UNCDF’s vision is financial services that work for a world of people on the move: convenient, affordable, safe, responsible, digital financial services that keep pace with the changing nature of work and that begin with remittances—but do not end there. It’s an ambitious and cross-disciplinary programme. We are building a global team to match. Our team members have worked in the gleaming towers of some of the world’s leading banks—and in village credit unions with intermittent electricity. We are veterans of the money transfer industry and of Big Tech. We’re economists, contracting experts, international development workers, policy and regulation advisors, and data experts. We’ve worked in more than 50 countries and speak nearly 20 different languages. More than 90 percent of us are migrants ourselves, living outside our countries of origin.

Global Programme Leadership & Service Delivery
This team manages key relationships within the United Nations, with governments, and with intergovernmental partners. It also provides executive leadership, management, and administration for the programme as a whole, is responsible for setting the learning agenda, and leads outreach to external audiences, producing technical papers, briefs, articles, opinion and editorial contributions, and managing digital communications.

Amil Aneja​

Lead Specialist, Migration & Remittances

Amil Aneja leads the strategy and implementation of the migration and remittances portfolio at UNCDF. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading all staff and consultants, for financial oversight, and for driving results and impact. Mr. Aneja also manages key relationships, including those with the donors, United Nations agencies and the member-state missions, and key public- and private-sector partners. Apart from leading the migration and remittances strategy at UNCDF, Mr. Aneja has been instrumental on other United Nations initiatives including the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals. He began his career in management consulting with Accenture in India and KPMG in NY, where he led engagements across pharmaceutical, financial services, healthcare, and government clients. Mr. Aneja holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from India and a master’s degree in international finance and economic policy from Columbia University (US).

Amela Cosovic

Programme Management Lead

Amela Cosovic is a senior finance professional with over 21 years of international experience in financial management for the private and public sectors. Ms. Cosovic has worked with UNDP and UNCDF for 10 years, delivering large projects for the European Commission, DFID, INL, and other international donors, brokering new investment ideas through financial due-diligence, and presenting detailed reports to the investment board. Through Ms. Cosovic’s global experience in diverse and multicultural environments, she has led large teams, provided strategic direction and innovative implementation solutions, consolidated financial and donor reports, recommended the reallocation of funds as needed and coordinated with other departments and agencies. Ms. Cosovic is ACMA/CGMA Associate, qualified Management Accountant with CIMA Institute in London. She holds a combined degree in Business and Finance from the University of Westminster and Rotterdam’s Erasmus Programme (UK).

Arunjay Katakam

Innovation Lead

Arunjay Katakam is a former EY consultant who has co-founded three startups, one of which eventually sold to Twitter. For the migration and remittances portfolio, Mr. Katakam is responsible for driving the learning agenda and harnessing it to build the capacity of remittance service providers worldwide to optimize their products for migrants and their families. Mr. Katakam’s professional experience spans work in developing markets in Asia and Africa, as well as developed markets in the Global North. Mr. Katakam is the author of “The Power of Micro Money Transfers” and truly believes that payments will be free. He co-authored the GSMA’s 2013 and 2014 “State of the Industry” mobile money reports and contributed to the 2015, 2017 and 2018 editions. He received his bachelor’s degree in commerce from Osmania University (India).

Linda Dobos

Contract Administration

Linda Spaics-Dobos leads the efforts for procurement, onboarding and contract management for all short- and long-term consultants assigned to the migration and remittances portfolio. She began working with the United Nations in 2012 as a human resources staffer with FAO (the Food and Agriculture Office). She joined UNCDF in 2016 as a procurement-focused administrative assistant supporting the Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) project team out of Brussels. Ms. Dobos was one of the key staffers supporting the Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals and was instrumental in many of the Task Force’s successful initiatives, including its launch at Davos during the 2019 World Economic Forum. She holds two master’s degrees, one in English literature and linguistics and one in communications and media studies. She speaks Hungarian, English and French.

