Advisory Board/Banking Team


Lillian Hagen, Potomac, MD is an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She specializes in federal securities law and has broad experience in the corporate finance and financial services areas, particularly with securities trading and distributions, broker-dealer regulation and corporate disclosure. Prior to her service at the SEC, she was a litigator in private practice. Her previous involvement in non-profit work has included serving on the Steering Committee of the Homeless Children's Tutorial Project in Washington, DC and providing pro bono legal representation through the D.C. Prisoners' Project. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Ithaca College.

Brenda Hansen, Bethesda, MD was most recently general counsel at Microvest Capital Management, LLC. She has 25 years' experience in the areas of SME lending and microfinance, international structured and corporate finance, including cross-border leasing, banking, and asset-backed loan transactions. In 2017, Ms. Hansen retired as general counsel to a registered investment advisor in the microfinance space, where she was responsible for fund governance, SEC compliance and global investment. Previously, she was senior counsel at a multi-national corporation, responsible for international strategic partnerships and corporate governance and compliance issues. She is experienced and skilled in complex legal and financial analysis and writing. Ms. Hansen is also trained as facilitator and mediator with experience in the areas of human rights, discrimination, and public housing. She is a graduate of University of Virginia and University of Virginia Law School and was a Law Clerk at U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Bonnie Holcomb, Bethesda, MD has a master's degree from George Washington University. She has a lifelong interest in African Social and cultural issues and has special expertise on the Ethiopian Famine. Her major area of interest is the impact of social structures on human agencies. She is the head of Global Mission Outreach for Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church.

Robert Israelite, Chicago, IL graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Currently he works at CUNA Mutual Group as a Services Specialist for Credit Unions in the Midwest. He traveled to Uganda in 2005 on a non-profit volunteer mission, and continues to work both in the U.S. and in Uganda to increase the capacity of the communities in and around Mbale.

Hannah Kahl, CA is approaching 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has a degree in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire. Domestically she led neighborhood and state organizing campaigns on housing justice and labor rights and managed the education department at Youth UpRising. She has worked internationally in Ecuador, Mexico, and Uganda, including as WMI's Management & Operations fellow during 2012/2013. She co-founded a community organization, Local Women Global Mission, raising over $20,000 for locally run health, education, and women's empowerment projects in Uganda.

Denise Kalule, Kampala, Uganda is Business Manager and Personal Assistant to the Head of Audley Limited, a diversified holding company operating numerous businesses in Uganda. She grew up in the United States, obtained a B.S. in Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management. She is also currently a Board Member of the Vienna College Namugonogo and helped transform the boarding school into the largest Cambridge International Education center in Eastern Africa. Prior to moving to Uganda in 2005, Denise was Manager of Business Development for UTC Fuel Cells in Connecticut, where she developed business strategies and determined opportunities for new high-volume fuel cell businesses. She also served as an internal audit leadership associate for Untied Technologies in Connecticut and as a sales leadership associate for Carrier Corporation in South Africa and the U.S.

Sally Kelly, Chevy Chase, MD is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and received her M.Arch from Washington University, St. Louis. After working full time as an architect, she has combined a solo practice in residential remodeling with service to schools, church, and civic associations in D.C., Maryland, and Michigan. She has organized and chaired numerous community events and committees, fundraisers and building projects. She has served on boards for the Decade Society (a DC non-profit supporting local charities), PTAs in DC and Montgomery Co., Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, the Castle Park Association, and the Town of Chevy Chase. Her daughter, Erin, whose gap year took the family to Tanzania, has inspired her interest in helping women and families in East Africa.

Jess Littman, Kigali, Rwanda is the executive associate at EarthEnable, a Rwandan social enterprise that provides clean, healthy, affordable flooring for people who live on dirt floors. She previously served as a WMI Fellow in Tanzaniaa and as a WMI intern both in Bethesda and Buyobo, Uganda. She has a BA from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in International Development and Peace.

Valerie McDonald, Herndon, VA works in corporate and association fundraising for the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. In 2010, she served as the assistant project director for the WMI summer interns' task of creating demographic and loan impact fact books for WMI, and came away with a great passion for WMI's work in rural Africa. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2012 with a degree in international economics and a minor in global culture and commerce, she is joining the WMI advisory board to help with the fundraising effort.

