Meet the DIV Team

Jeff Brown is the Director of USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), a new initiative that is helping to identify, test, and scale development solutions that can drastically improve outcomes and at a lower cost. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University. Before joining DIV at the beginning of 2011, Jeff held positions at the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where his portfolio focused on evaluation and oversight of the development efforts of each of these institutions. He has also conducted domestic economic research at the Federal Reserve and at Dartmouth College. Jeff has a MA in International Development from Harvard University, a MA in Economics from Brown University, and a BA in Economics from Colby College. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffhbrown.

Alex Riehm is a Program Specialist on the Development Innovation Ventures team in USAID's Office of Innovation and Development Alliances. Alex has been a member of this team since December 2010 and coordinates the selection process for new awards and supports grants management. He has a Masters of International Affairs from George Washington University's Elliott School and a BA from the University of Florida in Religion and Anthropology. Before USAID, Alex worked in post-conflict community development. 

Sarah Burch is one of the founding members of the DIV team. She has screened over 400 business plans and served on four DIV panels focused on evaluating scalable development solutions suitable for DIV financing. Currently, she is helping lead the effort to build DIV’s portfolio management functions as well as create innovative financing tools to help social enterprises grow.  Prior to working at DIV, she worked with USAID’s first Chief Innovation Officer and played a key role in managing agency wide initiatives such as the creation of the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) and the formation of the Office of Innovation and Development Alliances (IDEA).  Sarah hails from Washington State and is a proud alumna of Notre Dame. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahQBurch

Jill Boezwinkle serves as a Grant Manager on the Development Innovation Ventures team in the Office of Innovation and Development Alliances. In this position she supports several innovative projects to evaluate their impact, cost effectiveness and determine pathways to scale. Before joining the DIV team, she spent over 7 years in USAID's Bureau for Global Health managing maternal and child health, nutrition, and tuberculosis projects and providing technical support to numerous country programs, primarily in Africa and Asia. She also worked as a Specialist Assistant to the USAID Administrator and at the USAID Central Asia Mission. She joined USAID as a Presidential Management Fellow. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Peter Khaemba is a Grants Management Specialist in USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program, Office of Innovation and Development Alliances (IDEA). He has previously worked at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. Also, he served 5 years of active duty with the U.S. Navy. Peter holds a PhD in Energy, Environmental Sciences and Economics from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Besides the U.S., he has lived and worked in Kenya.

Norma Altshuler is a Presidential Management Fellow at Development Innovation Ventures, a division of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Previously, she evaluated development programs and disseminated policy-related results for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and Mathematica Policy Research. Norma has managed or supported development projects in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. She holds a graduate degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College.

Armand Lanier is a Foreign Service Officer and brings both USAID and private sector experience to the DIV team. He has 23 years of USAID experience having served in five countries and four backstops: General Development, Program, EXO, and Controller. Prior to joining DIV, he was the Senior USAID Regional Development Adviser for southern Iraq. Armand has also co-founded four companies, including a publicly-traded biotechnology company operating in three countries that now has 269 employees (TTG). As a senior manager for Ernst & Young consulting practice, he started their healthcare consulting practice in Madrid; served as expert financial planning witness for $100 m. hospital financing prospectus; designed cost accounting systems for King Ranch farm; and created financial planning model for a large Texas vineyard and many other companies.

Duc Tran is a Presidential Management Fellow at Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), where he assists current grantees in evaluating their impact and cost-effectiveness and analyzes prospective grantees in the DIV selection process. He is currently on rotation to Google Giving working to develop their monitoring and evaluation systems. Prior to DIV, Duc evaluated development programs in Vietnam, worked in business development in China, and promoted college access to underprivileged youth in San Diego, California. Duc is fluent in Vietnamese, and has a BA and MA in international affairs and economics from the School of International Affairs and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. 

Brittney E. Bailey is appointed by the Obama Administration to support USAID's focus on innovation and aid effectiveness and primarily serves as a partnerships advisor for DIV.  Previously,  she has worked on linking social and financial protection programs for vulnerable groups in Latin America, South Asia and Africa at the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, UN Population Fund, and the International Rescue Committee. Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Brittney is a Fulbright Scholar and has a masters in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University.

