Ed Bland served as the President of Unitus, an international nonprofit organization that fights global poverty by accelerating the growth of microfinance - small loans and other financial tools for self-empowerment - where it is needed most.
Prior to joining Unitus, Ed was a General Manager in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft, leading the global marketing efforts for Microsoft’s $2 billion games businesses. He launched Xbox 360 globally in 2005, gaining critical acclaim and commercial success. Prior to that, Ed led the sales team that launched the original Xbox in 2001 and established that platform as a core element of Microsoft’s consumer strategy. Before joining Microsoft in ’96, Ed was a publishing executive at Time, Inc. and a banker at Manufacturers Hanover Trust. He received numerous awards during his 20-year career in sales, marketing, finance, and product development, including one award given directly by Bill Gates for making valuable long-term contributions to Microsoft.
A visiting lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management and the University of Washington, Ed holds an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management and a B.A. from Bowdoin College.
Susan is a seasoned leadership consultant and executive educator specializing in coaching senior executives and their teams to enhance their leadership capability and interpersonal skills. She has coached top teams in many of the FTSE100 and Fortune 500 companies across the globe over the past 20 years.
Recently, she has spent 3 ½ years working for two global Indian Conglomerates, providing top level curriculum design and development expertise as well as one-on-one and top team coaching. Before moving to India she was Partner and Head of Thought Leadership at Whitehead Mann in London, as an executive coach, and conducting board effectiveness reviews. A graduate of Columbia University, NY, and a Chartered Psychologist, Susan has co-authored, How to Manage in a Flat World, (published in 8 languages) Employability and Complete Leadership, and has produced a number of research publications. Her next book Global You, is to be released in the fall.
Kintan Brahmbhatt is actively involved in supporting large-scale poverty-alleviation efforts through commercialization in the microfinance industry. He started the "I hate poverty" campaign to raise awareness and funds for global poverty elimination through microfinance. As an advisor at Unitus, he helps define and drive the donor relations and fund raising strategy.
Kintan is a senior product manager at IMDb (Internet Movie Database), an Amazon.com company. Prior to Amazon, Kintan spent five years at Microsoft’s Unified Communications group as a Program Manager and helped drive several key aspects of Microsoft’s Office Communications products. Prior to Microsoft, Kintan was the founder of Securamed, a healthcare communication platform.
Kintan is actively involved as an advisor and investor for high-tech startups in Seattle and Silicon Valley. In addition to Jolkona and Unitus, he is a member of the executive committee of TiE Seattle and Pratham USA. Kintan holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University, where he studied Computer Science and Economics.
Shauna brings nearly 15 years of experience working for some of the leading sports and media companies in the Pacific Northwest. She's currently heads up the Social Business division of Nordstrom, and also serves as the Vice President for Social Media Club Seattle. She started her career with the Seattle Mariners before moving to Fox Sports Net, then FOX/ WB, where she had the chance to handle publicity for the first season of American Idol and 24. Prior to joining Nordstrom, Shauna managed community affairs for Comcast.
In her spare time, she organizes non-profit events planned through social media sites, and serves on the board of directors of Leadership Tomorrow Seattle and Reel Grrls. She also competes and organizes semi-pro beach volleyball tournaments. Shauna graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in finance. She lives in the Alki Beach neighborhood in Seattle with her husband, Brian, and their dog, Roxy.
Mushtaque Chowdhury has extensive experience in the field of public health and is globally recognized for the work he has done in that area. In addition to serving as an advisor to Jolkona, he serves as the Associate Director (Asia) of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he oversees the foundation's public health related projects in Asia region. Previously, he served as the Deputy Executive Director of BRAC - one of the largest employing NGOs in the world. He also serves as a visiting professor at Columbia University. Additionally, Mushtaque has received numerous awards, including the prestigious "Social Innovator of the Year" Award.
Valeria is currently a Senior Director of Partners and Programs at Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketing Group. Prior to joining Microsoft, Valeria spent 4 years at Apple Inc. as Marketing Director for the Latin America Division. Valeria is a seasoned international leader and prior to Apple also held positions in general management, marketing and sales at other industry leading companies such as Palm Inc. and Compaq Computer Corp.
She holds a Masters in Business Administration in International Business from Our Lady of the Lake University. She also holds a certificate in Global Strategies Implementation from Thunderbird, Gavin School of International Management. She is passionate about being able to create career opportunities for the underserved and in finding a cure for Cancer. Born in Campinas, Brazil, Valeria is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Alexandra Cousteau is the granddaughter of legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Having gone on expeditions since an early age, Alexandra is now dedicated to advocating the importance of conservation and sustainable management of water resources in order to preserve a healthy planet. Her global initiative seeks to inspire and empower individuals to protect not only the ocean and its inhabitants, but the human communities that rely on the purity of our freshwater resources.
Because of Alexandra's tremendous work and relentless dedication towards these environmental issues, she was honored as a member of National Geographic's "Emerging Explorers" Class of 2008. Recently Alexandra established Blue Legacy - an organization whose mission is to tell stories of the water planet to inform people about critical water issues and inspire them to take action. In addition to Blue Legacy, Alexandra co-founded EarthEcho International with her brother Philippe in 2000. Lastly, Alexandra contributes to magazines like Women's Health and Elle.
