Our Team

Advisory Council

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN Flagship Financing Agency for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), conducted the first convening of the organization’s Advisory Council—the first advisory body convened under UNCDF Executive Secretary Preeti Sinha.

UNCDF’s Advisory Council convenes leaders spanning an array of financial sectors, including: institutional investment, development finance, economic development and financial media. In coordination with the two highest ranking leaders within UNCDF—Executive Secretary Preeti Sinha and Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary—Council members will advise UNCDF on optimizing its unique role within the global financial architecture as a hybrid development organization and development finance institution.

The Council comes into existence at a point in time when the world’s 46 least developed countries are at significant risk of experiencing a lost decade of development, in significant part because of the harsh economic impacts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitigating this “lost decade” will require mobilizing international and domestic private investment capital, which can support projects in LDC markets that possess commercial and development potential.

In meeting this challenge, the Council will contribute its considerable investment experience, innovation capital and thought leadership to support UNCDF in its aim to become a hybrid between a development agency and a development finance institution. This specifically entails UNCDF offering more integrated and scalable solutions that combine our development expertise with our financing expertise and instruments, as well as scaling up the capital investments and financial advisory support that it has piloted over the past several years.


Council Members

Mahesh Kotecha, President, Structured Credit International Corp. (SCIC)

Mahesh is President and founder of Structured Credit International Corp. (SCIC), which provides financial advisory services on ratings and capital markets access for emerging markets and other clients.

Raj Kumar, CEO, Devex

Raj is the founding president & editor-in-chief of Devex, the media platform for the global development community. Devex is committed to ensuring that global development efforts do more good for more people.

Philippe Le Houérou, Former CEO of IFC

Philippe Le Houérou was Chief Executive Officer of IFC from March 2016 to September 2020. Mr. Le Houérou designed and implemented a new strategy aimed at “creating new markets and opportunities” in developing countries.

Carol Pepper, Founder & CEO, Pepper International

Carol Pepper is the Founder and CEO of Pepper International, a highly respected Family Office and Consulting Firm. In 2021, she is delighted to be celebrating her 20th year as the most trusted independent Family Office Advisor on the planet.

Durreen Shahnaz, CEO, IIX

Durreen Shahnaz, a global leader of social impact and impact investing, is the founder of Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and IIX Foundation.

Timothy Turner, Former AfDB Group Chief Risk Officer

Tim Turner is currently working for the Trade and Development Bank of Eastern and Southern Africa (TDB) as senior advisor to the President with a focus on financial innovation.

Staci Warden, Executive Director, Global Market Development, Milken Institute

Staci Warden is the executive director of Global Market Development at the Milken Institute, where she leads strategic initiatives on developing capital markets, innovative finance, FinTech for financial inclusion, and access to capital.


Officio Members

Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary, UNCDF

Ms. Sinha is a globally experienced investment and development banker with a 30-year track record associated with raising and managing institutional public and private development capital.

Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNCDF

With over 2 decades of experience in the UN, brings in-depth knowledge of programme and operations at HQ and in the field.

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