Tom Schumacher is a visiting Presidential Management Fellow on rotation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). At the CFPB, he works in the Office of Card and Payment Markets with a focus on emerging payment products (mobile payments, prepaid cards, money transfer). Prior to the PMF program, Tom had experiences in international development, startups, and financial markets through a variety of positions.  Previously, he co-founded, InVenture, a social enterprise working to provide financial identities and financial access to undeserved populations in India and Africa. Tom has a MPP from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a BA in Economics from the University of Maryland.

Kristen L. Gendron is part of USAID's Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) team working on business development and portfolio support, as well as strategic communications and selection. Prior to DIV, Kristen worked in research and programming on a wide range of policy issues at the Council on Foreign Relations. She has also been involved in the planning and operations of the Aspen Institute's annual Ideas Festival, and previously wrote and edited for Brookings Senior Fellow EJ Dionne's Washington Post column and book. Kristen studied international relations and French at Johns Hopkins, and is originally from Colorado. Follow Kristen on Twitter @klgendron12.

Scott Wu is a Presidential Innovation Fellow working on Development Innovation Ventures at USAID.  Scott has devoted the past two decades to innovation – working with, launching and investing in young companies and organizations to disrupt their respective sectors.  Most recently, he was a member of the founding team of Upstart, which is pioneering crowdfunding for recent graduates.  Previously, he co-founded several venture capital and investment firms – including FTV Capital and Blue Horizon Equity – that together manage over $1 billion.  Scott has always remained involved with issues addressing education and global poverty.  He worked on development projects in Tanzania and with a center combatting child prostitution in Bangkok.  He has monitored refugee camps and volunteered in AIDS orphanages.  He was formerly President of Aim High, which focused on education for the underprivileged, and is currently Chairman of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in DC.  He graduated from Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School, and enjoys life in San Francisco with his wife.

Jonathan Kirschner works with the DIV team on private sector scaling. Prior to joining DIV, Jonathan spent four years as a consultant at Bain in New York and South Africa where he focused on private equity and strategic consulting. After Bain, he worked as head of international expansion for Brazilian IT services start-up, CPM Braxis. Jonathan has also worked in venture capital and private equity in Brazil and Colombia and was a contributing author of Success in Africa, a book on business in Africa. He has an MBA from Stanford, an MPA-International Development from Harvard, and a BA from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. Originally from New Mexico, he speaks fluent Spanish.

Michael Kremer is DIV's Cofounder and Scientific Director as well as USAID's Acting Chief Innovation Officer. Michael is also a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the department of economics at Harvard University, and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Presidential Faculty Fellowship, and was named a young global leader by the World Economic Forum. Kremer’s recent research examines education and health in developing countries, immigration, and globalization. He and Rachel Glennerster published Strong Medicine: Creating Incentives for Pharmaceutical Research on Neglected Diseases, which won the Association of American Publishers Award for the Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Medical Science in 2004. He is a 2005 recipient of the International Health Economics Association’s Kenneth J. Arrow Award for best paper in health economics. In 2006, Scientific American named him one of the 50 researchers of the year.

DIV Emeritus

Maura O’Neill is the former Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Counselor to the Administrator at USAID and Cofounder of USAID's Development Innovation Ventures. At USAID, Maura was responsible for inspiring and leading breakthroughs innovations in foreign assistance and development worldwide. In addition, she co-led USAID Forward, the Agency's major reform initiative as well as created ground-breaking public-private partnerships in supply chain sourcing, mobile money, gender equity, entrepreneurship and new models for sourcing and scaling development interventions. She served on the White House Innovation Cohort assisting the Administration in innovation across federal government. Maura through her work in the public, private and academic sectors, she has created entrepreneurial and public policy solutions for some of the toughest domestic and global problems. Before coming to USAID, she authored President Obama's Biofuels Strategy while at U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as Chief of Staff for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) tackled the 2008 financial crisis, oil price explosion and renewal of clean energy tax credits. O’Neill has started four companies in the fields of electricity efficiency, customer info systems and billing, e-commerce and digital education. In 1989, she was named the Greater Seattle Business Person of the Year. O’Neill has master's degrees in business administration from Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley, and currently serves on the faculty of the latter's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She earned her PhD at the University of Washington, where her research focused on narrow-mindedness and the errors it leads to in science, medicine, business and political decision making. Follow Maura on Twitter @MauraLOneill.

