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Hosted by Save the Children, with support from Accenture and in partnership with BRAC, The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Abhijit Vinayak Banarjee

MIT, J-PAL and Save the Children

Dr. Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Board of Trustees of Save the Children Federation, Inc.


In 2003 he founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), with Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan, and remains one of the directors of the lab. In 2009 J-PAL won the BBVA Foundation "Frontier of Knowledge" award in the development cooperation category. Banerjee is a past president of the Bureau for the Research in the Economic Analysis of Development, a Research Associate of the NBER, a CEPR research fellow, International Research Fellow of the Kiel Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society and has been a Guggenheim Fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.


Most recently, Banerjee served on the U.N. Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In 2011, he was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's top 100 global thinkers. He received the Infosys Prize 2009 in Social Sciences and Economics.


His areas of research are development economics and economic theory. He is the author of a large number of articles and three books, including Poor Economics ( which won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. He is the editor of a fourth book, and finished his first documentary film, "The Name of the Disease" in 2006.  He was educated at the University of Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D in 1988.

Amanda Glassman

Center for Global Development

Amanda Glassman is Chief Operating Officer and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development and also serves as secretary of the board. Her research focuses on priority-setting, resource allocation and value for money in global health, as well as data for development. Prior to her current position, she served as director for global health policy at the Center from 2010 to 2016, and has more than 25 years of experience working on health and social protection policy and programs in Latin America and elsewhere in the developing world.

Prior to joining CGD, Glassman was principal technical lead for health at the Inter-American Development Bank, where she led policy dialogue with member countries, designed the results-based grant program Salud Mesoamerica 2015 and served as team leader for conditional cash transfer programs such as Mexico’s Oportunidades and Colombia’s Familias en Accion. From 2005-2007, Glassman was deputy director of the Global Health Financing Initiative at Brookings and carried out policy research on aid effectiveness and domestic financing issues in the health sector in low-income countries. Before joining the Brookings Institution, Glassman designed, supervised and evaluated health and social protection loans at the Inter-American Development Bank and worked as a Population Reference Bureau Fellow at the US Agency for International Development. Glassman holds a MSc from the Harvard School of Public Health and a BA from Brown University, has published on a wide range of health and social protection finance and policy topics and is editor and coauthor of the books Millions Saved: New Cases of Proven Success in Global Health (Center for Global Development 2016), From Few to Many: A Decade of Health Insurance Expansion in Colombia (IDB and Brookings 2010), and The Health of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (World Bank 2001).

Asif Saleh


Asif Saleh is the Senior Director of Strategy, Communications and Empowerment for BRAC and BRAC International. He oversees advocacy, information and communications technology (ICT), communications and the social innovation lab. He is currently in charge of the empowerment cluster, which includes migration, human rights and legal aid services (HRLS), urban development programme (UDP) and skills development programme (SDP).

Prior to joining BRAC in 2011, Mr. Saleh was the Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and also worked at GlaxoWellcome, NorTel and IBM. Upon his return to Bangladesh in 2008, he worked as a Policy Specialist for the UNDP-funded Access to Information Programme (A2i) at the Prime Minister’s Office. He is the founder of Drishtipat, a global organization with chapters across the globe focusing on human and economic rights of Bangladeshis. Mr. Saleh was recognized for his work by Asia Society’s Asia 21 programme in 2008, the Bangladeshi American Foundation in 2007, and was selected as an Asia 21 Fellow in 2012. He was selected to be a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum in 2013.

Mr. Saleh holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA in management from NYU Stern School of Business. 

Mr. Saleh is a member of the board of director for BRAC Bank and BRAC Net. He also chairs BRAC IT Services Limited. He is also a board member of multiple non-profits such as 1 Degree Initiative, Spreeha, Institute of Informatics and Development.

Session Speakers

David Barth

Save the Children

David Barth is the Vice President of International Programs at Save the Children. Before Save the Children, he worked at the Ford Foundation, where he directed their Global Grants division, and previously served as their Director for Youth Opportunity and Learning. In these roles, David led numerous bodies of work, including education, child marriage, women’s rights, and youth leadership. He developed several multi-donor initiatives, pioneering new approaches to providing work and education to young Syrian refugees, building a global platform to improve and promote adolescent development science, as well leading Ford’s largest commitment, the Ford Fellowship program.

Before joining the Ford Foundation, David had an impressive 20 year career with USAID, starting as a Regional Legal Advisor in various contexts, then establishing the Office of Middle East Programs, where he also served as Director.  He then served as the Director of the Office of Education and A/Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs. From there, David became USAID’s first career officer to hold the Agency Deputy Chief of Staff position, and concluded his USAID career as Mission Director in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

David holds a Juris Doctorate from the National Law Center at George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations with high honors from Boston University.

Lisa Corsetto is a Senior Policy Associate at J-PAL, where she manages the Labor Markets sector and serves as a liaison to the J-PAL Latin America and the Caribbean office. Prior to joining J-PAL, Lisa worked at a vocational training center for at-risk youth in Nicaragua and researched social safety nets in Mexico. She holds a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a BA in economics and a BS in international agricultural development from UC Davis. For her master’s capstone project, she consulted with the Inter-American Development Bank’s Office of Evaluation and Oversight to study public transportation usage in Peru.

