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Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Announces Leadership Changes, New Teams Focused on Financial Inclusion and Environment, Rights, & Global Development

March 25, 2021

As part of its goal to help donors create thoughtful, effective philanthropy throughout the world, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors today announces the appointment of several senior staff members. “These appointments reflect the growing importance of collaboration, interconnectedness and a global view for engaging in effective philanthropy,” stated Melissa Berman, CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy. “They also demonstrate our optimism in the value of philanthropy as a lever to shift the status quo.”

New Senior Vice President for Sponsored Projects

Walter Sweet, formerly head of Rockefeller Philanthropy’s Advisory practice, is the new Senior Vice President for the Sponsored Projects and Funds team. Walter brings nearly two decades of experience in philanthropy to this role, in which he will lead a team that offers administrative and programmatic platforms to help donors develop, launch, and promote high-impact philanthropic projects around the world.

“I’m very excited to continue my work with Rockefeller Philanthropy to support and promote our sponsored projects with an extraordinarily talented team that has kept Rockefeller Philanthropy as the gold standard for fiscal sponsorship,” noted Walter. Walter’s experience with fiscal sponsorship at Rockefeller Philanthropy and at the NY Community Trust, along with his substantive expertise, management skills, and knowledge of trends in our sector make him a key asset to the Rockefeller Philanthropy team.

Walter is taking the helm from Jane Levikow, who retired from Rockefeller Philanthropy at the end of January. Jane had an exceptional, decades-long career in philanthropy, and was one of the key developers of the fiscal sponsorship model. Her expertise in fiscal sponsorship and nonprofit management was an invaluable asset to Rockefeller Philanthropy and to the field of philanthropy overall.

Walter is located in Rockefeller Philanthropy’s New York office.

New Senior Vice President for Advisory

Taking over the position of Senior Vice President for Advisory is Greg Ratliff. Prior to joining Rockefeller Philanthropy in 2019, Greg was a pioneer in impact investing at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His extensive experience in philanthropy also included a stint at the ACT Center for Equity in Learning.

Greg’s enthusiasm about this new role is buoyed by the significant changes to philanthropy occurring in the wake of COVID-19. With a deep understanding of the societal inequities the pandemic has laid bare, Greg will steward the advisory team as it works with donors to help them become even more thoughtful, innovative, and effective in increasing resiliency and equity among those we as a sector serve. Greg stated, “I am incredibly excited to lead this team of change agents who are helping our clients realize their visions while making our world a better place.”

Greg is located in Rockefeller Philanthropy’s New York Office.

New Group Lead: Environment, Rights, and Global Development Practice

To further increase opportunities for collaboration and impact among Rockefeller Philanthropy’s clients and projects, Rockefeller Philanthropy recently created an Environment, Rights and Global Development team. Rockefeller Philanthropy Vice President Heather Grady was appointed as Practice Lead for this new team. With significant experience in these areas in countries around the world, as well as systems approaches in philanthropy, Heather will be leading the team to support Rockefeller Philanthropy’s rapidly expanding work on these issues.

“Given our large portfolio of funders and projects—and the human and financial capital they represent—I am excited about the opportunities to amplify connections, drive collaboration, and enable work in new, meaningful ways among peer funders and grantees,” said Heather. “The team is incredible, and I look forward to working alongside them to help donors create greater impact. Given the urgency and challenges we face across issues, it really is all about making a difference.”

Heather is located in Rockefeller Philanthropy’s San Francisco office.

New Team Focused on Building Capacity in Nigeria for Pro-Poor Digital Financial Services

In support of efforts to increase financial inclusion of vulnerable communities in Nigeria, Rockefeller Philanthropy recently hired two experts to drive an effort to support an enabling regulatory environment: Henrietta Bankole-Olusina and Adedeji Oguntonade.

Henrietta Bankole-Olusina, Rockefeller Philanthropy’s Nigeria Program Director, is focused on digital financial services for vulnerable populations. In this role, she will liaise with regulators to strengthen policies and regulations that will drive financial inclusion. Prior to this appointment, Henrietta was Head of Corporate Transformation and the executive responsible for Information Technology at the Asset & Resource Management (ARM) Group, as well as Managing Director at ARM Financial Advisers. Prior to joining ARM, she was the Financial Services Management Consulting Lead and Head of Mobility and Payments at Accenture in Nigeria.

Adedeji Oguntonade assumes the role of Nigeria Payments Director, working to support a positive regulatory environment for digital financial services and financial inclusion within Nigeria. Specifically, he will work with relevant regulators on pricing, licenses, identification, distribution networks and financial services supply‐side mapping among other initiatives. Prior to this appointment, Adedeji was the Fintech and Innovation Division Head at Guaranty Trust Bank, before which he was Group Head, Electronic Payments at the Bank.

Henrietta and Adedeji will join the existing staff in Lagos, Nigeria.

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