Dr Phyllis’s passion for empowering poor people through education, enterprise and microfinance began as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the 1960s. As founder of the first women’s weaving group in Guatemala, she saw the real difference business made to rural people. This inspired Dr. Phyllis to focus on education and enterprise development, taking her from the slums of Kenya and the villages of India to the boardrooms of London.
Dr. Phyllis was the National Coordinator for the BBC’s first ever multi-media project in 1985-86, followed by learning technology projects in the UK and Germany in the 1990s. From 2003, as Chief of Mission for PlaNet Finance UK, Dr. Phyllis conducted microfinance training in China, India, Nepal and Ghana, before earning awards from the UN and World Bank as the UK’s National Coordinator for the 2005 UN Year of Microcredit. In 2007, she founded Microfinance Without Borders, now known as Learning Without Borders.
Dr. Phyllis holds a BA in History from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA, and an MA in Linguistics and PhD in Education from the University of Exeter in England.
Originally from Texas, USA, Gabriel was the first in his family to get a University degree. He earned a BSc (Hons) with High Distinction in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, USA, before joining international business consultancy, Accenture, in Boston.
For a decade, Gabriel worked with Accenture’s leading global financial services clients internationally, including Barclays (Wealth and Capital), Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, UBS, Lehman Brothers and Bank of America. He established and led a new business unit and a delivery centre in India, which generated £7M (70 Million RMB) in sales in its first year. Gabriel helped senior executives implement technology solutions and develop leadership skills in their teams.
Since 2008, Gabriel has helped dozens of businesses to achieve annual growth of up to 200%. He has also provided coaching and training to hundreds of professionals in over 15 countries. Gabriel joined the Learning Without Borders in 2011 to create a comprehensive Alternative Finance leadership programme and has served as a Director since 2013. Gabriel is an avid traveller, singer-songwriter, and runs several marathons and ultra-marathons annually.
Originally from Bangladesh, Mosleh’s University of London degree in Chemistry was followed by a 20-year professional career as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and Deloitte’s in the UK, Germany and the Middle East. His work involved financial management of multi-national companies, business plans, budgets, control procedures, governance and systems.
Mosleh’s return to Bangladesh 20 years ago began his career in microfinance at management and grassroots level as Financial Controller of rural development projects funded by the EU, ADB and SIDA. He later served as CEO of Delta Life Insurance in Bangladesh.
A senior consultant since 2003 in microinsurance and migrants’ remittances, Mosleh’s projects are on five continents for ADB, CGAP, UNDP and other international project developers. He is one of the few experts in the world on microinsurance regulation and has led regulation projects in Africa, Asia and the Austro-Pacific region. Mosleh serves as one of three commissioners on the Grameen Bank Commission (2013-2014) and heads the Microinsurance Research Centre, a ‘not-for-profit’ research organisation in the UK and Bangladesh. He also serves as a Director in Learning Without Borders.
Originally from Zhejiang Province, China, Zoey gained her first degree from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China with a 2:1 in finance, accounting and management. Her course included a six-months’ exchange programme to the University of Nottingham, UK, inspiring her to do post-graduate work. She got business experience as Liaison Officer for the Students Union with local businesses and banks, and travelled to New Zealand with AIESEC.
As an undergraduate, Zoey’s internships in banks and a manufacturing SME equipped her with business skills and served as a foundation for her Masters in Finance and Investment at Nottingham. At the beginning of her MSc studies, Zoey opened a property letting service in Nottingham with two business partners, and today has a successful track record of three years in profit. Further business experience includes e-commerce in the UK, and Business Development Manager with a Dutch firm serving Chinese-speaking clients from around the world.
Zoey joined Learning Without Borders in 2013 as translator and cultural advisor, and since February 2014 is our Marketing Manager, based in Shanghai.
Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Matias’s interest in social transformation stems from his first-hand experience of economic turmoil and democratic triumph in his native country. He holds three university degrees: a BSc in Industrial Engineering, cum laude, from the University of Indonesia, a MSc from Purdue (Indiana, USA) in Industrial Engineering and his May 2006 MSc from Columbia University (New York City, USA) in Financial Engineering.
He increased his technical skills and interest in sustainable development in a series of roles such as Operations Researcher and Risk Manager at EcoSecurities, a subsidiary of JP Morgan, a leading company in sourcing and developing emission reductions (carbon offsets/ credits) throughout developing countries. Within the Portfolio Management group of EcoSecurities, he developed and maintained quantitative risk adjustment, forecasting, and valuation models that enable accurate hedging and risk management strategies for EcoSecurities’ portfolio. At Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, an advisory company for carbon credits and renewable energy, he covered price forecasting in an emission trading scheme, investment analysis for environment assets, and valuation of several portfolios of carbon offset projects.
He spearheads LWB’s marketing and product development for iMAP UK and serves as a consultant for risk management and financial modelling on LWB projects.
Originally from Derbyshire, Kay did a BSc in Pharmacology in London, followed by a career in retail pharmacy. After her two children were born, Kay took on the role of Management Accountant in her family’s firm of scientific instruments, responsible for financial management, export-import liaison and company secretary duties.
Since 2006, Kay has worked as a free-lance Management Accountant for Small and Medium Enterprises in the UK, helping them streamline their processes and use technology effectively. She joined the LWB team in 2012, after successfully completing a Microfinance Management in Action Programme (MAP) in London.
Kay is a qualified microlite pilot and lives on a narrow boat on beautiful canals near London.