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BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation

Global Team 

 

Graduation Steering Committee


Dr. Muhammad Musa

Executive Director, BRAC

Faruque Ahmed

Executive Director, BRAC International

Shameran Abed

Senior Director Microfinance & Targeting the Ultra Poor, BRAC and BRAC International

Asif Saleh

Senior Director, Strategy, Communication and Empowerment, BRAC and BRAC International

Donella Rapier

President & CEO, BRAC USA

Lewis Temple

Chief Executive Officer, BRAC UK

Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative


Lindsay Coates

Managing Director

Bio

Lindsay Coates is Managing Director of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, a holistic, time-bound approach to reach the poorest people and help them on a pathway out of extreme poverty.

Lindsay has nonprofit executive experience and a legal background in civil rights, which bring together her passion for human rights, the social sector, and global development. She is active as a speaker and writer on a range of topics around equity and inclusion.

Lindsay leads BRAC’s advocacy agenda to leave no one behind using effective, innovative, and multidimensional approaches to change the lives of the most marginalized people. She is also responsible for its learning agenda and technical assistance activities worldwide in the 10+ countries where BRAC is currently implementing or assisting with Graduation programs.

Before joining BRAC, Lindsay served as the president of InterAction, where she oversaw management and institutional outreach to InterAction members and partners. Lindsay has also served on the steering committee of the World Bank Global Partnership for Social Accountability, the executive committee for Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, and the boards of Episcopal Relief and Development, United States Global Leadership Coalition, and Development Gateway. She also served on the Obama administration’s Task Force on Global Poverty.

Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Lindsay practiced civil rights law in various capacities, including beginning her law practice in Mississippi. She is a graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) and the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Lauren Whitehead

Director of Technical Assistance 

Bio

As Director of Technical Assistance, Lauren manages a talented technical team to design and deliver high quality technical assistance, advisory services, and policy advocacy to clients including governments, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral institutions, and international NGOs. Currently, Lauren provides critical expertise to the design and implementation of technical assistance contracts integrating economic inclusion and social protection with the Governments of the Philippines, Rwanda, and Lesotho; oversees donor and client relationship cultivation with multilateral and bilateral institutions; leads business development strategy and client and partner acquisition; and acts as an external representative in relevant global fora including the United Nations, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and before national governments.

Prior to joining BRAC USA, Lauren was seconded to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Ecuador to facilitate baseline evaluation and launch of a Graduation program targeting refugees, now scaled nationally and expanding throughout UNHCR’s global portfolio. She has worked with a number of for-profit and nonprofit organizations in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa, including Accion International, Mercy Corps, the Inter-American Development Bank’s Inter-American Investment Corporation, d.light design, InterAction’s Alliance for International Youth Development, HelpAge International, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, and others.

Lauren holds a master’s from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Global Human Development, with certificates in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and Global Social Enterprise and Development, and a bachelor’s from Princeton University in Spanish & Portuguese, with minors in Latin American Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and Theater & Dance.

Nazia Moqueet

Technical Specialist

Bio

Nazia Moqueet provides technical assistance to governments, multilateral institutions, and NGOs adopting the Graduation approach worldwide. She specializes in program design, implementation oversight, and monitoring and evaluation. She currently provides technical support on integrating economic inclusion initiatives with social protection in Kenya, Egypt, Pakistan, and Guinea. She has previously assessed the impact of the 2011 political revolution on the implementation of a government-led Graduation program in Yemen.

Prior to joining BRAC, Nazia worked at the World Bank on a technical advisory project aimed at increasing access to basic services including water and sanitation among the extreme poor in Bangladesh. She has also worked with various organizations including Human Rights Watch and the Middle East Institute. Nazia holds a Master’s in International Trade and Development Economics from the George Washington University and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Colgate University.

Dristy Shrestha

Technical Specialist

Bio

As a Technical Advisor with the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Dristy promotes advocacy and supports communications and technical assistance delivery. Previously, Dristy was a Consultant at World Bank Nepal, where she conducted field research to investigate factors affecting individuals who are eligible to receive but unable to access social protection allowances.

