About the Forum
This last Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID), held at the United Nations Headquarters on 15 and 16 June 2017, marks a decade of successful forums.
The Forum brought together key decision makers from member states, the private sector and the civil society, involved in the field of migration and remittances for development. The Forum saw the participation of over 350 participants, gather to share lessons learned and best practices on innovative business models, to stimulate long-lasting partnerships, and to raise awareness towards the creation of a more enabling market, particularly in light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.
Acknowledged by former UN SECRETARY GENERAL Ban Ki-Moon and by Louise Arbour, UN Secretary General's Special Representative for International Migration, the GFRID is now seen as a key platform to raise awareness and promote models and mechanisms aimed at leveraging the impact of migration and remittances for development.
Organized by IFAD in collaboration with the WORLD BANK and the UNITED NATIONS DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (UN-DESA), the Forum coincided with the celebration of the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILY REMITTANCES (IDFR) on 16 June, in recognition of the fundamental contribution of migrants to the wellbeing of their families and communities back home.
The event provided a substantial contribution to the global debate on remittances and migrant investment, pursuing efforts to significantly decrease transfer costs, maximize their impact for development, and ultimately contribute to achieving the SDGs. The Forum conclusions would also feed the current process towards the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018.
The next GFRID will take place on 8-10 May 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and will be the first of a series of regional Forums. The Central Bank of Malaysia will host the event, in collaboration with IFAD and the World Bank.
Adolfo Brizzi is the Director of the Policy and Technical Advisory Division in IFAD. In this capacity, he oversees the technical quality of country support programmes, country policy dialogue and initiatives for strategic and global partnerships. Before joining IFAD in early 2012, Brizzi had worked at the World Bank for 22 years. He held various managerial and technical positions in the Agriculture and Rural Development sector, including Sector Manager for the South Asia Region. Before joining the World Bank he had worked for 8 years with FAO.
Brizzi’s experience spans Africa, Asia and Latin America . He has been involved in a range of advisory and investment-related activities covering agriculture, natural resource management, rural livelihoods, community driven development, irrigation, rural finance and agribusiness. Brizzi holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Gembloux, Belgium, and a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the Fondation Universitaire Luxembourgeoise of Arlon, Belgium.
Sebastian Molineus, a German national, is a Practice Director for the World Bank Group's (WBG) Finance & Markets Global Practice. In this role, he is responsible for delivering the Practice's financial, advisory and convening services across the Caribbean, East Asia, Pacific, and South Asian countries and the Africa region, as well as with the Financial Access and Inclusion Global Solutions Team.
Molineus joined the WBG's International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2002, where he was a Project Manager for the Russia Corporate Governance Project, based in Moscow. He later worked in the IFC's Middle East & North Africa Department, where he led a region-wide Corporate Government Program, based in Cairo. In 2008, he joined the Financial and Private Sector Development Vice-Presidency (FPD) as a Sr. Operations Officer in the Capital Markets Department, and between 2010 and 2012 he co-led the change management initiative to implement Global Practices across FPD. From 2012-2014, Sebastian was the Practice Manager of the Capital Markets Practice, where he was responsible for strategic, knowledge, resource, portfolio, and talent management.
Prior to joining the WBG, Molineus worked at the OECD in the Financial, Fiscal, and Enterprise Affairs Division, where he focused on corporate governance and financial reporting reforms.
Molineus holds a MBA from the HEC School of Management in France, and a Masters in European and International Law from the University of Passau's School of Law in Germany.
Massimo Cirasino is the Global Lead for Payment and Market Infrastructures at the World Bank. He has participated in many of the group’s significant country and regional interventions and has been involved in payment system reform in over 60 countries. Cirasino has chaired and coordinated the efforts of a number of World Bank-led task forces that produced guidance on several aspects of payment systems, remittances reform, and development.Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Cirasino worked at Banca d’Italia in the Payment System Department from 1993 to 1996, and later in the Representative Office in New York. Cirasino has bachelor’s degrees in economics and business and political sciences from Luiss University and La Sapienza University, respectively. He also holds a master’s degree in banking from La Sapienza University and a master’s degree in philosophy of economics from New York University.
Pedro de Vasconcelos
Pedro de Vasconcelos
Pedro de Vasconcelos is the Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR). He joined IFAD in 2007 as Programme Coordinator of the multi-donor FFR (composed of EU, Inter-American Development Bank, Governments of Luxembourg and Spain, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, and UN Capital Development Fund).
Previously, de Vasconcelos served at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, working on the project MicroBanks with the Banque International du Luxembourg. The same year, he joined the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC, where he was responsible for launching and coordinating the remittance programme for Latin America and the Caribbean. De Vasconcelos holds a bachelor's degree in international business from the University of Toulouse and a master’s in international business and management from the University of Paris IV, La Sorbonne.
