board of trusteesThe 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.

Executive Officers

David A. Weiss, President and CEO

Board of Trustees

Caroline Blakely, Chair
President and Chief Executive Officer, Rebuilding Together, Inc.

David A. Weiss, President and CEO
Global Communities

Governor Richard F. Celeste, Vice Chair
Senior Director of Albright Stonebridge Group

Peter L. Woicke, Treasure and Chair of Finance Committee
Former CEO of the International Finance Corporation

Nancy Roman, Secretary
President and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America

William C. Lane, Trustee
President Emeritus of the US Global Leadership Coalition

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

William Stacy Rhodes, Trustee
Former Chief of Staff of the US Peace Corps

Kathleen Luzik, Trustee
Chief Operating Officer of National Cooperative Bank 

Leocadia I. Zak, Trustee
President of Agnes Scott College

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

Robert A. Mosbacher, Jr.
Chairman, Mosbacher Energy Company; Former President and CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) 

Senior Management

Abhishek Bhasin, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Lonna T. Milburn, Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Programs

Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, Vice President, Development Finance

Eric O’Neill, General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer 

Pia Wanek, Vice President, Humanitarian Assistance
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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 the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; InterAction, the largest alliance of US-based NGOs; and is on the Board of Advisors of New Perimeter, DLA Piper's Global Pro Bono Initiative.

caroline blakelyCaroline Blakely – Chair
Caroline Blakely is President and CEO of Rebuilding Together. Previously, Ms. Blakely was a partner in charge of Cassin & Cassin LLP’s Washington D.C. office and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee with a record of excellence in corporate finance and commercial real estate. Ms. Blakely also 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).

dick celesteGovernor Richard F. Celeste – Vice Chair
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.

peter woike

Peter L. Woicke – Treasure and Chair of Finance Committee
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.

nancy roman

Nancy Roman – Secretary
Nancy E. Roman has a 25-year career spanning journalism, the U.S. government, business, and the United Nations. Ms. Roman is President and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America. Previously she served as the President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. Ms. Roman was also a senior official with the United Nations World Food Programme. Based in Rome, she supervised a global staff of more than 100 people, and was responsible for public policy, public-private partnerships, fundraising, and communications. Before joining WFP, Ms. Roman served as Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations, where she established the Council’s congressional program, designed to integrate ideas generated in the think tank environment with policy decisions. Ms. Roman has also held a variety of positions including president of the G7 Group, journalist, and press secretary and foreign policy adviser on Capitol Hill.

bill laneWilliam C. Lane Trustee
William C. Lane is a 40-year Caterpillar veteran and President Emeritus of the US Global Leadership Coalition, Bill is one of the business community's leading advocates for free trade and global engagement. As the leader of a global team of government affairs professionals, Bill has been responsible for Caterpillar's advocacy in support of competitiveness, trade liberalization and economic growth. 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.

william stacy rhodes

William Stacy Rhodes – Trustee 
William Stacy Rhodes has more than four decades of experience working in international development. His most recent role as Chief of Staff was in many ways a return to the Peace Corps, as he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia from 1968 to 1970. Prior to his role in the Peace Corps, Mr. Rhodes worked for a variety of international development institutions including the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Save the Children, and the Institute of International Education. Mr. Rhodes also worked as a career foreign service officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development where he served as mission director in South Africa and for Guatemala and Central American programs . He also directed the Office of Central American Affairs in the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau and served in Haiti, Morocco, and Nepal. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rhodes served as an attorney at the Department of State and in private practice at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Kampelman. Mr. Rhodes received his Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Occidental College, a Master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a Master’s degree in public policy from Duke University’s Sanford Institute. He also holds a law degree from the School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

Kathleen Luzik

Kathleen Luzik – Trustee
Kathleen Luzik is Chief Operating Officer of National Cooperative Bank (NCB). Ms. Luzik also serves as an Executive Vice President of NCB, is a member of NCB’s Executive Council and chairs NCB’s Operational Risk Management Committee. In her current position, Ms. Luzik is responsible for the operational activities of National Cooperative Bank, including oversight of Loan Servicing totaling over $7 billion in cooperative, commercial real estate, commercial and single family loans. Ms. Luzik also oversees the Retail Banking Operations as well as the Deposit Operations Team managing $1.9 billion in deposit and cash management products. She manages the bank’s relationships with the rating agencies and ensures servicing compliance with regulatory agencies. Ms. Luzik, who began working with NCB in 1991, has held various positions including real estate underwriter and business development officer, vice president of secondary marketing, and managing director of real estate lending services. Prior to working at NCB, Ms. Luzik was a financial analyst for the Patrician Financial Company (succeeded by Deutsche Bank/Berkshire Mortgage Finance/Berkeley Point), where she was responsible for the underwriting analysis of multi-family rental housing financed through FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac multifamily loan programs. She is a member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Housing Cooperatives.

