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Advisory Board

Best-of-breed executives from across multiple functions and disciplines have given their time, insights and experience to guide and direct the development and deployment of innovative initiatives that will strengthen UNICEF’s impact in addressing the needs of the developing world.


Thomas White PhotoThomas White is a co-founder and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. The C-Suite Network enables thought leaders, CEOs and other professionals to maximize the potential of peer networks and social media to expand their audience, increase revenue and grow their personal and business brands. Prior to C-Suite Network, Thomas started 10 companies in the fields of technology, publishing, market research and corporate consulting. He also holds four patents and is co-author of a book on business process technology, executive producer of a syndicated radio program, and a professional speaker.

Thomas White looks beyond the obvious to find the extraordinary. His strength is creating leading-edge companies that employ innovative use of technology, coupled with unique business models that deliver strong shareholder return. He knows the key to success is people. He creates cultures where people love what they do, work at their best, and produce extraordinary results. As a corporate consigliere he inspires CEOs to successfully weather continuously changing business environments so that their companies exceed the expectations of their stakeholders.
Dustin Haisler Photo Dustin Haisler is the Chief Innovation Officer for e.Republic. As the finance director and later CIO for Manor, TX, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. A member of Code for America’s original steering committee, Haisler pioneered government use of commercial technologies not before used in the public sector – including Quick-Response (QR) barcodes, crowdsourcing and gamification. In 2010 Haisler launched Manor Labs, a website that let residents submit their own ideas and vote other peoples’ ideas up or down. The most popular suggestions went to city officials for review and possible implementation. Haisler looked to the private sector to help broaden the adoption of these and other civic innovations, joining California-based Spigit as director of government innovation. While at Spigit, a company that makes crowd-sourcing and innovation management software, Haisler helped design and deploy innovation programs for New York City; Bogota, Columbia; and even part of the space program (through NASA’s Langley Research Center).

Notably, Haisler helped design and launch one of the first government open innovation programs in the United States in 2010, which received global recognition as a new model of citizen engagement and innovation. Among other first-in-nation innovations, Haisler architected a Crowdsourcing Master Land Use Plan (Harford County, MD) and patented a crowd-based business process (Crowd-as-a-Service). Named a Government Technology Top 25 Doer, Dreamer and Driver in 2009, his work has been featured in Wired, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Inc. and the Today Show on NBC. An in-demand speaker, he has given two TEDx speeches – one on Disrupting Government (TEDxAustin) and the other on Disrupting Education (TEDxLivermore).

As Chief Innovation Officer at e.Republic, Haisler has a strategic role to help shape the company’s products, services, and future direction. Primarily, he leads e.Republic Labs, a market connector created as an ecosystem to educate, accelerate and ultimately scale technology innovation within the public sector.
Paul Morrissey Photo Paul is a Veteran Technology Entrepreneur. He has created, enabled and successfully sold, floated or merged a series of International Telecommunications, Technology Operations, Software and Consultancy practices and continues to invest in early stage technology business through his Private Equity fund Livewire Capital Partners. He is a recognised International Business leader and expert on Data Forensics, Framworx, SaaS hosting and Media Content distribution and brings his technology expertise as a Non-executive director to the companies he participates in. As the European and Entertainment Editor for the on-line publication TeleMediaStrategy.com he keeps in-touch with latest trends and comments on industry issues on a real time basis. He also acts as Chairman of several companies in the B/OSS, Big Data Analytics, Digital Content, Games and Wealth Management sectors as well as continuing his work in the Design, Build and Operations of advanced Telecommunications network and Data Centres enterprise organisations, working closely with VC’s and Private Equity to secure funding and drive these entities to profit. He has been intimately involved in these types of Ventures since 1999. In addition, he undertakes strategic consultancy assignments, where his technology expertise can be effective to drive organisations to profitability or exits.

Paul is the Global Ambassador for the TMForum, with responsibility for Big Data Analytics and Customer Experience. He is also currently the Head of the Data Analytics Group at TM Forum. In 2010 he was awarded a Professorship by the School of Mathematics and Computing at Liverpool John Moores University for work surrounding University technology spin-out companies. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and considered a Global expert within the Data Analytics, OSS, SaaS and Computer Security. Paul works closely with VC's and PE Groups to identify and exploit opportunities in these markets.
Mpule K. Kwelagobe Photo Mpule K. Kwelagobe is the founder and CEO of the MPULE Institute for Endogenous Development. As a researcher, Mpule’s areas of interest include traditional knowledge systems and culture, and how they inform endogenous development. Prior to this Mpule served as President of the Botswana-based MPULE Foundation, which she established in 1999 to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in Botswana. To date the MPULE Foundation has partnered with nearly 20 multi-stakeholders in launching health and youth empowerment programs in two dozen urban and rural areas across Botswana. In 2001, Mpule Kwelagobe and the MPULE Foundation were awarded the Jonathan Mann Human Health Rights Award by the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC).