Pradeep Ramamurthy is a director with The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity firm focused on emerging markets across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Turkey. Before joining Abraaj, Pradeep had a career in the U.S. Government spanning senior positions at USAID, The White House, and the FBI.  Immediately before joining the private sector, Pradeep was the deputy counselor for innovation at USAID where he helped establish the Office for Innovation and Development Alliances. From 2007-2011, Pradeep served at the White House under President Obama and President Bush as the first-ever Senior Director for Global Engagement (2009-11), Director on the National Security Staff (2009), Director on the Homeland Security Council (2008-09), and as an advisor to the President's Homeland Security Advisor (2007-08). He previously served in a number of senior policy and analytical positions with the Department of Justice. Pradeep serves on the advisory boards of the Center for Global Engagement, the Investors' Circle Global Healthcare Advisory Board, and recently participated in the World Economic Forum's Working Group on Mainstreaming Impact Investment. Pradeep is a past editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and has a B.Sc. from Georgetown University and a M.A. from the University of Chicago. 

Craig M. Mullaney is an experienced tech executive, bestselling author and public speaker, and Army combat veteran. He currently leads public content operations at Facebook. After graduating West Point, Craig was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University. He served in the Army for 8 years as an infantry officer, including a combat tour in Afghanistan and as a faculty member at the United States Naval Academy. His decorations include the Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star, and Army Commendation Medal with valor device. Following military service, Craig was on the national security policy staff of President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and served in the Administration as the Pentagon’s Principal Director for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia Policy and later on the Development Innovation Ventures team at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He is the author of the 2009 New York Times bestseller The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education. He has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show, The CBS Early Show, BBC World News America, National Public Radio, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Craig is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Adjunct Fellow at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.

Carolyn Edelstein worked on the growth of the DIV program, with a focus on writing and communications strategy, strategic planning and coordination, and designing the new Global Development Innovation Ventures. She received her BA from Princeton University, where she was awarded the Scholars in the Nations’ Service Initiative (SINSI) fellowship. As part of SINSI, she will receive a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School in 2014. Prior to DIV, Carolyn worker in the office of the Chief Economist at OPIC and the Department of Compact Implementation at the MCC. Carolyn is from Toronto, ON. Follow Carolyn on Twitter @caredelstein.

DIV History

Development Innovation Ventures was founded under the vision of cofounders Michael Kremer and Maura O'Neill and with the leadership of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. Leveraging their respective expertise in development econmics and venture capital, Michael and Maura sought to combine evidence and innovation into a new approach to seeding and scaling evidence-based development impacts around the world. USAID officially launched DIV in October 2010. 

DIV was founded on the belief that the next big development solution could come from anyone, anywhere. To find the best ideas, DIV holds a year-round competition that opens the door of USAID to both traditional and nontraditional partners everywhere. For DIV, innovative solutions can be new technologies, new business models, applications of behavioral economics, and beyond, in any sector and any country in which USAID operates. With DIV support, selected competition winners in various stages then gather rigorous evidence of their projects' social impacts and their cost-effectiveness relative to traditional approaches. The most promising ideas leverage this evidence of high impact at low cost to eventually reach sustainability and widespread scale without long-term DIV support. 

Since 2010, DIV has engaged with partners inside and outside USAID to support this mission, including the Gates Foundation, the UK Department for Interntional Development (DFID), and USAID's Latin America and Haiti programs. As of August 2013, DIV's model of open-source innovation, rigorous evidence-gathering, and staged-financing has resulted in over 70 investments in in 24 countries and counting. 

 

To stay up-to-date on news from DIV, visit our Tumblr page, follow us on Twitter @DIVatUSAID, and read about our projects in DIV's Investment Portfolio.

Last updated: March 07, 2014

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