Louis Fourmentin

Digital Communications Expert

Louis Fourmentin is a Brussels-based Digital Strategist with 10 years of experience in various contexts: UNHCR Belgium, UNDP South Sudan, BNP Paribas Wealth Management, etc. At UNCDF, he leads and implements the digital communication strategy for the Migration and Remittances Programme.

Louis studied Political Science and History of Europe; he holds certifications in Adobe Creative Suite, Scrum Master, Digital Marketing, Executive Data Science and Blockchain for Financial Services; and he speaks French, English and Dutch.

Wen Kang (Ralph) Chow

Programme Analyst

Wen Kang (Ralph) Chow is a Programme Analyst working on UNCDF’s migration and remittances portfolio. A Singapore national, he has worked in various United Nations agencies, including UN-Habitat, ESCAP, and the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prior to joining UNCDF, Mr. Chow supported thought leadership priorities and impact investing research at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Mr. Chow holds a Bachelor’s degree (First Class Honours) in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK) and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University (US).

Systems & Research
The sheer volume and pace at which data is generated can make it hard to distinguish the signals from the noise. Our team of data and impact experts set the agenda to understand what stories the data are telling us about remittances and migrant-centric finance. Then they work to generate actionable insights, viewed through a gender lens, that can translate into real impact in the lives of end users. The team is also developing the framework for measuring the results of our work.

Dr. Robin Gravesteijn

Data & Research Lead

Robin Gravesteijn leads the data analytics and research work on digital finance and inclusive economies at UNCDF with a focus on Asia and the global effort around migration and remittances. His other areas of work include decent work and entrepreneurship, digital finance for clean energy, and women and youth empowerment. The facility in Asia offers (big) data analytics technical support for financial and remittance service providers as well as central banks. With more than 16 years of working experience in development finance, Dr. Gravesteijn has managed social performance assessment and monitoring systems for the impact investment fund Oikocredit and worked for the International Labour Office conducting impact evaluations and offering technical support for financial service providers in Central Asia launching loan programs for women-owned businesses and small and medium enterprises. Prior to that, Dr. Gravesteijn worked in the commercial banking sector and at the Rabobank Foundation. He received his doctorate in social and policy sciences from the University of Bath (UK) and a master’s degree in development studies (cum laude) and economics from Utrecht University (the Netherlands).

Sarah Lober​

Research Consultant

Sarah Lober is a research consultant in the thematic area of migration and remittances. She supports the work of the team across all activities at the country, regional and global levels through conducting research and providing programmatic support. Ms. Lober has worked with UNCDF since 2018, joining the remittances team from the UNCDF Financial Innovation Lab based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prior to joining UNCDF, she held research positions focused on mobile money and digital payments interoperability with the Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development & Evaluation and the University of Washington’s Digital Financial Services Research Group. Ms. Lober holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Georgetown University (US) and is fluent in English and Spanish.

Houle Cao​

Data Analyst

Houle Cao works as a data analyst at the UNCDF Asia office in Bangkok. He uses financial inclusion data and research to inform the development of policies and practices for financial service providers, investors and regulators. Prior to joining UNCDF, Mr. Cao worked for the State Taxation Administration (STA) of China, where among other duties, he implemented policies to eliminate double taxation. He served as a country representative at several international meetings on tax policy, working with the OECD and the UNECOSOC. Houle Cao holds two master’s degrees: in statistics from Renmin University of China and in international taxation from Keio University (Japan).

Uloma Ogba

Gender and Learning Consultant

Uloma is a gender and learning specialist with over six years of experience working in financial inclusion. Joining the team, she will be supporting the integration of gender and driving the learning agenda across the migration and remittances portfolio. Uloma has been working with UNCDF since 2016 in various capacities including as a Project & Knowledge Management Specialist supporting the Mobile Money for the Poor programme in Zambia and as a Programme Coordinator leading the implementation of the Expanding Financial Access and Digital & Financial Literacy for Refugees programme in Rwanda. Most recently, Uloma also worked as a Gender & Financial Inclusion Consultant at MarketShare Associates providing advisory support to clients such as CGAP, Gates Foundation, SEEP Network and the IFC.

