'Vår förbannade Rätt' where she did portraits of 20 young people from all over the world.

Remi Fremont

Après des expériences réussies dans les départements administratifs et financiers chez Finansol (épargne solidaire), à l’Adie (microcrédit professionnel) ou Starting-Block (éducation à la citoyenneté et à la solidarité),  Rémi rejoint  le bureau parisien en tant que responsable administratif et financier. Il est diplômé de l’ESSCA en 2007 et a suivi le cursus Chaire Economie Sociale et Solidaire (ESS).

Olivier Fruchaud

Olivier is responsible for the development of Ashoka in Switzerland. He graduated in 2000 from the French management school EM-Lyon and started working in marketing for the private sector.  Olivier has been active in consulting and business development in the sustainability area for the last 10 years, working both in the non-profit and private sectors (United Nations, foundations). He also co-founded the associations Ecotour (which promotes innovative sustainable initiatives for the environment) in 1999 and Sustainable Finance Geneva in 2006.

Elena Gibson

Elena joined Ashoka in 2013 and leads the selection of new Ashoka Fellows as well as guiding them through Ashoka's rigorous election process. She also manages the Ashoka Support Network as well as the Ashoka Learning Journeys.  Previously, Elena worked at Convoco - a think tank that seeks to drive social change by convening  leaders from business, politics and academia. She also volunteered for the philanthropy consultancy GivingEvidence.

Jamy Goewie

Jamy is a serial social entrepreneur, family therapist and corporate consultant. While working in public youth-care she launched her first initiative in 2002 for out of school youth with criminal backgrounds together with local companies, like KPMG ( By having an extended network in Africa and Asia she later scaled her initiative into Child at Venture foundation. Catering to youth in slum areas with business training, angel investments and support and also providing business-planning for local shelters and orphanages.

Nikki Gravning

Nikki is Co-Director of Ashoka UK with a core focus on partnerships to embed radical collaboration and changemaking for a better world into the corporate landscape. Before joining Ashoka, Nikki successfully led the Social Innovation Strategy for New Zealand’s National Innovation Agency to change the funding landscape for social entrepreneurs in the country. She has mentored social enterprises in accelerator programs and helped raise $2 million for New Zealand’s largest social enterprise in 2017.

Jean-Marc Guesné

Jean-Marc a rejoint Ashoka en octobre 2015 pour prendre la direction d'Ashoka France. Avant Ashoka, Jean-Marc a été entrepreneur social en Asie pendant 7 ans, créeant 2 entreprises et plus de 1000 emplois entre le Cambodge et la Chine. Il a ensuite rejoint le Groupe Bel en tant qu'intrapreneur où il a créé et développé un business model innovant qui permet de connecter les vendeurs de rue des pays émergents avec les marques agro-industrielles tout en donnant accès à des services sociaux sur mesure (micro-assurance, formation, bancarisation, etc.).

Anika Haag

Anika Haag bringt ihre Leidenschaft für interne Prozesse (Fokus auf: Wissensmanangement) und das Miteinander im Team seit 2008 in diversen Rollen ein – gerade als Ansprechpartnerin für unsere pro bono Berater und Coaches. Auch den Auswahlprozess für Ashoka Fellows gestaltet sie mit. Ihr Studium der VWL mit Fokus auf Entwicklungsländer, Soziologie und Außenwirtschaft hat sie durch Weiterbildungen im Management von Non-Profit Organisationen verstärkt und hat dadurch stets die Professionalisierung von Ashoka im Blick.

Anna Hamilton

Anna Hamilton

Anna joined Ashoka UK in 2016. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2007 and spent the following two years in Ecuador, learning and working alongside the Achuar tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon. On returning to the UK, Anna joined the Teach First programme and taught for 6 years in Croydon, Lambeth and Rome. Fascinated by the range of learning styles she had encountered, she undertook a MSc in Social Anthropology with Learning and Cognition at the London School of Economics.

Ross Hall

Ross joined Ashoka in November 2014. Ross has founded and grown more than 20 businesses around the world.

Laura Haverkamp

Im Kern von Ashokas Aktivitäten fühlt sich Laura Haverkamp seit Ende 2011 zu Hause. Aktuell verantwortet sie die Kommunikation von Ashoka Deutschland, ist mit Julia Reiche Ansprechpartnerin für das Ashoka Support Network sowie Schnittstelle zu Ashoka Global. Nach dem Studium von Kommunikation, Mandarin sowie Public Policy lernte sie in der Beratung das Handwerkszeug der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und startete u.a. eine Initiative für die wirkungsvolle Kommunikation sozialunternehmerischer Ideen.

Oda Heister

Oda Heister hat Ashoka in Deutschland seit 2006 maßgeblich mit aufgebaut. Mit ihrer Leidenschaft für den Aufbau einer Machbarschaft rund um Sozialunternehmer*innen erweitert sie Ashokas Netzwerk im In- und Ausland und bringt ihre Erfahrung in die europäische und globale Arbeit von Ashoka ein. Vor ihrer Zeit bei Ashoka war sie u.a. stellvertretende Leiterin der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Warschau, wo sie Dialogprogramme zwischen Vertreter*innen des sozialen Sektors, Politikern und der Wirtschaft startete.

Casilda Heraso Torres

Casilda es la responsable de selección de Emprendedores Sociales de Ashoka España y coordina el departamento financiero. Casilda empezó su carrera profesional hace tres años, cuando llevó a cabo un programa de microcréditos para personas con discapacidad en Malawi, de la mano de África Directo. En 2011 decidió regresar al continente para coordinar programas de educación, sanidad y microcréditos en Uganda.

Katharina Hinze

Katharina Hinze ist für das deutsche Fellowship-Programm verantwortlich. Zuvor leitete sie die Auswahl von Fellows und pilotierte Ashokas Aktivitäten im Bereich Migration. Katharina war Studiengangsleiterin für den „Master of Public Policy“ an der HU Berlin & Europa Universität Viadrina und Beraterin in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit. Sie ist Diplom-Kulturwirtin und engagiert sich seit ihrer Jugend für Migration und in der Bildungsarbeit.

Christine Hoenig-Ohnsorg

(in Elternzeit bis Sommer 2018) // Christine Hoenig-Ohnsorg hat bei Ashoka das mittlerweile von der Zukunftswerft weitergeführte Programm Engagement mit Perspektive (PEP) mit aufgebaut, welches Nachwuchssozialunternehmer*innen beim Aufbau nachhaltiger und wirkungsvoller Strukturen unterstützt. Vor ihrem Start bei Ashoka 2012 hat sie weltweit Erfahrungen u.a. der Beratung von Unternehmen und Institutionen zur internationalen Zusammenarbeit gesammelt.

Rainer Höll

Rainer Höll baut seit 2010 für Ashoka Brücken zwischen Stiftungen, Politik, Wohlfahrt und Social Entrepreneurs. Er ist verantwortlich für die Fellow-Auswahl in den 16 europäischen Ashoka-Länderbüros sowie HELLO EUROPE, unserer europäischen Initiative zu Migration und Integration. Vor Ashoka gründete er Initiativen im Bildungsbereich und arbeitete u.a. als Projektleiter im Stiftungswesen. Er studierte Philosophie und Neuere Deutsche Literatur in Tübingen, Berlin und London und besitzt einen MPA der Harvard University.

