Valerie D'Costa is infoDev's Program Manager. She has led infoDev’s evolution from its original founding focus on information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) to current its role as a “learning lab” and convener for donors, client countries, and public and private sector actors around the innovation, technology and entrepreneurship agendas. The vision Ms D’Costa promotes for infoDev’s role today is to derive and test new approaches to support the growth of innovative, technology enabled new ventures; provide cutting-edge knowledge, networks and tools to developing countries to navigate these dynamic market and technology evolutions; collate lessons from success and ‘failure’ in the field; and promote the adoption and scaling of interesting and innovative new approaches that work by the World Bank, donors and other development partners.
Ms D’Costa believes strongly in the promise and potential of innovative new ventures to create transformative, profitable and locally relevant solutions in their markets. She advocates infoDev’s grassroots approach to support these actors via start-up support facilities that give them access to mentoring, equipment, technical assistance, potential partners, and early-stage financing. She believes that by staying true to this ‘bottom-up’ approach, infoDev makes a unique difference and a significant contribution to the World Bank’s goals of alleviating poverty, growing jobs and livelihoods, supporting the growth of a strong private sector, and enhancing inclusive, sustainable development.
Before joining infoDev, Ms. D’Costa served as the Director of the International Division at the Info-Communication Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), where she formulated the Singapore Government's policies on international ICT issues and oversaw Singapore’s bilateral relations with other countries on these issues. She received a Public Administration Medal from the Singapore Government for her work in building Singapore’s international ICT trade and diplomatic ties. Ms. D’Costa had a distinguished career in private legal practice before joining her country’s nation-building efforts in government service at IDA.
Ms. D’Costa holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the National University of Singapore and a Master of Laws degree from University College, University of London.
Program Officer, EPIC
Karlene Francis is a Program Officer for the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) in the World Bank Office in Jamaica. She coordinates the implementation of EPIC in collaboration with the infoDev team.
Karlene has twenty five years extensive experience working in the private sector, public sector and international financial institutions in the Caribbean. This includes fifteen years’ experience in project management in a multi-stakeholder environment. She was the Technical Lead for the design of four IDB projects for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and also supervised projects in several other sectors in the Jamaica portfolio. As a Senior Director of the Government of Jamaica, she was responsible for the ICT portfolio and led the development of the national and regional policies / strategies. Before joining the infoDev team, she held the position of Programme Manager for the IDB funded Harmonized Caribbean Spectrum Management Project.
Karlene has a MSc in Computer Based Management Information System and a BSc in Computer Studies (Computer Science and Management) both from the University of the West Indies. She is a Project Management Professional and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management.
Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist
Yehia Eldozdar joins infoDev as the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist and is tasked to design, implement and evaluate results frameworks for our programs, which entails working with our team, clients and end beneficiaries.
Prior to joining infoDev, Yehia was part of IFC’s Investment Climate team in the MENA region where he spent seven years working on a number of business regulatory reform projects in Egypt, Lebanon and West Bank and Gaza. He also worked on developing a number of impact estimation models for IFC advisory products including business regulation, business edge and credit bureaus. Yehia also worked with the global Jobs team on executing two impact estimation studies for Financial institutions and Agri business for IFC investments in Lebanon and Egypt respectively. Before joining the World Bank group, Yehia worked for seven years as an SME Policy Development Specialist in the Office of the Ministries of Economy, Foreign Trade & Finance in Egypt. His work included consultations with the private sector on issues related to SME definition, legal and regulatory matters facing enterprises from start-up to operations to exit and the drafting of policy papers related to those issues.
Yehia holds an MSc in Economic Development & International Trade from the University of Reading in the UK and a BA in Economics from the American University in Cairo.
Program Officer, Climate Technology Program
Justine White joins infoDev as a Program officer in the Climate Technology Program. Justine brings over 10 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, focused on fostering innovation, providing technical assistance to government clients on innovation policy, and helping foster local entrepreneurship.
Most recently, Justine has been working in OPCS’ policy and quality department, where she was in charge of the Bank’s Corporate Reporting on AAA, as well as the AAA training agenda development and roll-out Bankwide. Prior to that, Justine worked on a large technical assistance program on innovation policy and coordinated several Bank publications on this topic. She also led the development and roll-out of the Bank’s first online course for clients on ‘introduction to innovation policy’. Prior to joining the WBG, Justine worked for a consulting firm on the financing of large environmental and infrastructure projects in China and Africa. She started her career at the Australian Trade Commission and at the French development agency, working on local economic development and entrepreneurship.
