Senior Team

Romanus Berg

Romanus serves as a member of Ashoka's Leadership Group in the role of CIO. He had previously served on Oceana's leadership team, which established and rapidly grew a small start-up into the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Romanus began his career developing the online communications practice that supported the successful $1.9B privatization of the U.S. Uranium Enrichment Corporation (USEC.) In addition to shifting the focus of uranium enrichment from military to civilian use in both the U.S. and Russia, it was the largest successful government initial public stock offering in U.S. history. Romanus currently serves on NetHope's board, which works to share social solutions across citizen, government and private sectors.

Dr. 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. Iman has also worked with UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, CARE-Egypt, GTZ and KFW.  Iman holds a PhD in Development Studies from Sussex University and a BA and MA in Political Science from American University in Cairo. She was a Peace Fellow at Georgetown University and a Parvin Fellow at Princeton University. Iman has been featured in several national and international press outlets and also authored the books Heroines and Victims: Women, Welfare, and the Egyptian State, Dreams of a Good Fellow, one of the first books written in Arabic on US President Barack Obama, and the Women of Tahrir.

Valeria Budinich

Valeria Budinich is a social entrepreneur who has worked for 25 years in the creation and expansion of new businesses with social impact in 22 countries worldwide. At Ashoka, Valeria founded in 2003 the Full Economic Citizenship (FEC) Initiative, a global initiative enabling large commercial alliances between social entrepreneurs and private companies to deliver products and services to small producers and low-income families through the articulation of Hybrid Value Chains (HVC™). Ashoka's FEC work is focused on housing, healthcare, and agriculture. As the Chief Entrepreneur of the Ashoka Housing for All program, Valeria launched the initiative 3 years ago and has been responsible for expanding it to Brazil, Colombia, Egypt and India. Prior to Ashoka, Valeria was the Chief Operating Officer at Appropriate Technology International, a founding Vice-President for Latin America at Endeavor, and a VP for New Initiatives at BDA, a California-based consulting firm specializing in business process redesign and technology innovations for private sector clients worldwide. She was brought up in Chile and trained as an industrial engineer. (photo credit: Nana Watanabe)

Henry De Sio

Henry De Sio is pioneering Ashoka's framework change efforts aimed at facilitating the global societal shift to Everyone A Changemaker™ – with a specific emphasis on preparing our youth to step confidently as innovators and leaders into today’s fast-changing world. Previously, De Sio served as deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and he was the 2008 Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Obama for America. Henry has spent more than a decade teaching, writing, and speaking on the leadership principles that drive individual and organizational achievement. He is the author of Campaign Inc.: How Leadership and Organization Propelled Barack Obama to the White House (University of Iowa Press).

 

Anne Evans

Anne Evans has extensive experience as a social entrepreneur, private sector management consultant, senior executive and nonprofit trustee. Formerly a partner with the MAC Group (now Gemini Consulting) she was also Executive Officer/Administrator of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.  She has consulted to and served on the boards of a variety of nonprofit organizations, including as board chair for the Levine School of Music. In 2001, she entered the world of social entrepreneurs, co-founding the Nomadic Kenyan Children's Educational Fund (NKCEF) to support secondary-level education of nomadic children in Kenya. NKCEF merged in 2011 with the Kenya Education Fund and Anne continues on the board of the combined entity. A native of North Carolina, Anne received her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College, and Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale University's School of Organization and Management as part of its Charter Class.

Konstanze Frischen

Konstanze Frischen - Ashoka GermanyKonstanze Frischen founded Ashoka Germany in 2003. She co-founded the Ashoka Globalizer, has been a director of Ashoka Europe since 2011and a global Leadership Group Member since 2008. She is a board member of GLS Bank and a member of the innovation board of UNHCR, the United Nation’s refugee agency. Konstanze studied politics and social anthropology in Heidelberg, at SOAS and the London School of Economics, and had spent formative years in Latin America. She worked  for CNN International as a freelance writer and producer before becoming a staff writer and editor for Germany’s quality broadsheet FAZ. There, she was a member of the founding team that planned, designed and successfully launched the new FAZ Sunday newspaper. When researching Ashoka, she got hooked and felt strongly that the idea behind the organization should be brought to Western Europe, which she set off to do in 2003.