She has extensive fieldwork and consulting experience, including with Pact on Sajhedari Bikaas, a project funded by USAID that aims to improve local governance in Nepal. She also supported AmeriCares on their emergency response efforts after two major earthquakes hit Nepal in April 2015. Dristy has worked as the technical officer at Root Change, where she supported the design and implementation of various development projects in Mexico, Nepal, and Nigeria.

Dristy holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, with a certificate in International Development focusing on Social and Political Change, from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a bachelor’s in Psychology and Economics from Middlebury College.

Julie Kedroske

Technical Specialist

Bio
As a Technical Advisor with the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Julie promotes global advocacy efforts and delivers technical guidance to governments, international NGOs, BRAC program teams, and multilaterals in the design and implementation of poverty Graduation programs. She has provided strategic support to contracts with the Governments of Lesotho, Philippines, and Rwanda; BRAC teams in Uganda and Liberia; Save the Children; and Humanity and Inclusion. She brings hands-on experience in conducting assessments, developing designs, and leading trainings on the Graduation approach and adapting the approach to new contexts.

Before joining BRAC USA, Julie worked with CARE International in Sri Lanka to develop and implement a handloom weaving entrepreneurship program for women-headed households in post-conflict regions. She also worked with the International Water Management Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to design a livelihoods survey and participatory mapping project for smallholder farmers.

Julie has extensive consulting experience, including with Ten Thousand Villages, the Liberian Consulate of Georgia, and Sagal Radio in Atlanta. She holds a master’s in Development Practice with a concentration in Business Planning and Management from Emory University, as well as a bachelor’s in Human Development and Social Relations from Kalamazoo College.

Isabel Whisson

Special Assistant for Strategy

Bio

As Special Assistant for Strategy on the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Isabel works closely with leadership on aligning the technical advisory practice and advocacy work stream with strategic objectives and opportunities. During her time on the team, she has also supported on technical assistance delivery and business development.

Before joining UPGI, Isabel spent two years based at BRAC’s headquarters in Dhaka, where she led communications and knowledge management for the microfinance program, with a focus on innovation. During that time she conducted several field assignments for BRAC in Myanmar, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Externally, she represented BRAC on the Microfinance CEO Working Group’s Microfinance Communications Council as co-Chair, and served as Director of the Microfinance Network. She has previously worked at various institutions including UNESCO, UK Parliament, and CARE Bangladesh.

Isabel possesses formal competencies in management, knowledge management and human-centered design, and has participated in the Boulder Microfinance Training program. Isabel completed her undergraduate degree in Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and earned a master’s in International Public Policy from University College London.

Jasveen Bindra

Senior Associate

Bio
As a Technical Officer for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Jasveen supports global advocacy, technical assistance, and research around the Graduation Approach. Before joining BRAC USA, she worked on Graduation pilots in India as a Senior Policy Associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).
 
While at J-PAL, she communicated the latest research on livelihoods, microfinance, and energy access to help governments, donors, and multilateral institutions make evidence-based decisions that generated social impact. She gained extensive experience working with governments while conducting feasibility studies for a government-implemented Graduation model and designing an emissions reduction program for the Government of Delhi.
 
Jasveen has also worked as a policy fellow at the American Friends Service Committee, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on defending immigrant rights, ending mass incarceration, and building economic justice, as well as on legislative issues at the Indian Parliament.
 
She holds a master’s in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in History from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi.

Cait O’Donnell

Senior Associate

Bio

Cait O’Donnell is a Technical Officer for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative at BRAC USA, where she promotes global advocacy, technical assistance, and research around the Graduation Approach.

Cait has over five years of experience with expertise in inclusive development, rural livelihoods, and environmental policy. Prior to joining BRAC, she was a specialist on the World Economic Forum’s Food Security and Agriculture initiative, where she led stakeholder engagement and strategy development to promote public-private cooperation. She researched emerging trends in technology innovation and their impacts on smallholder farmers, consumers, and the planet.

