Ashoka’s career path is designed to mirror the life stages of entrepreneurial development that team members are expected to move along over time. Ashoka allows staff at all career stages to move within the organization, as the needs of the institution and their own interests and abilities dictate. The career path described below applies to all candidates applying for the Entrepreneurial Track at Ashoka.
Budding entrepreneur looking to acquire a base of entrepreneurial skills and experiences.
Michael Vollmann, Germany
Michael Vollmann completed his studies in International Culture and Economic Studies at Passau University and Universidade do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) with his Diploma thesis in cooperation with Ashoka about "Parameters for Social Entrepreneurship in Germany". During his studies he founded a student movement to foster students teaching students events in the fields of development cooperation and migration at his university. What is more, during his community service in Chile and Bolivia he gained deep insight in the field of international development cooperation teaching at a professional school. Michael works in venture and fellowship, manages the contacts to universities.
Senior Intrapreneur (Senior Associate)
Budding entrepreneur who has spent some time developing their entrepreneurial skills and experiences.
Global Program Director, Ashoka Support Network
Silvia is the Global Program Director of Ashoka’s Support Network (ASN), working closely to further expand ASN. Silvia originally joined Ashoka in October 2005 as a consultant to support the launch of the UK program, particularly systematizing the support provided by Ashoka to Fellows traveling through the UK. Silvia is a qualified lawyer in Brazil and has a Masters from Warwick University. As a student her interests had always been geared towards the Third Sector, having led several initiatives that promoted Third Sector awareness. After graduating, she joined a law firm specializing in the Third Sector, where provided legal advice and support to a number of commercial and not-for profit clients – some of whom are now Ashoka Fellows. Born in Brazil, Silvia has lived in Rio, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Milan and London.
Change Manager (Associate Director)
Demonstrated entrepreneur looking to build upon early entrepreneurial successes.
Vipin Thekkekalathil, India
Associate Director, Youth Venture
Vipin Thek is currently working with the Global office in Washington DC. Before moving to DC, he was heading the Youth Venture program in India for the last 5 years. With their work in both the urban and rural communities, Vipin and his team built an 'eco-system' of support for young entrepreneurs. Vipin has been instrumental in engaging with a variety of stakeholders ranging from schools and universities to business entrepreneurs to provide young people the resources they need to become effective citizens. Before joining Ashoka, he co-founded Tulir - Center for the Prevention & Healing of Child Sexual Abuse in Chennai, an organization which works on the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA).
Senior Change Manager (Director)
Demonstrated entrepreneur looking to share and replicate entrepreneurial successes.
Tina Choi leads Ashoka’s strategic marketing and communications initiatives in Europe. She brings over 15 years of multi-sector experience, with previous positions at the United Nations, Random House, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and as a White House Fellow. She started her career as an Echoing Green Fellow and remains committed to supporting the work of social entrepreneurs. She has been selected as one of the "100 Global Social Entrepreneurs” by IDC and received the "Women Redefining Leadership" Award from the State of the World Forum. Tina has lived and travelled in over 50 countries and speaks several languages. Tina holds degrees from Wellesley, Harvard, and Oxford.
Change Leader (Managing Director)
Experienced entrepreneur looking to replicate success and broaden impact.
Executive Director, Ashoka’s Changemakers
Charlie is the Executive Director of Ashoka’s Changemakers, an online community that “open sources” innovative solutions to entrenched problems worldwide and builds communities of action to support them. Before Changemakers, Charlie spent three years building the architecture for Ashoka’s global community of Fellows and directed three policy focused Ashoka initiatives – the India Sustainable Water Project, which is focused on analyzing existing links between innovations and policy in the field of water management; Advocates for Social Entrepreneurs (ASE), which is spreading the pro bono legal movement globally to support social entrepreneurs in influencing the regulatory environment; and a policy partnership with the World Bank Institute to connect Changemakers online competition finalists to policy makers. In addition to Ashoka, Charlie has worked at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the development of climate change mitigation strategies and spearheaded innovations for land management in the National Park Service and abroad.
Leadership Group Member (Vice President)
Luminary looking to achieve scale impact.
Vice-President, Full Economic Citizenship
At Ashoka, Valeria focuses on enabling commercial alliances between social entrepreneurs and private companies to deliver products and services to small producers and low-income families. Previously, Valeria worked for Appropriate Technology International, a global non-profit foundation specializing in providing technical and financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas. As CEO, she assumed a leading role in the development field's thinking about small producers. She also served as founding VP for Latin America at Endeavor, a foundation specializing in linking entrepreneurs in emerging economies with venture capital investors in the US. Valeria launched Endeavor's first field operations in Chile and was part of the core team that designed their search and selection process to identify high yield investment opportunities. She served also served as VP for New Initiatives at BDA, a California-based consulting firm specializing in business process redesign and technology innovations for private sector clients worldwide. At BDA, Valeria developed innovative services for small and medium scale entrepreneurs and launched the first seed capital fund in Chile financing exclusively enterprises at the start-up level. Valeria has also worked as an advisor to groups like Woman's World Banking, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and UNIFEM. She was brought up in Chile and trained as an industrial engineer.
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