8601 Georgia Ave. Suite 300 Silver Spring, MD 20910

301.587.4700 [email protected]

Leadership

Click on the photos below to read bios of our leadership.

David A. Weiss
Chairman of the Board

David A. Weiss

Chairman, Vitas Board David A. Weiss became President and CEO of Global Communities in 2010, having previously been a member of its Board since 2004 and Chairman of the Board from 2008-2010. Prior to joining Global Communities, Mr. Weiss was Senior Policy Advisor at the global law firm DLA Piper for 13 years, advising on international trade and foreign policy matters. Mr. Weiss spent 18 years with the Federal Government in the following roles: Special Assistant to the Director of the Peace Corps; member of the US Foreign Service; Economic Officer in Haiti; Staff Aide to the Secretary of State; Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State; Assistant US Trade Representative for North American Affairs in charge of NAFTA; and other senior positions in the Office of the US Trade Representative. Weiss received the US Department of State’s Superior Honor Award. He has a B.A. from Hamilton College and an M.S.F.S. from Georgetown University. David Weiss is a member of the Board of Directors of InterAction, the largest alliance of US-based NGOs, and is on the Board of Advisors of New Perimeter, DLA Piper'sGlobal Pro Bono Initiative.
Caroline Blakely
Board Secretary

Caroline Blakely

Secretary, Vitas Board Caroline Blakely is President and CEO of Rebuilding Together. Previously, Ms. Blakely was a partner in charge of Cassin & Cassin LLP’s Washington D.C. office and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee with a record of excellence in corporate finance and commercial real estate. Ms. Blakely also served as Vice President in Fannie Mae’s Multifamily business. In this capacity, Ms. Blakely defined the strategic direction for the company’s growing asset management and counterparty responsibilities, while resolving large loan restructuring with zero loss to Fannie Mae. In addition, Ms. Blakely was responsible for mitigating the financial and operational risk of 24 DUS Lenders, including assessing the counterparty’s capital adequacy to share risk with Fannie Mae’s balance sheet by conducing performing note sales and negotiated the first sale of multifamily mortgage servicing rights. Early in her career, Ms. Blakely practiced real estate, banking and corporate law at firms in the D.C. area, including a woman-owned firm she co-founded that specialized in matters related to the Resolution Trust Corporation. Ms. Blakely received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor of Arts, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Virginia. She is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC).
Elissa McCarter
Chief Executive Officer, Vitas Group

Elissa McCarter LaBorde

Chief Executive Officer, Vitas Group Ms. LaBorde is Vice President of Development Finance for Global Communities, where over the last 12 years she has built the technical department that manages Global Communities’ microfinance, SME, and housing finance operations. Ms. LaBorde has 18 years' experience as a microfinance practitioner. Prior to Global Communities, she spent 7 years in the field, having started up and managed two microfinance institutions in Armenia and Turkey, and serving as technical advisor to more than a dozen MFIs in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Ms. LaBorde has authored two books on microfinance mergers and continues to publish articles and opinion pieces that span a number of topics related to financial inclusion. She has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris; and currently serves as adjunct professor of a Masters level course on financial inclusion at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Richard Shumann
Chief Risk Officer, Vitas Group

Richard Shumann

Chief Risk Officer, Vitas Group Richard Shumann is Chief Risk Officer of Vitas Group. Mr. Shumann has twenty five years’ experience in strengthening companies to better serve low income clients, especially in financial inclusion. His key strengths are supervising institutions to grow portfolios, independent internal audit, developing policy standards, strengthening credit operations, market research and negotiating with lenders. Mr. Shumann is a prominent expert in housing microfinance, having designed or modified products in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Before joining Vitas Group, Mr. Shumann had long term work assignments in Mozambique, Angola, Burundi and Guinea. He has a BA in Economics from Macalester College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is fluent in French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Fahmila Imam
Chief of Finance & Investments, Vitas Group

Fahmila Imam

Chief of Finance & Investments, Vitas Group Fahmila Imam is Senior Technical Specialist for Global Communities for finance, audit and risk management. She is responsible for expanding Global Communities’ commercial sources of financing for microfinance activities, including debt and equity. She handles all finance-related matters for Vitas Group, and works closely with investors on valuation of new subsidiaries. She brings to Global Communities more than 15 years of experience in finance and development, having worked at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and microfinance clients such as FINCA, Women’s World Banking, and XacBank. She received a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and completed her undergraduate work at Barnard College.
Khalid Kabeer
Chief Operating Officer, Vitas Group