Uloma co-founded the non-profit Give Girls A Chance which works to improve access to quality education and skills training for girls and young women from low-income communities in Nigeria. She also founded Launch Africa; a career consultancy that provides support to young Africans interested in pursuing opportunities in the international development sector.

She holds two MSc degrees in Medical Informatics (University of Amsterdam) and Medical Physics (Purdue University) and a BSc in Physics (Benedict College).

Julie Wangechi Kamau

Gender and Research Analyst

Julie Kamau is a gender and research analyst at the UNCDF Migration and Remittances portfolio. Her work is centred around mainstreaming gender across all activities at the country, regional and global levels through conducting research and providing programmatic support. Before joining UNCDF, she worked at the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), where she researched the role of development finance mechanisms and fintech for women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment. On top of that, she supported the development of FMO’s Gender policy and the implementation of gender-finance capacity development trajectories.

Julie holds a Master of Science in Public Administration, specialising in Economics and Governance from Leiden University (the Netherlands). She has a Bachelor of Commerce, Finance option from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (Kenya) and a Bachelor of Science in Global Management of Social Issues from Tilburg University (the Netherlands). She is fluent in English, Swahili and she is proficient in Dutch.

Africans and Asians abroad collectively send tens of billions of dollars’ worth of remittances back to their home countries each year. Those funds total more than 5 percent of GDP for many countries in both regions, and are a lifeline for migrant family households. Our implementation team works with policy experts, product designers, and migrant advocates to ensure maximum impact of our work for African and Asian migrants and their loved ones back home.

Serge Moungnanou​

Digital Finance and Remittance Expert, Regional (Africa)

Serge Moungnanou joined UNCDF in 2017 as a digital finance consultant for the mobile money programme. Based in Senegal, he designs strategies to promote the innovation and entrepreneurship necessary to accelerate development of a healthy and inclusive digital finance services sector. Mr. Moungnanou works with all stakeholders to generate ideas for better digital finance across the value chain: customer journey, product development, marketing and communication, distribution networks, financial education and use cases. Prior to joining UNCDF, Mr. Moungnanou spent five years with Millicom International Cellular in Senegal where he was in charge of identifying, assessing, and pursuing new business opportunities with corporate customers. He also led Millicom’s financial services product design, development and marketing, including the new products on the company’s e-money platform. He began his career as a radio engineer with Orange Cameroun. Mr. Moungnanou graduated with distinction from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique (Cameroon) and received a master’s of business administration from INSEAD (France).

Mercy Wambui Wachira​

Digital Finance & Remittances Expert, Ethiopia

Mercy Wachira is a digital finance expert with over 7 years of international experience in research and consulting on financial inclusion and economic empowerment of the poor. She has extensive experience in the digital financial services (DFS) space as a service provider and a technical advisor to financial institutions, regulators and donors in 14 markets across Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal) and South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Philippines). Prior to joining UNCDF, Ms. Wachira led the Digital Financial Services Department for BRAC International Microfinance where she designed and led the implementation of an ambitious digital transformation strategy. Previously, Mercy worked as a consultant at MicroSave, where she was involved in the world’s largest project on strengthening DFS distribution networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, dubbed ‘The Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) project’. She supported both nascent and established DFS deployments to provide last mile access to financial services, conducting market research and providing technical assistance and training to financial service providers, central banks and donor agencies. She also led the knowledge management and insights dissemination of ANA project.

