Ashraf W. Rizk, Chairman
Ashraf Rizk was Chemonics’ President and CEO from April 2002 to April 2006. Before that, he was the firm’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, a position he had held since 1990. A Chemonics employee since 1982, Mr. Rizk has led the firm’s activities in the Middle East and Asia and managed Egypt Local Development II, the largest decentralization development project in the world at the time. Before joining Chemonics, Mr. Rizk was senior auditor for an Egyptian accounting firm and oversaw CARE programs in Egypt.
Ronald J. Gilbert, Vice-Chair
Ronald Gilbert is cofounder and president of ESOP Services, Inc., an international consulting firm specializing in all aspects of Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) applications and ESOP privatization for private and public companies and government-owned entities. He brings more than 35 years of ESOP experience and currently serves on The ESOP Association’s Board of Governors and its Legislative and Regulatory Advisory Committee as well as the board of directors of three other ESOP companies. He currently chairs the Audit Committee and the International Ownership Expansion Committee and formerly served on the board of directors of The National Center for Employee Ownership. He is co-author and co-editor of Employee Stock Ownership Plans: ESOP Planning, Financing, Implementation, Law and Taxation, the most comprehensive work on the subject, published by the Beyster Institute, and has also authored numerous ESOP articles. Prior to cofounding ESOP Services, Inc., Mr. Gilbert was a vice president of Kelso & Company in San Francisco, where he worked with Louis Kelso, the “father” of the ESOP.
Susanna Mudge, President and CEO
Since joining the firm in 1992, Susanna Mudge has served the company in many key leadership roles, including as executive vice president, senior vice president of the Latin America and Caribbean region, and as director of several of the company’s larger programs. She brings in-depth global expertise in strategic private sector development, organizational development, trade and investment promotion, and sustainable natural resource management. She views quality project management as “inextricably linked to business success because that is what differentiates us and makes us competitive.” Raised in Latin America, she began her career as a regional development and tourism specialist for the Organization of American States, then as a privatization specialist with Ernst and Young, responsible for managing marketing and investment projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Bisrat Aklilu, Board Member
Bisrat Aklilu is a senior advisor for sustainable development, program evaluation, and fund management. He advises national governments and multilateral organizations including the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF). Mr. Aklilu has also worked with the UN for over 25 years, including as the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Operations at the UN Office of Project Services (UNOPS), and more recently as the Executive Coordinator of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Office located in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Aklilu established and managed the MPTF Office, which when he left the UN in 2013, had a portfolio of over 100 trust funds valued at over $6 billion and is the first UN Office to introduce full public transparency through real-time financial data and narrative reporting. Mr. Aklilu holds a Ph.D. Economics and M.A. in Economics from Boston University, where he was also an assistant professor, and a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Massachusetts.
James W. Butcher, Executive Vice President
Since joining Chemonics in 1998, Mr. Butcher has served in many roles and regions. He has led and participated in a number of new business initiatives for both the former Global Division and the Europe and Eurasia region. As a private sector development specialist, Mr. Butcher has conducted technical assignments on projects from Guyana to Sri Lanka to Morocco. He served as chief of party of the Armenia Micro Enterprise Development Initiative (MEDI). Most recently he has served as SVP of the East Africa region. Previously he served as SVP of the Europe and Eurasia region.
William Keller, Chief Financial Officer
William Keller is the Chief Financial Officer of Chemonics, and leads the company’s Finance and Accounting Division. Previously, he served as the director of the company’s finance and compliance review team. A certified public accountant, Mr. Keller has more than 12 years of experience in finance, accounting, compliance, and project operations. Since joining Chemonics in 2009 as a manager with the field accounting and compliance team, Mr. Keller has taken on numerous assignments, including helping to establish and serving as finance specialist with the Country Operations Optimization Platform (CO-OP) in Afghanistan and successfully serving as deputy chief of party of the Investment Climate Improvement Project in the West Bank. Mr. Keller holds a bachelor of arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Stephen J. Nikrant, Board Member
Steve Nikrant is an experienced supply chain and operations executive with a proven track record of driving change and delivering results. Mr. Nikrant is currently Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain at Leviton Manufacturing Company in Melville, New York. Mr. Nikrant joined Leviton in 2011 as Vice President, Supply Chain, responsible for global sourcing, inventory management, logistics, distribution, customer service, packaging design, and e-commerce. Prior to Leviton, Mr. Nikrant worked at Eaton Corporation as Vice President, Supply Chain at the Hydraulics Business Group in Eden Prairie, MN. He also spent more than half his career at the General Electric Company. Throughout his career, he has held multiple supply chain leadership and operating roles including serving as director of commodity management, multi-site plant manager, and an ex-patriot assignment in Shanghai, China leading the GE Lighting finished product global sourcing operation. He has a B.S.B.A. with a concentration in procurement materials and operations management from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace College. He previously participated on the supply chain advisory council at Bowling Green State University. He is currently on the school of management advisory council at the University of Iowa, School of Management.
