Board of Directors

Dr. amrita ahuja, CHair

Chair of the Board, Douglass Marshall Jr. Family Foundation

Amrita leads the Douglas B. Marshall, Jr. Family Foundation, an innovative funder of international education.  She is also a founder of Evidence Action.  An accidental social-entrepreneur, she led the the start-up of Dispensers for Safe Water, and chaired the board of Deworm the World as it grew to reach 30 million children.

She worked as a Management Consultant for the Monitor Group where she led projects to evaluate market-based approaches to delivering products and services to the poor. There she developed consumer marketing strategies, distribution models, and best practices for health and other products.

Amrita brings experience in marketing and distribution of consumer goods in the public and private sectors in India and Africa as well as significant experience with innovation and evidence in international development.  She  holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University.

 

LAURENCE LIEN

Co-Founder and CEO, Asia Philanthropy Circle

Laurence leads the Asia Philanthropy Circle, a membership-based platform for Asian philanthropists to exchange, learn and collaborate. Laurence is also the Chairman of Lien Foundation, a family foundation established in 1980.  Under his leadership, Lien Foundation has become well-regarded for its forward-thinking and radical approach in the fields of education, eldercare and the environment.

Laurence was the CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre in Singapore from 2008-2014.  In 2008, he founded the Community Foundation of Singapore and is currently its Chairman. He is also Board Member of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at the Singapore Management University.

Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, Laurence served in the Singapore Administrative Service, which forms the top echelon of public service leaders in Singapore.  Laurence holds degrees from Oxford University, the National University of Singapore, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2010, Laurence was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship.  He was also a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore from 2012-2014.

DANA SCHMIDT

Senior Program Officer, Echidna Giving

Dana leads Echidna Giving’s grantmaking strategy on early childhood development and co-leads grantmaking on adolescent skills and mindsets. Before joining Echidna in 2016, Dana was a program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she helped to develop and run a ten-year, $125 million grantmaking initiative to improve the quality of education that children receive in the developing world. While at Hewlett she oversaw grantmaking related to education in India and East Africa. In addition, she led the Foundation's international grantmaking for Open Educational Resources (OER).

Earlier in her career, Dana spent time teaching secondary school students in both Kenya and Zambia. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in Economics and African Studies and earned her master's degree in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from the Stanford University School of Education. Her master’s thesis explores the impact of the elimination of primary school fees on enrollment in Kenya.

Dr. carolyn stremlau

Executive Director, Banyan Tree Foundation

Carolyn is the executive director of the Banyan Tree Foundation, a private foundation in Washington, DC. The foundation supports organizations in Africa and South Asia to increase opportunities for children to obtain a quality education. It has a special interest in supporting programs that focus on the education of girls.

Carolyn has been involved in Africa since 1969 and has lived in Nigeria and South Africa. She has worked with non-governmental organizations including PACT, Citizens Development Corps, Overseas Development Council, and the Ford Foundation. She holds a PhD in international development from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.