Leadership

The board, executives and management at Global Communities are dedicated to reaching the goals of the organization and finding new ways to meet the needs of the developing world.

global communities board of trustees
Global Communities Board of Trustees

Executive Officers

David A. Weiss, President and CEO

Chris Sale, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Board of Trustees

Robert A. Mosbacher, Jr., Chair
Chairman, Mosbacher Energy Company; Former President and CEO, OPIC

David A. Weiss, President and CEO
Global Communities

Lauri Fitz-Pegado, Vice Chair
Partner, The Livingston Group

Governor Richard F. Celeste, Treasurer

Caroline Blakely, Secretary
Partner, Cassin & Cassin LLP

William C. Lane, Trustee
Washington Director for Government Affairs, Caterpillar

Ambassador Wendy J. Chamberlin, Trustee
President of the Middle East Institute (MEI)

Peter L. Woicke, Trustee

Trustees Emeritus

Samuel E. Bunker
President, Philippine American Foundation

Don H. McCreary
President and CEO (retired), California Community Housing Management Services

Gordon Cavanaugh, Esq.

Gordon E. Lindquist
President and CEO (retired), Mutual Service Insurance Companies

Senior Management

Abhishek Bhasin, Chief Financial Officer

Michel Holsten, Senior Vice President, Office of International Operations

Elissa McCarter, Vice President, Office of Development Finance

Guillermo A. Birmingham, Vice President, Management and Administration

Teri Blandon, Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Eric O’Neill, General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer 

David Humphries, Director of Global Communications
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Bios

david weiss'David A. Weiss – President and CEO
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.

 
Chris Sale – Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Chris Sale is responsible for overseeing the integration of planning, management and oversight systems across the organization. Ms. Sale served as the Vice-Chair of the Global Communities' Board of Trustees for 12 years before joining the organization as Vice President of Development Finance in 2008, leading Global Communities' team of finance professionals, providing guidance and informing policy with regard to the organization’s microenterprise, housing finance and SME lending programs. She brought over 20 years of experience in finance and development to Global Communities, having served as Deputy Director for External Relations at the Inter-American Development Bank, Deputy to the Chairman and CFO of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and COO of the US Small Business Administration, among other positions. She received a B.A. from Boston University and an M.B.A. at American University. Ms. Sale is Finance and Investment Chair for the National Partnership for Women and Families, and is a Fellow for the National Academy of Public Administration.

rob mosbacherRobert A. Mosbacher, Jr. Board Chair
Mosbacher is Chairman (formerly President and CEO) of Mosbacher Energy Company, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. He was also Vice Chairman of Mosbacher Power Group, an independent electric power developer. Mosbacher was the ninth President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (2005-2009). He is currently a member of the Boards of the Calpine Corporation, Devon Energy Company, and the Americas Society. He is currently Chairman of the Board for the Initiative for Global Development. He previously served as Chairman of the Board for a number of organizations, including the following: Greater Houston Partnership; Partnership’s Health Care Advisory and Education & Workforce Advisory Committees; and the Texas Department of Human Services. He is founder and former co-Chairman of Rebuilding Together Houston. Mosbacher was also appointed to three successive Presidential Task Forces on Private Sector Initiatives by President Reagan. Mosbacher received a law degree from Southern Methodist University and a B.A. from Georgetown University.

lauri-fitz-pegadoLauri Fitz-Pegado Board Vice Chair
Fitz-Pegado is a Partner at The Livingston Group, a bipartisan government relations firm in Washington, DC. Her previous roles include: serving as a diplomat in Mexico and the Dominican Republic;  Managing Director and Senior Vice President of the International Public Affairs Division of Hill and Knowlton Public Affairs Worldwide; advisor to former Chairman of the Democratic Party, Ron Brown, as well as to the Obama presidential campaign; Assistant Secretary and Director General of US and Foreign Commercial Service for the US Department of Commerce; and President for Global Gateway Management and (later) Corporate Affairs, at Iridium LLC. She provides services to organizations including the United Negro College Fund’s International Institute for Public Policy and the University of Denver’s International Career Advancement Program at the Aspen Institute, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington Government Relations Group, and Women’s Foreign Policy Group. She served as former Board Chair of the National Education Association Foundation and supports the Ron Brown Scholar Program. She graduated cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Vassar College and earned an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

dick celesteGovernor Richard F. Celeste – Board Treasurer
Celeste is a Senior Director of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, where he advises clients on India-related issues. Celeste previously served as President of Colorado College (2002-2011), U.S. Ambassador to India (1997-2001), Managing Partner of Celeste and Sabety Ltd. (1991-1997), Governor of Ohio (1982-1990), Director of the U.S. Peace Corps (1979-1981), and Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1974-1978). Celeste is president of the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership, a Trustee of Glimcher Realty Trust and is Chairman of the Board for the Health Effects Institute in Boston. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Garden City Company and The Associated Colleges of the Midwest, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is an advisory board member of the Institute of International Education. Celeste formerly served on numerous boards, including the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board and the American Council on Education. He Co-Chaired the Pacific Council’s International Policy Task Force for Study on India. Celeste received a B.A. from Yale University and studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

