Fellow, Advanced Leadership Initiative

Selected to serve as a Fellow in Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, a year-long multidisciplinary program designed to tap the experience of a socially conscious generation of leaders to fill critical leadership gaps in solving major social issues. The 2015 cohort includes 43 people from around the world seeking to find ways to tackle systemic problems such as poverty, global health, environmental degradation, and basic education.  My focus is on the water-energy-food nexus and the specific challenges presented by rise of global megacities in emerging markets.

Vice President, Business Development and International Investments

Architected, activated, and managed strategic new partnerships, investments, and new ventures in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Republic of Georgia on behalf of the Bayat Group (, a US$250M annual revenue frontier market-focused business and philanthropic organization with offices in Afghanistan, India, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and USA.  Notable achievements include:

Energy/Oilfield Services

  • Led the development of Bayat Energy ( an oil and gas exploration, development and production company focused on investing primarily in frontier markets with large exploration upside that have historically been under explored.
  • Developed partnerships with Turkish National Petroleum (TPAO) and Çalık Enerji as part of a successful joint consortium bid for a large natural gas Government Tender in northwest Afghanistan.  Structured bid preparation, EPSC and JOA negotiation strategies, etc.
  • Executed a MoU with Schlumberger to buy and/or lease certain oilfield equipment for use solely within Afghanistan.

Power Generation

  • As Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Business Development, led the development of Bayat Power, an Afghan registered independent power producing (“IPP”) business focused on developing, acquiring and operating long-term contracted gas-fired power generating plants in Afghanistan.
  • Successfully obtained Power Generating license from the Government of Afghanistan in late 2014, and have led project structuring, modeling, and vendor discussions related to a planned simple cycle 50-80MW gas-to-power project in northern Afghanistan.  Established dialogue with GE, Siemens, OPIC, and World Bank/IFC related to this project.

Telecommunications – Tower Sale/Leaseback and Fibre Optic

  • Conceptualized, operationalized, and lead day-to-day management for a start up passive telecommunications sale/leaseback venture ( Responsible for all branding, identity, financing, and business development activities, with initial geographic focus on Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Guyana, and Suriname.
  • Explored fiber optic projects in South Sudan, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe.


  • Led the acquisition of Afghan broadcast rights for World Cup 2014; English Premier League Football (2014-2016); Asian Games 2014; AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015; and other high profile international content for Ariana Television and Radio (ATN) (, the largest private media channel in Afghanistan.
  • Successfully wrote multiple grant applications for U.S. and other international donors related to television and radio content and programming reach (e.g. election coverage, women’s’ radio content, etc.)  Grants received in 2013 > $1M.
  • Led ATN’s digital TV strategy, and hold responsibility for international partnership/sponsorship relationships with Voice of Russia, Deutsche Welle, FIFA, and Asian Broadcasting Union (ABU).


  • Led team involved in undertaking a joint venture investment in an IV-fluid manufacturing facility in Ethiopia.

Frontier Market Due Diligence

  • Led ongoing market due diligence related to telecom/broadband related investment opportunities in Kurdistan, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan, Burundi, Djibouti, Mozambique, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe, and conducted a number of site visits to such.

Director, Strategic & Environmental Initiatives

Played a strategic role in advising this U.S. 501(c)3 nonprofit – and its associated Afghan nonprofit – dedicated to improving the livelihoods and quality of life for at-risk Afghans.  Notable achievements in program development, new initiatives, branding, and partner outreach include:

  • Developed partnerships with Starkey Hearing Foundation; Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® (the leading public-private partnership aimed at catalyzing the global community to reduce deaths from cervical and breast cancer); Gates Foundation; Feed My Starving Children; Matter; Changing Our World; and American Medical Overseas Relief.   Maintained Foundation’s relationship with American University of Afghanistan.
  • Responsible for the acquisition and distribution of >1M pre-packaged meals annually to malnourished Afghan families and obtaining more than US$2M of donated medial equipment and supplies.
  • Supported deployment of an innovative eVoucher program with Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) and the World Food Program (WFP) that uses AWCC’s mobile money platform to distribute emergency monetary assistance to hungry Afghans.  Responsible for assessing mHealth and mEducation opportunities as well using the AWCC network and subscriber base.
  • Architected initiatives related to telemedicine (Maternal and Newborn Telemedicine in Afghanistan – MANTA); women’s transportation (an all women’s bus venture for Kabul); women’s job creation (Phones2Women); strategies to reduce gender-based violence (Voice4Women – A Peer To Peer Network Platform To Prevent Violence, Promote Access, and Build A Safe Community To Share Information Among Afghan Women and Girls); and WASH (water, sanitation, and health).

