Katherine Boas is Executive Vice President at Carl Marks & Co. She also supports Barefoot MBA, which she created while completing her MBA at Stanford to teach basic business skills to microloan recipients and other undereducated entrepreneurs around the world. Previously, she was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, a journalist for The New York Times and The Providence Journal, and ran a poverty- and education-focused foundation in Connecticut. In addition to her MBA, she holds an AB in political science from Brown University. She is a vice president of the board of the Marks JCH of Bensonhurst and a former co-chair of Echoing Green's Social Investment Council.
Kathy Crost is a partner in the New York office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP specializing in structured finance. Kathy has traveled extensively to work on women’s issues. She served on the Board of Directors of the Women's Refugee Commission, an international research and advocacy organization that identifies issues that affect women and children refugees and advocates for policy changes to address those issues. Kathy was involved in research for the Women’s Refugee Commission in Ethiopia and led a large team in conducting research on the treatment of unaccompanied minors in the United States, also for the Women’s Refugee Commission.
Jen Field is Director of the Social Impact practice at the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) in New York City. From 2008 through 2012, Jen was a Vice President in the Office of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs, which encompasses the Goldman Sachs Foundation. In this capacity, she was Senior Program Officer and Acting Program Manager for 10,000 Women, a $100M initiative of the Foundation to provide 10,000 underserved female entrepreneurs around the world with a business and management education. Jen obtained an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management with a focus in Social Enterprise and a BA from Yale University.
Steve Foresta is a managing partner at the international law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in New York and is the firm-wide leader of the Litigation Practice Group. Steve also devotes a substantial amount of time working with community service organizations. During the summer of 2009, Steve traveled to Rwanda with his son Michael to work with Indego Africa’s staff, artisan partners, and Generation Rwanda interns, and he’s been a devoted Indego Africa supporter ever since. Steve also serves as Chair of the New York Board of Advisors of Disability Rights Advocates. Steve graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 1987 and received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar.
Dr. Zachary D. Kaufman serves on Indego Africa’s Board of Directors and chairs the organization’s Board of Advisors. He is currently a United States Supreme Court Fellow, a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School, a Social Enterprise Fellow at Yale School of Management, a Visiting Fellow at Yale’s Genocide Studies Program, and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Kaufman is the founder, president, and chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Friends of the Kigali Public Library and an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga, Rwanda. Together, these organizations built the Kigali Public Library, Rwanda’s first-ever public library. He also serves on boards of Genocide Watch, the Association of Marshall Scholars, Humanity in Action, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Dr. Kaufman is the editor of Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities: Changing Our World and the co-editor (with Dr. Phil Clark) of After Genocide: Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond. He received his BA from Yale University, his PhD from Oxford University, and his JD from Yale Law School.
Ryan is a Vice President in the Regulatory Audits & Inquiries group at Goldman Sachs & Co. He formerly practiced law for seven years in the New York office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Before joining Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Ryan worked with several international governmental organizations devoted to international lawmaking, governance and enforcement, including the United Nations Liaison Office of CARE International in New York, the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in New Delhi, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. Ryan received a B.A. with highest honors in Political Science and Film at Vassar College in 1997; an M.A. in International Affairs at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs in 2001; and a J.D. at Stanford Law School in 2002, where he served on the Executive Board of the Stanford Journal of International Law.
Matt has a longstanding interest in African development, stemming from his six years living in Nigeria and his personal experience working with African women. Matt began his professional career as a practicing attorney at Akin Gump LLP in Washington, DC where he advised on infrastructure projects in developing countries such as Bolivia, Morocco and Congo. In August 2011, Matt joined Google's People Operations function where he now manages teams responsible for university outreach programs and non-technical recruitment across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Matt's honors include Fellow of the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (2007), StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation Fellow (2007), 85 Broads' "Guy Who Rocks" (2011), and Devex 40 under 40 International Development Leaders in London (2011). Matt graduated magna cum laude from American University's Washington College of Law in 2003 and earned a bachelor's degree in economics and history from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000.
Tom has spent eleven years of his 40-year career as a manager and consultant living and working in Africa, notably in Angola and Nigeria. As an independent consultant for the last eight years, Tom provides high-level financial and commercial advice to African governments and government oil companies with respect to natural resource development projects, and to public companies on cultural aspects of conducting business in Africa. He was formerly responsible for corporate policy-making, governmental interactions, and financial planning and compliance for African subsidiaries of Chevron, a major natural resource company. In this role, he helped lead Chevron’s effort to establish a joint project with the USAID to provide development banking to under-served communities in Angola and represented Chevron in its community outreach and development programs. As a community leader, Tom has served as chairman of the board for international schools in Lagos and Luanda, as a board member for a project to provide mosquito nets to communities in Angola, and currently is a board member for a U.S. charitable foundation with a focus on projects in developing countries.
Joe comes to Indego Africa after over 30 years at American Express where he held leadership positions in finance, business transformation and reengineering, and revenue development. Most recently, he was Vice President, Strategic Transformation for American Express Global Business Travel, one of the largest corporate travel management companies worldwide. Prior to that, Joe was CFO of Global Business Travel. He has held cross product line CFO positions in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. During his career with American Express, he has lived in Bangkok, Rome, London, Frankfurt and Miami, as well as his base in New York. Joe holds an MBA in finance and accounting from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, and a BS in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Joe is an active member of the alumni board of the Owen School at Vanderbilt. He resides in Brooklyn.
As one of Indego Africa’s original architects, Ben has helped drive the organization forward as Chief Volunteer & Outside Counsel (2007-2008), COO & General Counsel (2008-2011), CEO (2011-2012), and Vice Chairman (2012-present). Ben is currently Director of Strategy & General Counsel at MicroCredit Enterprises, a social investment firm that harnesses the power of private capital to support companies tackling poverty in the developing world. Previously, Ben served as Director of Start Up and Small Business Development at American Express. Prior to Indego Africa, Ben was a corporate defense attorney at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (Orrick). Ben received a B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000, a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2004, and in 2010 completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship. Ben is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. His honors include Diplomatic Courier's Top 99 Under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders (2011), The Global Leaders' Future Global Leaders Award (2011), 85 Broads "Guy Who Rocks" (2011), Empire State Counsel (2007-2011), and the Fair Trade Federation Photography Award (2009).
Alia has been a passionate advocate for the community of women entrepreneurs that Indego works with, applying her deep knowledge and experience to the cause of empowering women. She received her B.A. from Columbia University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2001, where she won recognition as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Alia has held a series of executive positions in the private sector, including Vice President of Business Development for Nourish Capital; Vice President of Business Development at Yorkshire Global Restaurants and Worldwide Director of Contemporary Jewelry at Phillip de Pury and Company. From 2009 to 2011 she served as Partnership Advisor at the United Nations Office for Partnerships, where she promoted and developed new United Nations partnerships and alliances and facilitated the collaboration between the private sector, foundations and the United Nations in furtherance of the Millennium Development Goals.
Leveraging a 24-year career with Merrill Lynch, Karen joined Indego Africa in March 2012 as Chief Financial Officer, assumed the Chief Operating Officer role in June 2012 and was promoted to CEO on January 1, 2014. Karen was drawn to Indego Africa for both its mission, which intersects with her passion for education and helping women achieve financial independence, and for Indego Africa’s entrepreneurial culture. Karen was Managing Director of the US Business Selection and Conflicts group within Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch. Previous roles at Merrill included debt markets finance, investment banking business management and corporate budgeting. Karen received an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and her B.A. from the University of Michigan.