Dr. Daniel Karanja| Vice President, Programs & Advisory
Dr. Daniel Karanja is Vice President, Programs & Advisory at the Initiative for Global Development. Before that, he served for three years as Executive Director of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, an independent U.S.-Africa effort focused on increasing the level and effectiveness of U.S. development assistance in Africa’s agriculture and rural development. He also served as Vice-President and Chief of Staff at the Partnership and led its outreach and collaboration on Capitol Hill and with Washington-based African Ambassadors, built stronger relationships with African institutions like the African Union, NEPAD and regional economic communities, supported work to strengthen Africa’s regional and external trade, capacity building for science, technology and innovation, and elevating Africa’s voice in development discussions.
Prior to joining the Partnership in 2003, Dr. Karanja worked with Bread for the World in Washington, D.C., where his primary focus was on international development, strengthening collaboration between U.S. and African countries on agricultural and economic development, and making Africa known and a priority in Washington, D.C. In the 1980s, Dr. Karanja worked as a research economist with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute testing smallholder farm technologies and linking farmers to research and extension services. He earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics at Michigan State University, and has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Helen Mant | Senior Advisor
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.
Patricia Sainz | Director, Finance and Administration
Patricia has more than 20 years of experience in accounting, administration, health benefits and retirement. Prior to IGD, she worked in finance with local unions in California and New York City.
Originally from Mexico, she brings an unique perspective to our organization. She is passionate about protecting the environment, animal rights and spends most of her free time volunteering with different organizations in Washington, DC.
Lia Mayka |Consultant, Advisory
Lia Mayka is based in Nairobi, Kenya and brings expertise in connecting ventures with innovative financing, investors, and resources to bridge the SME growth gap. Most recently, Lia led Village Capital’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa accelerating and investing in seed-stage startups across the continent.
Before joining Village Capital, Lia worked for the largest chain of low-cost private schools in Africa, Bridge International Academies, leading special projects for the company’s co-founders. She has also worked as a loan consultant with Accion USA building capacity for small business owners in New England through financing and technical assistance. She has prior experience in nonprofit program evaluation and has led research projects on microfinance in Belize and the Dominican Republic.
Lia holds a BA in Sociology with a concentration in Social Enterprise and a Minor in Latin American/Caribbean Studies from Northeastern University.