Sumaya is an internationally recognized innovator, leader and award-winning entrepreneur and is the Founder and CEO of Sumazi (Young Professionals Connect). Previously, Sumaya served as a Sr. Social Media Manager at Sun Microsystems. While at Sun Microsystems, Sumaya founded and was the Editor-in-Chief of The CulturalConnect. Her team published over 800 interviews across 5 weekly publications of under-35 leaders across different ethnic diasporas that led a viral chain of meaningful connections and tools for mobilization of young adults across 100 countries.
Sumaya has a strong passion for progress and has been deeply committed to the nonprofit community. She serves as an entrepreneur mentor for BUILD.org, a nonprofit social venture that empowers underprivileged and under-resourced high school students with an education in entrepreneurship and is also on the steering committee for the San Francisco Muslim Women’s Giving Circle. Sumaya graduated from University of California, Berkeley and resides in San Francisco. She has also been recognized by BusinessWeek as one of America's "Best Young Entrepreneurs," CNN as a "Young Person Who Rocks," Silicon Valley Business Journal as a "Woman of Influence," ColorLines Magazine as an "Innovator to Watch" and most recently by UTNE Reader Magazine as one of "50 Visionaries Changing Your World."
Noah Levinson has been providing Jolkona with invaluable guidance since our early days. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Calcutta Kids, a non-profit organization he founded while he was an undergraduate student in Marlboro College, Vermont. Calcutta Kids is an organization committed to the empowerment of the poorest children and expecting mothers in the underserved slums in and around Kolkata, India. Calcutta Kids is well versed at leveraging its resources– something that we hope to emulate at Jolkona Foundation. In 2007, Noah completed his MPH from the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University.
Anna Ouroumian has an amazing life story to tell. Growing up in war-torn Lebanon in orphanages, she moved to the United States at the age of 17 with only a handful of change in her pocket but now serves as the Executive Director of one of the leading non-profit organizations in Los Angeles, California. Shortly after graduating from UCLA at the top of her class and working for Americorps, Anna now serves as the President and CEO of Academy of Business Leadership, an organization that has brought innovative approaches to the financial literacy education of inner city children. Anna also serves on the board of various women leadership organizations including Women's Foundation of California, Merrill Lynch Inaugural Women's Advisory Council, and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government Women's Leadership Board. She has also received numerous awards for her leadership and has been featured in Reader's Digest and Time Magazine, among others.
Sue Peterson is a shareholder and managing director at Cornerstone Advisors, a wealth management firm in Bellevue, WA that empowers clients to build beyond finance to a more fulfilling life. Outside of work, Sue uses her skills and gifts to provide non-profit organizations with helpful financial and investment counsel including Girl Scouts of Western Washington and Genesis House. Sue received her BA in Economics, from Wheaton College and is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder.
Doug Petrie is a senior grant & contract specialist/business analysis at PATH, a global health NGO based in Seattle. He has 25 years of experience in international development project management, administration, and training. He has worked with a major U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor and several top Seattle non-profit organizations, including United Way of King of County and Executive Service Corps. Doug is also a former Peace Corps volunteer where he worked in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Doug has been a long-time advisor to Jolkona and continues to do so in his spare time. He received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Washington and his Masters in Management from SIT Graduate Institute.
Tashi Ragbey is the Co-Founder and Director of Machik, a non-profit organization that supports innovative strategies that promote the sustainable development and strengthening of local communities in the Himalayan region and neighboring areas. In addition, she is also a lecturer and director of the UVa Contemporary Tibetan Studies Initiative.
Tashi studied law at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and holds an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge and also a Ph.D. in anthropology and Tibetan studies from Harvard University. She has received numerous academic awards and fellowships, including the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) IDRF Doctoral Research Fellowship and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada Doctoral Fellowship.
Nigar Suleman an attorney licensed in New York completed her LLM in Comparative and International Law from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She is also a member of the Bar of England and Wales. Before taking time off from law to raise a family she worked at American Airlines in Corporate Legal department in Fort Worth, TX. She also prepared, drafted and sponsored applications for employment based visas at the Law Offices of Kenneth G. Wincorn. Prior to that Nigar practiced law in Karachi, Pakistan at Kabraji & Talibuddin and counseled international law firms Sidley Austin, Baker & McKenzie and corporations Citibank and Eastman Kodak on a number of complex legal matters. Nigar also co-authored articles on various issues facing Asian capital markets during the late 90’s and early 2000’s and collaborated in drafting the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Act.
Nigar is passionate about voicing the concerns of those who opt out of the workforce due to life stage, circumstance or choice but nonetheless possess skills and talents to contribute in meaningful ways and is in the process of developing a non-profit model that channels the talents, abilities and limited time of this demographic effectively. While this remains an ongoing mission, Nigar is currently a real estate broker with John L Scott, where she partners her legal skills and expertise with her real estate practice and aptly provides valued benefits to her clients.
Anne Tillery is managing partner of Pyramid Communications, a public affairs firm dedicated to giving voice to good causes. The firm, with offices in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, works on a range of progressive issues, including education, environment, health and healthcare, arts and culture, human and social services, labor, social justice and philanthropy.
Anne specializes in strategic planning, organizational development and brand creation, helping a wide range of organizations to define and tell their stories. She has supported the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's efforts to end tobacco use, worked to preserve wildlands and wildlife across North America, raised awareness of the need for housing on our country's Indian reservations, supported the Kellogg Foundation's Food & Fitness Initiative and helped mirco-credit organizations promote their work around the globe.