Larry Angelilli has served as CFO of MoneyGram since January 2016. He joined MoneyGram in August 2011 as Senior Vice President, Treasurer, bringing more than 30 years of financial services and treasury experience to the company. As the principal financial officer, he oversees all finance, accounting and treasury related functions. He is also responsible for investor relations and the collaboration between the company's various business and finance functions, particularly in developing corporate strategy.Prior to MoneyGram, he was Director, Underwriting for Hudson Advisors/Lone Star Funds where he was responsible for the underwriting of private equity acquisitions related to financial asset pools and distressed financial institutions. From 1998 to 2009, Angelilli was Senior Vice President, Finance at Centex Corporation. His professional experience also includes tenures with NationsBank Corporation, Chrysler Financial Corporation and The National Bank of Detroit. Angelilli holds an MBA from the University of Detroit and a BA in economics from Wayne State University.
As Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy at Western Union, Tim Daly directs government, political and community affairs advocacy in 200 countries and territories around the world. Prior to joining Western Union, Daly was an attorney at the Denver firm Isaacson Rosenbaum, specializing in government advocacy, election law and constitutional law.Previously, Daly served as the Vice President of Legislative and Political Strategy for Qwest, Executive Director of Legislative Affairs for U.S. West, and Chief Legal Counsel and Legislative Director to Colorado Governor Roy Romer. Daly earned degrees in political science and Spanish, with honors in political science, from San Diego State University. Daly received his law degree from George Washington University, where he served as a legal clerk for Senator Tim Wirth and was the research assistant for Dean Jerome Barron and Professor Thomas Dienes.
Daniel Gonzáles is Program Officer at Open Society Foundations’ International Migration Initiative, working in the Americas and on public-private partnerships around the world. He was formerly Program Director at Fundación Avina, where he led the foundation’s international work and created its migration program. Gonzáles was one of the founders of the Central America and Mexico Migration Alliance (CAMMINA), a funder collaborative that has mobilized US$14.5 million to the region since its creation in 2011.Gonzáles has 16 years of experience developing public-private partnerships for sustainable development in more than 25 countries. He has served on the board of directors of several organizations, including social enterprises, impact investment funds, and high-tech companies. He was a professor of corporate social responsibility at the Universidad de los Andes Business School in Colombia. He holds a Global Executive MBA from Georgetown University and the ESADE Business School in Spain, as well as a degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad de los Andes.
Pietro Mona is the Deputy Head of the Global Program for Migration and Development (GPMD) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs). He is in charge of all international initiatives of dialogue and policy processes in the field of Migration and Development. In addition, he is managing an operational portfolio with projects in the Horn of Africa focusing on remittances as well as fair and ethical recruitment of migrant workers.Before joining the GPMD, Mona worked as a Migration and Development Consultant, funded by the Government of Switzerland at the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) based in Abuja, Nigeria. Prior to his stay in Africa, he was Senior Policy Adviser on Migration at the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, where he contributed to the development and implementation of Swiss foreign policy on migration.
Alexander Trepelkov, is the Director of the Financing for Development Office at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). He is responsible for secretariat support to the intergovernmental follow-up process of the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, 2008 Doha Declaration and related outcomes. He aims to promote policy coherence, coordination and cooperation at all levels in the areas of domestic resource mobilization, private capital flows, international trade, official development assistance, external debt and the global financial architecture.
Trepelkov coordinated preparations for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-16 July 2015) in support of the post-2015 development agenda. His previous assignments at UN-DESA were in the areas of Financing for Development (2000-2009) and Macroeconomics and Development Policy (1989-1999). Prior to joining the UN Secretariat, he was a career diplomat in the Foreign Service of the former Soviet Union. Mr. Trepelkov holds MA and Ph.D. degrees in International Economics from MGIMO-University and has authored several publications.
Jürgen Schulz is the Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN and the Vice President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Before coming to New York, Schulz worked for NATO in the Foreign Office as the Deputy Head of Office for European Security and Defense Policy, Deputy Political Director, and Security Policy Director. In the Federal Chancellery, Ambassador Schulz served as Head of Office for Central, South East and Eastern Europe, as well as South Caucasus and Central Asia. He also led the departments for USA, Canada, Turkey, North, South and West European States as well as Security and Disarmament Policy
After completing secondary education in his hometown of Gladbeck, Schulz studied economics and business administration at Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Leon Isaacs is the co-founder and CEO of Developing Markets Associates. He is a global authority in the remittances and money transfer industry as well as an expert and business leader. He specializes in all elements related to remittances, payments, financial inclusion and diaspora investment. Prior to establishing DMA, Isaacs was involved with two successful start-up money transfer businesses: MoneyGram International and Coinstar Money Transfer (formerly Travelex Money Transfer).
Isaacs is an observer to the G20 Consultative Committee of the Private-Public Sector Partnership on Remittances and has a number of honorary roles within the industry. He has spoken at and chaired numerous international conferences on remittances including at the World Bank, the UN and the G8. He was a steering group member of the UK Government's Remittances Task Force, from its inception in 2005 until the completion of its work early in 2010.
