Matteo Bigoni, Environmental Manager- Business Development
Matteo is part of the business development team of SEM and, his work focuses on the development of projects that can help rural and urban populations in Senegal adapt to the incumbent threat of climate change and achieve energy autonomy including reforestation, renewable energy and agro-forestry projects. Matteo has extensive knowledge of the carbon market, CDM and the international climate change policy. Prior to SEM, he worked in Beijing under the EU-China Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Facilitation Project and conducted research on the effective sustainability of CDM and its impact on renewable energy in China. He also worked for in the United Kingdom for leading environmental NGO including Green Peace and the Green Alliance in the field of climate change policy. Matteo holds an MSc in Business Strategy, Politics and the Environment from the University of London.
Siré A. Diallo, Executive Director
Born and raised in Mali Siré A. Diallo joined SEM-Fund by way of USA where he spent the last twelve years. He holds a bachelors of science in management from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and a masters of science from Marlboro College in Vermont. Siré’s passion for sustainable development and capacity building of vulnerable population has been apparent throughout is professional career. He worked in operations management with two socially responsible businesses in Vermont namely Chittenden Bank and ForesTrade, Inc.. He also served as a Program Director designing and overseeing youth development project in Vermont and Massachusetts the Boys & Girls Club and the Massachusetts Career Development Institute, Inc.. Siré’s strengths in program development and his knowledge of entrepreneurship all within the realities of marginalized groups make him an asset for SEM. His vision is to take SEM’s operations to new heights through a focused micro lending and innovative training programs aimed at elevating the most marginalized individuals out poverty. Siré believes, that a true sustainable development is only achievable if people have the means to control their own economic destiny. Giving young people and women the tools and knowledge to generate income will effect positive social change such as closing the gap in wealth, gender disparities, access to education and healthcare. Through SEM, Siré wants to do his part in ensuring a world where social and economic inequities are a thing of the past. As the new Executive Director, Siré’s envisions SEM as a reference in micro-finance, entrepreneurship training, and environmental stewardship.
John Fay, Co-founder & Chairman of Board of Directors
John is a consultant and researcher focusing on poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation. Currently, John is pursuing a PhD at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, researching market based incentives to address climate change in Africa. Previously, he held a number of positions in the private sector; including with Emerging Markets Group, CIGNA Healthcare, investment bank FBR and private equity firm Brooks, Houghton. John’s qualifications include an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School and a BA from Duke University.
Nan Guslander, Co-Founder
Nan first became interested in micro-lending through her membership in the World Presidents Organization's microfinance forum. She joined with John in 2006 to focus on lending in Senegal's eco- villages. Nan was the CEO and President of Hadley Fruit Orchards and Chairman of the holding company HFO, Inc for 12 years. Currently she is the principal of Hilmore Group, a real estate investment company. Nan has a MA in government from Indiana University, a MSW from University of Hawaii, and an AB in social sciences from Shimer College. She also attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business's Owner, President Management Program.
Julia Kurnia, Co-Founder
Julia joined SEM in the summer of 2006, when she spent ten weeks in Senegal working with clients and local partner associations to formalize lending procedures and scale up operations. During SEM's first two years, she facilitated communication between SEM’ s Senegalese and American staff and worked to strengthen SEM’s collaboration with other microfinance players. Julia subsequently founded Zidisha, the first direct peer-to-peer micro-lending platform that connects entrepreneurs in developing countries with lenders in the US and Europe. Julia currently works as a Portfolio Analyst at the US African Development Foundation. She holds an MA in International Economics from the George Washington University.
Sheila Harrington, US-based Treasurer
Sheila began working with SEM in the fall of 2006. She serves as the US Based Treasurer and administers all financial bookkeeping. She has taught at the high school and college level in the Business Administration and Computer Departments. While living in Virginia Beach she co-managed an office supply firm with both civilian and military markets. She graduated with a BS in Business Education from SUNY Albany and an ITMM Masters from SUNY Potsdam.