Mamadou Diallo​

Digital Finance & Remittance Expert, Senegal

Mamadou Saïdou Diallo is a banking and financial services expert with over 16 years of professional experience. He has worked with management consulting companies and financial institutions from Europe and Africa in capacity building and strategic transformation. He has a deep knowledge of payment systems and lending products and services to both private and SME customers. He also has strong expertise in project/ programme management and training delivery. He has worked for companies such as ING Bank, Euroclear and Alten in Europe, WSBI and MicroSave in Africa. During his last assignment with MicroSave in Francophone Africa, he trained more than 300 banking professionals in digital finance, accompanied several financial institutions in their digital transformation and contributed to research projects. He holds a master’s degree in finance and development (major in microfinance) from Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (Belgium) as well as an M.Sc. in engineering (majors in ICT and Energy) from CentraleSupélec Paris (France) and Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (Belgium). He is French-native and has an excellent command of English, Wolof and Pular. He also speaks Dutch.

Amit Gurung​

Digital Finance & Remittance Expert, Myanmar

Amit Gurung has more than 20 years of experience leveraging digital technologies to drive development and inclusive growth. He has provided technical advisory and management support services to governments, financial institutions, and technology leaders with a particular emphasis on Asia. Most recently, Mr. Gurung provided technical support to the government of India for strengthening their social transfer programs, and to a major global fast-moving consumer goods company for digitizing payments among the women entrepreneurs within its rural supply chain. He has also worked with a leading bank to expand its branchless banking network, implement a digital identity programme, launch a mobile money services offering, and expand remittance services in the India-Nepal corridor. For a global software leader, he helped drive a major project undertaken in collaboration with the Indian government to optimize the e-government programme. Mr. Gurung has worked with multiple microfinance institutions to implement cloud- based MIS solutions, and he helped manage the government of Afghanistan’s project to establish a commercial satellite communications network. Mr. Gurung received his bachelor of commerce degree from Panjab University (Chandigarh, India) and a post-graduate management diploma in marketing from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (Pune, India).

Premasis Mukherjee​

Digital Finance & Remittance Expert, Bangladesh

Premasis Mukherjee is a digital finance and innovation specialist with more than 13 years of experience of working in the financial services sector. He specializes in designing digital, inclusive and gender-aware financial products and services for MSME finance and retail banking. He blends strategy and banking expertise with customer insights and creative ideation to promote market leadership and disruptive tactics. He has managed large-scale banking transformation and innovation projects across Asia and Africa. He has previously held roles as a banking specialist at the IFC and a group leader for the Research, and Inclusive Finance and Banking Practice at MicroSave, a global consulting company focused on digital finance. Mr. Mukherjee has designed no less than 50 SME and retail banking products across an array of financial institutions (Banks, NBFC, MFIs, Donor Organizations etc.) in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the Philippines. He has also designed “Business Innovation for Inclusive Finance” and “Market Insight for Innovation and Design” toolkits for financial institutions, which blend behaviorial economics with cutting edge innovation strategies, behaviorial market research tools and HCD principles. In Bangladesh, he has designed the product, business and process strategy for the launch of an agent banking solution for a leading private sector bank.

Richard Nthiga Muriithi

Technical Specialist (Remittances)

Prior to Joining UNCDF, Richard worked as the Head of Remittances for the MTN Group, the largest multinational African and Middle East Based mobile telecommunications. He was charged with leading and overseeing the development of remittance and cross border payment products and services and to ensure their alignment to business strategy

Previously Richard part of the very successful business development and Strategy team for Safaricom M-Pesa, Richard has been involved in very notable projects such as the M-Akiba retail government Bond, the World food program closed-loop payment system in Kakuma and Dadaab, the e-Citizen payment platform for the Kenyan Government and the growth of International Money Transfers at Safaricom.

Richard worked at the Central Bank of Kenya as an officer in charge of regulatory compliance and auditing of Forex Bureaus , Banks and Money remittance Companies.

He holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Glasgow in investment Banking and Finance. Additionally he holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.)(Hons), in Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where he had obtained a previous Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), in Financial Planning and Services.

