Mark Cheng, Director Ashoka UK
Mark is the Director of Ashoka UK, as well as Ashoka’s senior advisor on social finance, a role sponsored by international law firm Hogan Lovells. Since joining Ashoka originally as an ASN member in 2007, he has assisted many Fellows in raising investment for social causes, in areas including micro-finance, renewable energy, conservation, healthcare and education. Mark is also advisor to several international Ashoka initiatives such as Globalizer, a program for Fellows expanding their work into multiple countries. Mark is founding Director of Chelwood Capital, a social investment firm that supports mission-driven organizations. He has more than 15 years experience in finance, having previously worked at Deutsche Bank and AMBAC Assurance. He serves as Board Member and Trustee for several social enterprises and is a business mentor for the Emerge Venture Lab, an incubator for UK student social ventures.
Rob Wilson, Strategy Director
Rob has a background in social entrepreneurship. He founded READ International as a student in 2004 which has since provided over 1.5 million books to school children in Tanzania. Rob moved on from READ in early 2011 to co-write a book about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up. Rob joined Ashoka UK in October 2011. Find Rob on Twitter @Iamrobertwilson and on Linkedin.
Julia Koskella, Venture Manager
Julia joined Ashoka in 2012 to lead our search and selection process for new Ashoka Fellows. Previously, she worked at Global Giving helping grassroots NGOs access crowdfunding, helped set up Move Your Money UK, and worked for an indigenous rights organisation in Ecuador. Julia graduated from Oxford University with a first class degree in Human Sciences. While she was there, she chaired the Environment and Ethics Committee and acted as the founding director of the Oxford Climate Forum. Follow her on Twitter @JuliaKoskella.
Clarice Ramalho, Operations Manager
Clarice joined Ashoka in February 2012 to coordinate events and assist the Ashoka Support Network global leadership team. She is now responsible for revamping the UK operations, boosting the office productivity and strategically mapping stakeholders’ interactions. Prior to joining Ashoka, she ran a travel agency in Brazil and worked as an International Marketing Executive at Auvergne Tourist Board in France. She holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Tourism, and was lured into the citizen sector by fascinating Ashoka Fellows when carrying out community-based tourism research in Brazil.
Felicity McLean, Communications Manager
Felicity joined Ashoka in June 2012 to lead on Communications and Framework Change. She works to 'make shift happen', through powerful storytelling, exceptional innovation and the power of brands, corporates, organisations and key people of influence. As the founding member of a technology startup focussing on employee engagement in CSR, her skills combine partnerships, entrepreneurship and 'tech for good'. She's also a trustee for NGO Childreach International, has an MA in Geography, and a real passion for developing creative and value based partnerships. Find her on Twitter @flickmclean.
Zuhura Plummer, Ashoka Support Network Manager
Zuhura brings six years experience from the social enterprise and international development sectors with a particular focus on enabling individuals with expertise to become involved in creating change. She has worked in the UK, Mongolia and Mumbai, the latter at Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation which scales mid-range social-purpose organisations, readying them for investment. Zuhura joined Ashoka in December 2012 as the Ashoka Support Network Manager.
Caroline Guyot, Partnerships Manager
Caroline joined Ashoka in October 2012 to work on partnerships and strategy. She holds two Masters degrees: one in history and one in diplomacy. Her previous experiences include consulting for a an international microfinance organisation in South Africa, supporting the growth of a young social enterprise in London and analysing African politics for a London think tank. She particularly likes to take on challenging projects, having been the president of a not-for-profit organisation focusing on education in Morocco and undertaking a documentary film project in East Africa.
Danielle Batist, Communications and Storytelling
Danielle Batist is a journalist who has lived and worked across Europe and Southern Africa. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Master’s degree with Distinction in Journalism and Media within Globalisation (Aarhus University, Denmark/ Swansea University, UK). During her past twelve years in journalism she specialised in international development, social enterpreneurship and ideas that work. She witnessed the birth of the nation of South Sudan and interviewed the Dalai Lama. On Twitter: @daniellebatist.
Viliana Dzhartova, Youth and Changemaker Skills
Viliana is a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham where she studied International Business with French. Throughout her university degree she led several entrepreneurship societies and social innovation projects. She spent a summer at the Yunus Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she worked with Professor Yunus and his team in the Social Business department. Now Viliana works on Ashoka’s youth programme, taking the organisation one step closer to its vision: Everyone A Changemaker.
Petya Gulubova, Operations and ASN
Petya joined the Ashoka UK team as an ASN intern in March 2013. Prior to that she spent a gap year travelling around developing regions of the world, driven by her eagerness to learn more about the third sector and the role social entrepreneurs play in reshaping it. Petya’s former educational and professional background is in accounting and finance. She has always been passionate about effecting social change and is excited to be a part of the biggest international community of changemakers at Ashoka.
Elena Koerver, Venture
Elena joined Ashoka to help the venture team to search for and select leading social entrepreneurs into the fellowship programme, as well as develop future funders. She has previously worked at Convoco – a think tank that seeks social change through interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and debate. She also gained work experience in the field of philanthropy consultancy. Elena holds a BA in Business Administration from Free University Berlin and a MA in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, where she specialised in the philosophy and politics of climate change.
Josephine Korijn, Social Finance
Josephine joined Ashoka in August 2013 to work with the Social Finance team, specifically on creating the Social Business Accelerator. She graduated with honors from Brown University with a B.A. in Development Studies, focusing her thesis research on the UK social finance field. She has previously worked at SharedImpact, which provides financial intermediation services for the range of stakeholders in the social investment field. She also founded the SEEED student steering committee to organise an annual conference that brings social enterprise support organisations across the US together to share best practice.
King Chai Woon
King Chai joined Ashoka UK in September 2013 as an intern. He is a Chevening Scholar 2012/2013 from Malaysia and has recently submitted his dissertation for his MSc. in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to this, he served as a Special Officer to the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports for the Malaysian government. During his undergraduate days, he has successfully campaigned to abolish a 40-year-old prohibition of political expression and participation by Malaysian university students in Malaysia. He tweets at @woonkingchai.
Julie Whittaker, Corporate Relationships
Julie joined Ashoka in 2010 as Communications Advisor to help raise the profile of the organisation and now manages our corporate partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim. She brings 15 years of experience in the communications industry working for a global PR agency and as an independent consultant following her passion to make a difference by working primarily in the areas of healthcare, public health and social entrepreneurship. Prior to working with Ashoka, Julie helped set up a think/action tank for chronic diseases, and has organised a global summit on social entrepreneurship in Thailand.