Chief Executive Officer

Conceptualized and founded this global water-related geopolitical risk advisory and consulting firm which covers environmental, political, social, security and economic developments worldwide as they relate to the scarcity of, competition over, and sharing of limited freshwater resources

International Business Development Manager, Global Distribution Partners

Initially hired in 2007 to activate Gibson’s distribution partners in Asia (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore) and act as an Advisor to Gibson China, providing insight on ways to accelerate guitar sales in China.  Based on strong performance in this region, was subsequently given responsibility for vast majority of Gibson’s distribution partners worldwide in 2008 (Australia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Central & South America, Scandinavia, Russia, Eastern Europe, India, Switzerland, and Israel), carrying an annual sales target of >$40M.  Presently responsible for South America, Mexico, India, and Australia, carrying a sales target of >$25M.

  • In 2011, grew South American region revenues +37% (to $9M); grew Australia +34% (to >$7M); and increased Mexican revenues +23% (to $1.3M).
  • Developed Indian market entry strategy and, in late summer 2011, brought Gibson back to India after more than a decade out of the market.  In three months (Sept – Dec 2011), sold >$280k of product.
  • Developed and delivered innovative integrated marketing/promotional campaigns in strategic Gibson markets around the world, utilizing matrix-managed cross-functional teams of international Gibson product specialists, marketing resources, and artist relations in tandem with local distributor resources.  Pioneered first ever measurable Gibson promotional support in Poland, Czech Republic, Brazil, India, and Russia.
  • Worked closely with strategic partners and Gibson’s corporate pricing & credit teams to help ensure price consistency and credit competitiveness among various channels, as well as, between Gibson’s direct business in nearby regions & global e-commerce vendors.
  • Analyzed and delivered global consumer purchasing behavior and market segmentation data back to Gibson’s product development teams that realigned some country-specific marketing strategies to address customer segmentation, retail development, and brand development.
  • Acted as central clearing house/evaluator for incoming strategic partner inquiries from global markets, especially those in Central Asia, the Middle East, Central & Eastern Europe, and South America.

Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Marketing

Recruited to lead, with P&L responsibility, Afghan Wireless’ (a GSM cellular operator owned by Telephone Systems International) entry into new digital media markets (i.e. television & radio) in Afghanistan.

  • Led the development of ARIANA Television & Radio, a start-up national broadcaster in Afghanistan, from business planning stage to “on air” launch in 9 months.  Managed market quantification, gap analysis of existing government & private media offerings already in place, branding, and positioning, as well as, operational implementation.
  • Built a high-performance, regionally-dispersed international organization based primarily in Kabul, Afghanistan, with specialized expatriate resources in Dubai, UAE (sourcing) and Fort Lee, NJ (content acquisition, marketing, global partner management, and financial control) from conceptual plan to inception.
  • Developed overall project budget (both capital expenditures and recurring operational costs), managed against this budget, and provided Company owners with analysis & justification for purchasing & operational choices based on financial & strategic ROI.  Initial capex spend was >$2M.  Identified, negotiated with, and managed relationships with strategic equipment and systems integration vendors (for both studio and network transmission technology).  Also, developed and installed financial control, cash preservation, and P&L management systems, including software selection and training, in the Kabul office.
  • Hired initial staff and assumed responsibility for overall team that, at its high point in launch phase, comprised approximately 180 people. The Kabul-based team included both Afghan nationals and international expatriate consultants.  Activities included writing job descriptions; developing & communicating HR polices on issues such as pay, bonuses, travel, etc.; addressing challenging staff issues (e.g. accusations of theft of money & property, sexual harassment); and initiated training / mentoring programs to expose/develop junior staff from the war-torn country to modern television and radio broadcast practices.
  • Performed primary market research and customer segmentation to enable development & acquisition of a successful programming mix.  Personally traveled to Cannes, France to attend global media content trade shows and negotiated the licensing of educational content from companies such as PBS, National Geographic, MTV, etc.

