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) and has representatives in partner offices around the world.

Secretariat Staff

Sahba_photo

Sahba Sobhani

Sahba Sobhani is the Acting Programme Manager of the Business Call to Action and Global Programme Advisor at the Private Sector, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), UN Development Programme (UNDP). He also serves as the manager of UNDP’s Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative (GIM).

Sahba 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. The report was translated in seven languages. He also authored the 2010 report titled The MDGs: Everyone’s Business. Mr. Sobhani was the first Interim Director of the UNDP Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development, which in partnership with the Turkish Government, is the first global centre of its kind established with a major emerging country.

Previously, he managed two key UNDP private sector initiatives in the executive office of the former Administrator of UNDP, Mark 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. He co-authored Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor, the seminal report of the Private Sector Commission produced at the request of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Mr. Sobhani was the managing editor of the African Stock Markets Handbook. He 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 (USA).

DSC_8685_resizedTatiana Bessarabova Tatiana Bessarabova is the Inclusive Business Knowledge and Partnerships Lead for the Business Call to Action. Tatiana is an author of various publications for the BCtA on inclusive business and climate change, agriculture, sustainable energy, low-income housing, and various case studies. 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 Sustainability Fund Manager at UC San Diego. She also worked as a researcher for the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies based in San Diego. A native of Kazakhstan, Tatiana speaks Russian and Spanish languages. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University.
YunzhongCheng Yunzhong Cheng Yunzhong Cheng is the Data Management Consultant for the Business Call to Action, where she supports the impact measurement of inclusive businesses. Yunzhong is a dynamic professional with over 5 years of combined experience in private, public and nonprofit sectors. Before joining BCtA, she worked for UNDP NYHQ Independent Evaluation Office and Global Business Intelligence Team respectively with a focus on monitoring and evaluation since 2013. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Education as a Grant Proposal Evaluator after she obtained the Master’s Degree in Social Enterprise Administration from Columbia University School of Social Work. Her earlier work focused on corporate strategy and financial analysis for clients in various industries while working with Accenture consulting company and Deloitte accounting firm in Shanghai, China.
TatsianaHulkoTatsiana Hulko Tatsiana Hulko is an Outreach Coordination Consultant for the Business Call to Action Program responsible for supporting and conducting client facing outreach to global companies practicing Inclusive Business. Tatsiana joined the BCtA team after working as a consultant for a global FMCG company working in the Russian and CIS markets. Previously, Tatsiana was a regional financial analyst for Bloomberg Emerging Markets division focusing on Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Prior to her private sector experience, Tatsiana managed regional conflict-mitigation and development portfolio for USAID with programs focusing on microfinance, small and medium enterprise, civil society and public health. She holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA from London Metropolitan University.
Tomohiro NagasakiTomohiro Nagasaki Tomohiro Nagasaki is the Impact Team Lead of Business Call to Action, where he leads initiatives on impact measurement of inclusive businesses. Tomo is also a co-author of BCtA’s flagship report “Breaking Through (2014)” on inclusive business and contributes articles on social impact to Guardian Sustainable Business. Prior to UNDP, Tomo worked for Citi’s Institutional Clients Group in Tokyo where he engaged in emerging market financial transactions in Asia. He also worked for the International Finance Corporation in Washington D.C., and consulted for the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture on the country’s private sector development projects in the agricultural sector. 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.
 MinjaNieminenMinja Nieminen Minja Nieminen serves as the Outreach Lead for the Business Call to Action. Minja was previously based in Kenya where she supported BCtA’s knowledge and impact activities under a collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme Kenya. Minja has worked previously at UNDP Kenya in private sector development and engagement, focusing on building partnerships. Prior to joining the UN, Minja worked at Deloitte in Corporate Responsibility and Consulting. She has also experience from working in India in SME trade development, in Mexico for the Embassy of Finland and in France for the International Finance Corporation (IFC).Minja holds a Master Degree in International Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, with exchange studies conducted in Chile and Spain. Interested in development impacts of inclusive business, Minja wrote her Master’s thesis for the Finnish Development Fund, studying the case of a pharmaceutical company operating in Kenya.
Diogo Souto MaiorDiogo Souto Maior Diogo Souto Maior is the Programme Strategy Lead of Business Call to Action. Prior to joining the BCtA, he was the Head of Corporate Affairs for International Markets at Natura, a 4-billion dollars revenue cosmetic company with operations in 14 countries and member of BCtA. Previously, he worked for the United Nations for close to 4 years, at UNDP HQs in New York, UN Capital Development Fund in East-Timor, and UN Economic Commission for Africa, based in Ethiopia. Diogo also brings experience on cross-sector partnership, having worked for OXFAM, and on responsible investments, working for EIRIS-UK, a leading responsible investment consultancy, based in London. Diogo is co-partner at Brootas, the first equity-crowdfunding platform of Latin America. He holds a MSc in Social Policy and Development (LSE, London School of Economics) and BA on Business Administration (FGV – Sao Paolo).

Kenya

Leslie Richer PhotoLeslie Richer
Leslie is a Consultant with the Business Call to Action based in Nairobi, Kenya supporting the Knowledge and Outreach activities in collaboration with the Inclusive Economic Unit of the UNDP. Before joining BCtA, Leslie worked for 18 years in Marketing and Business Strategy in private sector firms like Coca-Cola, Nestle and SAB across Sub-Saharan Africa Leslie holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Government from University of Nairobi and a MBA from Heriot-Watt University, UK. She is member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a mentor member of the Cherie Blair Foundation for women; a global network that works to support and empower women across the world endeavoring to be entrepreneurs of the future.

Japan

AiOharaAi Ohara Ai Ohara is the BCtA Outreach Consultant based in Tokyo where she recruits Japanese companies with innovative inclusive business models, provides consultations in initiation of inclusive businesses, as well as advocates the work of BCtA. Ai joined UNDP as a Consultant for the Private Sector Partnerships in 2012. Prior to joining BCtA, she had managed pilot projects to develop inclusive business models jointly with Japanese companies and UNDP country offices in Africa and Latin America, as well as organized several seminars and workshops to promote the concept of inclusive business. Prior to joining UNDP, Ai has had nearly 20 years of experience working for the leading consulting firm of Japan, Nomura Research Institute as a researcher of regional development and as a manager of CSR and corporate communications. Ai holds Master of Development Administration degree from Western Michigan University in the U.S.

 

Locations

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