Our dedicated team

Big Win was founded in 2015 by Jamie Cooper, who has more than 20 years’ experience in bringing private-sector, government and non-profit leaders together to pursue innovative policy on economic and social issues.

Big Win’s board and team includes former African ministers, senior government and multilateral officials, and senior people from the private sector with extensive experience spearheading and implementing transformative reforms.

Click on the photos below for more information.

Board of Trustees

Jamie Cooper

Chair and President

Jamie Cooper is founding Chair and President of Big Win Philanthropy. Jamie has more than 20 years’ experience in bringing private sector, government and non-profit leaders together to pursue innovative policy on economic and social issues. She previously co-founded the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and served as its President and CEO.

"Growth and stability in African countries will be achieved by leaders with the vision to invest in the emerging new generation of young people. With Big Win Philanthropy, I aim to support these leaders."

Suprotik Basu

Board Member

Suprotik (Protik) Basu is a Partner and Founder of Blue like an Orange Sustainable Capital, a investment platform built to accelerate progress toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals while generating competitive financial returns. He previously served as CEO of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Health and for Malaria. Starting at the World Bank Group, Protik has spent his career focused on developing and deploying creative financing approaches to fuel large-scale change.

"I'm convinced that investment to unlock human capital is the path to reduce inequality, and bring about a more peaceful planet. With so many young people throughout Africa and South Asia, we have a chance to see some of the most positive change in human history. The window won't be open forever, and I'm proud that through Big Win Philanthropy, we'll help leaders make the most of the opportunity."

Malik Dechambenoit

Board Member

Malik Dechambenoit is the CEO of Africa Advisory firm Gumbi, Dechambenoit & Associates. He has over 20 years’ experience advising with policymakers and multinational companies in Africa. A former United Nations political official Malik was instrumental in mediating conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Africa’s Great Lakes Region. He now assists corporates with their development strategies and engagement strategies with African governments and regulators. Malik strongly believes in the fundamental right of every human being to peace, liberty and opportunities for a healthier, more secure and brighter future.

Luísa Dias Diogo

Board Member

Diogo was Prime Minister of Mozambique from 2004 to 2010 and was the country´s first female Prime Minister. Before becoming Prime Minister, she served as Minister of Planning and Finance for five years. During her tenure, she led the process of economic reform and transformation that required several changes in the delivery of support from the international community for the Mozambican Development Plan, including the plans to combat poverty and hunger.

As a Minister of Planning and Finance, she had the opportunity to interact with international partners including bilateral and multilateral institutions.

Recently, Diogo has focused on support to the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Forum's health and education ministers, and on her role as a member of the Total Africa Consultative Strategy Committee.

During her professional career Diogo was recognized by Time Magazine in 2004 as one of the hundred most influential people in the world and by Forbes Magazine as one of the hundred most powerful women in the world.

Diogo currently is the Chairperson of Barclays Bank Mozambique and Global Alliance.

"Africa is in demographic transition, but its demographic dividend will only be realized when it can benefit from full social and economic participation by young people. Education and training is crucial to this endeavor. With Big Win Philanthropy, I am sure we can start making a difference in many places across this vast continent."

Mark Dybul

Board Member

Mark Dybul is Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mark has worked on HIV and public health for more than 25 years as a clinician, scientist, teacher and administrator. Mark was a driving force in the formation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, better known as PEPFAR. After serving as Chief Medical Officer, Assistant, Deputy and Acting Director, he was appointed as its leader in 2006, becoming U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, with the rank of Ambassador at the level of an Assistant Secretary of State.

"Big Win Philanthropy is among the best at client-focused philanthropy, working to support the leaders of Africa."

Bill Haney

Board Member

Bill Haney is the CEO of BI-SAM, a private-equity backed portfolio analytics company, and has over 20 years’ experience in managing software and information businesses towards rapid growth and strategic repositioning. Early in his career Bill worked with public and private sector leaders in emerging market economies to develop broad policy reforms to spur export-led economic growth.

"By focusing our efforts on quantifiable outcomes from the very start, Big Win Philanthropy will more effectively impact the lives of those we hope to improve."

