The Clean Cooking Alliance (Alliance) today announced the appointment of Jean-Louis Racine as its Chief Program Officer. In the newly created role, Jean-Louis will manage the Alliance’s market strengthening work both globally and in specific markets such as Haiti.
Jean-Louis joins the Alliance from the World Bank Group, where he led the infoDev Climate Technology Program and was involved in the design and implementation of ecosystem-level initiatives to build new markets for climate change technologies. He also worked with numerous governments to develop and deploy strategies, policies, and programs to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Before joining the World Bank, Jean-Louis worked in a private consulting practice and startup foundry where he advised regional governments and businesses on innovation-based competitiveness strategies. Jean-Louis holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and Master's degrees in Technology Policy for Economic Development from Columbia University and Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
“I am extremely excited about the strategic capabilities Jean-Louis brings to the team, his expertise around innovation and ecosystem building, and his insightful approach to program management, collaboration, and strategic planning,” said Dymphna van der Lans, CEO of the Alliance.
In addition to Jean-Louis, the Alliance has further expanded its capabilities in business advisory, investment mobilization, strategy, and private sector development with several additional key staff, who include:
- Colm Fay – Director, Private Sector & Investment. Colm is skilled in enterprise scaling and partnership ecosystem development, with more than eight years of experience in international development across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Before joining the Alliance, Colm was the Energy Sector lead at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan. He holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Natural Resources, both from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Information and Communications Technology from Trinity College Dublin.
- Simba Mudimbu – Senior Manager, Private Sector & Investment. Simba joined the Alliance from Lifeco UnLtd Investments, where he worked as an investment manager supporting early-stage ventures in South Africa as well as structuring a new impact venture capital fund. He has extensive experience and expertise in banking, management consulting, impact investing, and development finance. Simba holds a Master of Philosophy in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, a Master of Science in Finance from Manchester Business School, and a Bachelor’s in International Business, Finance, and Economics from the University of Manchester.
- Roberta Bove – Senior Manager, Private Sector & Investment. Roberta joins the Alliance from Palladium, where she served as Senior Investment Manager in the impact investing asset management team. At Palladium, she focused on direct investing in Sub-Saharan African agribusiness and off-grid solar SMEs, leading the investment process from deal origination, due diligence, and deal execution to portfolio management. Prior to Palladium, Roberta spent seven years in various financial roles, including business plan assessment, valuations, and post-M&A work, as well as private equity portfolio valuation, working for Duff & Phelps and PwC. Roberta is fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish, and holds a Master of Science in Corporate Finance from Bocconi University in Milan.
- Sonja Heiles – Senior Manager, Strategy. Sonja supports Alliance activities across the strategy and development team and focuses on managing the Clean Cooking Sector Strategy initiative. Prior to joining the Alliance, Sonja was the Business and Operations Manager for the Photography department at National Geographic Partners, where she managed all aspects of operational, legal, and financial workflows for the editorial photography department. She previously worked on the operations and strategy team at the World Resources Institute (WRI), where she facilitated the operations and project management for WRI's sustainable cities program. Sonja holds a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Environmental Studies from Georgetown University.