Capacity Building
Digitization has the potential to transform the multi- billion dollar remittance markets, bringing down transaction costs, expanding product offerings, and facilitating the shift from unregulated and cash- based remittance channels towards regulated, digital ones. An effective policy and regulatory framework that balances innovation and risk will be critical to this transition from cash to digital. Our Capacity Building team’s efforts focus on helping craft an enabling policy and regulatory framework to not only facilitate digital remittances through affordable and accessible channels—but also to support innovation towards migrant-centric financial products and services beyond remittances alone.

Eliamringi Leonard Mandari​

Senior Policy Specialist

Eliamringi Mandari is a policy specialist with more than two decades of experience as a financial services regulator with the Central Bank of Tanzania. During this time, Mr. Mandari participated in the development of the policy, legal and regulatory framework for the Tanzanian national payment system, was extensively involved in the implementation of the country’s payment systems strategy, reviewed applications for approval to conduct mobile financial services and remittance operations and reviewed products related to digital financial services, including the interoperability system for mobile network operators. Mr. Mandari was involved in the development of the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) system, Tanzania Interbank Settlement System (TISS) and the East Africa Payment System (EAPS) which support cross-border remittances through mobile network operators in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

Mr. Mandari’s work and academic experience includes accounting, financial analysis, banking supervision, project management, payments, remittances, AML/CFT, procurement, microfinance and financial inclusion. Mr. Mandari is a certified public accountant, and holds a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Albert Mkenda​

Policy Specialist

Albert Mkenda is a finance and capital markets consultant with a deep understanding of the payments and policy considerations that impact the remittance markets. He has over 16 years of experience working with the Central Bank of Tanzania where he served in the capacity of Market Development Manager for the Central Markets and Securities Authority. Prior to that he worked as a project manager and a bank examiner.

Mr. Mkenda holds a master’s degree in finance and accounting from the University of Strathclyde (UK).

Paloma Monroy​

Migration and Remittance Specialist

Paloma Monroy is a Migration and Remittances Specialist. Her work has primarily centered around fostering transparency, safety, reliability and efficiency in the international remittances markets. Over the last decade, she supported the global remittances agenda through the implementation of the WBG-CPMI Principles for International Remittance Services (Global Principles). Her experience includes assessing more than 20 remittance markets against the Global Principles and she has supported more than 10 countries through technical assistance projects across Latin America and the Caribbean. In particular, this technical assistance focused on enabling legal and regulatory frameworks for money remittance payments, fostering transparency and consumer protection, strengthening oversight capacities as well as increasing access to remittance services. Ms. Monroy also actively contributed to monitoring the cost of international remittance services through the Remittance Prices Worldwide (RPW) database and national databases in Central America plus Haiti. She was also involved in improving Central Bank Reporting and Procedures on Remittances in the LAC and the Caribbean region. More recently she worked in the ACP-EU Migration Action, an IOM program which provides technical assistance to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries on how remittances can help drive sustainable development.

Ms. Monroy is a PhD candidate in economics at the UNED University (Spain), holds a BA from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain and an MBA from the University of Birmingham, UK.

Jeremiah Grossman

Senior Policy Specialist

Jeremiah Grossman has more than15 years of experience in law and financial inclusion. At the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Grossman advocated for greater investment in digital financial infrastructure and regulatory reforms to foster financial inclusion and eliminate the financial inclusion gender gap. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Grossman worked at BFA Global, the GSMA, and as an independent consultant, advising central banks, private-sector financial service providers (e-money issuers and others), and international stakeholders on various legal and policy issues related to financial inclusion. Some examples of prior assignments include working closely with central bank staff to develop e-money, agent banking, and branchless banking regulations in Namibia, Ethiopia, and Yemen; identifying promising global examples of digital financial services for smallholder farmers; co-authoring a digital finance handbook for USAID staff; supporting efforts to strengthen microfinance regulation and supervision in the Middle East and North Africa; and analyzing regulatory frameworks for e-money and branchless banking throughout the world.

Mr. Grossman holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania (US) and a Master’s in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (US).