Lisa Corsetto


Dr. Nikhit D’Sa is a developmental psychologist with experience as an education technical advisor and applied researcher in low-resource, crisis, and conflict settings. He has expertise designing and managing cross-sectoral learning frameworks, leading impact evaluations, conducting qualitative and mixed-methods studies, and working with practitioners to make evidence-based changes to interventions. Dr. D’Sa currently serves as the Director of Research, Evaluation, and Learning at Save the Children. In this role, he is the principal investigator on studies related to Positive Youth Development, Social and Emotional Learning, and Education in Emergencies. He has also led the design and validation of the International Social and Emotional Learning Assessment (ISELA) and the Holistic Assessment of Learning and Development Outcomes (HALDO). Before joining Save the Children, Dr. D’Sa worked as a trainer, counselor, and consultant on child and youth development projects around the world with multiple international and civil society organizations. Dr. D’Sa holds a Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University as well as a Master of Education in International Education Policy and a Doctor of Education in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has been the recipient of a Watson Fellowship and a Spencer New Civics award, and has served on the Board of Trustees for College of the Atlantic.

Dr. Nikhit D'Sa

Save the Children

Dr. Nathan Fiala

University of Connecticut and Innovations for Poverty Action

Dr. Nathan Fiala received his PhD in economics from the University of California, Irvine and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut, honorary Senior Lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda, and a Research Fellow at RWI in Essen, Germany. He was previously a post-doctoral fellow at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and have consulted for the World Bank, Green Climate Fund, ILO, and various government and ministry offices across Africa. Dr. Fiala’s research focuses on growth and development, food security, household bargaining, individual preferences and community action. This includes work on micro-enterprise development, cash grants, micro-finance, business skills training, agricultural supply chains and community based anti-corruption programming. His main methodological approaches include randomized control trials and behavioral lab-in-the-field experiments. Dr. Fiala has conducted his research in several sub-Saharan Africa and Asian countries, including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Myanmar and India, as well as Paraguay.

Dr. Erica Field

Duke University 

Dr. Field’s work examines the microeconomics of household poverty and health in developing countries, with an emphasis on the study of gender and development. She has written papers on several topics in development in many different parts of the world, including microfinance contract design and social networks in India, marriage markets in Bangladesh, micronutrient deficiencies in Tanzania, health insurance for the poor in Nicaragua, household bargaining over fertility in Zambia, public housing for the poor in India, and property rights to land in Peru.  Her work has been published in several leading peer-reviewed journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy and the American Economic Review. As a member of the Abdul Latif Jamaal Poverty Action Lab at MIT, she has spent much of her career pioneering the use of field experiments to evaluate development policy and understand individual behavior. She is currently engaged in large-scale randomized program evaluations of strategies to empower adolescent girls in Bangladesh, an expansion of rural microfinance in India, and the allocation of urban property rights to land in Mongolia.


In 2010, Dr. Field was awarded the Elaine Bennet Prize for Research by the American Economic Association, which honors a woman economist under the age of forty who has made outstanding contributions in any field of economic research. She specializes in methods of strong causal inference to understand the role of social connections and networks in population processes and collects biomarkers along with survey data to understand to better understand population health and well-being. She has also been an innovator in the collection and analysis of primary data.

        Dr. Louise Fox


Louise Fox is USAID’s Chief Economist. In this role, she guides the Agency on economics-based decision making and is responsible for keeping USAID’s economists on the cutting edge of ideas in development economics.

Before joining USAID, Dr. Fox served as a Visiting Professor of Development Economic Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a consultant in development economics, specializing in employment, labor markets, gender, social service delivery and poverty reduction. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Dr. Fox had a distinguished career at the World Bank where she advised governments in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe on how to develop, implement, and evaluate effective policies for employment, social security and poverty reduction.

Patricia Langan

Save the Children

Through her leadership at Save the Children, International Youth Foundation, Making Cents International, Unity Productions Foundation, and her own consulting practice, Patricia has led strategy, management and fundraising for global and local non-profits, foundations, governments and corporations in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Europe and the former Soviet Union. For two decades, her work has focused on global youth development. She currently is Program Director for Save the Children’s Skills to Succeed program, which has prepared more than 125,000 deprived youth to get decent jobs and build businesses in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Latin America. At the World Bank, she pioneered the integration of citizen voice into public sector reforms and anti-corruption work. She started her career in project finance on Wall Street at The Fuji Bank and National Westminster Bank. She earned an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Andrea Melnikas

Population Council

Dr. Andrea J. Melnikas serves as project manager for the research and learning agenda of the More than Brides Alliance, a multi-country initiative to evaluate interventions to delay marriage and improve sexual and reproductive health access and outcomes for adolescent girls.  She is a public health professional with a decade of experience on research on adolescent health and well being. Her research focuses on adolescent health and family formation.

Before joining the Council in 2009, she worked in adolescent health research at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health where she completed a Masters in Public Health. Earlier she worked on research to evaluate the effectiveness of health informatics at Partners Healthcare.