She previously worked with the World Wildlife Fund on energy access and rural electrification in Myanmar. She also has experience supporting corporate climate leadership with the Carbon Disclosure Project, and with World Resources Institute to promote access to environmental information, public participation, and justice. Cait served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine and has worked in multiple countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Cait holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a focus on energy and environmental policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Global Poverty and Practice from the University of California, Berkeley.

Isaac Bird

Associate

Bio

As an Associate for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Isaac supports the Graduation team through knowledge management, business development, and administration. His work enables an ever-growing pipeline of contracts with governments and NGOs to operate smoothly and furthers global adoption of the Ultra-Poor Graduation approach.

Isaac brings experience from a variety of NGOs in the New York area. At the Catholic Medical Mission Board, he designed a recruitment strategy to increase the number of French-speaking medical volunteers. At Global Health Corps, he improved safety and security for international fellows through programmatic and operational support. At Impact Network, he designed and implemented communications strategies and supported business development efforts through grant writing and research.

A recent graduate of Fordham University, Isaac holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and French Studies. His senior thesis explored sociomedical norms in Senegal through the lens of disease management, and he studied abroad in both Senegal and France. In his free time, you can find Isaac at thrift shops, indie and electronic concerts, or improv theatres.

Courtney Calardo 

Senior Communications Manager

Bio

As Senior Communications Manager, Courtney Calardo oversees the overall development and implementation of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) communications strategy. Prior to joining BRAC UPGI, Courtney was the Communications Manager at Family Planning 2020, where she worked to promote greater access to and information on sexual and reproductive health for women and girls around the world. Courtney brings 10 years of experience in strategic communications with a primary focus in international development. Courtney has provided strategic communications and partnership development support to social entrepreneurs with innovative, evidence-based solutions for major global issues, as well as key implementing partners, and she worked to promote the integration of innovation in development programming overall during her time at USAID. With additional experience in the private sector as a consultant, Courtney has supported the development and execution of communication strategies for academic institutions, international governments, NGOs and the private sector. Courtney graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a B.A. in Journalism and International Studies, focusing on human rights and photojournalism.

Rasha Natour

Senior Advocacy Manager

Bio

Rasha is the Senior Advocacy Manager for BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative where she oversees efforts to influence key decision-makers and promote policy change that better serve the extreme poor. She has over 12 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including work in Palestine, Mauritania, and in the U.S. with underserved and refugee communities. Before joining BRAC, Rasha worked with CARE in various functions related to organizational strategy development, advocacy, knowledge management, and research and communications. Rasha holds a Master’s in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies from Wayne State University.

Bobby Irven

Communications Officer

Bio

As a Communications Officer for the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, Bobby provides communications support for the Graduation Approach, promoting global advocacy efforts and contributing to technical assistance for its implementation.

Before joining BRAC USA, Bobby lived in Thailand, working on a variety of issues, including human rights, climate change, and migration. Previously with the Center for Social Development Studies, where he focused on policy and research projects in Southeast Asia, Bobby developed communications and engagement strategies to create opportunities for local activists and researchers to better engage with the public, sharing their knowledge to improve impact and drive change. Prior to that, he worked at a learning and development organization in New York and for the 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai.

Bobby holds a master’s degree in International Development from Chulalongkorn University as well as bachelor’s degrees in Chinese and Political Science, with a focus on International Relations, from Rutgers University.

Bobby is a passionate advocate for the underrepresented, and his experiences learning about and working with marginalized communities around the world deeply informs his approach to communications. Happy to once again reside in New York, you might find him playing volleyball or dancing to funky beats on the weekends.

Maxwell Gollin 

Communications Associate

Ultra-Poor Graduation Programme (formerly TUP) – Bangladesh


Rozina Haque

Program head

Moklesur Rahman

Dvision Manager

Upoma Mahbub

Manager, Global Advocacy

Tania Tasnin

Deputy Manager

Paroma Husain

Program Quality Manager

Tahjib Shamsuddin

Communications Specialist