Saida Benhayoune, Program Director, D-Lab Scale-Ups
Captivated by D-Lab's mission of poverty alleviation through technology design and dissemination, Saida joined the staff in 2011 to launch Scale-Ups: an acceleration platform for MIT social innovators and entrepreneurs bringing technologies to market for large-scale social impact in the developing world. Saida holds a biochemical engineering degree and an MBA and has 10 years of experience in manufacturing, sourcing and sustainability for the food industry, including programs linking small-scale farmers to international markets. Fluent in French, Spanish, English and Arabic, she is a passionate advocate of organic agriculture and the busy mom of Ali and Leyla.
Dana Gorodetsky, PIA Partnerships Coordinator
In her role as Practical Impact Alliance (PIA) partnerships coordinator, Dana manages the growing PIA network, coordinating the activities offered to members and strengthening PIA's engagement with MIT's international development ecosystem. Prior to D-Lab, she worked with groups across MIT to build philanthropic partnerships with foundations. Dana also has experience in brand strategy, event planning, and field research. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, conversant in Spanish, and has traveled to various countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Melissa Mangino, PIA Student Engagement Coordinator
Melissa came to D-Lab in 2014 and provides administrative support for D-Lab academics and the Scale Ups program. In her previous life, Melissa was a high school social studies teacher and has many years of experience in K-12 education advocacy, community outreach, and engagement. Melissa has a passion for learning about diverse cultures and working with students to create a better understanding of how and why the world is what it is today. She is originally from New York state but has always been an avid Red Sox fan, likes to spend summers on the Cape and loves to make homemade pasta. Melissa holds an M.Ed from the University at Albany and hopes to become fluent in Spanish and Italian.
Working Group Facilitators
Laura Budzyna, Facilitator for 2016 Working Group on Measuring Impact
IDIN Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Manager
Laura joined the staff of D-Lab in 2014 to develop a strategy for the International Development Innovation Network to track the successes and internalize the lessons of its programs. Prior to D-Lab, she worked as a consultant specializing in the monitoring and evaluation of financial inclusion programs. Laura has a masters in Development Practice from Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs, where she designed and piloted a hands-on course in program design and evaluation. Her work has taken her to more than 10 countries across Africa and Latin America. She loves teaching, reading, learning languages, and singing, and has a soft spot for show tunes.
Kendra Leith, Facilitator for 2016 Working Group on Participatory Design and Innovation & 2015 Working Group on Mobile Phones and Behavior Change
D-Lab Research and Evaluation Manager
Kendra first came to D-Lab in 2006. She has worked on charcoal-related projects, participated in the International Development Design Summit, and led student trips to India and Tanzania. Kendra went on to MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and received a master's degree in City Planning. In 2011, after a period working at the Institute for International Urban Development, she returned to D-Lab to help shape and oversee market research for individual D-Lab Scale-Ups projects and establish overall evaluation strategy for D-Lab. Her goal is to document D-Lab's impact and provide accurate information to help D-Lab make informed decisions.
Libby McDonald, Facilitator for 2017 Working Group on BoP Business Training, and 2016 Working Group on Inclusive Recycling
Inspired by D-Lab’s co-creation methodology, Libby McDonald returned to D-Lab in 2016 to resume teaching and continue to develop large-scale programs that spur the development of thriving, inclusive economies in low-income regions. Prior to her work at D-Lab, Libby worked with MIT’s Community Innovators Lab, partnering with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to create regional networks of small-and-medium-sized waste and recycling businesses that provide jobs to people living in extreme poverty and help move regions towards zero waste in Brazil, Panama, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Passionate about recycling and local food initiatives, Libby supports local agriculture and maintains a nearly zero waste household.
Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar, Facilitator for 2016 Working Group on Inclusive Recycling
Jona Repishti, Facilitator for 2017 Working Group on Hybrid Partnerships for Social Impact
IDIN Network Manager, D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship Administrator
In her role as network manager, Jona supports IDIN by introducing opportunities for ongoing co-creation, resource sharing, and mentoring. Prior to D-Lab, Jona worked for the United Nations and other agencies, taking part in short projects in Haiti, Kenya, Kosovo, and China. One of her proudest achievements is founding the Mjaft! (Enough!) Foundation promoting youth civic engagement in her home country, Albania. In the fall of 2016, Jona also took over management of the D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship Program. Jona holds a BA in International Relations from Middlebury College and an MPA in Development Studies from Princeton University. In her free time she stays active in the Albanian diaspora, reads the New Yorker, and tinkers with vegan recipes.
Eric Reynolds, Facilitator of 2016 Working Group on Participatory Design & Innovation, and 2015 Working Group on Fostering Local Innovation & Co-Creation
PIA is forming an advisory group comprised of inclusive business and innovation experts whose work aligns with PIA's mission and programming. PIA advisors provide guidance on the program strategies and contribute their knowledge and networks to the content offerings.
Dr. Simone Ahuja serves as an advisor to MIT’s Practical Impact Alliance where she guides members of PIA’s working groups, including stakeholders from corporations, social venture organizations, NGOs and social innovators, as they create collaborative, market-based solutions for global poverty alleviation. She is the founder of Blood Orange, an innovation and strategy advisory firm, and co-author of the international bestseller, Jugaad Innovation - Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth. Dr. Ahuja has served as a consultant to the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and as an associate Fellow for the Asia Society in New York City. Simone provides innovation and intrapreneurship keynotes, interactive labs and advisory services to organizations including 3M, Procter & Gamble, Target Corp, Medtronic, Stanley Black and Decker, and the World Economic Forum. Her forthcoming book on intrapreneurship, Disrupt-It-Yourself - Hacking the Corporation to Make it Fast, Fluid and Frugal, is due out in 2017.
Nicolas is an executive in residence at BoPInc. He is currently the director of the Inclusive Business Accelerator, a social enterprise that provides critical business, educational and financial support services to grow inclusive businesses. He is also a visiting fellow at Nyenrode Business School lecturing, researching and consulting on the topic of Future Proof Organizations (FPO) or how companies develop innovations in management like self-organization to increase employee engagement and successfully face a volatile and uncertain market environment. Until 2016, Nicolas was a programme manager at BoPInc. initiating, building and nurturing partnerships with industrial partners, international organizations, public authorities, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs to develop and scale Base of the Pyramid ventures. Prior to joining BoPInc., he was the deputy manager of the programme "Innovation for Development" and the co-founder and leader of the "ICT for Development" market team at TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research. Adding to his international experience, Nicolas had been a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards at Technology (NIST) USA to carry out his PhD work, and an international volunteer for the organization "Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie" in Madagascar. Nicolas holds a PhD in engineering from the National Institute of Telecommunications (France) and completed his education with executive training in social entrepreneurship at INSEAD.