Daniel Ayala is Executive Vice President and business unit manager for Wells Fargo’s Global Remittance Services (GRS) group now a part of the newly formed Payments, Virtual Services, and Innovation (PVSI) organization. Ayala has managed the GRS business for the past 15 years.
Ayala is a global payments systems expert with more than 25 years of related consumer and wholesale banking experience. Previously, he has been responsible for corporate and financial institutions treasury management activities at Citibank, Chase and Bank of America.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from DePaul University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty
Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty
Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty is the Executive Director and President of UAE Exchange, one of the leading brands for global money transfer, foreign exchange and payment solutions. Since the beginning of his tenure in 1991, UAE Exchange has expanded to include 800 direct offices in 31 countries across five continents. He also heads the instant money transfer service Xpress Money, with 180,000 agent locations in 160 countries.Shetty sits on the Board of Trustees for the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians and serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Foreign Exchange & Remittance Group. He is also President of the Managing Committee of the Indian Business & Professional Group and Vice President of the Business Leaders Forum in UAE. Shetty earned bachelor’s degrees in commerce and law from the University of Mysore and also completed his Chartered Accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Marion Jezequel is the CEO of Babyloan, the European leader of crowdfunding for microfinance.
Before her position at Babyloan, Jezequel worked for several years as an equity derivatives broker and as a business developer for a start-up.She holds an MSc in management from Kedge Business School Bordeaux and a specialized master's in international project management from ESCP Europe.
Yohannes Assefa is a Director at Stalwart, Knowledge, Innovation and Technology, a Dubai-based consulting firm focusing on the development of financial and agricultural markets in developing countries. At Stalwart, Assefa leads the firm’s advisory work with various private and public sector clients around Africa on Diaspora investments, financial inclusion, financial sector reform, and the development of structured financial markets.Previously, Assefa served as a Securities Associate at Hawkins Delafield and Wood, LLP and Harris Beach PLLC. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum. Assefa received his JD from Northeastern University School of Law. He received his MSc in criminology from Indiana State University and his BA in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the New York and Washington DC bar associations.
Joseph (Jody) Myers
Joseph (Jody) Myers
Joseph (Jody) Myers is a lawyer and internationally recognized expert with over 25 years of experience in the financial integrity field. He is currently vice president in the compliance department of the Western Union Company, where he is responsible for global compliance risk assessments. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Case Western University’s Executive Master of Arts program in Financial Integrity.Prior to joining Western Union, Myers joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to develop a policy framework to incorporate financial crime issues into the IMF’s surveillance and lending programs. He also worked on financial crime, corruption and terrorism issues in private law practice and as a director at the National Security Council at the White House. In addition, Myers served as a senior advisor to the under secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as assistant director and deputy chief counsel of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). He is a graduate of Yale College and Vanderbilt University Law School.
Scott Rembrandt is the Assistant Director for Strategic Policy in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (TFFC) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He manages a team of policy advisors who develop and implement anti-money laundering/counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) strategic initiatives and regulatory policies for banks, securities firms, non-bank financial institutions (including money services businesses), and designated non-financial businesses and persons.Rembrandt oversees the office’s work related to customer due diligence, de-risking, virtual currency, information-sharing, data protection, anti-corruption, and cybersecurity. He previously was a policy advisor in TFFC, where his portfolio included financial inclusion issues, money services businesses, and new payment methods. Prior to that, he served as a corporate lawyer in New York as well as the Director of Research at a Washington-based think tank focused on East Asia. Prior to returning to the United States, Scott was a consultant in China and the Business Manager of the Chief Country Officer Group - Asia for Deutsche Bank.
Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff
Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff
Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff is Professor of public administration and international affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. She won the 2016 Fred Riggs Award for Lifetime Achievement in International and Comparative Public Administration, and is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She has advised and provided training on diasporas and development to bilateral assistance agencies, NGOs and foundations.Brinkerhoff’s most recent book is Institutional Reform and Diaspora Entrepreneurs: The In-Between Advantage. She holds a PhD in public administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Justin Sykes is the Managing Director of Innovest Advisory, a consultancy company that works at the nexus between innovation and social impact and seeks to link socially minded investors with global impact investment opportunities. Current engagements include designing microfinance funds, credit guarantee schemes, and innovative financing models to stimulate local economic development in emerging and fragile states in the Middle East.Prior to setting up Innovest Advisory, Sykes structured and managed a substantial impact investment fund for a private foundation of the Qatari royal family. He also worked on a global job-creation programme for the UN and helped internationalize The Prince’s Trust model of start-up business support for disadvantaged youth. Sykes serves as a board member and adviser to a number of international charities and local grassroots microfinance organizations engaged in supporting the livelihoods of low-income communities. He also serves as non-executive director on a $150 million impact investment fund, PG Impact Investments.
