Our Team

The BCtA Secretariat is a made up of a team of professionals and support staff who manage the day-to-day operations of the program. BCtA is headquartered at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Headquarters in New York and has representatives in partner offices around the world.

Secretariat Staff

Sahba Sobhani
Sahba Sobhani serves as the Acting Programme Manager of the BCtA, and Team Leader in the Innovation and Development Alliances Cluster of the Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He also serves as the manager of UNDP’s Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative (GIM), which is a research and advocacy initiative with a forthcoming 2013 Africa regional report on the role of enabling organizations in supporting inclusive businesses.Additionally, he is the lead author of the first GIM report, “Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor”, which was launched in 50 countries since July 2008 and translated in seven languages and the 2010 report titled “The MDGs: Everyone’s Business”. Sahba served as the first Interim Director of the UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), which is in partnership with the Turkish Government, the first global center of its kind established with a major emerging country.Previously, he managed two key private sector initiatives in the executive office of the former Administrator of UNDP, Lord Malloch Brown, including the Commission on the Private Sector and Development headed by Paul Martin, the former Prime Minister of Canada, and Ernesto Zedillo, Mexico’s former President, and the African Financial Markets Initiative. In this capacity, he was the co-author of the “Unleashing Entrepreneurship” report, the seminal report of the Private Sector Commission produced at the request of then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the managing editor of the African Stock Markets Handbook. Sahba Sobhani has also worked in the private sector at Idealab in Palo Alto and Newscom Limited in Singapore. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy.

Suba PhotoSubathirai Sivakumaran

Subathirai Sivakumaran is the Team Lead for Impact Measurement, Knowledge and Capacity Building at the BCtA. Suba is also a lead author of the UNDP publication “The MDGs: Everyone’s Business”, a member of the author team for the UNDP regional report in Eastern Europe and the former CIS on Business Solutions to Poverty and contributed research to the UNDP report Creating Value for All. In addition, she is the author of “Market Analysis in Emergencies” on reviving and analyzing markets in emergency situations (a Cash Learning Partnership publication), an author of the UNDP paper,  “A Third Way for Official Development Assistance”, and has also authored on microfinance, the role of the private sector in emergency situations and impact investing. Previously to her time in UNDP, Suba was the Country Director of Room to Read Sri Lanka, an international educational non-profit building schools, libraries and supporting girls on scholarship in the tsunami and conflict zones of the country. Prior to that, Suba was a research analyst with the investment bank Morgan Stanley in London covering energy and commodity companies in Europe and the Middle East. Suba holds a degree in Government and Economics from the London School of Economics and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she received a full scholarship as a Reynolds Fellow in Social Enterprise.

Sara_PhotoSara Enright

Sara Enright supports business outreach for the BCtA. She previously worked as a Senior Analyst at McKinsey and Company where she focused on the social sector and served global companies and development organizations on projects related to corporate social responsibility, economic development, and philanthropy. She also has experience working with the Inter-American Dialogue and the Sierra Club to support international relations between the U.S. and Latin America. Sara holds a BA from The University of Texas at Austin in Plan II and Latin American Studies, and an MBA from IE Business School in Spain.
Karen PhotoKaren Newman
Karen Newman serves as a Senior Communications Consultant for the BCtA. She comes from the U.S. State Department where she was a Fellow for almost two years working within the Foreign Press Center and with the public affairs and ECOSOC section. Prior to this, Karen spent more than ten years within the UN system, including various roles at UNDP, the ILO and the Foundation for the Global Compact. During her career in the public, private and international sectors, she has developed expertise with building strategic partnerships, resource mobilization, corporate responsibility and economic development. Her work also includes outreach to the diplomatic community and consulting for companies like Microsoft and Philips Healthcare, as well as promoting large UN initiatives related to the Millennium Development Goals. She managed the World Business Development Awards 2010 in conjunction with the International Business Leaders Forum, the International Chamber of Commerce and UNDP, and promoted the launch of the 2009 Business Call to Action in New York and South Africa.Karen’s experience with government includes economic development posts for the City of New York and Chicago city governments. In Chicago, she worked at The Michael Jordan Foundation and United Way in community affairs and grantmaking. Recently, Karen hosted and curated the TEDxUN Plaza and is active in Crowdfunding for social good. In the past she served on the New York Committee for the Friends of World Food Program and with the Hunger Project to raise funds and awareness on poverty and hunger issues. Karen has also served on the Board of NEXCO and Women in International Trade. Karen holds an MBA and a Masters in Social Service Administration both from the University of Chicago.
Tatiana PhotoTatiana Bessarabova
Tatiana Bessarabova provides inclusive business knowledge and coordination as a consultant for the BCtA. Prior to joining the Business Call to Action, Tatiana was a Tinker Fellow in Peru, where she conducted field research on sustainable development in the mining region of Cajamarca. Previously, she worked at the Council of the Americas and UNDP Private Sector Division focusing on fostering partnerships with philanthropic and private sector actors. She also has experience in working on the public-private partnerships in Central Asia and Latin America. In the past, Tatiana served as the Director for Eastern Europe and CIS at the Women’s Equity Council of United Nations Association, and worked as the Fund Manager for the Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service in San Diego. She also worked as a researcher for the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego. A native of Kazakhstan, Tatiana speaks Russian and Spanish languages. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and an MS in Global Affairs from the New York University.
Tomohiro NagasakiTomohiro Nagasaki Tomohiro Nagasaki is a Consultant with the Business Call to Action where he supports the team’s initiatives focused on impact assessment of inclusive businesses. Tomo worked for Citi’s Institutional Clients Group in Tokyo for 3.5 years where he engaged in emerging market financial transactions in Asia. He also worked for the International Finance Corporation in Washington D.C., where he analyzed different business models of IFC’s inclusive business clients. Most recently, he consulted for the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture on the country’s private sector development projects in the agricultural sector under the sponsorship of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Tomo holds a master’s degree in International Business and Development Economics from The Fletcher School at Tufts University where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and a B.A. in International Relations from International Christian University in Tokyo.

Albert Tseng

Albert Tseng is BCtA’s business outreach consultant responsible for a variety of sectors, with a focus on Health.  Albert has a passion for profitable and sustainable inclusive business models and has developed extensive expertise at the intersection between private and public sectors over 15 years in a variety of leadership roles.  Prior to joining BCtA, Albert was based in South Africa with the Clinton Foundation managing a program that worked with the government, donors and private sector to improve HIV health system efficiency.  Over his career, Albert has also worked in business development for a major multinational, as a healthcare management consultant, and as a biomedical engineer.  Albert has a MPA from Harvard Kennedy School with a focus on Inclusive Business, a MHSc. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a BASc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Sharlene Yang
Sharlene Yang
Sharlene Yang is an intern with the Business Call to Action and brings a diverse set of experiences into her role at BCtA. With a dedication to international public service, cross-sector and public-private partnerships, Sharlene is interested in collaborative initiatives especially in the areas of food security, agriculture, poverty alleviation, health, economic and sustainable development. As a StartingBloc Fellow, she attended the Institute of Social Innovation and participated in its Social Innovation Case Challenge for Echoing Green. Prior to her internship at BCtA, she spent the summer in Ethiopia providing program support for a maternal health organization and interned with Rainforest Alliance in sustainable agriculture. She holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington and is pursuing her MPA degree at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

 

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Locations

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