Justine holds a Master’s degree in economics from Sciences-Po Paris, a Master’s degree from INALCO (Chinese) and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney.
Senior Program Officer, CTP
Jana Malinska joins infoDev as a Senior Program Officer in the Climate Technology Program to lead development and coordination of the global Climate Innovation Centers and promote linkages within the network and with World Bank Group teams and external stakeholders.
Jana brings 14 years of experience with international organizations, government, and private sector, focusing on business development and investment. Jana has led competitiveness and private sector development operations and technical assistance projects in more than 20 countries across 3 regions over her 7 years with the World Bank Group. Most recently, she coordinated the competitive industries portfolio in the MENA region focusing on business innovation and incubation and tourism, renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
Prior to WBG, Jana was a Young Professional with OECD where she was a member of the advisory unit to the Secretary General and helped governments implement investment and public governance reforms. Jana holds Masters degrees from the London School of Economics and University of Economics in Prague and MBA from Universite de Lyon. She continued education at Harvard and MIT.
Online Communications Officer
Sean Ding is Online Communications Officer for infoDev, specializing on digital marketing, content management, and communication strategies. Prior to joining the World Bank, Sean worked as Senior Associate to the China Program of The Carter Center, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. At The Carter Center, Sean led the design and implementation of projects related to U.S.-China relations, Africa-China relations, government transparency, rural governance, and China’s political reform. Sean also assisted President and Mrs. Carter on China-related issues, including staffing three presidential visits.
Sean holds a BA in Arabic and Foreign Service from Beijing Foreign Studies University, an MA in political science from Georgia State University, and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
Mobile Innovation Specialist
Maja is interested in the potential of entrepreneurship and human ingenuity to contribute to economic, environmental and social development. She has spent over 12 years connecting these fields, including as product manager in a web-technology startup, lead researcher at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and counselor for Canada for the World Bank Group. Since 2009, she has worked to expand infoDev’s mobile innovation program, including by extending our offering to better serve women founders of tech startups in emerging and frontier markets. Maja is pursuing a doctorate at the University of Oxford under Professor Bill Dutton, with a focus on innovation ecosystems and with support from Oxford University Press. She can be reached at email@example.com
Senior Communications Officer
Angela Bekkers is infoDev's Senior Communications Officer and focuses on infoDev's communications, branding, outreach, media, and overall external relations. Before infoDev, Angela worked as a communications specialist with the Education for All - Fast Track Initiative (EFA FTI), a global partnership program dedicated to ensuring quality education for children, hosted by the World Bank. Before that, Angela worked in the World Bank's Brussels office in charge of media and as a donor liaison with the European Commission and with her native Netherlands.
In an earlier stage of her career, Angela reported on international economics and finance for a Dutch newspaper. She holds masters degrees in Business Administration and Sustainable Management & Ecology, and she did a one-year postdoctoral in Journalism. Earlier work and study experience brought Angela to Ukraine, Argentina, China, and the Philippines
Agribusiness Innovation Analyst
Julia assists our team in the implementation of our program of collaboration with the government of Finland and Nokia. She was previously a Project Manager at the European Business and Innovation Centre Network, where she managed international projects on business incubation. Before that, she worked for the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the European Union where she worked on EU policies related to competitiveness, research and innovation. She holds a MSc in European Communities and Union Law and a MSc in European Political and Public Affairs.
Program Coordinator-Climate Technology Program
Jonathan works as Coordinator of infoDev’s Climate Technology Program to establish a global network of Climate Innovation Centers in developing countries. Jonathan comes most recently from ESMAP where, among other activities, he led efforts to formulate World Bank Group strategies on accelerating advanced energy technologies for partner countries, and supported two successful Investment Plans for the CTF. He was also team leader of the China Technology Needs Assessment (TNA), a role he will continue while at infoDev. Before joining the Bank, Jonathan worked for five years at the International Energy Agency (IEA) and, previously, structured project finance for IPPs and helped launch a technology start-up where he authored two patents on ocean energy. Jonathan holds BS and MS degrees in Mechnical Engineering from Brown University and an MBA degree from INSEAD.