Lee Sorensen is an independent international development consultant with broad public and private sector experience addressing economic growth, impact investment, financial inclusion, gender equity, livelihoods, migration, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and holistic peacebuilding. Previously, he directed Shuraako, a fund-management and investment initiative in Somalia, developing impact funds and facilitating over 80 local investments funded by diaspora, philanthropy, private equity/debt, and donor-matching seed capital. He is an author of “The Somali Diaspora Investor Survey Report,” works extensively with the global Somali diaspora, and has developed multiple investment forums. Other experience includes projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Catherine Flouvat is the Director for Mobile Services for Development in Africa and the Middle East at Orange, an international telecommunications operator with a presence in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Previously, she was Office Director at Orange Business Services and then Business Developer Enterprises for Africa and the Middle East.
Then, Flouvat was in charge of Orange’s corporate social responsibility in Africa and the Middle East, where she finalized a study on e-waste in emerging countries. She focused on improving farmers’ lives with information and communication technology and empowering women by closing the digital gender gap. She also sought to improve – through ICT - remote access to finance, health and education services and startup ecosystem empowerment. As an illustration, Orange operates mobile for agriculture services in 7 African countries and mobile financial services, with Orange Money, in 17 countries.Catherine is passionate about sustainable development as an innovative way to combine economic, social and environmental interests. She graduated with a Master degree in Business from EDHEC Business School in France and a master’s in environmental impact analysis and sustainable development
Erick Schneider is the Director of Latin America with WorldRemit, where he is responsible for developing the correspondent network across Latin America. WorldRemit is an online service that lets people living abroad send money to friends and family in more than 140 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. Erick has worked in financial services for over 20 years, with a focus on the Latin American region. Prior to WorldRemit, he ran a consultancy firm specializing in Fintech’s expansion into Latin America. He has worked for firms such as Citibank, AIG, and American Express. Erick holds a BS in business administration from Boston University and an MBA from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania.
Khurram Malik is CEO of ValYou, an international remittance service. He has over 16 years of experience working in several different countries and sectors as diverse as telecommunication, banking and mobile financial services. Prior to ValYou, Malik headed mobile accounts in Pakistan for Easypaisa, the world’s third-largest mobile financial services brand. Malik also worked with Telenor Financial Services as the Head of Mobile Accounts, where he was responsible for developing new products and innovative ways to market them.Prior to that, Malik was Head of Customer Services at Digi Malaysia, where he was responsible for managing call centres and customer experience at Digi touch points. Earlier, he joined Telenor Pakistan to oversee revenue and subscriber growth for postpaid mobile services. There Malik was later promoted to Call Centre Director, managing a team of 2200 people working out of three different locations.
Sofia E. Freider
Sofia E. Freider
Sofia Freyder is a Product Management and Marketing executive with extensive experience in financial services, payment industry and innovations. Currently she is a Global Head of Product Marketing and Strategic Partnership with Earthport responsible for driving company’s strategy, identifying new product opportunities, optimizing product and it’s positioning on the market, engaging in meaningful partnership opportunities.
Prior to Earthport, Freyder worked on development and market launch of new payments product for MasterCard called MasterCard Send; earlier for many years she managed different regional cross- border business for Western Union company. Her earlier career was in Brand Management with Carlsberg Beverages Group.
She is passionate about FInTech, Remittances and was invited to be a judge for RemTech innovation award. She holds MBA and BA in Business Administration as well as MBA in Marketing.
Nik Mohamed Din Nik Musa
Nik Mohamed Din Nik Musa
Nik Mohamed Din Nik Musa is Director of the Money Services Business Regulation Department in Bank Negara Malaysia. He is responsible for the regulation, supervision and development of the exchange currency, money remittance and currency wholesale business in Malaysia.
Previously, Nik Mohamed worked as Director of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) Promotions Unit, where he was responsible for the development and promotion of the MIFC initiative.
Nik Mohamed also served in the Bank Regulation Department and was selected to oversee and develop the Labuan International Business & Financial Centre (IBFC), Malaysia’s premier international financial centre.He graduated with a BS in economics and accounting from the University of Bristol and later obtained an MBA from the Warwick Business School of the University of Warwick.
Liat Shetret is an independent consultant and a Senior Advisor for Financial Integrity and MENA Programs at the Global Center on Cooperative Security and a former Director of its New York office. She is also currently the Team Lead for a technical assistance program on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Ethiopia, She has extensive experience implementing capacity-building assistance programs for financial intelligence units, particularly in emerging markets and developing countries across Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.Shetret is a former Vice President of Anti-money laundering at the Global Operations and Technology Unit at Citigroup Bank, where she standardized and applied enterprise-wide comprehensive Customer Due Diligence / Know Your Customer processes and procedures, and managed strategic global anti-money laundering programs. She holds a master’s of international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York City and a BA in political science and psychology from the University of Illinois.