She holds a DrPH in Community Health and Social Sciences from City University of New York.

Dr. Silvia Paruzzolo

Save the Children

Dr. Silvia Paruzzolo is the Deputy Director of the Child Poverty Global Theme at Save the Children. She provides thought leadership in the area of Adolescent Skills for Successful Transitions across the global organization. She is a social science economist with extensive global experience specializing in research, monitoring and evaluation and capacity building on crosscutting issues related to social and economic empowerment. She previously worked at the International Labor Organization where she led the evidence-based advocacy component of the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility in East Africa focusing on producing evidence about what works and ensuring impact at the policy level. She also worked as an economist at the International Center for Research on Women providing technical support to projects on girls’ and women’s economic empowerment, especially around evidence creation and dissemination. While at the World Bank, she managed a centralized knowledge platform, promoted strategic and rigorous evaluations of youth employment programs, provided operational and technical support to regional teams, promoted cross-fertilization across projects, identified knowledge gaps and disseminated lessons learned. She holds a PhD in Public Administration and a Master of Science in Economics from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

Susana Puerto


Susana Puerto is a Senior Youth Employment Specialist at the ILO. She coordinates the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, an action-oriented partnership platform for the promotion of youth employment. Susana has over 12 years of experience on labor market analysis and evaluations of skills development and active labor market measures, with a focus on youth. She has supported policy dialogue and initiatives to provide technical assistance to governments, social partners, practitioners, and young people. Between 2011 and 2014, Susana led the Youth Employment Network (YEN), a partnership uniting the ILO, the World Bank, and UNDESA in the pursuit of durable solutions to the youth employment challenge. Susana is a labor economist from Georgetown University with a strong research footprint.

Donella Rapier


Donella Rapier is the President and CEO of BRAC USA, the US affiliate of BRAC, a global leader in creating opportunities for the world’s poor. She joined BRAC USA in July 2016, bringing more than 30 years of experience in finance, fundraising, and strengthening and scaling nonprofit organizations.


Before joining BRAC USA, Donella served as the Chief Development and Administrative Officer at Accion, a pioneer and global leader in microfinance and financial inclusion whose work spans nearly two dozen countries. Prior to that, she was the Chief Financial Officer at Partners in Health, a global healthcare organization working in remote places where healthcare alternatives are limited or otherwise non-existent, such as Haiti, Rwanda and Malawi. Earlier in her career, Donella spent more than a decade in senior leadership roles at Harvard University, including Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development and Chief Financial Officer for Harvard Business School. Donella received her MBA from Harvard Business School and began her career at Price Waterhouse.


Donella is an active alumna of HBS. She has served on the Advisory Board to the HBS Women’s Student Association since its founding in 2007, when she served as its inaugural Chair. She is a Board Director and Treasurer for Kepler, a nonprofit university program based in Africa and designed for the developing world. She also serves as a Trustee and Treasurer for the Lake Titus Protective Association in the Adirondacks, where her family vacations.

Shayda Mae Sabet is an Evaluation Specialist at the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) where she is responsible for the systematic search and screening of the Impact Evaluation Repository and 3ie' evidence gap maps. Shayda completed her Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and her BA in Economics and International Relations at the University of British Columbia. 

Shayda Sabet


Heidi Strawson


Heidi is part of the global Corporate Citizenship team at Accenture. She leads the company’s Global Giving programme, managing a portfolio of partnerships with non-profit organizations and multi-million and multi-year commitments. She informs Accenture’s corporate giving strategy, social impact innovation portfolio and various of the company’s more strategic non-profit partnerships.

Prior to this role Heidi was part of Accenture’s Organizational Change Strategy practice, working with various UK government and United Nations clients.

Heidi has a background in international development, and has a Masters Degree from Kings College London.  She lives with her family in South Devon, UK.

Dr. Munshi Sulaiman is a Research Fellow at Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) and Director of Research, Evaluation and Learning for Save the Children. He has been working with BRAC for 15 years to conduct impact evaluations on various social programs in Asia and Africa. He also worked as Research Director of Social Protection at Innovation for Poverty Action. His primary research interests includes extreme poverty, enterprise development and youth employment. He spent a year as Post-Doctoral Associate at Yale University, and completed his PhD on Development Studies from London School of Economics.

Dr. Munshi Sulaiman

Save the Children

Dr. Julia Vaillant

World Bank

Dr. Julia Vaillant is an economist at the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab. Her research focuses on finding what works to close the gender gap in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently she leads impact evaluations in several areas, including youth employment and social protection, gender-based violence, and agriculture. Julia has a PhD in economics from Université Paris-Dauphine. 

Christopher Ying is a specialist in the field of monitoring and evaluation with global experience. He currently serves as the Senior Specialist for MEAL and Research for the Skills to Succeed Program at Save the Children US, which focuses on youth employment. His previous position was as a Monitoring and Evaluation Associate for Education Development Center, Inc., providing technical assistance to USAID-funded projects in basic education, youth employment and public health. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and Master of Science from American University.

Christopher Ying

Save the Children

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