Lizann Prosser, Board Member
Lizann Prosser is a seasoned and proven leader with more than 20 years of experience in international development. As the past president and CEO of Crown Agents-USA, she has managed all aspects of development consulting and has worked in more than 50 countries. Ms. Prosser entered development consulting following careers in environmental management and investment banking and has extensive experience managing complex projects in challenging situations. She holds advanced degrees in both public health and management, as well as a bachelor’s in engineering.
Eric J. Reading, Executive Vice President
Since Executive Vice President Eric Reading joined Chemonics in 1994, he has served in leadership roles in the both the field and the home office. As senior vice president he significantly expanded Chemonics work in the Middle East region and subsequently led the Afghanistan and Pakistan region. Prior to joining the executive team, he worked in Kosovo and Egypt as chief of party and technical advisor for institutional strengthening programs. Mr. Reading’s development technical experience crosses a range of sectors, including governance, infrastructure, economic development, financial services, and agriculture and he has significant experience in post-conflict recovery. In addition to overseeing the implementation of Chemonics development and transition work globally, he leads our internal systems strengthening. Mr. Reading holds an M.A. from Florida State University and is a PhD candidate in Governance and Globalization at Virginia Tech.
Annika Sweetland, Board Member
Dr. Annika Sweetland is an assistant professor of clinical socio-medical sciences in psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons/Mailman School of Public Health. In addition to several published academic works, she has extensive technical knowledge and experience in health and sustainable development in Brazil, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa, Haiti, and Peru. Dr. Sweetland is co-founder and co-chair of a global working group on tuberculosis and mental health at the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, one of the oldest and largest global health research and technical organizations in the world with membership from more than 150 countries. Her ongoing and previous work with the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, Millennium Villages Project/The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals (Nigeria) and Partners in Health/Harvard Medical School contributes to her valuable perspective on the board. Dr. Sweetland received a masters degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002 and a doctorate degree in public health from Columbia University in 2010.
Barbara C. Teele, Board Member
Barbara C. Teele was married to the late Thurston F. Teele, Chemonics’ founder, and has been with the company for 33 years. An educator by profession, her experience includes serving as executive director to the co-chairman of one of the national political parties and as director of the public affairs program for the American College of Nuclear Physicians. She has travelled to more than 10 countries as a representative of Chemonics, and hosted many social events for visiting international dignitaries in the United States.
Eijk Van Otterloo, Board Member
Eijk Van Otterloo became majority shareholder and served as chairman of the board for Chemonics in 2006. He led the company’s efforts to become 100 percent employee-owned in 2011. Mr. Van Otterloo is a founding member of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Company (GMO), an investment management company based in Boston. Before GMO’s founding in 1977, he managed investments at Phoenix Mutual Life Investment Company and Keystone Custodian Funds. Mr. Van Otterloo studied economics at Amsterdam Municipal University (Netherlands) and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Dov S. Zakheim, Board Member
The Honorable Dov S. Zakheim is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and senior fellow at the CNA Corporation. As the former undersecretary of defense (comptroller) and chief financial officer for the Department of Defense (DOD), Dr. Zakheim developed and managed department budgets, negotiated five major defense agreements with U.S. allies and partners, and served as a principal advisor to the secretary of defense. He also served as DOD’s coordinator of civilian programs in Afghanistan. Dr. Zakheim is currently serving as the vice chairman of both the Center for the National Interest and the Foreign Policy Research Institute, as well as being a member of the DOD’s Defense Business Board and the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Chatham House/The Royal Institute of International Affairs; and is a fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences. Dr. Zakheim holds a doctorate in economics and politics from St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where he held three graduate and post-graduate fellowships.