Eric V. Guichard
Eric V. Guichard
Eric Guichard is founder and CEO of Movement Capital (formerly known as Homestrings), an electronic investment platform that caters exclusively to frontier and emerging market investors including the global diaspora. Movement Capital showcases promising emerging market companies on the verge of disrupting industries and markets in which they operate. Previously, Guichard was the founder and Chairman of GRAVITAS Capital, an institutional asset management company he founded in 1996. Before this, Guichard was Portfolio Manager at the World Bank, where he also served as technical adviser to sovereign and multilateral institutions worldwide.Guichard serves on several nonprofit boards, including the University of Maryland's Center for Financial Policy, Capital Partners for Education and OIC International. He is a graduate of the University of Dakar in Senegal; of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh; and of the Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA (World Bank Scholar and Harvard Fellowship award).
Hassan Ahmed Yusuf
Hassan Ahmed Yusuf
Hassan Ahmed Yusuf is the CEO of the International Bank of Somalia (IBS). Before he joined IBS, Yusuf was Risk Manager in Masraf Al Rayan (Al Rayan Bank), an Islamic bank in Qatar. Before that, he was Risk Director of Financial Services in ELIT Consultancy Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, previously known as CRWMC (Crescent Risk & Wealth Management Consultants).Yusuf has written a number of published works and book chapters and provides training in the area of Islamic finance, risk management and banking operations. He is also a member of several risk management associations. He is a PhD candidate at the University Sains Malaysia (USM) and holds an MSc in economics and an MBA in finance.
Hemant Baijal is Vice President of Global Public Policy at MasterCard. He supports MasterCard business units and country operations on community outreach, public policy and advocacy issues related to developing payment systems and financial inclusion. He also manages public policy relationships with key international organizations such as the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the IMF, the World Bank, the United Nations, the G20, the ITU, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum, and others.Prior to joining the MasterCard public policy team, Baijal was a Senior Payment Systems Specialist at the World Bank, where he provided technical expertise and advice to various governments and international bodies on payment systems policy and payments infrastructure design. Before joining the World Bank, he worked on prepaid and commercial programmes catering to public sector and corporate clients at MasterCard, Citi and JP Morgan. He has a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University in Virginia.
Samuel Koroma is the Consultant Managing Director of SalPost. He is an economist and has over 20 years of postal experience with an extensive knowledge of postal network operations, from collection to final delivery. The government of Sierra Leone specifically requested his expertise through USAID and his former employer, the United States Postal Service (USPS) to help revamp the struggling postal system.Koroma’s areas of expertise include economic analysis and interpretation, competitive analysis, litigation support and expert testimony. He possesses over 10 years of experience in applying analytical, qualitative and quantitative economic techniques to issues and problems in both the private and public sectors. Koroma also has extensive experience in the pricing of both regulated and non-regulated products. He holds a BS in Economics at the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, and a master’s in economics at Howard University, Washington, DC.
Gene Nigro has been working in the remittances industry for almost 20 years with Western Union and Xoom Money Transfer (acquired by PayPal in 2015).
He is currently PayPal’s Head of Business Development for Latin America, The Caribbean, North and West Africa. Before working in the money transfer industry, Nigro worked for the US Department of State, McCormick and Company, and the Walt Disney Company.He has a BA and MA in international relations and an MA in international management. Nigro has travelled to over 146 countries worldwide, including North Korea and Iran.
Marco Nicolì is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank’s Payment Systems Development Group. His main areas of focus are retail payments, international remittances and the payment aspects of financial inclusion. Nicolì leads a number of projects in several countries and regions of the world, with a main focus on Africa and Eastern Europe. He has conducted several assessments of remittances markets around the world, providing authorities with recommendations on how to improve the efficiency and safety of remittance services.Nicolì leads the publication of Remittance Prices Worldwide, a World Bank flagship in this field, which monitors the impact of remittance cost reduction efforts globally and serves as a reference to monitor global targets (such as G8/G20 5x5, UN SDGs). With his colleagues, Nicolì has devised and led innovative projects in the field of remittances such as Greenback, working with communities and stakeholders at local level to improve remittance services, and Pick Remit, a remittance price-comparison app.
Patrice Kiiru is the General Manager in charge of Equity Bank’s Diaspora Banking and International Money Transfer. Equity Bank is the largest commercial bank in East and Central Africa and a major participant in the remittances space. As a career banker, Kiiru has almost 15 years of experience in the banking industry in the United States and Kenya. His professional career in commercial banking has primarily focused on growing profitability through banking solutions designed to give clients access to their credit, treasury, liquidity, trade and foreign exchange information.Kiiru has worked at Wells Fargo Bank in commercial real estate financing and has served as Vice President in the Commercial Banking division for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry in California and afterwards conducted lung cancer research at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. He later graduated from the MBA program at the Paul Merage School of Business (University of California, Irvine) with an emphasis in finance.