Leocadia ZakLeocadia I. Zak – Trustee
Hon. Leocadia (Lee) Zak is President of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. A lawyer and expert on international trade, she served for seven years as Director of the US Trade and Development Agency. Prior to that she served as General Counsel and Deputy Director of USTDA. Zak’s accomplishments at USTDA include leading development of the Aviation Cooperation Programs in China, India and Brazil, as well as the Energy Cooperation Programs in China and India, and the worldwide Global Procurement Initiative. Prior to joining USTDA, Ms. Zak was a partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. practicing in the areas of corporate, municipal and international finance. She served as counsel in connection with a variety of finance transactions for energy, transportation, healthcare, telecommunications and tourism projects. Ms. Zak was also an Adjunct Professor of Law and has taught International Project Finance at the Boston University School of Law, Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law Studies and at the Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Zak received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, which has named her to its Women of Influence Gallery and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

abhishek bhasinAbhishek Bhasin – Vice President and 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.

elissa mccarterElissa McCarter-LaBorde Vice President, Development Finance 
Ms. LaBorde is Vice President of Development Finance at Global Communities, where over the last 10 years she has built the technical department that manages Global Communities’ microfinance, SME, and housing finance operations. In addition to her role as Vice President, Ms. LaBorde serves as the CEO of Vitas Group, a commercial holding company established by Global Communities to expand its microfinance operations with a particularly focus on the Middle East region. Ms. LaBorde has 15 years' experience as a microfinance practitioner. Prior to Global Communities, she spent 7 years in the field, having started up and managed two microfinance institutions in Armenia and Turkey, and serving as technical advisor to more than a dozen MFIs in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Ms. LaBorde has authored two books on microfinance mergers and continues to publish articles and opinion pieces that span a number of topics related to financial inclusion. She has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris; and currently serves as adjunct professor of a Masters level course on Financial Inclusion at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Lonna MilburnLonna T. Milburn – Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Programs
Ms. Milburn is an experienced executive in international resource mobilization and development in more than 50 countries. As Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Programs, she oversees business development and programs for Global Communities. Previously, she served as Senior Director to the Chief Operations Officer at Creative Associates International, where she re-engineered company business and knowledge management practices. Her work targeted youth, economic empowerment, education, crime/violence prevention, CVE, and transitioning countries throughout Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Ms. Milburn spearheaded initiatives advising executives of NGOs and SMEs on sustainable business practices that have resulted in their development impact at the local and national levels in Africa and Asia. She has also served in executive positions for RTI International, Management Sciences for Health, and Abt Associates. Ms. Milburn has a PhD in Nursing with an emphasis in Administration and Health Policy from the University of Texas at Austin. She has a M.S. in Nursing from Loma Linda Univserity and a B.S. in Nursing from Walla Walla University.

eric oneillEric O'Neill – General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer
As General Counsel, Mr. O'Neill advises Global Communities on legal risk, managing the company’s legal matters, and overseeing partnerships with external legal counsel. As Chief Ethics Officer, he provides corporate leadership and advice on corporate integrity issues, conflict-of-interest avoidance and Global Communities ethics adjudication process. Before joining Global Communities, Mr. 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 ethics, internal investigations and employee corruption cases. Prior to this, he worked for the United States Department of Justice where he conducted internal investigations related to national security matters. Mr. O’Neill received his J.D., with honors, from The George Washington University School of Law and is admitted to the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.

Robin McGuckinPia Wanek – Vice President, Humanitarian Assistance
Pia Wanek has more than 15 years of experience in the donor community and the NGO world. She has directed Global Communities’responses for a variety of crises, including the West African Ebola epidemic, the 2014 war in Gaza, and the ongoing Syrian and Yemen conflicts. She worked for USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance for six years, predominantly on East and Central Africa emergency response programs, and supported the civil-military portfolio at the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and strategic planning and policy development at the Consular Affairs bureau at the State Department. Ms. Wanek has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and International Studies from Colby College in Waterville, ME and a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Anthropology and Development.