Doreen Ahimbisibwe

Remittance Policy Consultant

Doreen is a development practitioner with over 10 years of experience in the inclusive finance and development sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. She currently works as a remittance and policy Consultant under UNCDF’s Financial Inclusion Practice Area- Migration and Remittances. 

She previously worked as a consultant at MSC-MicroSave Consulting in the Banking and Financial Services domain where she served for 9 years. Prior to that, she worked at Barclays Bank-Uganda as a personal banker. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies (Distinction). 

Mukankunga (Angel) Bisamaza

Digital Finance Consultant, Regional Harmonization

Angel is passionate about technology innovation; she is a trained computer scientist with over 8 years of experience developing and launching new products that cut across the telecommunication and the banking industry in Africa and in the Caribbean region.

She has a track record of launching DFS products that have contributed to the acquisition and retention of mobile money customers while diversifying revenues for agents and exploring the B2B business model for Mobile financial services. While in Tigo Rwanda she developed new partnerships to support Tigo cash agent footprint expansion as well as customer access to international remittances, from Western Union & World Remit to customer wallet. Her strong experience in project management of complex projects with multiple stakeholders/partners from the private, public and development sector has allowed her to successfully deliver results on various aspects of DFS related projects such as strategy development, new product development, distribution that include agent & customer journey analysis, agent activation, sales pitch, and post-launch agent monitoring.

Angel is a customer-centric and commercially aware professional who enjoys the challenge of using technology to solve real-life problems to positively impact lives. She strongly believes that successful products/business happen when people are at the center of innovation.

She is involved in the Rwandan Fintech ecosystem and in her free time mentor’s young girls interested in a career in STEM.

Edgar Muganwa

Payments and Capital Markets Infrastructure Consultant

Edgar is a specialist in Financial Markets Infrastructure with over fifteen years of work experience in the financial sector. With the UNCDF Migration and Remittances Programme, he works alongside other policy specialists to progress the remittance harmonization agenda with a focus on payments infrastructure. He also provides technical assistance to the National Bank of Ethiopia in the run up to the launch of the open market operations, trading platform and Central Securities Depository (CSD) for an interbank forex market and supports the implementation process of micro savings bonds in Ethiopia.

Previously, Edgar was attached to the East African Community Financial Sector Developmental Regionalization Project as a Capital Markets Infrastructure IT specialist, where role was to coordinate the implementation of a technology platform linking the stock exchanges and central depositories of the EAC Partner States. Edgar’s previous projects include: implementation of systems integration with the National Bank of Rwanda, Bank of the Republic of Burundi, and CSD & Registry co in Tanzania; automation of the Rwanda Stock Exchange; set up of an automated environment for the Burundi Exchange Secretariat; and cross-border linkage of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, and Uganda Securities Exchange.

Edgars has also worked for other institutions in the financial services sector including KPMG, as Business Development Manager in the Advisory unit, Uganda Securities Exchange, as a Manager Information Systems, and Bloomberg LP at their London offices, as a Technical Account manager and technical support representative.

Edgar holds a master’s in business administration with distinction from Coventry University UK, and a Bachelor of Sciences in Computing and Information Systems from the London Metropolitan University in the UK.

Deepali Fernandes

Digital Finance and Migration Advisor

Deepali Fernandes is Digital Finance and Migration Advisor, UNCDF. Deepali`s background is in the areas of trade, finance, and migration, with work experience in the private sector and the United Nations.

She worked with IOM for 4 years in the areas of labour migration, remittances, and diaspora economic contributions. Prior to IOM, Deepali worked with UNCTAD as Economics Affairs Officer for 9 years, as an international trade consultant with the WTO, UNDP, AU and SADC, and in private practice in India and the UK. She was a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge and the Beijing University of International Business and Economics, and a guest lecturer at IMD Business School, Lausanne and the Government Law College, Mumbai.

Deepali completed her BA (Economics) and LLB in India, and her LLM in London (SOAS) . She is admitted as a Solicitor, Law Society of England and Wales.

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