Hugo Cuevas-Mohr is CEO of Mohr World Consulting based in Miami, Florida and partner with Salvador Velazquez at MWC Americas based in Mexico City. After spending more than 20 years as a CEO of different MTOs, Cuevas-Mohr has been a consultant for a number of financial institutions in the Money Transfer Industry in Latin America, United States and Europe and a mentor for several fintech start-ups. As Money Transfer Expert he is regularly invited to speak and moderate panels at international payment conferences on different industry topics. His work as a consultant led to the development of IMTC, the International Money Transfer & Cross Border Payment Conferences and the RemTECH Awards, which he now directs.
Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo
Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo
Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of IFAD on 1 April 2017. Born and raised in rural Togo, Houngbo has spent more than 30 years working to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. He previously served as Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) where he led field operations in more than 100 countries. From 2008-2012, he was Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo. He has also held numerous leadership positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Mary Grace Lopez-Balmes
Mary Grace Lopez-Balmes
Daniela Morari is the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova in charge of European Integration and Treaties/International Law. Previously, she worked as a counsellor within the Moldovan Mission to the EU and served in the Department for European Integration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova.Morari has helped prepare, negotiate, monitor and coordinate the implementation of the EU-Moldova Mobility Partnership and EU-Moldova Visa Liberalisation Dialogue. She is the national coordinator of the Republic of Moldova’s participation to the Global Forum for Migration and Development.
Leo Kreuz currently heads the Division for Cooperation with the Private Sector and Sustainable Economic Policy in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). He is also involved with Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).Prior to joining BMZ in 1986, Kreuz worked as a representative of a German Political Foundation in Zimbabwe and the wider Southern Africa. In 1992, he was appointed as a Spokesman for BMZ and, between 1999 and 2014 led the Division for Southeast and Eastern Europe and the Caucausus. In 2013, he assumed the German Executive Director position with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), before returning to BMZ in 2016. Kreuz has a PhD in political science.
Dilip Ratha is a senior economist at the World Bank specializing in migration, remittances and innovative financing. He is the focal point for the World Bank’s Migration Working Group and the Diaspora Bond Task Force; a co-coordinator of the (G8/G20) Global Remittances Working Group; and a member of the World Economic Forum Council on migration. He also set up Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), the African Institute for Remittances and the Migrating out of Poverty Research Consortium, based at the University of Sussex.
Besides migration, Ratha has done pioneering work on innovative financing, including diaspora bonds, future-flow securitization, shadow sovereign ratings, performance-indexed bonds and South-South foreign direct investment. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked as a regional economist for Asia at Credit Agricole Indosuez. He has also worked as an assistant professor of economics at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and as an economist at the Policy Group, New Delhi. Ratha has a PhD in economics from the Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi.
Ashraf El Nour
Ashraf El Nour
Ashraf El Nour is the Director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Office to the United Nations. He first joined IOM as the Coordinator for Northern Iraq and then served as the Coordinator of Operations in Mozambique. Since then, he has also worked as Programmes Coordinator for Migration for Development and Technical Cooperation, Regional Adviser for Africa and the Middle East, Special Assistant with the Office of the Director General, Regional Representative for East and Central Africa, and Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.Outside of IOM, El Nour has worked as an Assistant Programme Manager at CARE International and as Senior Recovery Adviser at the United Nations Development Programme’s Geneva-based Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. El Nour holds a master’s degree in political science from Aligarh Muslim University in India.
Louise Arbour is the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for International Migration. She has also served as High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the Supreme Court of Canada, and as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. She has been inducted into the International Hall of Fame at the International Women’s Forum, awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the American College of Trial Lawyers, and won the Médaille de la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Montréal.
Throughout her career, Louise Arbour has published extensively, in both English and French, in the fields of human rights, civil liberties, gender issues and criminal procedure. In addition, she has performed editorial work on behalf of the Criminal Reports, the Canadian Rights Reporter, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and La Revue Générale de Droit, and has been a guest speaker at many conferences and presentations throughout the world.
Victor Manuel Asturias Cordón
Victor Manuel Asturias Cordón
Victor Manuel Asturias Cordón is the Minister of Economy of Guatemala. Previously, he has worked in the design, construction, installation and maintenance sectors of electrical substations, and also in the telecommunications sector as a service provider. In addition, he has evaluated and executed investment projects in the food and pharmaceutical industriesBefore accepting his post, Asturias Cordón served as Director General of various companies, including Grupo Tekno Energy, at the Central American level and Localiza El Salvador for Guatemala and El Salvador. He also served as Advisor for Gas Zeta of Central America, General Manager of Trade & Investment, sub-General Manager at INLACSA / Sula Guatemala, and Operations Manager at Sula Guatemala. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and specializations in manufacturing and economics from the University of Syracuse in New York.
Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.
Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.
Ambassador Locsin serves as the 20th Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, of which the Philippines is a founding member. A lawyer by profession and a journalist by trade, Ambassador Locsin holds a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School, and was publisher of the Today and Globe newspapers, as well as editorial writer, and co-anchor and host of a number of programmes.. He was publisher of.
