Meet Our Staff
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, Türkiye and the Dominican Republic.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Vitas Group Management
Vitas Group Vitas Group’s Chief Executive Officer Khalid Kabeer brings over 18 years of cross functional experience in microfinance banking. Previously, as Vitas Group’s COO, he was responsible for the execution of its global business strategy and execution in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. During the last two years, Mr. Kabeer has led the process of redefining the vision and spearheading an ambitious long-term shift to a data-centric, digital-first lending model for MSMEs. He has been instrumental in the group’s digital transformation and resultant change management as well as the establishment of Vitas Ventures, an early stage fintech venture investment portfolio. 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.
Nordyn Yacine is Chief Digital Officer of Vitas Group. Mr. Yacine has provided executive leadership in digital transformation, e-commerce, and financial services industries for the past 24 years in complex, uncertain, high paced, multi-stakeholder environments. He is an expert in the latest trends in digital & mobile transformation and how these new industries changed the way to engage with consumers. Prior to join Global Communities, he completed an international corporate career for 15 years working for Eastman Kodak, as Head of Africa Business Development, Automobiles Peugeot, as head of Digital Global Deployment & MasterCard Europe as head of eCommerce Europe. For 10 years, he has been based in Dublin and became an entrepreneur and Fintech specialist advising start-up and companies in financial services on digital transformation, international expansion and new product development. He is a visiting professor at EDC Paris Business School Master of International Entrepreneurship teaching mobile marketing.
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.
Rohit serves as the Director of Marketing, Communications and Digital 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.
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.
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.
Rola El Amine
Rola El Amine has 20 years of experience in Marketing working for multinational advertising agencies, banks and microfinance institutions out of which 9 years with Vitas Iraq, a subsidiary of Vitas group, where she headed the marketing & PR department and was responsible for development and implementation of strategic Marketing, PR and CSR plans. As well as leading strategic group-level initiatives such as Vitas branding, customer centricity &market research unit, gender diversity, and in initiating startetgic partnerships. Throughout her career, she has developed marketing strategies, communication plans and branding exercises for a diverse portfolio of brands and services in various Arab countries, including RAKBANK Dubai, Impact BBDO , Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi in Beirut, through which she gained understanding of cultural nuances and business needs as well as clients aspirations and pain points. She has developed training material and conducted training courses on marketing and customer service. She has a BA in Advertising from the Lebanese University and is certified as TOT for the BYB (build your business) program by Microsoft.
Rola El Amine
Board of Directors
David A. Weiss became President & Chief Executive Officer of Global Communities (then CHF International) in 2010, having previously been a member of its Board since 2004 and Chairman of the Board from 2008-2010. With the merger with Project Concern International (PCI) in April 2020, David became CEO, with PCI’s President & CEO becoming President of Global Communities.
Prior to joining Global Communities, David was Senior Policy Advisor at the global law firm DLA Piper for 13 years.
David spent 18 years with the Federal Government, including Special Assistant to the Director of the Peace Corps; member of the U.S. Foreign Service; Economic Officer in Haiti; Staff Assistant to the Secretary of State; Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State; Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North American Affairs in charge of NAFTA; and other senior positions in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. David received the U.S. Department of State’s Superior Honor Award.
He has a bachelor’s from Hamilton College and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. David is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based NGOs; and is on the Board of Advisors of New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s Global Pro Bono Initiative.
John Duong is the Founder of Kind Capital, an impact investing platform and investment firm to drive scalable, sustainable impact profitably. He was formerly the Managing Director and Founder of Lumina Impact Ventures, the $50 million impact investing arm of Lumina Foundation.
Previously he was Program & Portfolio Officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, managing a $110+ million MRI and PRI investments portfolio across funds and direct investments and making grants to further the field of impact investing. John started his career as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch in various roles, including M&A advisory, credit risk analysis, equity research, capital structure optimization, and corporate finance in debt and equity products. John has extensive for-profit and nonprofit board experience, including Cell-Ed, Upswing, BrightHive, EduNav, Credly, Global Communities, and AAPIP.
John earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and East Asian studies from Yale University and has an Executive Master of Business Administration focused on management and entrepreneurship from the Kellogg School of Management. Born in Cambodia, John immigrated to the U.S. at a young age. He grew up in La Crosse, WI, after the Catholic Sisters of St. Francis sponsored him and his parents to the United States upon surviving the Khmer Rouge concentration camp.