Sarah Jefferson

Sarah Jefferson est entrée chez Ashoka à Washington DC en 2007, travaillant à la communication et à la sélection des Ashoka Fellows. Depuis 2010 elle travaille avec l’équipe française sur le partenariat entre Ashoka et Boehringer Ingelheim, Making More Health, qui explore les modèles innovants dans le domaine de la santé. Elle est passionnée par les collaborations entre le monde du business et le monde social, et par la façon dont l’alliance de ces deux secteurs peut générer plus d’impact.

Anke Kessler

Anke Kessler

Anke ha lasciato la Germania e i suoi studi in Scienze Politiche quando con il suo zaino in spalla ha deciso di partire per l'America Latina. E' arrivata in Cile nel 1991 insieme alla democrazia lungamente attesa. Dopo una formazione come produttrice televisiva, ha lavorato per molti anni come assistente dei direttori presso il Goethe-Institut a Santiago. In Cile ha sposato un diplomatico e i suoi viaggi sono riniziati, con suo marito e suo figlio hanno vissuto in Vietnam, Portugal, Trinidad & Tobago e adesso, in Italia.

Julia Koskella

Julia joined Ashoka in 2012 to lead our search and selection process for new Ashoka Fellows. Previously, she worked at Global Giving helping grassroots NGOs access crowdfunding, helped set up Move Your Money UK, and worked for an indigenous rights organisation in Ecuador. Julia graduated from Oxford University with a first class degree in Human Sciences. While she was there, she chaired the Environment and Ethics Committee and acted as the founding director of the Oxford Climate Forum. Follow her on Twitter@JuliaKoskella.

Marie Levrault

Graduated from EMLYON Business School, Marie started as consultant at Accenture in HR transformation and change management during 5 years. Passionate about social innovation and new ways of working, she travelled during 8 months in 2017 from Iran to Japan to document 50 fablabs/ makerspaces and interview 100 (social) entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to understand new ways of working, collaborating and designing through digital fabrication. In March 2018, she joined Ashoka as global partnership manager.

Christina Lidén

Christina joined Ashoka in April 2013 as the first Operations Manager in the Scandinavian office. She has since then constructed the regions Operations including building the team and structuring the legal framework and financial routines for the region. Christina’s main area of expertise are within HR and operations and since 2016 she splits her time leading HR, and finance in Scandinavia with two global roles as co-integrator and Search Liason for Europe.

Emma Lindgren

Emma holds a Master’s Degree in International Business and Politics from the Copenhagen Business School. Her passion for driving social change has led her to engage in several initiatives focusing on sustainable development and social change. Prior to joining Ashoka, Emma was part of establishing a sustainability-consulting firm in Stockholm, where she spent most of her time managing a business network which gathered business leaders to learn and act around climate change.

Noa Lodeizen

I am a social entrepreneur and I get inspired daily by the possibilities of this era. My entrepreneurial spirit grows when I encounter injustice, see opportunities and, in particular if the problems seem to be so complex that we needs to solve them outside existing frameworks. I am founder of several initiatives. Two years ago Ashoka rewarded me with a fellowship. My fellowship was because of my efforts and results with Young in Prison. I founded the organisation Young in Prison in 2002 with the believe that the world needs to urgently rethink its definition of juvenile justice.

Marina Mansilla Hermann

Marina joined Ashoka in 2007, seeking to catalyze young people's potential to make positive change in the world. Previous to Ashoka, Marina worked for more than a decade with Peace Child International, as a consultant for GEF/UNDP and served as a youth advisor to UNEP in its efforts to engage young people in environmental action. Marina is the founder of FundaciónTierraVida, an organization based in Argentina working to unleash young people´s potential to drive environmental sustainability.

David Martin Diaz

David es codirector de Ashoka España y director de Educación y Jóvenes. Lidera la estrategia de impulsar un nuevo paradigma en la educación que promueva competencias como empatía, trabajo en equipo, liderazgo o creatividad en niños, niñas y jóvenes. Allá de su trayectoria en el ámbito asociativo juvenil, ha dedicado su vida profesional a trabajar para la educación y el empoderamiento juvenil.

Zeynep Meydanoglu

Zeynep on yılı süredir Türkiye'de sivil toplum ve filantropinin gelişmesine yönelik kapasite geliştirme, altyapı oluşturma ve yenilikçi modeller hayata geçirme alanlarında çalışıyor. Türkiye'de sivil topluma ilişkin ilk kapsamlı araştırma çalışması, daha elverişli bir yasal ve malı altyapı için savunuculuk faaliyetleri, bağışçı vakıfları (community foundations), sosyal girişim ve sosyal finans gibi yenilikçi yaklaşımlarla ilgili tecrübesi, pek çok yayın ve makalesi bulunuyor.

Serena Mizzoni

Displaying her entrepreneurial flair early on, Serena Mizzoni founded a talent consultancy and recruitment firm in 2009. She joined Ashoka Ireland in 2011 as a consultant and was subsequently appointed as Co-Director. In 2014 Serena assumed the position of Director and took a place on Ashoka’s European Leadership Team. Serena regularly lectures on social entrepreneurship at University College Dublin. She holds a B.A. in Human Resource Management and an M.A. in Strategic HR from Dublin City University.

Elina Moraitopoulou

Elina joined Ashoka as an early stage researcher of the Participatory Memory Practices (POEM) H2020 program and is pursuing her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Hamburg. Her research focuses on young people's participation and explores its links to inclusive memory-making in school settings. She holds a Degree in Biology and an MSc in Learning Sciences from the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI) and Paris V Univeristy.

Arnaud Mourot

Arnaud Mourot is Co-Director Ashoka Europe. A member of the French team of Olympic wrestling for 10 years and a graduate from ESCP Business school, Arnaud has been involved in the humanitarian sector since he finished his studies. He founded and led the NGO “Play International”  (formerly Sport Sans Frontières) in 1999. He has also contributed to the development of various Social Businesses and CSOs in France. He launched the operations of Ashoka France/Belgium/Switzerland in 2005.

Odin Muehlenbein

Odin Mühlenbein arbeitet für das internationale Ashoka Globalizer-Programm, das fortgeschrittenen Sozialunternehmern dabei hilft, Strategien für systemische Veränderung zu entwickeln. Vor Ashoka hat Odin bei McKinsey & Company gearbeitet und zwei Sozialunternehmen mitgegründet. Studiert hat er Philosophie, Logik und Politische Wissenschaften in München, Oxford und Cambridge.

Corina Murafa

A public policy expert focusing on energy and sustainability by training, I've always focused, in my various professional engagements, on producing long-lasting positive change in Romania. I worked for large international organizations (World Bank), multinationals (OMV Petrom, Deloitte), national governments and think tanks. I've done trainings on public policy, energy policy and corporate governance and I am the co-author of a textbook on public policy for civil servants.

Amir Nathan

A serial entrepreneur, active in the social and business arena since 1998. Proven track record of leading transformative initiatives, from inception to an impactful execution. Basing my work on both social values and business acumen, I'm a true believer in the power of sustainable social entrepreneurship to drive true change. I founded numerous socially-focused initiatives.

Lorenzo Newman

Lorenzo leads Youth Years programs in Italy including Youth Ventures and Changemaker Schools. He also works part time as an education strategy consultant.