Ambassador Locsin also was briefly a lecturer at the US National Defense College.
In government, he served as legal counsel and speech writer to President Corazon Aquino, and speechwriter to presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo. He was also elected to the Philippine House of Representatives, where he represented the First District of Makati City from 2001 to 2010.
James Cockayne has been Head of the UN University Office at the UN in New York since 2013. Previously, he served as Co-Director of the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation and spent four years with the International Peace Institute. For the past decade, Cockayne has worked to improve evidence-based policymaking through interaction between international organizations, states and the research community.Cockayne has been a lecturer at Columbia University and serves on the editorial committees of the Journal of International Criminal Justice and the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies. Before moving to New York, he was Principal Legal Officer in the Transnational Crime and Extradition Units in the Australian Attorney-General’s Department. He has an extensive publication record that includes two books, over 50 peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles, and more than 20 policy papers on international law, human rights, peace operations, terrorism, organized crime and private security companies. He is a graduate of New York University and the University of Sydney.
Kingsley Aikins is founder and CEO of Diaspora Matters, a Dublin-based consultancy company that advises countries, cities, regions, companies and organizations on how to develop strategies to connect with their diasporas. He has worked with over 30 countries to develop strategies, policies and programmes. He produced an extensive Global Diaspora Strategies Toolkit, which launched at the Hillary Clinton Global Diaspora Conference in Washington in 2011.
Aikins is also Chairman of LinkedFinance, Ireland's first crowd funding company. Previously, he worked for the Irish Trade Board, IDA Ireland and The Ireland Funds. He was awarded a CBE for his work on Irish-British issues. Additionally, Aikins is a recognized expert on networking and has run workshops for Google, Linkedin, Accenture, Intel, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of Ireland, Towers Watson and a number of the leading law firms. He is an economics and politics graduate of Trinity College Dublin and has a postgraduate diploma in export marketing.
Micol Pistelli is a financial inclusion expert at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Prior to joining UNHCR, Pistelli worked for eight years at MIX as Director of Social Performance, where she led MIX’s global strategy for social performance data collection and analysis, training and publishing widely on microfinance institutions’ performance. She has also been a board member of several industry’s initiatives on financial inclusion, among which the Social Performance Task Force. Prior to MIX, Micol gained field experience in microfinance working in Egypt and Paraguay. Micol has also taught for several years at the master in microfinance for development at the Universidad Autonoma in Madrid.
Pistelli holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bologna University in Italy and a M.A. in International Economics and Development from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, in Washington DC.
Jürg Lauber is the Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN in New York, where he also served as deputy permanent representative and Switzerland’s permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament. Outside of the Permanent Mission, Lauber served as chef de cabinet to the president of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Later he worked as the head of the UN and International Organisations Division in Bern.
As a diplomat, Lauber has also been posted in Bangkok, Bern, and Beijing. Before joining Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, he worked in peacekeeping missions in Namibia and Korea. Lauber has a law degree from the University of Zurich.
As Chief of the Migration Section at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Bela Hovy oversees estimates of global migration trends, plans for expert and coordination meetings on migration, and the organization of workshops to support migration data collection and analysis in developing countries. His team prepares reports for the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council
Previously, Hovy was responsible for statistics at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Before that, he worked on migration at the UN Secretariat and provided training at a demographic research centre in Yaoundé, Cameroun. He has authored numerous reports and articles on international migration, refugees and asylum. Hovy has served on various expert committees, including of the US National Academy of Sciences, and is regularly present at conferences, meetings and workshops. He holds an advanced degree in human geography of developing countries from Utrecht University and has obtained a certificate in development economics from Wageningen University, both in the Netherlands.
Amadou Cisse is the Executive Director of the African Union’s African Institute for Remittances. Before he joined the Institute, he served as a Senior Economist on the African Union Commission, where he led the preparatory work to establish the African Union’s Financial Institutions, namely the African Monetary Fund, African Central Bank and a Pan-African Stock Exchange. Cisse was also Head of the Research Division at the Central Bank of West African States.
Cisse currently works with African Union Member States, remittance senders and recipients and other stakeholders to leverage remittances for poverty reduction social and economic development. Cisse’s main focus is to establish strategies that would reduce remittance transfer costs to and within Africa. He also wants to make the remittances market more efficient by promoting change in legal and regulatory frameworks.
Judith Arrieta Munguia
Judith Arrieta Munguia
Judith Arrieta Munguia is Minister of the Mexican Foreign Service, coordinating the economic and social affairs at the Mission of Mexico to the United Nations in New York since 2016. From 2008-2013 she served at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the International Organizations in Geneva where she coordinated the economic and cooperation affairs, UNCTAD, WIPO and ITC, and was in charge of the G20 and WEF issues.