David Green

David Green has worked with many organizations to make medical technology and health care services sustainable, affordable and accessible to all. David is a MacArthur Fellow, Ashoka Fellow and is recognized by Schwab Foundation as a leading social entrepreneur. David helped establish Aurolab (India), to produce affordable intraocular lenses (now has 8% of the global market share) and suture. He has helped develop high-volume, quality eye care programs that are affordable to the poor and self-sustaining from user fees, including Aravind Eye Hospital in India - which performs 300,000 surgeries per year - 70 percent of the care is provided free of charge or below - cost, yet the hospital is able to generate substantial surplus revenue. Within this paradigm of 'humanizing capitalism, he now works as an Ashoka VP (since 2004) to create social investing instruments to support sustainable social enterprises (in eye care and solar energy). He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor in General Studies (1978) and a Masters degree in Public Health (1982). He is the recipient of the 2009 "Spirit of Helen Keller" award for humanitarian efforts in blindness prevention and is the recipient of the 2009 University of Michigan Humanitarian Service Award.

Al Hammond

Al Hammond is Senior Entrepreneur with Ashoka's Full Economic Citizenship program, where he is leading an effort to transform rural healthcare. He is also: a serial social entrepreneur, with five prior start-ups to his credit, now working on a health care enterprise that will pilot in rural India; an author who has published extensively in the scientific, policy research, and business literature and written or edited more than 12 books or book-length reports, including, most recently, principal author of The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy for the Base of the Pyramid; a consultant who has worked with numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies (including the White House science office), and international organizations; a former journalist who went on to found and edit several national publications, win several national magazine awards, broadcast a nationally-syndicated daily radio program for 5 years, and oversee the launch of a prominent blog, www.nextbillion.net. Dr. Hammond holds degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University in engineering and applied mathematics.

Felix Oldenburg

Felix Oldenburg serves as Europe Leader and Director Germany. An entrepreneur and expert at the interfaces of the social, business and political sectors, Felix has launched a number of national and international programs that accelerate the spread and impact of social innovations. Before joining Ashoka, Felix started an online business and worked for management consulting firm McKinsey&Company in London. As director at a political consultancy, he pioneered citizen consultations for governments and foundations, including the European Citizens' Consultations in 27 countries. He speaks and publishes on social entrepreneurship, citizen engagement, and corporate social responsibility. Felix studied Philosophy at the universities of Bonn, Tübingen and Oxford and acquired an Executive Master in Policy Management in Washington DC (Georgetown).

Lucy Perkins

Since 1999, Lucy Perkins has been serving as a Leadership Group Member of Ashoka.  Lucy has designed and led major organizational changes for Ashoka at both the regional and the global levels.  Currently focusing on Ashoka’s approach to major partnerships, Lucy’s past roles at Ashoka have included re-engineering global operations and Venture program to enable multi-program expansion around the world, guiding Ashoka’s expansion in Asia and across Europe, acting as CFO to bring the organization's financial management more in line with its 4-fold growth over the previous decade, and participating in the alignment of Ashoka’s hiring with its Fellow selection process.  Prior to joining Ashoka, Lucy spent seven years in international finance, first with the International Finance Corporation/World Bank and then with Emerging Markets Partnership, a US$4 billion global equity investment firm.  Lucy has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Stanford University (1986).  She earned an MBA in Finance from Wharton in 1992.

Paula Recart

Paula Recart serves as North America Leader and Director of Ashoka in the US. She joined Ashoka in 2007 after 15 years in the media industry in Chile, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the magazine with the largest circulation in the country. During her 9 years of tenure, she led the magazine to one of the top positions in readership and sales, and she oversaw six additional new magazines. Prior to that, she was part of the founding team of a broadcasting project –Rock&PopTV- that is still considered one of the most creative endeavors in Chilean media. At Ashoka, Paula has been part of the Global Marketing team and now leads the US efforts since July 2010.


Beverly Schwartz

Beverly is the author of Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Around the World, Published by Jossey Bass, Jan 2012. She joined Ashoka as Vice President of Global Marketing from Fleishman Hillard International Communications where she created and managed their social issues portfolio and directed the non-advertising portion of the "National Youth Anti-drug Media Campaign". A behavioral scientist and social marketing expert, Bev has many systems changing innovations to her credit. She helped write and pass the nation's first non-smoking in public places state law in Minnesota, helped design and manage the first national "America Responds to AIDS" campaign and authored the first Surgeon General's report on HIV/AIDS for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, developed the National Eye Care Project for indigent elderly at the American Academy of Ophthalmology and worked on gender and education reform issues while at the Academy for Educational Development.

Vishnu Swathnathan

Vishnu joins Ashoka with more than 14 years of experience as Entrepreneur and innovator. He started two companies in Singapore in the areas of Financial transactions & Animation technology. After one of the companies was acquired he moved to India to head a leadership school based in Pune, where he led the school's social effort by creating a independent Centre for Social Development. He started his career as a 3D and Film Special effects artist, holds a couple of patents from his ventures and has worked on a wide range of technologies, projects, training and strategic business models.