Khalid Kabeer

Chief Operating Officer, Vitas Group Vitas Group’s Chief Operating Officer Khalid Kabeer brings over 14 years of cross functional experience in microfinance banking. Mr. Kabeer manages Vitas Group’s global operations to ensure that the organization achieves its financial and social objectives. Mr. Kabeer is responsible Vitas Group’s global business strategy and execution in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. As part of his duties, Mr. Kabeer works with all Vitas Group subsidiaries to help them align and achieve their goals with Vitas Group’s strategy that includes: driving growth, business planning, product diversification, entry into new markets, information technology, and transformation into regulated entities. Prior to joining Vitas Group in 2012, Mr. Kabeer worked as the acting CEO of Kashf Microfinance Bank Limited from March to September 2011. He was instrumental in establishing the Bank in 2007-08 and served as its first CFO, before which he served as CFO of Kashf Foundation from 2003-08. Mr. Kabeer holds a BA in Economics and is a Fellow member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.
Rohit Kulkarni
Manager, Marketing & Communications Vitas Group/Global Communities

Rohit Kulkarni

Manager, Marketing & Communications Vitas Group/Global Communities Rohit serves as Marketing and Communications Manager in developmental finance, splitting his time between Global Communities and Vitas Group, and in close coordination with Global Communities communications team. Rohit is responsible for creating and implementing a marketing and communications strategy to enhance Global Communities’ work and thought leadership in financial inclusion, as well as coordinating with local marketing managers in Vitas subsidiaries to drive forward Vitas’ marketing strategy in current and new markets of expansion. This includes helping to support a new initiative in client centricity that will enhance our competitiveness and impact in the countries where we operate. Rohit brings over 12 years of international experience in strategic communications, branding, and multicultural marketing. Previously, as a digital managing editor for Voice of America (VOA), Rohit led the broadcaster's audience development and digital strategy for international markets. This included social marketing and content strategy for VOA’s platforms in ten different languages. He was also instrumental in launching VOA’s multimedia products for international markets. Rohit holds an MBA in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a master's degree in Mass Communication and Media Arts from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Ziad Halaby
General Manager, Vitas Lebanon

Ziad Halaby

General Manager, Vitas Lebanon Ziad Halaby has been the General Manager of Vitas Lebanon, since 2005. He has worked with more than 20 Global Communities programs around the world since 1999. Mr. Halaby has expertise in microfinance, corporate finance, NGO and MFI management in Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Belgium and Lebanon. Mr. Halaby currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sanabel the Microfinance Network of the Arab Countries. Prior to joining CHF, Mr. Halaby worked with ILPA S.A. in Belgium, Turkey and the Dominican Republic.
Cristian Jurma
General Manager, Vitas Romania

Cristian Jurma

General Manager, Vitas Romania Cristi Jurma has been the General Manager of Vitas Romania since October 2009. He has been with Global Communities since 1998, working first as a loan officer with CHF Romania (now Vitas Romania), then as Deputy Director of Credit Operations for CHF Bosnia, and finally as a Project Coordinator for the Software Development Services unit in Serbia. Prior to his work with Global Communities, Mr. Jurma was Executive Director of the Private Business Association CIPT and worked for RWR Enterprise in Romania. In addition to his work with Vitas, he is also the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Microfinance Centre in Poland, a regional network institution and a Board member for Lider in Bosnia. He holds a Masters in Business Law and an MSc in Computer Programming from West University Romania.
Naser Darwish
General Manager, Vitas Jordan

Naser Darwish

General Manager, Vitas Jordan Naser Darwish has been the General Manager of Vitas Jordan since January 2003, with an initial task to lead the (formerly MEMCC) management team to a new height of growth and market leadership. Mr. Darwish has more than 20 years of combined experience, consisting of 15 years of solid banking and finance work at global financial institutions, including over 10 years with commercial banks, Standard Chartered (Formerly Grindlays Bank), Arab Bank, and as Head of Credit Risk at Jordan Gulf Bank, all of which built up his strong experience in credit management. Mr. Darwish received a BS in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Jordan and has completed numerous trainings in finance and banking. He is also a Board Member of Lider in Bosnia, IMMDF in Iraq, and previously Vitas Romania.
Alaa Sisalem
General Manager, Vitas Palestine

Alaa Sisalem

General Manager, Vitas Palestine Mr. Sisalem has over 25 years of professional experience in financial services and financial management in West Bank and Gaza, 19 years of which have been in the area of microfinance. Since 1998 Mr. Sisalem has been the Program Director of Vitas Palestine (currently transitioning from Ryada). He plays a key role in developing, implementing, and managing Global Communities’ microfinance in the Palestinian territories and played a major role in unifying the different financial departments of various Global Communities programs into one centralized department. Mr. Sisalem joined Global Communities in 1995 as a Chief Accountant before being appointed Deputy Director of the Access to Credit Program (now Vitas Palestine). He also served as the CFO Global Communities West Bank & Gaza from 2002 to 2008.
Louise Moretto
Board Member

