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.
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
Program Officer, CTP
Samiksha Nair is Program Officer for the Climate Technology Program (CTP), supporting the expansion of the network of Climate Innovation Centers and lead engagement with external stakeholders.
With nearly a decade of experience, Samiksha specializes in cross-sector projects for sustainable development and environmental finance. Prior to joining infoDev, she worked for both public and private organizations in the energy sector as it relates to climate change, energy security and green growth. Samiksha began her career in Washington, DC focusing on energy regulatory issues for oil and natural gas clients. More recently she has worked at the U.S. Department of Energy, World Economic Forum and a private advisory firm managing projects in emerging markets to support and scale business development in renewable energy, climate smart agriculture, and sustainable supply chains.
Samiksha holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Economics, concentrating on Energy, Resources 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 the 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.