Alex O'Donoghue

Alex manages search and selection of new Ashoka Fellows in the UK. Prior to this she spent several years working in South Africa, focused on growing social entrepreneur networks and youth activist movements. She has extensive experience across the civil society sector as a writer and CSR strategist. She graduated with a BA in Film and Media, and calls Cape Town and London home.

Javier Olaguibel

Javier lidera el programa Changemaker Alliances. Desarolla las uniones y colaboraciones más innovadoras entre organizaciones sociales y empresas, más allá de la RSC tradicional, con el objetivo de generar alto impacto social y beneficio económico para ambos. Es lo que llamamos la Co-Creación Social & Business. Además de su trabajo con Ashoka, Javi está creando su propia startup Rollcard ( Licenciado en Dirección y Administración de empresas, ha desarrollado su carrera profesional entre el tercer sector y el sector privado.

Sukhada Parkhi

Prior to joining Ashoka in March 2016, Sukhada worked with organizations like Asian Plastic (India) & Tech Mahindra (Netherlands). She has studied Masters in Business Administration with specialization in Finance. At Ashoka she is primarily contributing into financial Policies & Processes optimization & its implementation under Dutch entity in collaboration with Ashoka Global office.

Anaïs Petit

Anaïs Petit

Diplômée d'un master de Relations Internationales de Sciences Po Paris, Anaïs se passionne durant ses études pour le sujet des réfugiés et de l'intégration des migrants. Après avoir lancé un projet étudiant sur ce sujet, et effectué un stage dans une association d'accueil des demandeurs d'asile, elle découvre le sujet plus large de l'innovation sociale, et rejoint le bureau de Londres d'Ashoka, comme stagiaire.

Maylis Portmann

Diplômée de l'école de commerce IESEG, elle a découvert les townships du Cap pour réaliser une formation complémentaire en entrepreneuriat social. Après une première expérience auprès du Fellow François Marty, avec lequel elle a travaillé sur la représentation et la communicabilité de son business model, elle s'est ensuite penchée sur les problématiques de l'évaluation de l'impact social et de l’impact investing. Elle a rejoint l’équipe  d’Ashoka en 2013 sur les programmes Impact Ashoka, et travaille maintenant sur l'accompagnement des entrepreneurs sociaux.

Marie Ringler

Clarice Ramalho

Clarice joined Ashoka in 2012 and was responsible for structuring the UK’s back-office. Since 2016, she’s been leading the finance and operations team across Ashoka’s 10+ offices in Europe. In her previous life, Clarice worked for more than 10 years with hospitality, travel and tourism, and was the COO of a travel agency in Rio de Janeiro. She moved to Europe to pursue a double-diploma MA in Sustainable Tourism Management from London Metropolitan University & ESCEM Business School (France), where she specialised in community-based tourism.

Emilie Romon

Emilie is responsible for building and managing international partnerships to support social entrepreneurs in scaling up their impact globally, and co-leads the Ashoka Support Network, a global community of committed leaders who stand by and advance Ashoka’s vision. Between 2012 and 2018, she managed and grew the OECD Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD), and co-founded the OECD Centre on Philanthropy.

Greta Rossi

Dopo essersi diplomata presso Philips Academy Andover (Massachusetts, USA), Greta ha conseguito una laurea in Relazioni Internazionali presso Hult International Business School (London, UK). L’esposizione all’ambiente internazionale, insieme alla fiducia nell’educazione come metodo di trasformazione individuale e collettivo, l’hanno spinta a co-fondare un’impresa sociale, Akasha Innovation, a settembre 2013. Greta è anche la co-fondatrice di altre due iniziative sociali, ImpactAimers e Recipes for Wellbeing.

Florian Rutsch

Florian Rutsch

Florian leads on systems change partnerships, research, and training in the UK and he co-designed Ashoka's European Fellowship program where he co-leads the systems change, new leadership and wellbeing modules.

Ana Saenz de Miera

Ana’s leadership started young. As a Scout member from the age of 8, she was taught early what it means to have an idea, and to make it happen. By the age of 16 she was determined to make the Scouts accessible to children from the age of 6 (instead of the minimum 8-year mark). Today, every single Scout group in Spain includes this range, with a total of 3,000 members. Today, Ana has created a movement in Spain that brings together social entrepreneurs, companies, public administration, youth and schools to work towards a society where everyone realizes their changemaking potential.

Matthias Scheffelmeier

Matthias Scheffelmeier ist seit 2009 bei Ashoka; zuletzt verantwortete er den Aufbau von Ashoka in der Türkei mit Sitz in Istanbul. 2012 gründete er unter dem Dach von Ashoka den “ChangemakerXchange”, eine Plattform und globales Netzwerk für junge Social Entrepreneurs. Seit 2017 ist Matthias auch im Vorstand des neu gegründeten SEND e.V. (i.G.). Als Keynote-Speaker tritt Matthias auch öffentlich für das Thema Social Entrepreneurship, verbesserte Förder- und Wachstumsbedingungen und wirksames gesellschaftliches Engagement ein.

Giulia Sergi

Giulia fa parte di Ashoka dall’inizio del 2016, occupandosi di Program Management per Ashoka Italia e collaborando al programma internazionale Ashoka Globalizer. Dopo la laurea in International Relations with Economics alla University of Birmingham in Regno Unito - la sua seconda esperienza internazionale dopo un anno di liceo negli Stati Uniti con il programma AFS-Intercultura - ha avuto diverse esperienze nel mondo della cooperazione internazionale (COSV, GVC, Link2007) e all’Unione Europea (Comitato Economico e Sociale a Bruxelles).

Erlijn Sie

Erlijn holds a Master in Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences from the Technical Univerity of Eindhoven and a Masters degree in South East Asian language and culture at the University of Leiden. She started her career in the corporate sector, working as a financial and strategic advisor for major Dutch companies like ABN, KLM Dutch Airlines and the national government. In 2006, she co-founded Microcredit for Mothers, a foundation catering to the poorest of the poor women in Southeast Asia, reaching out to thousands of families.

Luca Solesin

Dr. Luca Solesin is Change Manager at Ashoka Italy. With 15 years of experience in social, cultural and artistic movements, Dr. Solesin holds a BA in Literature and MA in Political Science. After international experiences in South America, he worked at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the Education Sector following research projects on the future of education and the coordination of the SDG4. Dr. Solesin holds a Ph.D.

Markus Sollner

Unsere Finanzen und rechtlichen Belange sind seit 2015 bei Markus Sollner in guten Händen, der vor seinem Eintritt bei Ashoka mehrere Jahre Erfahrung im Bankwesen und der Unternehmensberatung sammeln konnte. Als studierter Betriebs- und Finanzwirt mit Studium in Würzburg und in London blickt er darüber hinaus auf mehrjährige Berufspraxis als Steuerfachangestellter zurück. Nun freut er sich darüber, im Team von Ashoka seine Fachkenntnisse einsetzen zu können, um professionell zur Überwindung gesellschaftlicher Missstände beizutragen.

Demetrio Spinola

Tito es uno de los pilares del programa de Educación y Jóvenes de Ashoka. Entre sus objetivos a medio plazo están el dar apoyo en la búsqueda y reconocimiento de escuelas y jóvenes Changemakers e impulsar la creación de una red nacional para todos ellos. Tito llega a Ashoka tras hacer realidad “Gitanos con Palabra”, un proyecto audiovisual que nace con el objetivo de mostrar una imagen más real y heterogénea de la comunidad gitana. Máster en Gestión y Dirección de ONGs, ha trabajado en distintas organizaciones de cooperación al desarrollo en Madagascar, España y Estados Unidos.

