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 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.
Climate Innovation Associate
Research Analyst - CTP
Samiksha joined the Climate Technology Program (CTP) to support the implementation of the Climate Innovation Centers and scale up the CTP’s global program. Prior to joining infoDev, Samiksha worked for both public and private organizations in the energy sector as it relates to climate change, energy security and economic development. She specializes in cross-sector partnerships in sustainable development and climate finance.
Samiksha began her career in Washington, DC focusing on energy regulatory issues for oil and natural gas clients. More recentlyshe worked at the U.S. Department of Energy and World Economic Forum, managing country work to deliver and scale private financing for clean energy and climate smart agriculture projects. She holds a Masters in International Relations and Economics, concentrating on Energy, Resource and the Environment from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and an MBA from the University of Geneva. She also has a BA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.
Welela is infoDev’s local representative based in the Ethiopia World Bank Country Office. There, she supervises the establishment of the recently launched Climate Innovation Center (CIC). Additionally, she provides general support to infoDev projects being considered in the country or region.
Welela brings 20 years of experience from the private sector in the US and in Ethiopia. Prior to moving to Ethiopia, she has worked at American Express Financial Services, where she focused on accounting & financial management. She also worked at the Gap, Inc. corporate offices in San Francisco, specializing in Strategy, Planning and Business Development.
Welela moved to Ethiopia four years ago and spent a couple of years working as an Advisor at East African Holdings, the second largest business conglomerate in Ethiopia.
Welela holds a MBA degree in Venture Management from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. She is addicted to physical exercise and either swims or plays squash every day. An avid cyclist when she lived in California, she doesn't find Addis Ababa quite as cyclist-friend....yet!
Program Analyst, Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC)
Danqing Zhu joined infoDev as Program Analyst for the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC). She supports the development and implementation of EPIC and provides operational support to other programs under infoDev. Danqing has a long-term commitment to innovation, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship. In her previous roles within the South Asia Sustainable Development Department and the Global Civil Society Team at the World Bank, Danqing contributed to the preparation and implementation of several investment lending projects, as well as Bank-wide stakeholder engagement activities. She also had experience in UNESCO Beijing Office and Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in Hubli, India. Danqing holds a MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University and a L.L.B in International Studies and Sociology from Peking University.