Advisory Board/Banking Team


Brenda Hansen, Bethesda, MD is an affordable housing finance attorney at Bocarsly, Emden, Cowan, Esmail & Arndt LLP. Previously, she was general counsel at Microvest Capital Management, LLC. She has 25 years of experience in the areas of SME lending and microfinance and international structured and corporate finance. 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.

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.

Ainsley Morris Cohen, Alexandria, VA is a Founding Partner at Newid Capital, an impact investing firm focused on expanding financial services in developing markets. Previously, she was 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. Ainsley graduated in 2010 from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland with a Master of Arts degree with Honours in Economics.

Olive Namutebi, Kampala, Uganda is Chairperson of the Albinism Umbrella in Kampala. Prior to that, she was the managing internal auditor for PostBank Uganda. She has over 15 years of financial management experience, three of which are in the field of microfinance and four years in managing partnerships implementing donor funded programs. She has also consulted with the Bank of Uganda on financial literacy; and directed research on consumer protection and youth inclusiveness. She has worked with several 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, Vienna, Austria is the IMF's Senior Resident Representative in Austria. He was previously Senior Resident Representative and African Department mission chief in Uganda, and Senior Resident Representative in India and Nepal. He has 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, Denver, CO is a Procurement Manager at Danone North America. She attended graduate school at the Erb Institute at University of Michigan, receiving an MBA and MS. in Natural Resources and received a B.A. from the University of Virginia in 2010. Prior to joining Danone, she led a student research team to identify pathways for promoting fair labor standards and human rights in food and electronics procurement at the University of Michigan and worked as a Project Associate Analyst at Abt Associates in Bethesda, MD. 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.

Al Tetrault, Vienna, VA is a retired Clinical Associate Professor of Real Estate Development previously 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.

Thierry van Bastelaer, Bethesda, MD is an International Health economist at Abt Associates where he leads the Global Market Centers. From June 2015 to November 2017, he served as deputy division manager and reputational capital director for Abt's International Health Division. Previously, he 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 has a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland and MA and BA from FacultÚs Notre-Dame de la Paix, Belgium.

Carol van Oudenaren, Bethesda, MD is a retired librarian previously 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 Master's 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.

Mona Yacoubian, Bethesda, MD joined the U.S. Institute of Peace after serving as deputy assistant administrator in the Middle East Bureau at USAID from 2014-2017, where she had responsibility for Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Prior to joining USAID, Ms. Yacoubian was 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.