Helga Tønder

Helga has a background in rhetoric and communication. Her interest in social justice and entrepreneurship has taken her from Norway to Uganda to the US, working in startups, non-profits and social enterprises. She comes to Ashoka Scandinavia after spending the past four years in working first in Houston with the media startup Energy People Connect, and then in Los Angeles with the think tank RAND Corporation, and the combined non-profit and social enterprise Chrysalis.

Alessandro Valera

Alessandro è il Direttore di Ashoka Italia. Appassionato di movimenti sociali e internazionali, dopo aver studiato in Italia, Canada e Regno Unito, si è specializzato in Politica e Comunicazione alla London School of Economics. La sua carriera inizia a Londra nel campo delle politiche sociali dove ha lavorato sia per il Governo Britannico che per compagnie private come Google, Samsung e RBSH su temi  rivolti a bambini e giovani ma anche ai loro genitori.

Clémentine Van Hamme

Clémentine van Hamme joined Ashoka in August 2016 and is the Fellowship programme manager in Belgium. She is also coordinating operations and finance for the Belgian office. She is graduated in Business Administration from Management School ICHEC with a master degree in Finance and Marketing. Before joining Ashoka, she supported the international development NGO “Mekong Plus”, active in Vietnam and Cambodia and volunteered for SB Overseas and the "citizen’s platform for refugees in Brussels".

Michael Vollmann

Michael Vollmann leitet das internationale Ashoka Globalizer Projektteam, welches Ashoka Fellows weltweit im Wirkungswachstum und bei ihrer Internationalisierung unterstützt. Außerdem leitet er die CIDG und agiert somit als Brücke zur Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und Kooperation mit Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländern. Zuvor war er drei Jahre lang für die Auswahl neuer Fellows (Venture) und die Durchführung und Weiterentwicklung des Fellowship-Programms in Deutschland verantwortlich.

Robert Wilson

Rob joined Ashoka in 2011. Prior to Ashoka, Rob founded READ International in 2004. READ is a Tanzanian based, university student-volunteer-led organisation which to date has provided over 1.5 million books to schools and created close to 100 school libraries. He now volunteers his time as Chair of the UK board to support READ’s continued growth. Rob has also co-written a book with his wife Nikki about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up.

Laura Zimer

Diplômée d’Audencia, Laura a commencé son parcours professionnel dans le secteur privé, en marketing et communication chez LVMH pendant 4 ans. Elle a toujours démontré dans sa vie personnelle un intérêt pour le secteur associatif à travers plusieurs expériences de bénévolat et la création d’une association de lutte contre l’exclusion sociale, et met aujourd’hui ses compétences professionnelles au service du Social Business.

Ana Dubois

Ana Dubois

Global Office

Jess Agüero

Jess is a DC based web designer and artist. She works to be part of a future where human centered design is the rule, not the exception, for mission-driven businesses and organizations.

Job Amaro

I currently reside in Arlington, VA and have been living in Virginia for the majority of my life. Over the past 5 years, I have been managing IT Infrastructure here at Ashoka. Prior to that, I was an IT Consultant with a small tech company in Washington, D.C. In my free time, I like to organize meetups with all sorts of meetup groups, go on hikes in Shenandoah, meet new people, connect people, and come up with half-baked ideas that may or may not come to fruition.

Fernando Balbino

Before Joining Ashoka in 2018, Balbino worked at Google supporting the success of large advertisers and also leading the brazilian chapter of the Black Googler Network (BGN), an employee resource group focused on empowering the black community at Google and beyond. Throughout his time he has built and worked on several intrapreneurial activities within the former company and help build and strengthen the BGN brand in Brazil, helping to increase the number of black employees at the company and empowered several others through different programs.

Thomas Bell

Since 2010, Thomas has served as Director of the Integrated Technology Initiative at Ashoka where he has focused on transforming the organization’s global, technical infrastructure systems and processes designed to empower Ashoka’s teams around the world. Thomas has over 15 years of experience in the Information and Communication Technology for Development space.

Jason Bernhardt-Lanier

Currently Jason leads Ashoka's Executives in Residence Partnerships worldwide. Previously, Jason led Ashoka's Global People Talent and Architects Initiatives, Ashoka's Learning, Integration & Change on the Integrated Technology Initiatives team, and as Director of Operations for Ashoka's Youth Venture Initiatives. Jason is an Executive Integral Coach, and holds an MS in Positive Organization Development from Case Western, and graduated from Duke University's International Honors Program for Engineers.

Hasan Bhatti

Hasan comes to Ashoka after 10+ years working various levels of the education, social work, organizing, and conflict transformation fields (with organizations like Seeds of Peace, Thomas Askins Alternative HS, Jerusalem Youth Chorus/Hand in Hand, and Community Empowerment Fund). In 2011, Hasan created and directed The Action Project in Chapel Hill/Durham, which brought together people from all identities to engage in deep dialogue and action work for the good of the entire community.

Ryan Bowen

Ryan joined the ITI team as a Salesforce Administrator in June 2016.

Maria Valeria Budinich

Valeria Budinich is a social entrepreneur with 25 years of experience innovating at the intersection of business and society. As a Leadership Group Member at Ashoka, she founded "Full Economic Citizenship", a global initiative that has enabled over 50 hybrid business models in housing, small farmer agriculture and other industries. Currently, she is launching Ashoka’s Changemaker Economy, a global initiative on the new way of organizing for value creation for the good of all. In 2012, she received the Harvard/McKinsey M-Prize for management innovation for her pioneering work.

Marc Carr

A native of the St. Louis region, Marc has a passion for community development through social entrepreneurship and community engagement. Currently, Marc is the North American Changemaker Manager for Ashoka Changemakers where he engaged a network of social innovators in North America and Canada on the development of groundbreaking work in sectors like education, health, economic inequality, and environmental sustainability.

Conrad W Carter


Bill Carter was one of Ashoka's founding Board members. After stepping down from the Board of Directors in February 2009, Bill joined Ashoka as its Everyone a Changemaker Leader for Africa. In this role, he guides Ashoka's overall strategy for our programming in Africa. Before working fulltime with Ashoka, Bill was the CEO of an independent power company, the Long Lake Energy Corporation, that developed hydroelectric, cogeneration and other types of power generation which was sold to public utilities in the US and Canada.

Isabela Carvalho

"In her career, Isa has led integration and advocacy for the United Nations; managed programs for WINGS, a membership organization that promotes philanthropy infrastructure; and implemented a Fellowship program for Yunus&Youth, a social business supported by Muhammad Yunus, connecting young social entrepreneurs with mentors from the corporate sector. She joined Ashoka in 2012. Isa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism (Brazil) and a Master’s degree in Communications and Development (Spain).

Janghwan Chung

I work in Ashoka Korea as the consultant for strategy and partnership.

William Drayton


As a student, he founded organizations ranging from Yale Legislative Services to Harvard’s Ashoka Table, an inter-disciplinary weekly forum in the social sciences. He launched Ashoka in 1981. He used the stipend received when elected a MacArthur Fellow in 1984 to devote himself fully to Ashoka. In 2005, he was selected one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership.

