Our Board

DIAL's Board is composed of select high-level stakeholders, donors, leading emerging market entrepreneurs, technologists and development experts

Board of Directors

Selorm Adadevoh, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Ghana

Selorm is a seasoned telecoms and financial services business leader with more than 20 years of experience and a reputation for strong leadership, analytical rigor and business transformation skills.

Selorm joined MTN in June 2018 following three years in Haiti where he was the CEO of Digicel, Haiti, the largest of Digicel’s 32 operations throughout the world. He started at Digicel in December 2014 as Global Director for Mobile Financial Services (MFS), and in May 2015 was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in Haiti. He was appointment as CEO of Digicel, Haiti, nine months later.

As CEO, Selorm was instrumental in the digital transformation of the Digicel Haiti business growing market share through a digital youth sub-brand strategy and growing mobile data through the launch of 4G LTE technology. Most notably he lead the complete revamp of Mobile Financial Services (MonCash) to become the largest mobile money service in the Caribbean, and the only mobile money product in the Caribbean to pass the much coveted 1 million customer mark.

Prior to Digicel, Selorm was the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Head of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) for Tigo (Millicom) Ghana where he was responsible for igniting the mobile money industry in that country. Between 2012 to 2014, he received various awards for his work by organizations throughout Africa.

Selorm spent 10 years as a consultant, first in the United Kingdom with Hewlett-Packard as a Technology Consultant, and then in Boston with L.E.K. Consulting as a Management Consultant specializing in M&A and private equity due diligence. In these roles, he served as an advisor to several FTSE 100 companies including Vodafone, Hutchison 3G, Procter & Gamble and United Airlines, to name a few.

Selorm holds an M.B.A. in finance and strategic management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He holds a B.A in engineering from KNUST, Ghana. He is also an investor and member of the board of directors of a savings and loans bank and an agro-processing company, both in Africa.

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Andrew Axelrod, Chief Operating Officer, United Nations Foundation

Andrew Axelrod serves as Chief Operating Officer for the UN Foundation. In this role, he leads organizational strategy development and execution, resource mobilization and allocation, financial planning and management, technology and digital services, and works to ensure the ongoing operational effectiveness for the UN Foundation.

Andrew spent the first phase of his career in the private sector, most recently in a leadership role at K12 Inc, where he was responsible for leading the company’s entry into the higher education market. Before joining K12, Andrew worked as a management consultant at The Parthenon Group, a strategic advisory firm serving corporate, not-for-profit, and private equity clients. Additionally, Andrew held positions in corporate strategy at The Home Depot and in strategic finance at Ernst & Young.

Andrew graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Commerce and holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

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Christopher Burns, Director, Center for Digital Development, USAID

Christopher leads technical teams focused on digital finance, development informatics, digital inclusion, and advanced data and geospatial analysis, as well as the role they play in driving an inclusive digital economy. During his ten years with USAID, he has spearheaded and served as technical lead for a number of public-private partnerships, including with DIAL, the GSMA Connected Women Program and the Alliance for Affordable Internet.

Christopher previously served as Senior Coordinator, Digital Development for Feed the Future, working alongside the Bureau for Food Security, to integrate a suite of digital technologies into the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative. He also served as Acting Director for the Digital Development team and as Senior Advisor for Digital Inclusion, within the Lab. In these positions, he led a fast-growing and multidisciplinary group focused on widespread adoption of mobile and digital technologies in the developing world.

Christopher spent nearly 10 years with the Peace Corps, as Program and Training Officer for Peace Corps/Niger, Country Desk Officer for Central Asia, and Agro-Forestry Advisor in Ghana. He has supervisory and management experience and technical background in mobile technology, natural resources management, agro-forestry, food security, gender equality and solar power design/installation. All told, he has 20 years of international development experience, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, including 6.5 years living on the continent.

Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts in international development and environmental management from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and a Master of Science in development management from American University in Washington, D.C.

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Kerstin Jonsson Cissé, Head, Unit for Globally Sustainable Economic Development, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Kerstin is responsible for the implementation of the strategy on Global Action for Sustainable Economic Development, which includes support, free and fair trade, agriculture, private-sector development, entrepreneurship and innovation. The unit leverages digital as a cross-cutting issue and supports increased and improved access to ICTs for all on the global level.

Previously, Kerstin worked as the Lead Policy Specialist on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and was Country Director for Sida’s cooperation with Mali and Burkina Faso. She spent 11 years in West Africa working with agroforestry, and humanitarian and post-conflict development cooperation.

Kerstin holds a doctoral degree from the Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences with focus on agroforestry and soil science and her doctoral thesis focused on Burkina Faso and Tanzania. She has a special interest for the Sahelian region and resilience.

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Elizabeth Hernandez, Head of Government and Industry Affairs, Asia Pacific, Corteva Agriscience

Elizabeth Hernandez joined Corteva AgriscienceTM on March 1st, 2018, as Head of Government and Industry Affairs, Asia Pacific, and as an integral member of its Asia Pacific Leadership Team. She plays a pivotal role in advancing the company’s brand and reputation in the region, and in building strategic partnerships with governments and other stakeholders across the food and agriculture ecosystem.

Prior to joining Corteva, Elizabeth held similar regional roles at Facebook, Hewlett-Packard and GlaxoSmithKline. In addition to her multinational experience, Elizabeth has worked for the US-ASEAN Business Council, a not-for-profit trade association, in both Singapore and Washington D.C. She also experienced start-up life and helped pioneer broadband connectivity for business travelers when she co-founded I-Quest Corp. in Hong Kong in 1996 and served as vice president for sales and marketing.