Chief Executive Officer

Founded this consultancy fostering strategic business, technology, and investment partnerships between Asian and North American businesses. Built a distributed team of trusted & vetted consultants, financial advisers and lawyers while establishing an extensive network of government and business contacts in China.  Worked with American clients such as the CDMA Development Group, Secure Computing, and Critical Path; and engaged with Chinese corporations such as China Unicom, Maipu Telecommunications, and Wuhan Research Institute.  Annual retainer fees/service billing of approximately $180K.

  • Conceived business model and negotiated partnerships with five Chinese firms, giving a start-up company access to OEM and distribute networking, VOIP, and call center technologies outside of China in markets such as South America and the Middle East.  Managed an international team of Chinese engineers & sales reps, as well as, Argentinean sales reps & Middle Eastern distributors.
  • Evaluated a variety of Asian wireless equipment vendors, service providers, and system integrators for potential technical and business partnerships with three North American corporate clients.
  • Extensive travel in China between 2002 – 2005 (~ 50% of time), including extended trips to Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Hailar, Guangzhou, Dalian, Yantai, and Harbin.  Participated in a number of highly visible telecommunications & technology conferences across China and conducted presentations on behalf of a number of clients.

Alliance Manager, Institutional Business Development Group

Recruited to build and maintain key sales & partner relationships with major financial service corporations for this innovative provider of personalized online investment advice.  Led cross-functional teams in relationship initiation, sales cycle/RFP process, and client service evaluation phases in order to capture and grow existing business.  Coordinated technical development and participant communication teams during service deployments.

  • Managed day-to-day partner relations with Great West Life Insurance, The Principal Financial Group, and CitiStreet/State Street Global Advisors (SSgA).
  • Pioneered innovative pricing model to transition the company to asset-based pricing model from subscription model, and increased revenues by structuring new service offerings with existing roster of clients, such as an IRA roll-over product with CitiStreet and a Section 529 offering with SSgA.

Country Sales Director - Kazakhstan

Led team of 55 sales reps, engineers, lawyers, and accountants dedicated to selling electricity from seven power generating stations to industrial customers and regional distribution utilities in Kazakhstan.  Overall management responsibility for sales, legal, finance, administration, engineering, and government relations departments.  Managed daily P&L against annual sales of $65M.

  • Integrated seven geographically dispersed teams into one unified sales force sharing a common goal.  Redesigned sales team approach to focus on staff development, mentoring, and client engagement.
  • Increased revenue collection from 34% to 75%, and cash collection from 81% within three months by designing and implementing formal account control policies & status systems.

Channel Sales Manager / Business Development Manager, Extranet Group

Developed and activated critical strategic system integrator sales channels for this software vendor.  Established relationships with major IT consulting firms such as KPMG, Deloitte Consulting, Ernst & Young, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, developing buy-in and product approval amongst their internal teams, negotiating reseller agreements, and then developing creative co-marketing & tandem sales approaches to their clients.

Corporate Financial Analyst, Asia Telecommunications Group

Based in Hong Kong, conducted corporate valuation, due diligence, and capital market analyses for Asian telecommunications projects in the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.  Experience with various valuation techniques, including discounted cash flow method, comparable transactions/businesses, use of multiples, etc.

International Officer

As part of a corporate “quick reaction” team, I provided consulting and business process re-engineering projects in Beirut, Lebanon; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Hong Kong; and Japan.  These projects included developing workflow and implementation strategies for centralizing back office processing, as well as, corporate streamlining.

Europe/Asia Manager, Organizational Change Services

Developed business plans, recruited staff, and managed budgets for new technology change management consulting practice based in Europe aimed at providing essential advisory services to accompany the installation of relational database software.  My territory included the United Kingdom, Holland, and Italy.

Consultant, Human Performance Services

Responsible for developing and piloting a new technology change management consulting methodology and then assisting overseas offices in marketing, positioning, and selling these services.  Completed engagements in Canada, the United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, and Malaysia.

Program Officer, Economic Management Group

As a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) assigned to the Economic Management Group, I held management and budgetary responsibility for projects related privatization, telecommunications, and aviation.  Total disbursements of these projects were US$11M, and I worked closely with both Kenyan Government officials as well as international/local project staff to achieve programmatic outcomes.

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