Arjun Durr

Being a program officer for Global Venture and Fellowship, Arjun supports the search, selection and fellowship engagement processes of Ashoka Fellows from all over the world who are both in the process of joining and are already a part of the Ashoka community. Growing up in the Deccan (South Central India) he became aware of poverty in rural communities plagued by frequent droughts and general lack of development at an early age.

Scott Earl

Scott is Ashoka's Global Talent Operations Associate. He first joined Ashoka's Global Search Team in 2014 where he managed Ashoka’s worldwide hiring process and the internship program for the Ashoka Global office. Prior to coming to Ashoka, Scott served as the Local Committee President of AIESEC in Washington, DC and later served as the National Director of Talent Management for AIESEC in Australia. Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Claire M Fallender

Claire leads Ashoka’s Global LeadYoung Initiative, a storytelling campaign that creates awareness and social demand for the new definition of what constitutes success in growing up—every teen knowing they are a changemaker—and the framework for getting there. In this role, Claire draws from her expertise in social entrepreneurship to build and cultivate teams, establish strategic partnerships, and develop key content for Ashoka’s framework change efforts around young people.

Lynsey Farrell

Lynsey Farrell is a Change Leader and currently the Knowledge Lead for Ashoka's Global Venture team that supports the selection of leading social entrepreneurs around the world. While at Ashoka, Lynsey has led numerous knowledge and learning efforts.

Rachel Fauber

Rachel Fauber

Rachel Fauber is a strategic communicator, storyteller, internet enthusiast, and Digital Content Manager at Changemakers. Prior to joining Ashoka, Rachel worked in membership communications and social media marketing at the National Institute on Retirement Security and Himmelrich Public Relations, and served on the board of directors of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Washington, DC. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Towson University and a Master’s in Social Enterprise from American University.

Alexandra Fraenkel

Ali Fraenkel

Ali believes deeply in the creation of unique learning journeys, especially as they connect to the transformational role that institutions can play as leaders in emergent changemaking. Ali brings experience in community building, higher education, and transformative leadership to the Ashoka U team. Previously, Ali was based in Boston working with the Learning by Giving Foundation and Northeastern University (her alma mater) to accelerate national student grantmaking opportunities in higher ed and to launch the first-ever MOOC for effective charitable giving.

Erin Kelly Fornoff

Erin is Venture Integrator for Ashoka Europe, coordinating the selection of new Fellows across the region. A native of Asheville, North Carolina, she was a field organiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign in two states. While working in Ashoka’s headquarters in Washington D.C., she organised collaborations on water, launching initiatives in Africa, Asia and South America. She is a published poet and Artistic Director for Lingo, Ireland’s first spoken word festival. Erin holds a B.A. in Anthropology & Communications from the UNC Chapel Hill, and completed her M.Phil.

Nadine H Freeman

Nadine Freeman is Ashoka’s Globalizer Co-Director. She has over 20 years of experience working closely with social entrepreneurs. Through the Globalizer she has helped build and hone an innovative process that places leading social and business entrepreneurs together to develop effective strategies to spread social impact and create long term systemic change. Before joining the Globalizer team she led Ashoka’s Andean Region and Latin America Fellowship programs, contributing to establishment of social entrepreneurship as a critical field in the region.

Konstanze Frischen

Konstanze leads Ashoka in North America and is a member of the Global Leadership Group. She founded Ashoka in her native Germany in 2003, convinced that social entrepreneurship was needed in Western Europe. Thus, she introduced a radically new concept of social innovation and with her colleagues built up the most powerful network of innovators across the continent. She also co-founded the Globalizer, an initiative re-defining what we mean by scale. She became Ashoka Europe’s director in 2011, before moving to the US in early 2015.

Angie Fuessel

Angie has over 15 year's experience in organizational strategy, development, and change management to enable transformation across teams, organizations, and systems.

Kris Herbst

Kris Herbst works for Ashoka as chief editor for the website. Prior to that he was Director of Community for Ashoka's web platform, managing creation of content and communications through traditional and social media, as well as a team with members on five continents that mobilized participation in challenges for scaling-up social innovation. Prior to joining Ashoka and helping launch in 1998, he developed the first websites launched by clients in Washington, DC including the National Press Club and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Kate A Herrod

Kate has been with Ashoka in a variety of leadership positions since 1999; first finding senior level staff as a consultant for Bill Drayton, then spearheading a new commons creation movement known as Community Greens, and most recently - before her transition to Colorado - leading the Global Talent Team for Ashoka worldwide.

Sarah Holcomb

Sarah Holcomb believes in the power of stories to inform, humanize, and catalyze change. As a writer for Ashoka Changemakers, Sarah works to amplify the impact of changemakers worldwide who building creative solutions to social problems. From writing magazine articles in Texas to facilitating collaborative photography workshops in India, she has experienced how words and images deeply impact individuals and communities. Sarah holds a degree in Communication, with certificates in Human Needs & Global Resources and Journalism, from Wheaton College (IL).

Luzette G Jaimes

Launched Ashoka’s Learning & Development (L&D) to deepen an organizational learning culture based on and in support of Ashoka’s vision and values of “Everyone a Changemaker”. With a rapid rate of change, in a complex world, new (never experienced before) ways of being, organizing and leading are called for. L&D is pioneering learning journeys for social intrapreneurs & changemakers to embody empathy, new leadership and teamwork.

Annette McGee Johnson

Ashoka Global General Counsel. Legal. International Development. Social Entrepreneurship.

Marina Joy Kim

Marina’s work in social entrepreneurship dates back over a decade. She started at Stanford University, leading the Future Social Innovators’ Network, the Social Entrepreneurs’ Challenge, and co-founding the university’s first minor in social innovation. Since then, Marina co-founded and leads Ashoka U, working with campuses to embed social innovation as an educational focus and core value of the university culture. Marina’s work has been featured on, Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times.

Min Ki Kim

Min-Ki directs Ashoka's strategic planning and advise to Ashoka's leadership team on key management issues. Before this role, he worked as the Director of Strategy & Finance for the Global Venture and Fellowship Program for 4 years. He entered the citizen sector in 2006 as General Manager at Goodwill Industries of Korea, where he established its head office in Seoul, South Korea. Previously, he worked at NCsoft as a finance manager who managed a $350 million budget across seven countries.

Hahn Wook Kim


Hanook is Institution Builder for Ashoka's Finance team, improving systems and processes in order for Ashoka to effectively pursue the EACH mission with its limited resources. Prior to coming to the U.S. for his MBA, Hanook grew up in Seoul and started out his career in finance as a fixed income trader at Deutsche Asset Management, going on to manage large mandated fixed income funds. After several years in finance, Hanook yearned to align his values with his work and decided to set out to fulfill new goals.

Emily Lamb

Emily is Associate Director of Ashoka U’s Exchange. The Exchange is Ashoka U's annual global convening of visionary university faculty, staff, students, and social entrepreneurs eager to transform higher education into a hub for social innovation and social change. As Associate Director, Emily guides the strategy, annual planning cycle and execution of the Exchange. In 2014, Emily began as an intern at Ashoka U and worked to support various leadership development initiatives within the Ashoka U network.

Fangzhou Ma

Fangzhou joined Ashoka in September 2014 as a finance intern. She's currently the financial analyst producing monthly financial Dashboard, managing Ashoka's financial planning system - Adaptive, and overseeing East Asia and South East Asia countries. Fangzhou started her career at HSBC as a premier relationship assistant, and has always wanted to participate in social change using her skill sets. Fangzhou holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Master of science in Financial Engineering.

