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Who
We Are

Our Story

Over the past two decades since Dalberg was established, the group of mission-led enterprises has partnered with and served communities, governments, foundations, non-profits, multilaterals and companies to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. 

 

Through this work, it became clear that the accumulated expertise, networks, experience, and insights could be extended to build system-wide solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Dalberg Catalyst aims to bring to life a portfolio of systems solutions and initiatives to meet this goal. We build on the foundation of the Dalberg Group’s 20+ years of experience, while maintaining independence in our governance, finance, and operations.

Our Supporters

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Dalberg Catalyst is an independent entity funded entirely by donors. We rely on the support of like-minded partners who share our values and are excited to create agenda-shaping, collaborative action that leads to meaningful, systemic, and lasting changes in the world.

Our major funders have been invaluable partners in driving forward transformative change.

We also benefit from the contributions of global citizens like you. Your support can help us prevent the next pandemic, reshape our relationship with nature, and pave the way for an inclusive, climate-smart economy.

Our Entrepreneurs in Residence

Jamie Drummond is a serial advocacy entrepreneur who was global strategist for Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt and co-founded DATA.org and ONE.org – which went on to help cancel over $100b in developing country debt and drive a deal to double smart aid for African nations along with trade and transparency improvements. He has helped drive advocacy strategies that have raised 100s of billions for global health in particularly helping ensure access to ARVs, anti-malarial medications, vaccines and other key interventions are more equitably shared in the poorest communities. 

With a white label platform called “Sharing Strategies” he is currently working with major foundations, MDBs, think tanks, IOs and CSO south and north to catalyze a series of new campaigns and partnerships to “crack the crises” of covid, inequality ecology and climate and help accelerate the SDG Decade of Action and Delivery despite heavy headwinds
Jamie Drummond
UK
James Mwangi is the Executive Director of the Dalberg Group, a global collection of impact-driven businesses that work to build a more inclusive and sustainable world where all people, everywhere, can reach their fullest potential. James joined Dalberg as a founding member in 2002, started Dalberg’s first Africa office (Johannesburg) in 2007, and subsequently served as Global Managing Partner of Dalberg’s consulting business, guiding the formalization of its structure and governance as a global firm. 
 
Since 2014, James has served as Executive Director of the Dalberg Group, supporting the growth of new businesses and coordinating the efforts of all Dalberg entities in pursuit of a shared mission. He has led the acquisition or incubation of several integral elements of the Dalberg Group which today operates from locations in more than 25 countries around the world, employing over 500 professionals.
 
James holds a degree in economics from Harvard University and is a 2009 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow of the African Leadership Institute, a 2013 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a 2021 Yale World Fellow. 

He currently serves on the boards of the Skoll Foundation, One Acre Fund, Old Mutual Limited, The Global Centre for Pluralism and the Nairobi International Financial Centre Authority
James Mwangi
Kenya
Robert Kirkpatrick is a social innovator working to accelerate transformative change through data and digital innovation, and a leading voice on the opportunities and risks presented by Al and other emerging technologies. His cross-cutting initiatives include work on collective intelligence, crisis prevention, and strengthening the capacity of cities to adapt proactively to climate change.


Previously Robert served as Executive Director of United Nations Global Pulse, the Secretary-General’s data science and AI innovation network, as Chief Technology Officer of Google’s public health technology nonprofit InSTEDD, and as Lead Solution Architect for the Humanitarian Systems Team at Microsoft, and he was an early employee at two successful software startups.
Robert Kirkpatrick
USA

Our People

Board of Directors

Initiative Leads

Dan Tuttle

Director of Health, Stupski Foundation

USA

Sonila Cook

CEO, Dalberg Catalyst

India | USA

Mariah Levin

Senior Advisor, Forum Foundations, World Economic Forum

USA | Switzerland

Tim Hanstad

Chief Executive Officer, Chandler Foundation

USA | India

Leadership Team

Sonila is CEO of Dalberg Catalyst, and a member of Dalberg’s Board of Trustees. 

Prior to her role at Dalberg Catalyst, she was a Partner at Dalberg Advisors. She joined Dalberg’s founding team in 2003 and played critical roles in the early growth of the Firm, including establishing the firm’s Energy and Environment Practice, and serving as the Director of the New York office.