caroline blakelyCaroline Blakely – Board Secretary
Caroline Blakely is partner in charge of Cassin & Cassin LLP’s Washington D.C. office and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. Ms. Blakely brings a record of excellence in corporate finance and commercial real estate to her role at Cassin & Cassin. Most recently, Ms. Blakely served as Vice President in Fannie Mae’s Multifamily business. In this capacity, Ms. Blakely defined the strategic direction for the company’s growing asset management and counterparty responsibilities, while resolving large loan restructuring with zero loss to Fannie Mae. In addition, Ms. Blakely was responsible for mitigating the financial and operational risk of 24 DUS Lenders, including assessing the counterparty’s capital adequacy to share risk with Fannie Mae’s balance sheet by conducing performing note sales and negotiated the first sale of multifamily mortgage servicing rights. 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. Ms. Blakely received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor of Arts, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Virginia. She is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC).

bill laneWilliam C. Lane Trustee
William C. Lane is currently Washington Director of Caterpillar Inc. and a leading business advocate for free trade and global engagement in Washington D.C. He has been with Caterpillar since 1975 and has held various leadership positions in Washington since 1993. Mr. Lane is a chairman of the U.S. Latin America Trade Coalition, a group that led the advocacy effort in support of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia and Panama. He is co-president of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign and a leader of the business effort to provide Russia with Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR). From 2005 to 2007, Speaker Hastert appointed Bill Lane to the HELP Commission, a presidential committee examining the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Penn State and attended the University of Cologne in Germany. He is a 2011 Penn State alumni fellow and an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He was also a certified management accountant.

wendy chamberlinAmbassador Wendy J. Chamberlin – Trustee
Ambassador Chamberlin is President of the Middle East Institute (MEI). A 29-year veteran of the US Foreign Service, Chamberlin served as US Ambassador to the Laos People’s Democratic Republic (1996-1999), and to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002. Prior to joining MEI in 2007, Ambassador Chamberlin served as Deputy High Commissioner for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2004-2007) where she supervised the administration of the UN humanitarian organization with a budget of four billion dollars.

During her appointment to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as Assistant Administrator in the Asia-Near East Bureau from 2002 to 2004, she established civilian reconstruction programs in Iraq and Afghanistan and development assistance programs throughout the Middle East and East Asia. Her other leadership positions at the State Department included Director of Press and Public Affairs for the Near East Bureau (1991-1993), Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur (1993-1996), Arab-Israeli Affairs (1982-1984) and several postings as special assistant to the Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary for Political Affairs and Assistant Secretary for Asian Pacific Affairs.

A graduate of Northwestern University, she has an MS in Education from Boston University and participated in the Executive Program at Harvard University. She holds an honorary PhD from Northwestern University.

peter woike

Peter L. Woicke – Trustee 

Peter L. Woicke has expertise in financial services (investment banking) and operational and strategic leadership of business in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the USA). He served as CEO of the International Finance Corporation and Managing Director of the World Bank from 1999 to 2005 where he focused on its expansion, particularly in frontier countries and high-impact sectors, such as domestic financial markets, infrastructure, information technology, health and education, and small and medium enterprises. Before joining IFC, Mr. Woicke held numerous positions and worked for nearly 30 years with J.P. Morgan, serving as  Chairman, Managing Director and Chief Executive of J.P. Morgan Securities Asia. He also served as Executive Manager of JP Morgan & Company Inc., and as a member of J.P. Morgan's executive management group. There he had a diverse range of responsibilities, ranging from heading the banking division of a Morgan affiliate in Beirut to leading Morgan's global oil and gas group. Mr. Woicke is Chairman of International Advisory Board Oxford Analytica, Ltd. He serves on the Board of Trustees, Ashesi University Accra, Ghana. He also was a Non-Executive Director of Anglo American PLC from January 2006 to April 2013, and was Independent Non-Executive Director of MTN Group Ltd from June 2006 to March 2008. He served as a Member of Supervisory Board of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG from January 2005 to December 2007. Mr. Woicke serves on the Board of International Youth Foundation and Aldwych Holdings Limited. He is a member of the Saudi Aramco board and a member of the Institute for Human Rights and Business board. Mr. Woicke graduated from the University of Saarbruecken, Germany, with a Master's of Business Administration degree in 1969.

abhishek bhasin

Abhishek Bhasin – Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Abhishek Bhasin is responsible for managing the finance, accounting, grants and management functions of Global Communities.  He provides strategic guidance on investments along with conducting due diligence on investment and merger opportunities.  Mr. Bhasin leads the annual A-133 audit process and also provides guidance on donor compliance. Prior to joining Global Communities, Mr. Bhasin was the Chief Financial Officer of Crew Cuts, Inc. in New York. At this post-production company, he was responsible for providing strategic guidance on acquiring and integrating two companies, then providing executive oversight for the Finance, Human Resources and Administration departments of the consolidated companies. Mr. Bhasin has a B.S. in Accounting from George Mason University, received his MBA in Finance & Strategy from University of Maryland and is a Certified Public Accountant.