Louise Moretto

Member, Vitas Board Louise Moretto is the Managing Director Investments at Grassroots Capital Management, an impact investment firm specialized in global microfinance investments. She has over 20 years of experience in banking, social investing, and international development. Prior to Grassroots Capital, Louise was a senior Vice President in the Global Social Investment Funds team at Deutsche Bank and the Senior Director of the Capital Markets Group at Women’s World Banking, a global microfinance network. Before her career shift into microfinance and social investments, Louise was a banker at JP Morgan Chase and National Westminster Bank. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs and serves as an Advisor to the board of Project Zawadi, an educational non-profit operating in Tanzania. Louise has a Masters in Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Vermont.
David Oser
Board Member

David Oser

Member, Vitas Board David Oser in 2011 joined CRAFT3, a non-profit community development financial institution with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience. Prior to CRAFT3, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, Treasurer and Chief Economist for ShoreBank, where he was instrumental in growing the company from a $75 million bank operating in one Chicago neighborhood to a $2.5 billion leader in economic development with a global reach. There he also managed a high-performing $750 million fixed income portfolio and $1 billion in wholesale funding, and led various consulting assignments in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Eastern Europe. Oser also initiated and acted as portfolio manager for the Domini Social Bond Fund, where he grew the Fund to $66 million, including many socially responsible investments. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and completed the Banking and Financial Services Executive Program, Graduate School of Business Administration, at the University of Michigan.
Sarah Mitwalli
Program Manager

Sarah Mitwalli

Sarah Mitwalli Sarah Mitwalli is a Program Manager at Global Communities/Vitas Group, where she focuses on business development and provides management support to the Vitas subsidiaries and loan guaranty facilities. She also leads social performance management within the network. Prior to joining Global Communities, Sarah was a consultant for Haver Analytics, providing analysis on economic time series data on the Middle East and Africa team. As part of her graduate coursework, she worked on a research project for Grameen Financial Services in India, and interned at PlaNet Finance Egypt, a microfinance advisory organization based in Cairo. She also consulted for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on a project assessing the impact of public educational investments on economic growth. Sarah received her Master’s degree in International Economic Policy and the Middle East from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In 2010, she was a Visiting Research Scholar at the London School of Economics’ Institute of Public Affairs.
Peter Woicke
Board Member

Peter Woicke

Peter Woicke Member, Vitas Board Peter Woicke is a former Managing Director of the World Bank and CEO of the International Finance Corporation. Before joining the Bank, he held top positions at JP Morgan for nearly three decades. Mr. Woicke has served on the Global Communities Board of Trustees since 2014. He is also currently the Chair of the Ashesi University Foundation in Ghana and a member of the boards of the International Youth Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Institute of Human Rights and Business. He also serves as a non-Executive Director of the boards of the AngloAmerican plc and Saudi Aramco. Mr. Woicke received his MBA in Business at the University of Saarbruecken in Germany, and is fluent in German and English. He lives in St. Michaels, Maryland.
Diane Smith
Board Member

Diane Smith

Diane is a seasoned private equity specialist with nearly 30 years of experience in domestic and emerging market investing and fund management, including the launching and management of several new private equity and mezzanine investment businesses in both the U.S. and Latin America. She currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Darby Overseas Investments, an emerging market fund manager specializing in private equity, infrastructure and credit strategies in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Darby in 2007, Diane spent the bulk of her career as senior portfolio manager and Managing Director of Electra Investment Trust PLC of the U.K., playing a key role in building the firm's new U.S. principal investing business to over half a billion dollars in equity and mezzanine investments in a wide variety of industries. Joining Electra in 1991, Diane focused on mid-sized companies in a broad range of sectors including financial services, consumer products, industrial manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and telecom and broadcast media. In the late 1990's Diane spearheaded Electra's expansion into South America, forming joint venture fund management companies to invest in Argentina and Brazil where she lived for several years to co-manage those businesses. Prior to joining Electra, Diane was involved in building the new leveraged buyout business for a New York-based thrift, as well as serving in international banking and corporate finance roles with Manufacturers Hanover Trust. Before joining MHT she spent several years in Spain developing export markets for Spanish producers of industrial and consumer products. Diane holds a master in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a BA in Communications from Washington State University. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.