Sonila has advised leading foundations, international organizations, governments, companies, and nonprofits on strategies to enhance their impact on some of the world’s most pressing global challenges. Her clients have included the Rockefeller Foundation, New York City Government, Human Rights Watch, UNDP, Swiss Re, Unilever, and the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery.
Prior to joining Dalberg, Sonila worked for McKinsey & Company. She holds an MBA from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard University. She has spoken at various fora including the World Economic Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations, and her perspectives have appeared in publications such as The Guardian and The Economist.
Sonila Cook

Chief Executive Officer

India | USA

Leslie Park is the General Counsel of Dalberg Catalyst, where she oversees all of the organization’s legal matters.  She has 20 years of experience advising non-profit organizations.  Prior to joining Dalberg Catalyst, Leslie served for a decade as the General Counsel of the Rainforest Alliance, an international environmental NGO.  Leslie began her career in private law firm practice, specializing in tax-exempt organizations. 


Leslie graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History and from NYU School of Law with a J.D. and LL.M in Taxation.
Leslie Park

General Counsel

USA

Nigel Sizer is the executive director of the Preventing Pandemics at the Source initiative with Dalberg Catalyst. Previously, he was president of Rainforest Alliance, global director of the Forests Program at the World Resources Institute, where he launched Global Forest Watch and the Global Restoration Initiative.  He was also vice president for Asia-Pacific with Rare, pioneering community-based fisheries conservation efforts. In 2008, he was lead advisor on climate change and energy issues in Asia to former US President Bill Clinton. 

He has worked with the United Nations Environment Program and established The Nature Conservancy’s Asia-Pacific Forest Program. A globally recognized authority on forests, ecology, climate change and development policy, he has appeared frequently in the media including with the BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, and The Guardian.  Nigel has degrees in natural sciences and tropical ecology from the University of Cambridge. He is based in the United States and lived for 15 years in Brazil, Kenya, and Indonesia.
Nigel Sizer

Executive Director, Preventing Pandemics at the Source,
Senior Advisor

USA | UK

Chris S. Devairakkam is the Chief Operating Officer for Dalberg Catalyst based in Virginia, USA.  Christopher comes with extensive experience and exposure in the not-for-profit Organizations. Starting with Public Accounting at Deloitte in India and few years with Corporates, Chris had served in several senior leadership roles in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and USA.  On his various roles Chris had travelled extensively across the globe to more than 60 countries.  Chris had pioneered number of initiatives including audit automation, comparative cost analysis for nonprofits, establishing internal Shared Services and marketing programs.  He had been instrumental in starting leadership programs and simplifying operations through technological solutions.

Prior to joining Dalberg, Chris worked at World Vision International as a Chief Operating Officer for Asia Pacific based in Singapore. Chris also had worked at Institute for War and Peace Reporting, as a CFO in Washington DC. He serves on the Boards of both nonprofits and others.  Chris is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from MK University in India. He is a Certified Internal Auditor from the Institute of Internal Auditors, USA.  He also completed his certification on Digital Business Strategy from MIT, Sloan School of Management. Chris is passionate about developing leaders and Teams and helping others unleash their potential.
Chris Devairakkam

Chief Operating Officer

India | USA

Dina Paterson is the Assistant General Counsel of Dalberg Catalyst, where she assists the General Counsel with all aspects of the organization’s legal matters. Dina has previously worked as Assistant General Counsel at Accion International, a global nonprofit dedicated to creating a fair and inclusive economy; and as the Director of Pro Bono Partnerships at the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, a program of the New York City Bar Association, where she was responsible for staffing, tracking, and managing pro bono legal projects across different jurisdictions, and leading its health and development program. Dina has also worked in private practice in the United States and Venezuela, specializing in general corporate law.

 Dina is a dual-qualified lawyer and holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School and a law degree from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Venezuela.
Dina Paterson

Assistant General Counsel

Venezuela | USA

Rada Dogandjieva is the Associate Program Director - Nature-Based Systems at Dalberg Catalyst.  She is a collaborative strategist, experienced senior manager and systems thinker with a background and deep knowledge at the nexus of food and agriculture, climate change, and ecosystem health.