Elizabeth is a passionate advocate, and a frequent speaker, on empowering women, technology entrepreneurship and creating shared value. She currently serves on the Board of WOMAG (Women in Agribusiness), a professional network promoting gender diversity in the agribusiness industry in Asia, and Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), a global partnership founded by the UN Foundation, Gates Foundation, SIDA and USAID, to advance an inclusive digital society. Elizabeth is also a founding member of KeyNote Women Speakers.

Elizabeth received a B.A. in History (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines, and studied International Affairs at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C. She currently lives in Singapore with her husband and three children.

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Cees Hesp, Director mHealth Research Labs, PharmAccess Foundation

Cees works to improve access to quality health care in sub-Saharan Africa. He leads PharmAccess’ efforts to design, test and validate new concepts for products and services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of health care transactions.

Prior to joining PharmAccess 10 years ago, Cees was the founder and managing consultant at SynQuad, a software development company specializing in web-based and mobile applications. He has a professional background in IT and technical writing, with more than 25 years of experience. Cees holds an M.A. in English linguistics (cum laude) from the Free University of Amsterdam.

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Steven Holmes, Vice President of Innovation and Electronics, Rivian

Steven and his team are responsible for delivering critical electronic subsystems and innovations required to make Rivian electric vehicles reliable, versatile, and fun to drive.  Prior to Rivian Steven was responsible for developing products and technologies that would enhance and extend Intel’s product portfolio into new areas of consumer electronics and IOT to position the company to compete and lead new growth markets going forward.

Prior to joining Intel in June 2012, Steven delivered an extensive list of award-winning products. As product director at Nike, Inc. he launched Nike+ Fuel Band*, Nike+ Training and Basketball*, and Nike+ GPS SportWatch*. As Vice President of Product Design for Palm, Inc., he developed the critically acclaimed Palm Pre* and Palm Pixi* smart phones.

At Apple, Inc. Holmes led the product design teams responsible for professional desktop computers and servers and led the mechanical design of the iconic Apple G4 Cube*. Additionally, he managed the San Jose design team at Flextronics and was instrumental to the success of two startups: Zing, purchased by Dell Inc., and Intuitive Surgical, the leader in minimally invasive robotic surgery.

Steven earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from U.C. Berkeley, and his master’s at Stanford in Mechanical Design.

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Tim Wood, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Mr. Tim Wood specializes in applying information technology to address the problems of poverty and health in developing countries. After 12 years at Microsoft working on software development, in 2002 Mr. Wood joined the Grameen Foundation’s Technology Center where he pioneered replication of the Grameen Village Phone program, launching sustainable initiatives in Uganda and Rwanda and co-authoring the Village Phone Replication Manual.

Mr. Wood went on to implement mobile money pilot programs for microfinance institutions in the Philippines and Kenya and spent four years as the Director of Mobile Health Innovation at the Grameen Foundation, creating the MOTECH platform to deliver multiple mobile-service initiatives at scale in India and Africa. Tim joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013 and focuses on digital health initiatives.

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Lauren Woodman, Chief Executive Officer, NetHope

Lauren is the CEO of NetHope, a consortium of more than 50 global nonprofits that empowers committed organizations to change the world through the power of technology. For more than 16 years, NetHope and its members have united with technology corporations and funding partners to design, fund, apply, adapt and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges.

Lauren’s career has been defined by the intersection of technology, development and policy. Prior to assuming the leadership role at NetHope in 2014, she held a variety of high-level positions, including managing Microsoft Corporation’s global education and government programs for more than a decade; serving as an executive at the Software and Information Industry Association; and shaping policy at the United Nations.

Lauren holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College.

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Heidi Tavakoli Head of Digital Policy and Programmes at the UK Department of International Development

Heidi co-leads the delivery of DFID’s Digital Strategy for Doing Development in a Digital World. The Strategy commits DFID to supporting an inclusive digital society, and to harnessing digital technology to tackle global poverty and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. Heidi leads a multi-disciplinary team focused on shaping emerging digital policy, delivering DFID’s digital programs, and developing new and innovative partnerships to deliver digital solutions for development.

Previously, Heidi led innovative and tech-related economic programs at the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has also spent time as a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. She combines strategy, policy and research skills with extensive experience of working in international development, having worked with multiple country governments and in a broad range of countries. She is passionate about applying new forms of technology to advance development outcomes and supporting initiatives to take solutions to scale.

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Nanjira Sambuli, Researcher, Policy Analyst, and Advocacy Strategist

Nanjira Sambuli is a researcher, policy analyst, and advocacy strategist who works to understand the intersection of information and communications technology (ICT) adoption with governance, media, entrepreneurship, and culture through a gender lens.

Nanjira led policy advocacy to promote digital equality in access to and use of the web at the  World Wide Web Foundation (2016-2020).  She previously worked at the iHub in Nairobi, where she provided strategic guidance for growth of technology innovation research in the East Africa region.

Nanjira is a Commissioner on the Lancet & Financial Times Global Commission (Governing Health Futures 2030), a board member at The New Humanitarian , Development Gateway and a member of the DFID’s Digital Advisory Panel.

In addition to other advisory roles, Nanjira also served as a panel member on the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (2018-19) and as a deputy on the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment (2016-17).

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