michel holstenMichel Holsten –  Senior Vice President, Office of International Operations
Michel Holsten oversees and coordinates all global operations and new business development efforts including U.S. Government, bilateral donors, and multi-national institutions like the UN and World Bank. Mr. Holsten has extensive management experience in both the implementation of programs overseas and at US headquarters, including significant work in the fields of microfinance, housing assistance, and post-conflict environments. For over 20 years, Mr. Holsten has been managing multi-million dollar programs, focusing on projects in home improvement finance, rural economic development, community infrastructure, business development services, new housing construction, agricultural and microenterprise credits, community development, and association strengthening. Prior to joining CHF in 1999, he worked to introduce credit into the program approaches for housing and other habitat related services at Plan International. He also spent a combined 10 years living in Costa Rica and Panama working for the Peace Corps and CHF. Mr. Holsten received his B.A. from Princeton University.
 
elissa mccarterElissa McCarter-LaBorde – Vice President, Office of Development Finance
Over the last seven years Elissa McCarter has established the technical department that manages Global Communities' microfinance, small and medium enterprise, and housing finance operations, which together make up Global Communities’ Development Finance portfolio. Under her leadership, the portfolio has grown from $40 million to over $150 million in assets under management, spanning 15 programs in nine countries. Ms. McCarter also serves as CEO of a commercial holding company established to hold the assets of Global Communities'  high growth potential microfinance subsidiaries, in support of Global Communities'  vision to  expand financial services to individuals and small businesses in a way that creates jobs and improves lives in low-income communities around the world.  Ms. McCarter has 14 years of experience as a microfinance practitioner. Prior to Global Communities, she established and managed two microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia and Turkey, and has served as a technical advisor to MFIs in countries including Morocco, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Egypt. Ms. McCarter is the author of two books on microfinance mergers and has published several articles on new product development, women in microfinance, and SME lending. She received an MS from the joint degree program of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris; and she currently serves as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

guillermo birminghamGuillermo A. Birmingham Vice President, Management and Administration
Guillermo A. Birmingham was named VP, Management and Administration of Global Communities in September 2013.  Prior to joining Global Communities, Mr. Birmingham was the Director of Administration at the Pan American Health Organization, the Region of the Americas Office of the World Health Organization from June 2010 to September 2013.  In this role he was responsible for providing executive oversight and leadership of Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Procurement and General Services.  Mr. Birmingham retired from the US Air Force as a Colonel in 2008 after a 26 year career.  Mr. Birmingham is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.  Mr. Birmingham is an active member of numerous professional societies including the American Institute of Public Accountants.  He is also a Board Trustee for the Horizon Foundation a public health focused nonprofit in Howard County Maryland.  He has received multiple awards and recognition throughout his professional career.  Mr. Birmingham speaks, reads, and writes fluently in Spanish. 
 
Teri Blandon – Vice President, Institutional Advancement
Teri Blandon is responsible for building partnerships with corporations and foundations, and securing funds from individuals in support of Global Communities programs. She also provides oversight and management of the Office of Policy & Innovation, which focuses on identifying and disseminating evidence of Global Communities program innovations, and building strategic relationships with research institutions, universities and others.  Ms. Blandon has more than 20 years of success in securing foundation, corporate and federal grants, having worked for a variety of organizations, ranging from WETA public broadcasting to CIVICUS, a global alliance of donors and NGOs. In addition to her fundraising expertise, she is experienced in program management, strategic planning, financial management, Board relations and membership development. Ms. Blandon has a B.S. in Biology and an Honors Degree in Humanities from LeMoyne College, and an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

eric oneillEric O'Neill – General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer
Prior to joining Global Communities, Eric O’Neill practiced law at the global law firm, DLA Piper. He has broad legal experience in the areas of government contracts, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, procurement fraud, internal investigations and employee corruption cases. Mr. O’Neill received his legal degree, with honors, from The George Washington University School of Law and is admitted to the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.

 

david humphriesDavid Humphries – Director of Global Communications
David Humphries is Director of Global Communications at Global Communities, where he oversees all branding, media relations, communications, marketing and Congressional relations. In this role he developed and led the rebranding strategy from CHF International to Global Communities. David has experience leading media and communications strategies in countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia in the nonprofit, government and private sector. His previous roles include leading the press office of the National Archives of the United Kingdom and five years in education communications. David has lived and worked in the USA, Japan and the UK and has two master’s degrees in English from the University of Cambridge. David is a prize-winning playwright, a 2011 Aspen Ideas Scholar, and a 2013 recipient of PR Week’s 40 Under 40 award.