• Our Management Team

    Pharo Foundation is headquartered in London, with country offices in Addis Ababa, Hargeisa, Kigali, Nairobi and other towns near our programme areas.

  • CEO

    Gulden Kazandag

    Gulden is the current CEO of Pharo Foundation, having previously served as a founding trustee.

    Prior to her role at the Foundation, Gulden had been in investment banking for over two decades in New York and London, focussing on Emerging Markets.

    She holds a BS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

    Gulden is a visionary leader who takes a participative approach aimed at empowering individuals and teams.

    She is an avid kite boarder and traveller.

Country Representatives

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    Ermias Habte

    Ethiopia Country Representative

  • Ermias is the Country Representative of Pharo Foundation, Ethiopia.

    He has served the Foundation in this role from its formal establishment in September 2016.

    Previously, Ermias has served in various program management and leadership positions in similar international development organisations in Ethiopia and other African countries.

    He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from the Faculty of Business and Economics at Addis Ababa University, and a PhD from the Institute of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Bonn in Germany.

    Ermias enjoys hiking and loves to engage in mind-probing questions and answers.

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    Mathieu Cornillon

    Rwanda Country Representative

  • Mathieu is the Country Representative of Pharo Foundation, Rwanda.

    He has 9 years’ experience in establishing and scaling start-up organisations across Africa and Australia.

    Prior to this role, Mathieu was working at Positive Planet International (NGO) in Madagascar as the Indian Ocean Regional Manager.

    He holds a Bachelors and an MBA from the University of Illinois, USA, and a Master in business from the University of Grenoble, France.

    Mathieu enjoys travelling the world and socialising with his two daughters.

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    Mohamed Muse Elmi

    Somaliland Country Representative

  • Mohamed is the Country Representative of Pharo Foundation, Somaliland.

    Prior to his role at the Foundation, Mohamed had been serving in civil society organisations over 15 years, focusing on both humanitarian and development projects.

    He holds a MA from the University of Hargeisa, a BBA degree from Admas University, and is currently candidate of MBA at the IU International University of Applied Science.

    Mohamed likes reading and particularly enjoys historical novels.

Team Leaders

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    Dr Edward Rukwaro

    Director of Health

  • Dr Edward Rukwaro is the Director of Health at Pharo Foundation.

    He has over 20 years’ experience in the healthcare sector having held top leadership roles in leading healthcare institutions in the East African region and beyond. Edward has also been an Adjunct Professor at the Strathmore Business School, teaching the inaugural MBA (Healthcare) class alongside the team from the Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania).

    He is a graduate of the University of Nairobi, Medical School, he has a postgraduate diploma in Health Systems Management (Israel), professional qualifications in Life and Health Insurance (LOMA-USA) and a GIZ sponsored Fellowship in Healthcare Financing.

    Edward likes to spend time mentoring the youth, travelling and socialising.

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    Faith Mbutu

    Director of Human Resources

  • Faith Mbutu is the Director of Human Resources at Pharo Foundation.

    She has 12 years of experience spanning over roles with Human resource, Learning & Development and Customer experience quality and training. Prior to this role, Faith led the East Africa People Operations and Employee Engagement teams at Samasource (now Sama).

    Faith holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, an MBA in Strategic Management, a premier diploma in Human Resource Management, a certificate in Project Management, and is currently winding up her thesis for the Certified Human Resource Professional (Kenya).

    Faith volunteers with Rotary International and also enjoys touring new places to explore nature, poetry and live theatre.

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    Francesca Beausang

    Director of Partnerships and Global Communications

  • Francesca Beausang is the Director of Partnerships at Pharo Foundation.

    Francesca has experience in both the academic and corporate worlds. After completing her PhD in Management Studies at Cambridge University, she started out her academic career as a lecturer in development studies at the London School of Economics.

    She left academia in 2004 to become a macroeconomist in finance, covering both emerging markets (Africa, Latin America and Emerging Europe consecutively) and developed markets (Eurozone and United Kingdom consecutively). She is the author of two books, ‘Third World Multinationals: Engine of competitiveness or New Form of Dependency?’, and ‘Globalization and the BRICS,’ both published by Palgrave Macmillan.

    Francesca likes to play the piano and sing. She also enjoys running.

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    Ken Lee

    Chief Research and Evaluation Officer

  • Ken Lee is the Chief Research and Evaluation Officer at Pharo Foundation.

    Ken has over a decade experience as a development and environmental economist. Prior to this role, Ken was the Director of the Air Quality Life Index and the Executive Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago in India. Earlier, he was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley.

    Ken holds a PhD in development economics from UC Berkeley, and additional degrees from Columbia University and McGill University. He has published research articles in the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and others, and has written for Forbes, Reuters, and the Hindustan Times. He is a Co-Editor of Introduction to Development Engineering, a textbook published by Springer. His work has been covered on the BBC, New York Times, and Washington Post.

    Ken enjoys playing with his two children, he loves jazz music and ice hockey.

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    Spass Dimitrov

    Chief Technology Officer

  • Spass Dimitrov is the Chief Technology Officer at Pharo Foundation

    He has over 20 years’ experience in IT working at consulting companies, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and our parent organisation, Pharo Management, on the hedge fund side. Spass built the original Pharo Management network and also set up the Foundation’s infrastructure and managed it from inception.

    In the past couple of years, he focused on cybersecurity and looking after other IT needs.

    In his free time, Spass likes to acquire random knowledge, windsurf, ski, play tennis and visit motorsports events and air shows.

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    Tim Kasperidus

    Director of Education

  • Tim Kasperidus is the Director of Education at Pharo Foundation.

    Tim has 10 years of experience working for social enterprises in Africa. He is a hands-on problem solver with vast experience in international expansion as well as scaling of operations. Prior to joining the Pharo Foundation, Tim worked as the COO of Jibu and led their operations in five Countries of East and West Africa.

    Tim is a passionate leader and team player, always on the lookout for improvements and efficiencies and he is highly committed to supporting and growing his team and peers.

    Tim loves spending time with his family, is a dedicated runner and likes music and poetry/spoken word.