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.
Caroline E. Blakely is President and CEO of the Washington DC non-profit Rebuilding Together. Prior to her current role, Ms. Blakely served as a partner in the Real Estate Finance Group at Cassin & Cassin, LLP and as a Vice President in Fannie Mae’s multifamily business, where she defined the strategic direction for the company’s asset management and counterparty responsibilities. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Ms. Blakely served as Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer at the National Cooperative Bank (NCB). 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. In addition to her role on the Vitas Board, she was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the public mortgage REIT, ARES Commercial Real Estate (ACRE), where she serves on the Audit, Governance and Nominating Committees. Ms. Blakely is also a member of the Responsible Property Investment Council (RPIC) of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Carrie Hessler-Radelet is the President of Global Communities. She previously served as President & CEO of Project Concern International (PCI), a global development organization that drives innovation from the ground up to enhance health, end hunger, overcome hardship and advance women & girls—resulting in a meaningful and measurable change in people’s lives. Carrie led a bold effort to bring together PCI and Global Communities to expand the scale and impact of proven programs. The merger became effective on September 1, 2021.
Prior to PCI, Carrie served as Director of the Peace Corps (2012-2017) and Deputy Director (2012-2015), leading America’s iconic international volunteer service organization with programs in over 65 countries. At Peace Corps she led historic reforms to modernize and strengthen the agency to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
Before being appointed to the Peace Corps by President Obama, Carrie worked as the Vice President and Director of the Washington D.C. office of John Snow, Inc. (JSI), overseeing the management of public health programs in 85 countries around the world. Her decades of global health work also included serving as the lead consultant on the first Five-Year Global HIV/AIDS Strategy for President George W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), working with USAID in Indonesia on maternal and child health and HIV programming, founding the Special Olympics in The Gambia, and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer with her husband in Western Samoa.
Carrie is passionate about empowering communities to discover their own sustainable, innovative solutions to poverty. She holds a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Boston University.
Jennifer McDonald brings over 25 years of experience leading strategy, product, and operations for global organizations and startups. She currently serves as consultant and advisor to impact-driven startups in fintech and climate technology, following an exit with Moka Financial Technologies where she was Chief Operating Officer (acquired Nasdaq/TSX: MOGO).
Jennifer’s international experience spans over 20 markets in Latin America, APAC and EMEA. Prior to joining Moka in 2018, Jennifer was Director of Strategic Advisory and Product Development at Women’s World Banking, where she led development of innovative financial products targeting the over 1 billion women who lack access to bank accounts. In the Procredit Bank network, she served as Deputy General Manager responsible for introducing new products and scaling operations at banks in Mozambique and Kosovo, in addition to Bolivia, Ecuador and Ghana.
Jennifer believes in technology for impact, and she is passionate about building inclusive products and teams. She holds a Master of Arts in Development Economics from the University of Sussex and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Economics and Political Science from Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Camilla serves as CEO of MCE Social Capital. She has a two-decade career enabling global development organizations to drive social change through innovative solutions, strategic partnerships, and operational excellence. Prior to joining MCE, she served as CEO of MIX, where she worked to structure a merger with the Center for Financial Inclusion. Before that, in over a decade in leadership positions at Grameen Foundation, Camilla led global programs in financial inclusion, agriculture and health. She built the organization’s impact investing arm, placing debt, equity and guarantees that generated over $250 million for financial service providers. Earlier in her career, she worked at Citigroup executing debt financing for emerging markets firms and spent four years working in Indonesia and the Balkans setting up microfinance institutions.
Camilla serves as adjunct professor of Financial Inclusion at Columbia University, where she also received an MBA and a master’s in international Affairs. She holds a B.A. from Colorado College.
Joseph Abbate is a finance executive with more than 20 years of experience in finance with companies such as ResMed, Cymer, Sunrise Medical, Brooktree Semiconductor, and Unisys, with his role just prior to ResMed as CFO of a software startup. In addition to his primary responsibilities of strategic financial planning and operational management, he has developed his roles more broadly to include operations, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and joint ventures.
He received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from San Diego State University and a Master’s of Business Administration from West Coast University. Joe served on Project Concern International’s Board of Directors since 2012 and after our merger has continued to serve on Global Communities’ Board of Directors.