In 2000, Mpule was appointed as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Youth and HIV/AIDS by the UN’s Population Fund, UNFPA. In this capacity, she has addressed members of the United States Congress, the UN Least Developed Countries conference, the UN World Youth Summit, the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the UN General Assembly. In addition, she participated in numerous policy forums in Washington DC and lobbied European donor governments on behalf of the United Nations Population Fund. In 2003, Mpule was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, which also selected her as a Young Global Leader in 2006. She was awarded the highest honor by the Lions Club International in 2001 during Lions Day at the United Nations for her work as a member of the Leo Club (junior Lions) in Lobatse, Botswana. Mpule had previously been honored by the Lions Club UK and the Lions Club Botswana in 1997. Mpule holds Freedom of the City Keys to Gaborone (Botswana), Port-Of-Spain (Trinidad & Tobago) and Asuncion (Paraguay).
Mpule K. Kwelagobe Photo Ceasar McDowell has a deep and abiding passion for figuring out how people who are systematically marginalized by society have the opportunity to voice their lived experiences to the world. Over the past few decades, Ceasar has been involved in many activities to bring this belief to life — from his work at MIT’s Co-Lab, where he uses the critical moments reflection method to help communities build knowledge from their practice, to his work with the global civic engagement organization, Engage The Power. At MIT, Ceasar teaches on civic and community engagement and the use of social media to enhance both, and is working to create a model of equitable partnership between universities and communities and to support communities to build their own knowledge base.

Ceasar is now delighted to be lending his wisdom and expertise to his role as president of the Interaction Institute for Social Change where the work is about designing and facilitating for positive social change. IISC is unique among collaborative capacity builders for viewing collaboration through three essential lenses: power, equity and inclusion; networks as the unit of action for social change; and love as a force for social transformation. IISC is now seeking to apply its expertise to addressing the challenges presented by the increasing demographic complexity of cities across the world.
Shashi Buluswar Shashi Buluswar is the co-founder and Executive Director of Lawrence Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies (LIGTT). Before founding LIGTT, Shashi was a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, an organization which gives strategic advice to governments, the UN, NGOs and foundations on issues such as economic development, health, agriculture, climate change, education and post-conflict reconstruction.

In recent years, Shashi has worked with the UN's Peacekeeping Department to restructure global operations, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch large-scale agricultural development programs in Africa and Asia, with the US government on post-conflict development in Afghanistan, with several multinational corporations to improve their social responsibility agendas, and dozens of NGOs fighting for human rights, health, education, and economic empowerment. Shashi also teaches International Development at UC Berkeley, and is currently writing a textbook on the topic.

He holds a Ph.D. in Robotics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and an MBA from the Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Before his career in Global Development, Shashi taught at Northwestern University, and was an Associate Partner at the consulting firm, McKinsey. Beyond his professional interests, Shashi spent a decade competing on the Indian national rowing team, and recently made a critically acclaimed documentary film about the India-Pakistan conflict. Shashi was born and raised in India, and has traveled to about 70 countries.
DeKoven Ashley DeKoven Ashley is the Co-Founder and COO of thrdPlace, an online platform for community planning and development. DeKoven’s experience is diverse but focused on urban design. He describes himself as an urbanophile – someone who specializes in articulating what makes space have a sense of ‘place.’ As such, he has positioned thrdPlace to disrupt community outreach so that the City can serve as a digital platform for community engagement.

Prior to founding thrdPlace, DeKoven worked in federal and municipal policy, built environment design and community organization. He was a first-responder on the ground in post-Katrina New Orleans. While there, he witnessed the difficulty of the City to bring diverse community stakeholders together to build their shared communities. He brings those insights to thrdPlace.

DeKoven is a graduate of Tulane University and received his master’s degree in urban planning from University of California, Los Angeles. He is a serial entrepreneur, an Advisor to Non Profits like Net Impact Los Angeles and a Founding Member of HUB Los Angeles.

DeKoven may work for a digital company but his passion is in boots-on-the-ground development. As he would say: “I believe in the ‘[Digital] City as Platform.’ But we are all local. So we are all designers, too.”

Learn more about DeKoven here: www.linkedin.com/in/dekoven
Anne Pao Anne Pao is CEO and co-founder of Weaverlution, a community engagement platform that empowers businesses, NPOs and individuals to coordinate and collaborate around social impact projects. Anne also acts as Head of Advanced Analytics and Big Data at Saratoga Software. Her experience spans analytics, strategic planning, technology implementations, business development and community development. Anne is fascinated about how people engage in meaningful, relevant ways with their community, and how technology can be a catalytic force for social change.

Anne earned her MBA with distinction from University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, and focused on social innovation, entrepreneurship and emerging markets. She also studied Sustainability, Entrepreneurial Finance and Open Innovation at Esade Business School. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from UCLA.