Michelle Harrison

Board Member

Dr. Michelle Harrison is the Global CEO of the Public division of Kantar and the Chair of the WPP Government and Public Sector Practice. Michelle works with governments, the public sector, and multilateral agencies around the world on evidence-based public policy approaches and behavior change programs. She is a Davos speaker, book author and the founder of the WPP Executive Education Programmes in Public Communications and Behavior Change. She is also a passionate campaigner for gender equality and, in partnership with Women Political Leaders, is the creator of The Reykjavik Index for Leadership.

"Big Win Philanthropy is mission based, focused on partnering with African leaders to build opportunities for young people to thrive."

Nikos Makris

Board Member

Nikos Makris is a Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Macrosynergy Partners, a fund management firm. Over his 22 year career, Nikos has strived to identify Emerging Market countries going through an economic and political transformation that enables growth and investment. His investment activities give him regular access to policymakers with whom he is in regular dialogue about fiscal, monetary and growth policies.

"Africa and South Asia are at the cusp of a historic century of growth and development. The potential is as palpable as the challenges to realizing it. With Big Win Philanthropy we can enable responsible leaders that have the vision and drive to rise to the occasion."

Dzingai Mutumbuka

Board Member

Dzingai Mutumbuka serves as a member of the governing board for UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning. He is the former chair of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), which brings together all African education ministers and donors supporting education in Africa.

Previously, Mutumbuka held various senior management positions in the education sector at the World Bank from 1990-2007. Prior to joining the World Bank, he held major political appointments in Zimbabwe, including supervising the implementation of policies in six ministries (Education, Health, Social Welfare, Housing, Youth and Sport, and Community Development and Women’s Affairs). He served as minister of Education and Culture from 1980 to 1988 and as minister of Higher Education from 1988 to 1989.

He has served as the chairman of the Zimbabwe National Commission of UNESCO since Zimbabwe joined UNESCO in 1980. Before Zimbabwe’s independence, Mutumbuka served as minister of Education and Culture in the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU (PF)) from 1975 to 1980, and in that capacity was responsible for the education of all Zimbabweans in refugee camps in Mozambique.

"Convince African leaders to view the youth bulge as an opportunity rather than a burden."

Rosine Sori-Coulibaly

Board Member

Rosine Sori-Coulibaly has over 35 years of experience in sustainable development, political transition, poverty reduction, fiscal and budgetary reforms, gender equality, and women’s empowerment. She is currently the Honorary President of the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC), which has a mission to promote regional policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people in the Sahel and West Africa, with a particular focus on food security. She previously served as Minister of Economy, Finance and Development in Burkina Faso from January 2016 to January 2019.

She has also had a 20-year career at the United Nations, serving in several leadership positions. From August 2019 to December 2020, she was appointed as Special Representative in Guinea Bissau by the current UN Secretary-General António Guterres. In 2011, she was appointed by the UN Secretary-General at the time, Ban Ki-moon, as Deputy Special Representative in Burundi with responsibilities as UN Resident Coordinator, UN Humanitarian Coordinator, and UNDP Resident Representative.

She has also held several technical advisory positions, working with the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning in Burkina Faso (1982-1990); the International Labour Organization (ILO) as an Economic Advisor (1991-1992); and the Canadian development organization, Development International Desjardins (DID), as a Private Sector and Entrepreneurship Development Advisor (1993-1995).

Aloysius Uche Ordu

Board Member

Aloysius Uche Ordu is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. In that capacity, he has expanded AGI’s think tank partners across Africa and helped to build their capacities for independent, evidence-based policy analysis. Under his leadership, AGI’s flagship report, Foresight Africa, remains one of the most downloaded publications at Brookings. He hosts the “Foresight Africa Podcast” which engages Africa’s public leaders, policymakers, business leaders, scholars, and youth on topical issues.

Prior to joining Brookings, he served as the Vice President for Operations at the African Development Bank, where he was accountable for the Bank’s regional departments, and the policy, fiduciary, partnership, and resource mobilization departments. He also worked at the World Bank for over two decades, serving in various leadership and managerial roles including Director of Operations Policy and Quality and Operations Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.


Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu


Dr. Kesetebirhan (Kesete) Admasu joined Big Win as CEO after serving as CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. He served as Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 2012 - 2016. Prior to his appointment as Minister, Dr. Kesete served as State Minister for the Health Programs and Director General of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention General Directorate in the Ministry. In his capacity as Director General, Dr. Kesete oversaw health sector reform and led the implementation of the country’s flagship Health Extension Program (HEP), which improves the quality and availability of primary health care services through community-based health workers. He has held a number of prominent positions within regional and international organizations in the health sector, including serving as Chair of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa, Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Ministerial Committee on Health, and Member of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In recognition of his contribution to reproductive health, he was selected as a 2016 Winner of “120 Under 40,” an initiative organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.