Daniela de Carvalho Matielo

Dani Matielo has been working with strategies for digital inclusion in Brazil since 2001. She has a firm belief in the power of linking (people, groups, communities, networks), in order to promote deep social change. Working for the project Acessa São Paulo, a public initiative for digital inclusion conducted by the Government of São Paulo, she participated in the design and implementation of a strategy involving more than 600 telecentres in a network based in community projects called Rede de Projetos (Projects Network).

Stéphane de Messières

Stéphane is Director of Operations & Product Management for Ashoka's Global Partnerships Team, where he combines his passions for social innovation, systemic solutions and team-building. Stéphane is a 2009 Echoing Green Fellow and founder of Fosfo, a movement to illuminate business behavior and empower ethical consumers. Stéphane also helped launch and managed operations for Oxfam America’s R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, a multi-sector collaboration that delivers drought insurance and other risk management services to farmers in Ethiopia and Senegal.

Dia Metropolis

Dia Metropolis has worked in Ashoka’s Global Finance department since December 2012. She began her career in General Electric’s competitive Financial Management Program and continued to their intense Corporate Audit Staff, completing financial and process improvement audits of GE businesses in the U.S, the U.K, Mexico, Australia, Norway, and Germany. In 2010, Dia joined the U.S. Peace Corps as an Education volunteer and completed two life-changing years teaching Math in a small rural community in war-torn Sierra Leone.

Fernanda Mijangos

Fernanda Mijangos

Fernanda has joined the Global Venture and Fellowship team to manage the finances and support strategy development! Before moving to DC, Fer lived in Colorado where she earned her Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA that helped her better understand social entrepreneurship and realize how she could contribute to the world-wide movement. Originally from Mexico, Fer worked in the construction industry where she created a revolving credit line that helped build low income housing. In her spare time she is an active ocean conservationist focused on sharks.

Stephen B Outlaw

Stephen (formerly Ashoka's Web Administrator/Developer) is a Digital Properties Strategist with the Integrated Technology Initiative (ITI) team. Stephen builds strategies and shares best practices for leveraging Ashoka's digital communications properties to maximize engagement with changemakers around the world. Stephen has been working for social change for over two decades, and understands the critical role technology plays in advancing the goals of citizen sector organizations. He also has a passion for travel, music, and the outdoors.

Betul Ozyilmaz

Operations and Culture Manager @ Ashoka Changemakers

Maria Clara Machado Pinheiro

Maria Clara leads Ashoka’s Global Fellowship. Since 2003, she has worked extensively to select, support and promote collaborations between leading social entrepreneurs in different parts of the world. After launching Ashoka’s Senior Fellows program in 2008, she moved to India to set up the first hub for Ashoka in Bangalore and to build the new leadership team in Asia. Back in Washington DC, she co-created the Wellbeing Project in 2013 and launched Ashoka’s efforts in building a culture of wellbeing for changemakers.

Sudeep Poudel

Since 2012 I have been working in Ashoka as a Changemakers Senior Finance Manager. Before this role I also served Ashoka finance team and also worked as Director of Finance of Youth Venture Inc. I am native of Nepal - a Himalayan country in South Asia. I firmly believe work place should be a fun place to foster creativity and productivity. I came from a commercial banking background and trying to bring for profit perspective in non-profit financial management.

Shrushti Runwal

Shrushti is a trained psychologist and comes with an unconventional mix of private and public sector experience. In her most recent role, she is working with Ashoka Innovators for the Public, the organization that pioneered the sector of social entrepreneurship 30+ years ago. She is building the world’s largest network of 3,700+ leading social entrepreneurs, amplifying and connecting a global community that is leading the everyone a changemaker movement.

Kelsey Sakumoto

Global Office - Director of the Executive Office, Global Venture Operations

Timothy S Scheu


Tim is a Tampa, FL-based Director for Ashoka Changemakers. During his tenure, he has led day-to-day delivery of our Start Empathy, Re-imagine Learning, and Children's Wellbeing engagements, among others. Prior to arriving in Arlington, he served as Innovation Manager for International Bridges to Justice, where he conceptualized and managed collaborative competitions specific to the human rights sector. From 2001 to 2005, Tim served as Communications Manager for GlobalGiving, where he helped launch, publicize, and populate an online marketplace for international philanthropy.

Dina Sharif

Dina Sherif has over twenty years of international and regional experience in integrated sustainable development, corporate sustainability management (including corporate governance, inclusion and diversity, philanthropic activities and environmental risk management), youth civic engagement, strategic philanthropy, program design, impact assessments, social entrepreneurship, youth unemployment and women’s economic inclusion.

Rashmi Singh

Rashmi will be working with the Talent & Finance Teams in ensuring top notch US Payroll and Benefits management, fluid team integration and a great user experience in related processes and systems. She will be your go-to person for this important piece of our wellbeing. Rashmi was born in India where she started a consulting firm and volunteered at orphanages. She was also a lecturer of psychology and organizational behavior and holds an MBA in HR and a BA in microbiology and environmental studies.

Gorav Seth


While studying Plant Biology and researching Bio-hydrogen production at UC Berkeley, Gorav developed a keen interest in agroecology and sustainable development. He took this interest out into the world, working on projects in the USA, Honduras, India, Costa Rica, and the Bahamas. In a hiatus from overseas work, he completed his MBA in International Business under the Millennium Fellowship from the George Washington University in 2004.

Robert Spoer


Bob Spoer is Chief Enterpreneur for People. A veteran of Silicon Valley search Spoer has recruited business and technical innovators globally for a number of Silicon Valley companies. In addition to LinkedIn, he has worked with Bloom Energy, Trimble and Teknekron. He began his search career with Spencer Stuart based in Hong Kong. “Recruiting for Good”, sponsored by the Linkedin for Good Foundation, enables teams of employees to “crowdsource” the best talent for key executive and technical roles for NGOs on a pro bono basis.

Vishnu Swaminathan

Vishnu, a lifelong entrepreneur now leads Ashoka’s global teams on Planning, Budgeting, and Global Partnerships. He has been at Ashoka for 11 years and during that time, he has led multiple teams across South Asia, South East Asia and at the Global office. He joined Ashoka to lead a project on affordable housing, which after demonstration of enabling over 15,000 homes across India - is now a separate organization he co-founded called the Indian Housing Federation.

Lucia Perez Torres-Muñoz

Lucía joined the Global Talent Team in October 2016 as a Change Manager. Previously, she worked in the academic and social sectors in Europe and Latin America, focusing on social innovation education, entrepreneurship, and leadership development. She’s passionate about supporting others to flourish and realize their personal and professional dreams. Lucía holds a Master’s degree in International Management from King’s College London (UK), and a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Vesalius College (Belgium).

Diana Wells

Diana joined the organization after graduating from Brown University in 1988 with a degree in South Asian Studies. As an undergraduate, her year-long study abroad in Varanasi, India led her to see the need for local solutions to solve global problems. This insight inspired her to pursue an internship at Ashoka, where she created one of its core programs, Fellowship Support Services, (now Fellowship) which expanded the resources available to Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs to connect them to one another. She became the President of Ashoka in 2005.