Archie Mears, Scottish Borders, UK is an experienced microfinance executive and former Managing Director of Opportunity International Uganda, a regulated microfinance institution serving small and medium enterprise clients with loan, savings and money transfer services. He is a life-long banker specializing in African operations. He spent 28 years with ANC Grindlays Bank and also held executive positions at Stanbic Zambia and Urwego Opportunity Bank of Rwanda. Archie retired from his Opportunity International position in 2012 and currently resides in West Linton, Scottish Borders, United Kingdom. He advises WMI on operational issues.

Ainsley Morris, Washington, DC is an Investment Analyst at QED Investors, a VC firm focusing on financial services and online advertising technology. As an Assistant Project Director for WMI from 2010- 2011, she worked side by side with advisory board member Montana Stevenson, in Buyobo, Uganda to build loan program capacity, conduct business-training seminars, launch new loan hubs, interview borrowers, collect data and develop WMI's transition to independent banking program and bank manual. Returning to the US in 2011, Ainsley and Montana consulted with other organizations to develop loan program protocols. Ainsley graduated in 2010 from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland with a Master of Arts degree with Honours in Economics. During summers while attending university she worked in investment banking and asset management.

Olive Namutebi, Kampala, Uganda is the managing internal auditor for PostBank Uganda. She has 12 years of financial management experience, three of which are in the field of microfinance and four years in managing partnerships implementing donor funded programs. Olive has worked with several Government entities on programs to implement financial inclusion and economic development. She has also worked with several research projects on different matters pertaining to development. These include consulting with the Bank of Uganda on financial literacy; consume protection and youth inclusiveness. Olive held the post of Strategic Planning in the bank prior to her current position. She was project manager for a Bill and Melinda Gates funded program at the bank -the financial service for the poor project - overseen by the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) which steers the project deliverables. She has worked with many other development partners including, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), CGAP, and Global Banking Alliance for Women. Having worked with a global energy company (Chevron), Olive understands the dynamics of multi cultural and global business perspectives. This experience is broadened by working with an NGO championing disadvantaged children - Uganda Society for Disabled Children. She graduated from Makerere University, Kampala in 2001 and from Zenith Business College, Kampala in 2006.

Juliet Nyambisa, Busia, Kenya was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. She graduated from St. George's Girls High School in Nairobi in 2000. Later she received a Commonwealth Scholarship and attended Osmania University in India, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (e-commerce) in 2007. Juliet then began her career with K-Rep Bank in Western Kenya, first as a teller, working her way up through the ranks to her current position as a Service Delivery Manager. She is now responsible for the day-to-day branch operations and providing prompt and efficient banking services. Currently Juliet is pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Maseno University through an open learning program.

Harris Recht, Ridgewood, NJ is an attorney specializing in emerging technologies in the medical field, as well as other issues impacting the medical practice. His clients include a number of companies that are engaged in a number of cutting edge research and development projects. He attended Rutgers University and the National Law Center at George Washington University.

Thomas Richardson, New Delhi, India is the IMF's Senior Resident Representative in India and Nepal. He was previously Senior Resident Representative and African Department mission chief in Uganda, and he's also been mission chief for Moldova, Cyprus and Belarus. He worked as resident representative in Russia in the 1990s, and was an assistant professor of economics at Yale University before joining the IMF in 1993.

Katherine Staudaher, Bethesda, MD graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree in Occupational Therapy. She worked in the DC tri-state area for 10 years and developed a specialty in pediatrics. She opened a Pediatric Occupational Therapy private practice in 1988. Since retiring from her O.T. practice, Ms. Staudaher has directed numerous volunteer projects.

Montana Stevenson, Washington, DC - joined international consulting firm Abt Associates as a full-time Project Associate Analyst in November 2011. As WMI's Project Director from 2010- 2011, she worked side by side with advisory board member Ainsley Morris, in Buyobo, Uganda to build loan program capacity, conduct business-training seminars, launch new loan hubs, interview borrowers, collect data and develop WMI's transition to independent banking program and bank manual. Returning to the US in 2011, Montana and Ainsley consulted with other organizations to develop loan program protocols. Montana graduated with honors from the University of Virginia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a minor in Economics. During summers while in university she coached community swim teams.