Anne has served as a board member in multiple non-profits across Africa. In 2011, she joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Swaziland to lead operational reporting and Information Management strategy for a national HIV program run in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

Anne stays busy competing in half marathons and triathlons and is a passionate supporter of youth, women and entrepreneurs.
Mindy Manes PhotoMindy Manes works with some of the world’s most innovative organizations in her role as Chief Operating Officer of the Edison Awards, where she manages and directs all aspects of the Edison Awards--the "Oscars of Innovation"--where innovators and their innovations are honored and recognized. Her past experience includes over eight years at Johnson County Community College, one of the top ten U.S. community colleges where she served as the Innovation Strategist; this included producing multiple platforms for ideation work, connecting JCCC to outside groups for powerful inter-organizational collaborations, while concurrently supporting the development of three newly-created divisions. These divisions included Sustainability, Learner Engagement and Corporate Outreach & Strategic Partnerships. While in this position, Mindy helped to serve over 30,000+ students.

Mindy’s business experience includes creative staffing and artist liaison roles at Hallmark Cards and financial operations work at Morgan Stanley. She has enjoyed mentoring young women as a Girl Scout leader for the past 18 years, and regularly volunteers as a Kansas Supreme Court-approved mediator to help resolve cases in small claims court.

Connect with Mindy at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mindymanes
Sandra Bates PhotoSandy is an avid innovation entrepreneur and author who has worked in various aspects of innovation for the past fifteen years. She has worked with dozens of companies with a rich history of innovation and market excellence, spanning dozens of industries. Sandy has mentored, coached and led more than one hundred innovation initiatives, helping her executive teams launch award winning products, services and programs. She most recently turned her focus to the needs of the social sector with a goal of taking state of the art innovation practices, tools, and methodologies to address the most critical issues facing our world such as health care for the uninsured, natural resource conservation and education

Her book, The Social Innovation Imperative (McGraw-Hill) was released in December 2011. She is the former director and co-founder of the Strategyn Institute and spent nearly a decade working with Strategyn and its clients to create breakthrough products and services. As part of her role, she participated in the development and advancement of the innovation techniques used by Strategyn and others. By using her framework as a catalyst to streamline the innovation process and make it more accessible and applicable to the wicked problems of today, non-profits, NGO’s, the government sector, entrepreneurs, and corporations are creating new solutions that deliver social impact.

During her most recent tenure with Strategyn, Inc., Sandy served as the lead consultant for Microsoft, conducting over 30 innovation initiatives in the consumer, software development, business applications and other new market areas. She has worked extensively in the health care field with companies such as Guidant, Medtronic, WellPoint, Hospira, Lancaster General Health, the California Healthcare Foundation and many others. She also worked with the Harvard/Kennedy School of Government's study on health care delivery models in America. Other clients have included Morgan Stanley, Masco, Dell, AIG, State Farm, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Cargill, J. R. Simplot Company and Hallmark. Sandy specializes in ideation, services innovation and messaging/positioning.

Read more about Sandy on LinkedIn
Sandra Bates PhotoPaul Scott is a sustainability & global development specialist focused on social innovation & entrepreneurship, public private partnerships and global supply chains (ESG). Currently, Paul is leading the ASME ISHOW, a global competition for “hardware led social innovation” established to infuse engineering rigor into social ventures taking physical products to market at scale. Paul has experience across various sectors and industries, having led sustainability activities for a multi-national and worked on Cleantech innovation and inclusive business at the World Bank and UNDP.

Paul also helped develop the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (CIC) Business Plan, sponsored by infoDev, UKaid, and the World Bank. Paul helped in preparing the business plan by engaging Kenyan stakeholders in conducting an assessment of the climate innovation landscape and thereby examining the feasibility of a CIC as a mechanism to maximize innovation in Kenya. By analyzing current capacity and market gaps, Paul’s business plan outlines the focus, implementation strategy, investment requirements and impact of a CIC in Kenya. Paul also served as an advisory board member for The Resolution Project, a global non-profit fostering youth leadership development through collaborative social entrepreneurship.

Paul holds an MPA (Columbia University, NY), a BSc (Durham University, UK) and as a geographer can name most capital cities and color maps really well!

Sandra Bates PhotoLisa was recruited in 2008 to lead Blue Planet Network and increase the impact of safe drinking water programs for people worldwide. Blue Planet Network's 100+ member organizations working in 27 countries manage $40+ million of programs on its online platform, empowering 1.5 million people with lasting clean water and sanitation. In 2012, Lisa was awarded The Silicon Valley 100 Women of Influence Award. She was a core team member in the due diligence leading to Blue Planet Network's merger with Thrive Networks. She added Chief Marketing Officer of Thrive Networks to her responsibilities post-merger to bring additional expertise to the expanded organization.

Lisa has 25+ years of domestic and international experience building brands and customer communities at companies that include Yahoo!, E*TRADE, Charles Schwab, VISA and American Express. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and has two wonderful daughters embarked on their own life adventures.

Lisa holds a B.A. with honors from Swarthmore College and a Graduate Certificate in Mandarin Chinese from National Taiwan Normal University. She is an inveterate international traveler who learns by “wandering around.”