Taye Balcha

Senior Program Director

Taye Tolera Balcha is a Senior Program Director at Big Win Philanthropy US. He is a medical doctor and a former Member of Parliament with 20 years’ experience implementing public health programs.

Prior to joining Big Win, Taye worked as the Health Program Team Leader at McKinsey & Company in Ethiopia and served as the Director General of the Armauer Hansen Research Institute, appointed by former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn.

He also served as Chief of Staff to the State Minister at the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and has worked at various levels of senior leadership in the government of the Oromia region of Ethiopia, including as Deputy Head of the Regional Health Bureau. He holds an MD from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and received a Master’s in Public Health and a PhD in Epidemiology from Lund University, Sweden. He has published extensive research on epidemiology.

"Big Win Philanthropy’s investment in children and young people puts them on the road towards success and will help Africa become more self-reliant and stable. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of the team."

Hastings Chikoko

Senior Director for Cities

Hastings Chikoko has been a trusted advisor to mayors and city leaders for many years, supporting them to achieve their goals for urban transformation. Before joining Big Win Philanthropy, he worked for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group as Managing Director of Regions and Mayoral Engagement, and as Regional Director for Africa, where he led the delivery of regionally coordinated technical assistance to cities.

He has also had a career in impact investing, managing a pipeline of projects on behalf of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) to support the state governments in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Hastings serves on numerous advisory boards, including the African Centre for Cities, the African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI), and the African Cities Research Consortium at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute. He has served on the Board of the African World Heritage Fund, the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Environment Facility (Sustainable Cities and Urban Systems) and on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Clean Air.

He is an economist with an MSc in Cities from the London School of Economics (LSE). He also holds a BSc in Economics, an MSc in Strategic Management, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Diplomacy - specializing in Green Economy.

"Africa’s rapid urbanization means that a significant percentage of the population in African cities is yet to arrive. I am excited to be involved in Big Win’s work to catalyze the transformation of cities and support mayors to leave a legacy of liveable, thriving and inclusive cities."

Natasha Halford

Finance Director

Natasha Halford serves as the Finance Director at Big Win Philanthropy, bringing to the role over two decades of expertise in financial management, control, and strategy. With a rich professional history spanning both public and private sectors, Natasha has navigated financial landscapes across startups to leading multinational corporations across diverse industries.

Her proven track record includes setting the pace and leading various phases of financial operations and services. Natasha's strategic approach has consistently delivered growth by collaborating with all facets of the business.

Natasha is an alumna of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, holding a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), BCom (Honours) in Finance, and BCom (Honours) in Management Accounting. She is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Furthermore, Natasha was part of the initial CIMA Mentorship program conducted by CIMA UK. Her academic and professional achievements underscore her commitment to excellence in the financial domain.

"I am thrilled to contribute to a team dedicated to investing in the development of countries across the African continent. Through our work, we seek to yield generational wealth, creating a legacy that will profoundly impact the lives of children and youth for years to come."

Makélé Isimbi Saïdi

Program Manager

Makélé Isimbi Saïdi is a Program Manager for Leadership at Big Win Philanthropy.

Makélé is passionate about fostering inclusive economic growth and climate resilience across Africa, and has championed initiatives focused on empowering women, youth, and fostering private sector engagement throughout her career. Her development experience includes supporting the Deputy Director General at the World Trade Organization, Geneva, on gender and informal trade; advising the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the UN in New York; and working on human capital development at the African Development Bank in Tunis and Abidjan.

A lawyer by training, she holds a Master of International Affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (summa cum laude), a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of British Columbia. Makélé has contributed her legal expertise to international NGOs, the Supreme Court of Rwanda, and the reinsurance industry.

"I am delighted to support the coming together of changemakers in meaningful leadership exchanges. Africa holds immense potential—it is both a privilege and a responsibility to ensure we work today towards the betterment of tomorrow for generations to come."