Irene Wu

A native of Beijing, Irene spent most of her life in Japan, Hong Kong, and the U.S. After transitioning from a professional musician, Irene ventured into education and international development, and has subsequently worked in the U.S., Kenya, China, Southeast Asia, and India. While in Asia, Irene designed and led youth social innovation programs with local NGOs, combining human-centered design with experiential learning to equip and empower young people from under-resourced areas to solve local challenges.

Stuart Yasgur

Stuart Yasgur leads Ashoka’s Social Financial Services (SFS) globally. To date, Ashoka SFS has supported dozens of pioneering Social Investment Entrepreneurs and mobilized over $500 million in funding. Earlier in his career, Stuart was Managing Partner of a New York-based consultancy and has taught at New York University and the London School of Economics. Stuart received a PhD from the London School of Economics, a Master’s degree from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. To connect with Stuart, contact or @StuartYasgur on Twitter.

Qin Zhou

Qin is the Finance Director for Africa Diamond. With experience working in both developed and emerging markets, she possesses critical knowledge and insights in financial and operational capacities. Before joining Ashoka, Qin co-founded a global culinary school in South Korea and built up exchange programs between Korea and China. She also led a solar energy project in Johannesburg, South Africa during her MBA study. Qin holds degrees from Beijing Technology and Business University, Yonsei University in Korea and Georgetown University.

Middle East North Africa

Iman Bibars

Iman is the Regional Director for Ashoka Arab World (AAW) which she launched in 2003. Iman is a Leadership Group Member and Global Diaspora Leader in Ashoka.  She is the co-founder and chair of ADEW, a CSO providing credit and legal aid for impoverished women. With more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning, policy formulation, community development and project design, Iman has dedicated her life to working with marginalized and voiceless groups -female heads of households in Egypt's poorest areas.

Kara Fitzgerald

Kara joined Ashoka Arab World in 2017 as Communication & Partnership Officer. Kara is entering her third year in Cairo, Egypt, having previously worked in communications for the President of the American University in Cairo. Kara earned her B.A. in International Affairs and Political Science from Gettysburg College.

North America

Maria Laura Acebal

Maria Laura Acebal is part of the Leadership Group at Ashoka, heading up the Youth Years work for North America. She has over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector both in executive and governance roles. She founded Safe@School Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to food allergy safety, and then became CEO of the country's largest nonprofit organization, The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. She serves on several nonprofit boards and has worked as a consultant on a broad range of issues, from board development to fundraising to program strategy.

Tuyet Adamovich

Tuyet is the Finance Associate for Ashoka in the United States and she has been at Ashoka since February 2016. Prior to joining Ashoka, she worked as the Customer Services Associate for a medium scale construction company and volunteered to help low-income families and individuals prepare their income tax return. She currently holds a B.S. in Finance from the American University.

Lorena Garcia Duran

Lorena is the Director for the Ashoka Support Network in the US. She joined the Ashoka team in Mexico and Central America in 2008. While in Mexico she co-lead the largest philanthropic effort in the country named “Iniciativa Mexico”. This brought together for the first time in Mexico´s history major communication corporations to invest the largest economic figure into the social sector. In 2009 she launched Ashoka efforts in Miami making it one of the hubs of Ashoka´s efforts.

Maria Estenson

Maria is the team integrator and special projects manager for Ashoka U.S. and makes sure the team is running smoothly, creatively, and collaboratively. Maria started at Ashoka fall 2017, and worked on the Latin America and Search teams and ran the summer internship program before joining Ashoka US. She is most alive when creating -- whether it be new graphic designs for the Welcome Change series or new mugs at her pottery studio in SE DC -- and loves building relationships through the process.

Jessica Lax

Jessica’s focus is on increasing Ashoka U’s breadth of impact. She leads Ashoka U’s thought leadership and digital strategy, refining Ashoka U’s messages to reach new audiences. Based in Ottawa, and as a past member of the Ashoka Canada team, Jess also brings a global lens to Ashoka U’s work. Through partnerships with higher education networks, she is building an increasingly global, and more representative campus network. An accomplished social entrepreneur, Jess has been working on spreading ideas in the social impact education space for more than 15 years.

Annie Plotkin-Madrigal

Annie joined Ashoka U.S. right after graduating from the University of Virginia in 2016, where she majored in Political and Social Thought. She was a Global Citizen Year Fellow from 2011-2012, when she traveled to Northeastern Brazil and worked in a government crisis center and her host family's snack stand. Since then, she has worked on issues of racial and environmental justice, women's rights, and educational equity for minority students in Washington D.C.

Barbara Steele


Executive Director Barb Steele has a knack for bringing out the best in people. Given the talent and impact of Ashoka Canada’s network, Barb—a natural community-builder—has a lot to be excited about. Her next steps: tapping into Ashoka’s global network and showcasing the amazing work of the Canadian Fellows. She is spearheading a Listening Tour with our Canadian Fellows, and is building our new vision from their inspiring insights. Barb comes to Ashoka after a decade of purpose-based work, building from a prior corporate career in marketing.

Danica Straith

Interim Ashoka U Canada Director, Danica Straith has an ambitious goal: to make changemaking education the new normal in Canada. She is one among many in a national network of change leaders putting social innovation at the forefront of higher education. While seeking out and engaging prospective Changemaker Campuses, she continues to grow support among students and administrators alike. Danica was a changemaking student herself, co-founding a social enterprise between completing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at McGill.

Simon Stumpf

Simon is the Director of Venture and Fellowship for Ashoka in the United States. In this role he helps identify and support Ashoka's annual class of systems-changing Fellows in the U.S. Prior to joining the U.S. team in 2014, Simon led Ashoka's programs in East Africa for four years and, before that, coordinated a global collaboration of over 100 leading social entrepreneurs focused on rural innovation and farming in Africa and South Asia.

Alexandra Vesey


Alex Vesey is the Venture Associate for Ashoka US. She recently graduated Sarah Lawrence College with a double major in Creative Writing and Latin. At SLC, she founded her campus's Disability Alliance, which grew into a social and activist group for students with disabilities. Since graduation, she has worked at a variety of health and disability organizations, however, she is very excited to branch out and become a part of the broader citizenship sector with Ashoka. In her other life, she writes science fiction and fantasy stories and takes care of an elderly little dog.

Michael D Zakaras

Michael Zakaras is Director of Strategy & Partnerships at Ashoka U.S. He is also co-founder of Ashoka’s ‘All America’ initiative which focuses on pushing the boundaries of social entrepreneurship beyond the traditional coastal circles. Michael has previously worked for Ashoka in Ireland and Central Europe, and has participated on selection panels for social entrepreneurs across the globe, from Montreal to Warsaw to Istanbul.

South Asia

Rameez Alam

Rameez believes the mysteries of human nature can be uncovered by studying history and philosophy. Berger’s “Hold Everything Dear”, Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”, Harari’s “Sapiens” are some of the books that have unlocked these mysteries for him. His desire to see people living more responsbiliyt, and understanding the full impact of youth on society encouraged him to work with Ashoka Fellow, Ashraf Patel’s organization, Pravah, from 2008 until July 2017, building journeys for young people to find their purpose.

Bineesh Mathai

Bineesh Mathai

A strategic not-for-profit professional with an entrepreneurial approach, having 13 years’ experience in-starting and running fundraising and programme operations and achieving income growth for national and international non-profits in India.