Al Tetrault, Vienna, VA is Clinical Associate Professor of Real Estate Development at the University of Maryland. He received Masters degrees from American University and the University of Virginia. He has developed a particular expertise in public policy and planning related to urban development, neighborhood revitalization, grant programs, and community development planning. Previously he ran his own real estate development consulting firm for 25 years, and was an instructor and department head at the Institute of Science and Technology in Kiambu, Kenya, while serving in the Peace Corps.

Beth Tomasello, Chevy Chase, MD is an attorney who spent 12 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, specializing in cost recovery issues and advising regional case teams on complex litigation. Currently she is the Director of Advancement and Strategic Initiatives at Sister to Sister, The Women's Heart Health Foundation. She clerked with both U.S. District Court and MA Supreme Court justices. She served on the Executive Committee of National Cathedral School's Parents Association and on the Organizing Committee of St. Patrick's Day School's Gifts for Good. Beth heads up grant writing for WMI.

Christine Uzzell, Bethesda, MD serves as United Educators' Associate Vice President, Information Technology with responsibility for the corporate-wide management of information resources. She oversees strategic information planning, business process re-engineering, project management, applications development, hardware and software acquisition, vendor negotiations and relationships, and budget preparation. Ms. Uzzell received her M.S. degree from the George Washington University.

Thierry van Bastelaer, Bethesda, MD is a principal associate and economist on International Health for Abt Associates, Inc. in Bethesda, MD. Abt Associates is a global research and program implementation firm in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Mr. van Bastelaer provides leadership on a broad set of issues involving household risk management; develops, supports and tests innovative solutions to health finance problems; and, provides quality assurance and strategic advice on the role of financial services in access to private sector health care. Previously, Mr. van Bastelaer was a senior director in the Livelihoods Department of the Save the Children Foundation, an associate vice-president and director in the Economic Opportunities Office, and the director of the Enterprise Development Group at the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland. He is currently an associate faculty member at American University, teaching graduate and under-graduate courses in microfinance. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland and MA and BA from Facultés Notre-Dame de la Paix, Belgium.

Carol van Oudenaren, Bethesda, MD is the librarian at Westbrook Elementary School and is a native of the Washington DC area. She has a B. A. in English from Oberlin College, a Masters in Management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and a Masters of Science in Instructional Technology from Towson University. Before returning to school for her library degree, she worked in international banking and served as Vice President of a start-up high technology company in Cambridge MA.

Jackie Vouthouris, Denville, NJ is currently an associate analyst at KSA MidOcean, an equity hedge fund, which she joined in August 2011 after returning from two months of volunteer work as a Finance and Management Intern at the Womens' Microfinance Initative Ugandan headquarters. Before that, she was a Finance Intern at MidOcean Partners where she supported the Director of Fund Accounting and the Director of Credit Operations on strategic operational initiatives. Her current role involves building quantitative financial models and performing fundamental analysis across multiple market sectors to directly assist the investment team. Jackie graduated from The University of Maryland in 2010 with her Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Bill Wilhelm, Charlottesville, VA is the William G. Shenkir Eminent Scholar and professor of finance at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, he held the American Standard Companies Chair at the Said Business School, University of Oxford and was a member of the finance department at the Carroll School of Management, Boston College. His teaching and research focus on the financial intermediary functions of investment banks. His most recent work, elaborated in "Investment Banking: Institutions, Politics, and Law" (Oxford University Press, 2007), examines the historical role of investment banks in economic development.

Mona Yacoubian, Bethesda, MD works as a Senior Advisor for the Middle East at the Henry L. Stimson Center. Previously, she was a Senior Program Officer for the Middle East at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Ms. Yacoubian also served as the North Africa analyst for the U.S. Department of State. She received a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Duke University. Ms. Yacoubian is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Baker & McKenzie is an international law firm, operating with more than 3,600 lawyers spread over more than 70 offices in 38 different countries. Partner Robert Lewis manages WMI's legal representation.