Over the last 15 years, Rada has worked as a strategic advisor, colleague, and partner to stakeholders ranging from global philanthropies and development banks to tech startups, and from global food brands to smallholder farmers. At Catalyst, Rada is responsible for co-creating and accelerating transformative initiatives involving nature-based systems, including around freshwater and the nexus of water and food, energy, health and social justice in a changing climate. Immediately prior Catalyst, Rada’s worked as a senior strategist with several mission-led enterprises, including advancing electric technology to reduce the natural resource footprint of farming and transforming a food business’s ingredient sourcing toward more regenerative supply chains. As a former manager in strategy consulting with Dalberg Advisors, Rada also brings experience leading team-based problem solving for senior leaders in global development, on topics ranging widely from designing financial incentives to accelerate innovation for agricultural transformation, to unlocking investment in biodiversity-promoting businesses.

Rada holds a Master’s degree in development economics from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Richmond. In her free time, Rada enjoys cooking with fresh produce from her local farmers market and learning about regional grain economies.
Rada Dogandjieva

Associate Program Director - Nature-Based Systems

Bulgaria | USA

Jordan Fabyanske is a senior executive and entrepreneurial leader in the field of social change. As Chief Program Officer, Jorden enables and accelerates Dalberg Catalyst’s programmatic impact in co-creation with our current and emerging initiative leads.  Previously a Partner at Dalberg Advisors and head of the Dalberg Group’s operations globally, Jordan co-led the firm’s Inclusive Economic Growth service line and Systems Change community of practice, advising leading actors in global development—including foundations, governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs and corporations—on matters of policy, strategy, organizational effectiveness, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and scaling social impact.  Jordan holds a Master’s degree in international business from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When he is not nudging his friends and colleagues to think in terms of systemic, visionary change, Jordan can be found hiking or canoeing with his wife and two children in Minnesota.
Jordan Fabyanske

Chief Program Officer

USA

Robyn van den Heuvel is the Program Director for the Climate Smart Forest Economy Program (CSFEP), a multi-organisational program that aims to unlock the full climate potential of forests and forest products, starting with mass timber in construction. She manages the implementation of the program, coordinating across a diverse set of stakeholders to ensure timely delivery, while ensuring all activities align to the vision and mission of the program. With 15 on-the-ground initiatives around the world demonstrating the potential of sustainable forest economies, Robyn balances locally-grounded solutions with global expertise and networks to create nuanced, relevant insights to drive decision making. 

CSFEP is incubated by Dalberg Catalyst, an independent non-profit creating initiatives to solve the most pressing societal and planetary challenges of our time, where Robyn serves as the Director of Special Projects in the office of the CEO. Before joining Dalberg Catalyst, Robyn has worked across many Dalberg entities, including as a consultant in Dalberg Advisors and as the Innovation Fellow for the Dalberg Trust, supporting the Chairman and Executive Director for the Dalberg Group. Most of her professional career has been focused on land use and renewable energy in the Global South, particularly on finding opportunities for net new green jobs to drive sustainable climate solutions. 

Robyn holds a postgraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria.
Robyn van den Heuvel

Director of Special Projects

South Africa | Portugal

Aaron is the Associate Program Director for the Sharing Strategies and Uncommon Collaborations initiatives. He joined Dalberg Catalyst from Dalberg Advisors and has over a decade of strategy and global development consulting experience with a variety of clients, including multinational corporations, foundations, NGOs, governments, and international organizations.

Prior to Dalberg, Aaron was an Associate Director at FSG, a leading social impact consulting firm; worked as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey; and helped build and run an HIV/AIDS clinic with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in rural Mozambique. Aaron has lived and worked extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and has traveled to over 70 countries. He is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

Aaron holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, a Master’s in International Development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA, magna cum laude, in Government from Harvard College.
Aaron Mihaly

Associate Program Director, Sharing Strategies and Uncommon Collaborations initiatives

USA | Switzerland

Background image: NASA, Qadisiyah, Baghdad, Iraq.


 

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