Nagendra Chandrashekar

Nagendra joined Ashoka in October 2010 and is the Finance and Accounts Manager. He has over 24 years of progressive and significant experience in Accounts management and office administration. His key skills include preparation of final accounts, income and expenditure statements, receipts and payments statement, balance sheet, funding and project proposals. Previously, he has handled statutory and internal auditing and income tax and sales tax assessments.

Jayalakshmi Jayanth

Jaya Jayanth

Jaya joined Ashoka in April 2015 as a part of the Integrated Technology Initiative team. She is a mother of two, multilinguist, Drupal evangelist who started her career as an Analytical Chemist and then a Russian Technical translator and Interpreter and now enjoys development of websites since 2007.

Sunish Jauhari

Sunish comes with two decades of leadership experience in international trade and investment consulting for the interest of small and medium scale enterprises. He has to his credit a number of organisations he founded / co-founded, in the areas of media and PR, market-based social security for informal sector, women’s safety and road safety during his career.

Raghav Khemka

Raghav started his changemaking journey as a teenager and brings an amazing entrepreneurial track record through his various initiatives. He graduated from the University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) in 2015 with a degree in Law and Politics of South Asia. He has been working in the Impact Space from last few years through various organisations in areas as diverse as Governance, Health, Agriculture and Development. This experience has seen him spend time in different states & regions across India.

Rajesh Kumar

He joined Ashoka in November, 2014 for the project, Transforming Childhood and Youth Years in South Asia as Project Coordinator. Previously, he has worked with Ashoka Innovators as Admin Manager. He has worked in an administrative capacity in both development and corporate sector.

Shantanu Paul

Shantanu Paul has been with the Venture and Fellowship team in India since 2016. Originally from Australia, Shantanu came to India through the IDEX Global Fellowship program, an accelerator in Social Entrepreneurship for early stage professionals. Prior to this, Shantanu has worked for aid organizations such as World Vision Australia in various capacities and founded the Save the Children Australia Youth Movement. He started his own organization for Youth Mentorship and Youth Empowerment in Australia and has also extensively worked in the space of Youth Mental Health.

Prasanna Prasanna


Exploring social impact and sustainable development. Expertise in Digital Marketing & Analytics, Project Management. Worked in all kinds of professional environments - non-profit, corporate, agency, and startup.

Artika Raj

Artika works for the Framework Change and Communications team at Ashoka that looks at figuring out how do we make a paradigm shift towards a world where everyone is a changemaker. She started her career as a researcher, going on to write and edit for an art and culture print magazine, subsequently heading editorial operations at a digital media platform. Currently, she is helping build the architecture for how we effectively communicate the need for changemaking across communities and networks through collaborations and impactful engagements. She's also an ICF-News Corp Fellow.

Saurav Roy

Saurav Roy is currently a consultant at Ashoka India and Bangladesh. Energized by his passion for learning, futures, and story-telling, he emphasizes the importance of creating safe spaces for sharing and teaching stories of positive, alternative futures as key to paving long-term impact in shaping a brighter future. Having a keen interest in arts and travels, he started his own company of sustainable tourism when he was 18.

Ganesh S P

Ganesh joined Ashoka in June 2010 and works as the Administrative Assistant. Before Ashoka, he was the security supervisor and receptionist at a software company—Avio Electronics Info Systems.

Supriya Sankaran

Supriya joined Ashoka India in 2010 as the Venture Manager. She coordinates the search and selection process of social entrepreneurs in India and with them, she is helping to build collaborative entrepreneurship platforms in different areas, such as rural innovation, health, education. Having graduated in 2005 from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad India, Supriya joined a premier Indian corporate law firm, Amarchand Mangaldas, and specialized in securities laws and capital market transactions.

Yashveer Singh

Yashveer has worked with International development organisations on strategy & sustainability and has been instrumental in launching & setting up new projects. Prior to this, he founded a youth non-profit to address talent inequity in the development sector and influence youth culture in India by inspiring, educating, and supporting university students to pursue social innovation and entrepreneurship. For his work, Yashveer has been recognized as one of the Social Entrepreneurs in "Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia" list in the year 2016.

Archana Sinha

Archana Sinha leads the Health and Nutrition Initiative at Ashoka. Through Nourishing Schools, the initiative aims to develop young changemakers who can take charge of their own nutrition and that of their communities. She also manages global partnerships at Ashoka India. Prior to joining Ashoka, she was a management consultant with i3 Consulting, a firm founded by ex-McKinsey employees. She led engagements advising clients from industries such as financial services and e-commerce on business development, strategy and setting up new ventures.

Nikitha Varsha

Nikitha Varsha joined Ashoka as Assistant Manager for Finance & Accounts. She comes with 12 years of experience in the field. Prior to joining Ashoka, Nikitha was specialized in the preparation of receipts & payment, income & expenditure accounts, profit & loss account, cash flow statement & balance sheet, payroll, budget & MIS reports, coordinating with the auditors for the finalization of accounts and also interacting with statutory work like ESIC, PF, PT, TDS and Service Tax. She is well-versed in accounting softwares like Tally ERP 9 & Netsuite.

Southeast Asia

Sinee Chakthranont

Sinee Chakthranont has led Ashoka in Thailand for over 15 years developing one of the largest and robust Fellowships programs with over 100 of the organization’s 3,000 globally-recognized social entrepreneurs. She has contributed significantly to the field of social entrepreneurship in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia by building cross sector networks. Sinee speaks on social innovations and has been regularly featured by national media as an expert commentator. She has been active in Thailand’s civic movement since the historic protests for democratic reforms in 1970s.

Stephanie Jayme


Terri joined Ashoka in 2004 as the Asia Desk Officer based in the Washington, DC headquarters. In 2007, she moved back to Asia to help launch Ashoka’s country offices in Singapore and Manila. She leads Ashoka’s efforts in the Philippines to find and support the most promising local social innovators through a lifetime global fellowship. With a passion for community development, local craft, and design, Terri is also Co-Founder of the local brand, Biyahe. From 2009-2012, she spent time in Singapore and London helping to build young brands in the fields of innovation and social enterprise.

Sumitra Pasupathy

Sumitra Pasupathy

Sumitra joined Ashoka in 2015 as the Director for Ashoka Singapore and the launch of Ashoka Malaysia. Sumitra Pasupathy is a social entrepreneur and the Co-founder and Director of Playeum, an innovative education content and service provider centered on creativity for children and families based in Singapore. Playeum is in its fifth year of operation with a strong track record of innovative product and creative partnerships locally and internationally. Sumitra has over 15 years of professional experience in product development and creative content development.

Claudia Rivera

Claudia joined Ashoka Philippines as program associate in the beginning of 2014, when she took an interest in social innovation. Before this, she was with MAKNA or Majlis Kanser Nasional (National Cancer Council Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She served in their International Division from 2011-2013, helping them start initiatives in Vietnam and Singapore. In her undergraduate student days, she was an active leader in AIESEC, the world's largest student-run organization, and the President of the UP Children's Rights Advocates League.

Michael Gallagher

Michael joined Ashoka as one of its earliest staff in 1986. During three years he helped build the early Ashoka in Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan. 30 years later Michael rejoined Ashoka to build an Everyone A Changemaker movement with partners in Southeast Asia. Before rejoining Ashoka, Michael was an intrapreneur at Wells Fargo in San Francisco, Hong Kong, and London. During 26 years at Wells Fargo he built and led 7 new businesses in small business credit, and in intellectual property and patenting.