She was Chief of Cabinet at the Mission of Mexico to the European Union in Brussels from 2014-2015, coordinating the economic and cooperation affairs during the launching of the modernization of the current Mexico-EU Agreement. She was previously advisor to the Vice Minister for Bilateral Affairs during the negotiations of the Global Agreement with the European Union in 2000, and participated in the negotiations of the Framework Cooperation Agreement Mexico-European Community in 1991. She also completed a one-year training as a non-European country official at the Directorate for Latin America and Asia, DG1, at the European Commission.
From 2001 to 2008, she served as Consul at the Mexican Embassy in Argentina. She was also in charge of the external and social affairs and concluded the negotiations of several bilateral agreements. She was previously advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs office in charge of the relations with Civil Society and parliaments.
She has a degree in International Relations from El Colegio de Mexico, a Master in Diplomatic Studies from the Instituto Matías Romero of Mexico, a Master in International Trade from the Solvay Institute, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, a Master in International Relations from the Diplomatic School of Spain, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Belgrano, Buenos Aires.
She has published articles on topics of international issues, including EU-Mexico relations and EU/LAC dialogue, the new global actors and México’s cooperation policy.
Nathan Naidoo is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the GSMA Mobile Money team, where he manages industry relations with a broad range of external stakeholders in mobile financial services. Previously, Nathan oversaw engagement with policymakers and regulators around the world on behalf of Vodafone Group’s successful mobile money service, M-Pesa.
Both at Vodafone and the GSMA, he has played a leading role in advancing industry best practice through the development of the Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers. Before entering the private sector, Nathan spent 8 years as a Canadian diplomat, with postings in Afghanistan and in Israel. He holds an MBA from the London Business School and an MA in political science from McGill University in Montreal.
Stefano Signore leads the thematic work on Migration, Employment, and Inequalities at the Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development for the European Commission. Previously, he served as Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, where he oversaw programming in the areas of migration, asylum, external borders and visa policy, organized crime and police cooperation. Signore also worked as Directorate-General for the Internal Market. A qualified lawyer, he spent his early career working on banking supervision at the Italian central bank.
Estrella Mai Dizon-Anonuevo
Estrella Mai Dizon-Anonuevo
Estrella Mai Dizon Anonuevo is the co-founder and Executive Director of Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiatives, which focuses on international migration of Filipino women. She is a migration and development consultant of the International Labor Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Women and IFAD. Under Anonuevo’s leadership, Atikha won IFAD’s award for the Global Best Practice in Mobilizing Migrant Resources for Development.
To mainstream Atikha’s social and economic programs, Anonuevo forged partnerships with national and local government units, migrant associations, NGOs, cooperatives, schools, and private agencies. She was instrumental in establishing Migration and Development Committees and One-Stop Migration Resource Centers in several provinces. In addition, Anonuevo is the lead convenor of Pinoy Worldwide Initiative for Investment, Savings, and Entrepreneurship and the Women Representative on the Board of Trustees of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, a government agency involved in providing welfare assistance to overseas Filipino workers. She finished her Masters in Entrepreneurship for Social and Development Enterprises at the Asian Institute for Management.
Mohit Davar is the Chairman of International Association of Money Transfer, a remittance trade body. Previously, he has served as CEO for MoneyGram International, Travelex Money Transfer, and Coinstar Money Transfer. He has also served on the board of Eastnets, a swift service bureau in Dubai involved in regional mobile wallet projects, and was a board member of Earthport Plc. In addition, he chaired an Intra-Africa remittance payments company set up in Kenya and Mauritius.
Davar started his career at Sedgwick Noble Lowndes internal audit and then moved to the corporate finance department of the Thomas Cook Group. He is now on the board of and an advisr to a number of payment companies. He also founded his own consultancy service in Dubai, T&J Strategic Advisory Services, where he is President and CEO.
Ian Radcliffe is Director at World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), an international banking association that represents savings and retail banks in about 80 countries across all continents. He is responsible for the association’s promotion of financial inclusion, which currently includes a strategic partnership with the World Bank Group and a seven-country program supported by The MasterCard Foundation to “make small scale savings work.”Radcliffe represents WSBI in the UN’s “Better than Cash” Alliance and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD Development Committee. He was formerly a Board member of the European Microfinance Platform. Previously, Radcliffe delivered financial sector development contracts in over 75 countries across the globe. In this capacity, he has acted as Program Director for numerous large scale multilateral, bilateral and private sector funded programmes and projects. He also worked for National Westminster Bank Plc in the UK and Australia.
Masud Bin Momen
Masud Bin Momen
Masud Bin Momen was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in November 2015. He previously served as Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan and prior, he had another ambassadorial assignment in Italy. He also served in Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York, Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi and Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad in different capacities. Previously, Momen also worked in the SAARC Secretariat as a Director.
Masud Bin Momen obtained MSS in Economics from the University of Dhaka. Later he completed an MA in International Relations from the Tufts University, USA.
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