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Our Team

Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych | President & CEO
Anna DeVries | Manager
Shanta Bryant Gyan | Communications Director
Adrienne Gifford | Senior Advisor
Mariel Iezzoni | Senior Manager, Development & Special Events
Helen Mant | Senior Advisor
Peter Nance | Development Assistant
Meixi Zhou | Communications Assistant

Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych | President & CEO

mima-webDr. Nedelcovych is the President and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD), a nonprofit organization that engages corporate leaders to reduce poverty through business growth and investment in Africa.

Prior to joining IGD, Dr. Nedelcovych was the Chairman of Schaffer International, the successor company to the Schaffer Global Group. For the Schaffer Group, he is the lead Partner in the establishment of the Markala Sugar Project in Mali, and serves as the Chairman of the Société Sucrière de Markala.

He has also established an independent consulting practice focused on trade facilitation, project development, project finance, and public-private partnerships in Africa. Dr. Nedelcovych has worked with clients such as Carana Corporation, USAID, and Abt Associates to identify and advise investment opportunities in Africa, as well as with corporate clients such as International Green Structures, Illovo Sugar and JML Investments, Novel Commodities Group, and SATAREM Renewable Energies to develop specific investments.

Prior to establishing his consulting practice, Dr. Nedelcovych was Director for Business Development and Country Director in Liberia for Buchanan Renewables (BR). He was Managing Director of the Schaffer Global Group (SGG) for 15 years until accepting a 2-year posting as Country Director of BR in Liberia, a renewable energy business based on biomass harvested and processed from old economically redundant rubber trees.

Dr. Nedelcovych served in the Administration of President George Bush from 1989 to 1993 as the U.S. Executive Director to the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. He was instrumental in formulating the “private sector initiative” at the AfDB, the African Business Roundtable and the African Export-Import Bank. Prior to being named Executive Director to the AfDB, Dr. Nedelcovych held the position of Principal at Arthur Young’s International Consulting Group, specializing in privatizations and private investments in Africa.

At the beginning of his career he served as Peace Corps Country Director in Gabon, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Africa at USAID, and as Special Projects Officer at the US Trade and Development Agency.

Dr. Nedelcovych serves on the Advisory Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and presently sits on the Boards of Schaffer International, International Green Structures, the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, and Afriland First Bank SA (Cameroon) and is a past Director and President of the CCA and Member of EXIM Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee. He received a BA in Political Science from Yale University, an MA in International Relations from George Washington University, and a PhD in Comparative Political and Economic Development from Florida State University (in conjunction with Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco).

Anna DeVries | Manager

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Anna works with the Advisory Team to support the Advisory team’s projects and clients. She has previously worked with various non-profits to connect refugees, local food producers, and environmental leaders to opportunities in their communities. She has lived, worked, and studied in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Most recently, Anna spent two years in Indonesia as a Fulbright scholar.

Anna graduated from  Drake University with a BA in political science and international relations.

Shanta Bryant Gyan | Communications Director

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As the director of communications and media, Shanta oversees all IGD’s communications efforts. Shanta works closely with IGD leadership to design and execute dynamic communications and media strategies to enhance the IGD brand and heighten awareness of IGD’s work. She has more than fifteen years of experience in media outreach and editorial work in the fields of international finance, advocacy and humanitarian and development with a focus on Africa. Launching her career as a reporter for the All Africa News Service, a Nairobi-based continental African newswire service, Shanta served as the Director of Communications and Media Relations at InterAction.

Shanta has been principal of SBG Communications where she has worked with leading international organizations to bolster communications and media outreach efforts to increase coverage and help shape the media’s reporting on the developing world, particularly Africa.

Shanta received a B.S. in journalism from Boston University and pursued graduate studies in International Communications at The American University in Washington, D.C.

Adrienne Gifford | Senior Advisor

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Adrienne possesses more than 15 years of experience advising senior leaders across the public, private, and international development sectors across Africa and Latin America. In 2016, Adrienne co-founded, Oceti Advisors, a social sector management consulting firm that works with forward-thinking companies, foundations, donors, and civil society organizations to create and deliver sustainable solutions that improve human well-being. Her firm specializes in impact assessment and monitoring and evaluation, human centered strategy and design, and network development and strengthening.

From 2014 to 2016 Adrienne was Director of Advisory Services at the Initiative for Global Development where she continues to serve as a Senior Advisor. At IGD, Adrienne led a comprehensive impact assessment of the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI) and Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) – $95M corporate social investments made by Chevron to combat poverty in the Niger Delta. She also led and supported numerous other engagements for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and ContourGlobal. From 2002-2012, she managed teams at Booz Allen Hamilton and Herren Associates supporting the U.S. federal sector.

Adrienne holds an M.A. in Social Enterprise with concentrations in International Development and Impact Investing from the American University School of International Service and a B.S. in International Finance from the Kogod School of Business.

Mariel Iezzoni | Senior Manager, Development & Special Events

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Mariel reports directly to the CEO providing one-on-one executive support. She works closely with the Development and Program Team as a liaison to the Board of Directors and Leadership Council, supporting a variety of strategic programmatic projects. Prior to joining IGD, Mariel worked in theatre, promoting community engagement through the arts. From 2012 to 2014 she served in the outer islands of Micronesia as a Peace Corps volunteer working in education and community development.

She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with degrees in English and Theatre.

Helen Mant | Senior Advisor

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Helen has close to 20 years international experience in the adoption of market systems approaches to promote sustainable development in key sectors including agriculture, financial services and energy. Helen has particular expertise in collaborative approaches such as cross sector partnerships and in the development and implementation of innovative impact measurement approaches. Helen previously worked for SABMiller, PwC and Business Action for Africa.

Helen is a Chartered Accountant and holds a LL.B (Hons) Law degree from Cardiff University and a postgraduate certificate in cross sector partnerships from Cambridge University.

Peter Nance | Development Assistant

peter-nance-thumbnailPeter works closely with the CEO and the Senior Manager of Development and Special Events providing administrative and research support. Peter’s primary focus is to maintain and expand IGD’s network of Frontier Leaders, as well as prepare the development and implementation of IGD’s biannual Frontier Leader Forums. Prior to joining IGD, Peter served with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in Baltimore, MD and Baton Rouge, LA. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Global Development Studies and Economics with a concentration in International Economics.

Meixi Zhou | Communications Assistant

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Meixi works closely with the Communications Director to enhance the IGD brand and visibility, as well as implementing various communications projects. She supports the Communications team to develop strategies to engage IGD’s key constituencies, particularly the Africa Investment Rising campaign.

Meixi has focused her study on African development and politics. She worked in Uganda as a community capacity builder with a youth development NGO. Before joining IGD, she went to Science Po as an exchange student and interned at various organizations such as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Poverty Alleviation Center in China.

Meixi earned a MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University. She holds a BA in Diplomacy and English Literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University, China.