Pauline Kahiga-Waititu

Program Director

Pauline Kahiga-Waititu is a Program Director for the African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI) at Big Win Philanthropy.

Pauline is highly experienced in working with political leaders, particularly in the context of city leadership, corporate governance, and public sector reforms. She served as County Secretary (Chief Executive) of Nairobi City County Government and as Special Advisor to the Director General – Nairobi Metropolitan Services. During her tenure as County Minister in the Nairobi Governor’s cabinet, she also held four different portfolios, including Minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Lands, Urban Planning, Housing and Project Management; Agriculture and Food Security; and Devolution and Public Service Management.

Before Pauline joined the public sector, she worked in financial services for 18 years. She gained management experience in forging collaborative and sustainable partnerships, bringing together multi-national organizations, local private-sector corporations, non-profit institutions, government, and high-net-worth individuals to pursue business and economic solutions.

"Collaborative, transformational leadership is about setting ambitious goals that require a lot of effort and resources, but also listening to your team's ideas and allowing them to have a say in decisions. I am delighted to be a part of the Big Win Philanthropy team, supporting city leaders on the African continent in realizing this impact on their citizenry."

Eddie Kariisa

Senior Program Director

Eddie Kariisa is a Senior Program Director at Big Win Philanthropy. He has 25 years of professional experience spanning the public, private, and non-governmental sectors.

An economist by training, he is passionate about structural transformation in Africa. He has a proven track record in designing and rolling out programs in informatics (m-health), performance-based financing, and community health.

Prior to joining Big Win, Eddie served as a senior advisor for health policy and systems for the United States Government. In this position, he led the design and implementation of innovative financing programs for decentralized government (provinces) authorities. He also played a critical role in negotiating and deploying a revamped health sector coordination platform bringing government, international partners and civil society actors together, for a successful Covid-19 response.

"Individuals, communities and countries must have agency for any intervention to be successful and sustained. This philosophy, which Big Win embodies, is what motivates me every day."

Chris Klatell

Chief Operating Officer

Chris Klatell is General Counsel for Big Win Philanthropy. Chris graduated summa cum laude with honors from Williams College and from the Yale Law School. He clerked for the Hon. Robert D. Sack of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and, prior to joining Big Win Philanthropy, worked at Debevoise & Plimpton and was a Partner at Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, where he remains Of Counsel.

Bridget Konadu Gyamfi

Senior Program Director

Bridget Konadu Gyamfi is a Senior Program Director at Big Win Philanthropy. She has more than 18 years' experience in the public and private sectors, as well as in the charity, donor and research fields. Over her career, she has had extensive engagement on policy within government and has promoted an agenda of evidence-led policy decisions.

Prior to joining Big Win, she was IPA Ghana’s Senior Policy and Implementation Manager and led the organization's policy engagement within the education sector. She worked with donors, government and key policymakers to co-create evidence and provided technical assistance to partner organizations working on scaling-up efforts. Bridget held the position of Head of Programs at the British Council, with a portfolio that had oversight on various projects across basic and higher education, scholarships management, business and partnership development. Bridget is a validated trainer and has extensive experience working in the education sector. She comes with experience in operational and team management, strategic planning, policy engagement, business development and project management.

Bridget holds a Master of Science degree in Education for Sustainability from London South Bank University.

Marcus Langley

Research Fellow

Marcus Langley is Research Fellow at Big Win Philanthropy. He has over six years’ experience in the humanitarian and international development sectors. In the four years prior to joining Big Win, Marcus was an independent research and communications consultant, working with and advising UN agencies, European Union, Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several governments in Africa and the Middle East. Adept in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, his research expertise includes post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding, humanitarian inclusion, and monitoring and evaluation. He is contributing author to a book, published by Bloomsbury in 2022, that explores why efforts by the international development community to end violent conflicts have failed.
Marcus holds an MSc in Global Politics from Birkbeck, University of London, and a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Manchester.

"By 2050 almost 40% of all children will be in Africa. The next few decades are critical for the continent to sufficiently transform to realise its demographic dividend. I believe in Big Win's approach of working in step with the needs of governments, rather than the priorities of donors, to enable transformational change. "

Vikram Mand

Operations Manager

Vikram is the Operations Manager for Big Win Philanthropy. Prior to joining the team, Vikram spent 7 years working in Tanzania and the East African region as a consultant, legal manager, and legal associate for government bodies and private entities.

