Meet the DIV Team

USAID DIV Team 2014

DIV Leadership

Jill Boezwinkle is the Acting Division Chief for the Development Innovation Ventures team at the Global Development Lab. She joined USAID as a Presidential Management Fellow. and before joining the DIV team she spent over 7 years in USAID's Bureau for Global Health. There she managed maternal and child health, nutrition, and tuberculosis projects and provided 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 has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

DIV Team

Alex Riehm is a Portfolio Manager 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 works on DIV grants support and management and new award selections. 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 in Northern Ireland. He's an avid cook, sports-centered roadtrip enthusiast, and all-around nice guy.

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.

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 Portfolio Manager at Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), where he assists current grantees in evaluating their impact and cost-effectiveness, analyzes prospective grantees in the DIV selection process, and provides support to grantees scaling through the public sector. A former Presidential Management Fellow, he recently was on detail to 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 University of California, San Diego. In his spare time, he likes to find new things to cook and eat.

Tom Schumacher is a Portfolio Manager / Advisor for Business Scaling for the DIV team. Prior to working at DIV, he was a Presidential Management Fellow at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Office of Card and Payment Markets where he focused on emerging payment products (mobile payments, prepaid cards, money transfer) and issues of financial access and inclusion. Tom has 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. He's a big fan of all water sports, particularly surfing, and likes to pretend DC is not that far from the ocean. 

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.

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.

Minhchau Dinh is the Operations Manager supporting DIV's selection process for new awards. Prior to joining DIV, MC worked in business development for clients like the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the World Bank.  She also has worked as a Microfinance Development Analyst in Hue and Hanoi supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access loans for business growth and economic empowerment. Minhchau graduated from the University of the Pacific with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Sustainability. She is fluent in Vietnamese.

Joaquin R. Carbonell is the Selections Manager on the Development Innovation Ventures team in USAID's Global Development Lab and originally joined the team as an intern in June 2013. Joaquin provides strategic oversight for the selection process for new awards and portfolio support to DIV's public-sector grantees. He has an M.P.P. from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC - Berkeley (go bears) and B.A. in Latin American History and International studies from UNC - Chapel Hill (go heels). Joaquin is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French. He is an enthusiast of basketball, fiction, and sandwiches.

Carolyn Commons is the Marketing Manager for DIV, focusing on strategic communications and engagement. Before joining the DIV team, Carolyn worked on the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign where she managed organizational and programmatic partnerships to support global malaria prevention and control efforts. She graduated from Indiana University (IU) with a degree in International Studies, focusing on Human Rights and Latin American Studies. While at IU, Carolyn worked extensively on primary education initiatives in South Africa with One Laptop per Child and structured her own studies on healthcare as a Human Right. Carolyn loves cooking, learning, travel, sunshine, and her cat named Mo.  When traveling abroad, you may find her making friends at her hostel, scoping out a local restaurant, or attempting to surf at the beach.

Samuel Bishop is a Grants Manager in USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program. Sam has been with USAID for over six years. Prior to joining DIV team, Sam worked in the Office of Acquisition and Assistance, the Global Health Bureau, and the Office of Human Resources at USAID. He has also served at the USAID missions in Bangladesh, Haiti, and Tanzania. Previously he held positions in a variety of start-ups and other self-employed ventures. These ranged from professional photography to a health education communication company that created content to help caregivers of cancer patients provide sustainable care. He has an MBA from the University of Maryland. An avid sports junkie, he is also USAID's largest San Antonio Spur's fan and is a repeat fantasy football champion.

DIV Founders

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.

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

Jeffrey Brown is the CEO of Evidence Action and previous Managing Director of DIV. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University. Jeff’s prior work focused on the evaluation and oversight of large international development portfolios through his positions at the World Bank, the IDB and the MCC. He has also worked for the Federal Reserve. He holds an MPA in International Development from Harvard University, an MA in Economics from Brown University, and a BA in Economics from Colby College.

Zaks Lubin worked to advance DIV's selection processes and overall growth strategy. Zaks came to DIV as a Foreign Service Officer, after a tour in Afghanistan where he led the USAID mission's performance monitoring and evaluation team, and a tour in El Salvador where he was a leading contributor to the Partnership for Growth initiative--a Presidential initiative between the United States and a select group of countries to accelerate and sustain broad-based economic growth. He is now an MBA candidate at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he looks forward to continuing to collaborate with DIV to further innovation and the use of evidence in the social impact arena.

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.

Peter Khaemba was a Grants Manager in USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program. Prior to DIV, Peter worked for other U.S. federal agencies, including 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 Science and Economics from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, and has authored several international journal publications. He has previously lived in Kenya where he worked for various corporations, including Kenya Revenue Authority, and Kenya Power & Lighting Company.

Norma Altshuler was a Portfolio Manager at USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures, where for the past two years she has contributed to the strategic and operational development of the program, managed several partnerships, and co-led the team's evaluation and advisory services to grantees.  Norma recently completed a secondment in Uganda as an adviser to GiveDirectly on its operations and partnerships in East Africa. Previously, Norma 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, managing or supporting 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. Norma is currently on a special assignment to the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), where she is working to develop the organization’s investment process and portfolio monitoring and support capacities. 

Scott Wu was a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow ’14 and advisor to DIV and USAID.  Scott has devoted the past two decades to launching, working with and investing in young companies to disrupt their respective sectors.  Previously, he was a member of the founding team of a crowdfunding platform for recent graduates.  Scott co-founded several venture capital and investment firms that together manage over $1 Billion.  He has a track record of achieving superior returns, having completed 16 investments with an aggregate IRR of over 100% - including five IPOs and eight successful sales.  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 focuses 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.  He lives in San Francisco with his lovely wife, is a fan of reversible clothing, and believes food and sleep are overrated.

Brittney E. Bailey is appointed by the Obama Administration to serve as Senior Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity, Brit is the chief advisor for USAID LAC leadership, providing strategic guidance and communications for and on behalf of senior management, and contributing to policy formulation for all LAC Missions. A significant part of her strategic portfolio is leading USAID's public-private-partnerships (PPP) and innovation activities for the LAC region. Brit formerly spent three years in her appointee position as an Advisor supporting USAID's focus on innovation and non-traditional partnerships in the US Global Development Lab. 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/Colombia, UN Population Fund, and the International Rescue Committee. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Brit is a Fulbright Scholar, Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow and has a masters in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University. She is an avid dancer, traveler and "foodie", with a soft spot in her heart for Brazil, Haiti and California.

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: September 25, 2015

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