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

Ms. Blakely is a proven strategist that understands the need to seize opportunities while managing risk and make forward-looking choices to drive growth, organizational brand, and long-term shareholder value.  Ms. Blakely has a successful track record of working at the top executive level with multiple constituencies to build support for change and difficult undertakings in sales, operations, infrastructure and risk management.  Through her current board service, her appointment as Lead Independent Director, membership on the audit committee and appointment as Chair of the Nominating committee, of a publicly traded company, she understands the need of capital allocation and bridging the gap between internal, external audit and management to achieve maximum financial results.  Ms. Blakely also brings deep expertise in corporate governance with companies in regulated industries.  Currently, while working at Rebuilding Together with a multigenerational workforce, she embraces an aggressive talent agenda, recognizing that the workforce of the future needs a mission driven organization with a socially responsible purpose.  

In January 2016, Ms. Blakely become the President and CEO of Rebuilding Together, a Washington, D.C. based national non-profit, following a 35 -year career in law, banking and commercial real estate.   Under her leadership, she has rapidly transformed the culture, increased revenue and produced positive financial results for the first time in six years.

Prior to joining Rebuilding Together, Ms. Blakely practiced law, as an equity partner, specializing in commercial real estate finance.   She was principally responsible for increasing the firm’s business, gaining experience in creative marketing.  Previously, she spent 14 years as a Vice President in Fannie Mae’s Multifamily division where she led numerous teams; managed the development and roll-out of new products, services and systems; and was a major contributor to the division’s financial success while maintaining the lowest credit losses in the industry. 

Ms. Blakely is currently on the Board of Directors of ACRE, a publically traded mortgage REIT, is the Lead Independent Director, chairs the governance and nominating and is a member of the audit committee.  She is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of Global Communities and serves on the Board of Directors of the Vitas Group, and Vitas Lebanon, international non-profit and for-profit organizations that specialize in international economic development and microfinance.  Ms. Blakely has also been involved in Real Estate industry organizations, including the Responsible Property Council of ULI, the ULI Steering Committee of Women’s Leadership Initiative, and the Board of Governors of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council.

Ms. Blakely received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law School and her B.A. with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Virginia. She has resided in Chevy Chase, Maryland for over 37 years.  She has a son and a daughter, both successfully launched.

David Oser

Board Treasurer

David Oser

David Oser retired in 2018 after a 40-year career as a leader in community development banking, first at ShoreBank in Chicago and later at Craft3, headquartered in Seattle.  His areas of expertise include finance, risk management, investments, and corporate strategy. Mr Oser has engaged in numerous consulting projects, both domestically and abroad.  He served as a founding director of Kashf Microfinance Bank in Pakistan.  Mr Oser is a graduate of Carleton College and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago.  He lives in Astoria, Oregon, where he is involved in numerous civic and philanthropic activities.     

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.

Elissa McCarter LaBorde

Chief Executive Officer

Elissa McCarter LaBorde

Chief Executive Officer, Vitas Group Ms. LaBorde is Vice President of Development Finance for Global Communities, where over the last 14 years she has built the technical department that manages Global Communities’ microfinance, SME, and housing finance operations. Ms. LaBorde has over 20 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.

Khalid Kabeer

Chief Operating Officer

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.

Richard Shumann

Chief Risk Officer

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.

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.

Ahmad Lamaa

Co-General Manager, CHF Vitas Iraq

Ahmad Lamaa

Ahmad Lamaa is the Director of Business and Operations for CHF Vitas Iraq. He manages and oversees all aspects of the departments to ensure efficient and effective attainment of goals and objectives. He sets expansion strategies and develops policies and procedures for new products and services in meeting funding needs. Mr. Lamaa was part of the ACSI start-up team in 2003 and has more than 16 years of management experience in microfinance and marketing. Mr. Lamaa holds a BA in Business Management and Marketing from the Lebanese University. He has worked in highly challenging environments, including post war Iraq

Moustafa Khalifeh

Co-General Manager, CHF Vitas Iraq

Moustafa Khalifeh

Moustafa Khalifeh has 19 years of management experience and 16 in microfinance and small business programs with Global Communities in Lebanon, Jordan, post-war Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Khalifeh is currently the Director of Finance and Admin at CHF Vitas Iraq, responsible for overseeing the program’s financial risk management, financial accounting and controls, budgeting, planning, as well as managing relations with banks, investor, and regulators. An expert in portfolio management and staff training, Mr. Khalifeh holds a Master’s degree in Business and Finance, and a BSc in Computer and Mathematics from the Lebanese American University. When he is not working, he enjoys quality time with his family and keeps up with soccer and basketball.

Rohit Kulkarni

Head, Marketing & Communications

Rohit Kulkarni

Head, Marketing & Communications Vitas Group/Global Communities Rohit serves as the Head of Marketing and Communications for Vitas Group, 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.

Taylor Mills

Program Manager

Taylor Mills

Taylor Mills is an international development professional with over 10 years of experience in the private and non-profit sectors. After a stint in private equity and advisory firms, he worked for two years with an MFI in the Kyrgyz Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer. Taylor has since worked with four implementers of international donor-funded projects as both consultant and project manager. He coordinated two separate regulatory environment reform programs in Eastern Europe and a $40M private sector health finance project in Uganda, in addition to short-term assignments around access to finance policy and programming. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Texas A&M University and a Master’s in Global Human Development from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Jenny Kim

Financial Analyst

Jenny Kim

Jenny Kim has worked in financial accounting and finance roles for more than a decade. She has experience preparing and consolidating financial statements, developing financial reports, analyzing financial results, supporting the financial planning and budgeting process, creating financial models and assisting with strategic planning and development. Previously, she owned and operated a business selling merchandise on Etsy.com and worked as Manager of Budgets, Grants and Financial Reporting at Asia Society in NYC. She received her undergraduate and graduate degree at Bernard M. Baruch College in Entrepreneurship and Accountancy, and is currently a student at Johns Hopkins SAIS studying International Development.

Morgan Radick

Program Officer

Morgan Radick

Morgan Radick joined Global Communities in January 2016 and is the Development Finance Officer providing administrative and programmatic support for Global Communities’ DFIs and Vitas Group subsidiaries. Prior to joining Global Communities, Morgan lived in Guinea, West Africa for three years, where she spent two years serving as a Peace Corps Education Volunteer teaching English as a foreign language to secondary school students and carrying out development projects related to education, nutrition, gender equity, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Her third year she worked as an office manager and translator on a greenfield gold mining project. Morgan holds a BA in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the University of Arkansas. She speaks French and has a basic grasp of Arabic.

David Wolf

Associate General Counsel

David Wolf

David began at Global Communities in the fall of 2011.  As Associate General Counsel, he is involved with handling the various legal affairs encountered by Global Communities in the course of undertaking its humanitarian mission.  While his duties extend to the entire organization, he is the member of Global Communities’ legal team that primarily assists the Department of Development Finance.   He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, and his bachelor’s degree in economics, with a minor in Spanish, from Denison University.  At Denison he also competed on the school’s baseball team.