Vikram is a law graduate and his experiences have combined aspects of law and business management. He was an associate with a law firm in Tanzania, where he advised the government on several large and complex projects. Vikram was then appointed legal manager for a large logistics company operating throughout East and Central Africa. He was responsible for advising the company on a range of legal matters as well as building and managing extensive networks throughout the region. Vikram has a broad range of operational skills and is experienced in identifying and pursuing opportunities for growth. His strength is in building relationships and bringing diverse, multicultural teams together under a common set of goals.

"Big Win’s principles and themes reflect my own values – achieving meaningful, long-term change for future generations in Africa. To achieve this change, relationships must be built with government leaders to empower them and to build capacity from within."

Edward Muguza

Program Director

Edward Muguza is a Program Director at Big Win Philanthropy US. With rich experience in both the public and private sectors, Edward is passionate about tackling development challenges in health and entrepreneurship.

He began his career as an associate at the Parthenon Group, a business consultancy in Boston, USA, working on public-private education projects and private equity due diligence projects. Equipped with the fundamentals of business and a desire to work on development challenges, Edward joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), where he focused on health financing and HIV prevention across the African continent. Later, as the Head of Rural Transformation and Sustainable Livelihoods at the Higherlife Foundation, Edward managed the rollout and implementation of a social impact loan program for rural businesses and small holder farmers in Zimbabwe.

Edward holds an MSc in Public Policy from the University of Oxford (UK) and a BA (Hons) in Chemistry from Amherst College (USA).

"To transform Africa, we need to support countries and communities to champion their own pathways to prosperity. Big Win’s approach does exactly that!"

Lewis Pennell

Information Technology Manager

Lewis Pennell is the Information Technology Manager of Big Win Philanthropy. Lewis has eight years’ experience in designing, deploying and managing IT infrastructures for a range of medium-sized organizations. He has previously managed the delivery of projects such as the deployment of over 60 servers for a globally known search provider and an infrastructure refresh for the Bedfordshire Primary Healthcare Trust.

"It excites me to be a part of Big Win Philanthropy. Knowing that the IT platform I am creating will be fundamental to the foundations' ability to deliver projects in a timely and professional manner is extremely rewarding."

Shyam Radia

Deputy Chief Operating Officer

Shyam Radia is Deputy Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel (UK) for Big Win Philanthropy. Prior to joining Big Win, Shyam was General Counsel at SilverStreet Capital, an impact investor focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. Shyam has been a corporate lawyer for almost 15 years, having trained and qualified at Slaughter and May, working in London, Hong Kong and Nairobi.

Shyam holds a BA (Hons) in Classics from University College London. He is also a Trustee of The Flipflopi Project, a charitable organisation established in Kenya that is focused on promoting circular economy principles.

"I am delighted to join Big Win Philanthropy and to have the opportunity to work alongside communities and leaders across Africa in order to support the realisation of the continent’s demographic dividend."

Kathryn Schneider

Research Fellow

Kathryn Schneider is a Research Fellow specialising in cities at Big Win Philanthropy, navigating the intersection of public policy, strategy, and implementation to address multifaceted challenges in urban settings.
She is a public policy specialist with a comprehensive background in cities and human development.

Before joining Big Win, Kathryn worked as a consultant on human development projects across Africa and the Middle East, with a particular focus on youth employment and development. She led the strategy and policy unit in the Mayor of Cape Town’s Office, playing a significant role in the response to Cape Town’s 2017 water crisis as a member of the Water Resilience Task Team. Earlier in her career, she also worked closely with school communities in rural and urban settings in South Africa, advocating for more effective education policies.
Kathryn holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Oxford, an Honours in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Cape Town, and a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Stellenbosch University.

"I’m excited to apply my holistic understanding of the complexities and opportunities inherent in dynamic urban environments to Big Win’s public sector partnerships through our city programs."

Paige Sholar

Program Manager

Paige Sholar is a Program Manager for Big Win Philanthropy. Paige graduated from Duke University’s Master of Science in Global Health program in 2014. She has worked as a Research Associate for the Duke Global Health Institute where she gained experience engaging with academic, public, private and foreign entities.

"Data is essential to advocate and demonstrate the value of health systems in under-resourced countries. I believe in Big Win Philanthropy's commitment to data-driven evidence."