Board of Directors
Gabriel Seidman is a Principal at Boston Consulting Group, and in this role, he spent 2019-2020 leading BCG’s partnership with Rwanda Development Board to promote foreign direct investment and to accelerate deals. Gabriel has also worked in Rwanda with the World Food Programme and Rwanda Convention Bureau.
Gabriel is a member of the Founding AmCham Board, where his role focused primarily on AmCham-Government
collaboration and events, and he served as Acting Board President from August through October 2020.
Gabriel has extensive experience working across Africa on development and global health topics. He holds a Doctorate of Public Health from Harvard T. H. Cha School of Public Health.
Taryn Bird leads Kate Spade new York's social impact team. In this role, she oversees the company’s social impact portfolio inclusive of the company’s social enterprise initiative on purpose, philanthropic programs, and corporate volunteering. Previously Taryn was responsible for leading on purpose label’s product development cycle, capacity development strategy, and setting up factory empowerment programming. In addition, Taryn supported the creation of the overall on-purpose social enterprise business modeling in 2013. She previously managed all measurement and evaluation and social impact programming on purpose.
Prior to joining Kate Spade and Company in 2013, Taryn created and led the women's economic empowerment and global corporate citizenship programs at the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation. During her tenure at the Chamber, Taryn launched the International Business Corps in 2011, a skills-based volunteer partnership program for corporate members operating in Brazil. She also studied visited and published on corporate engagement programs in the United States, Haiti, Brazil, Kenya, and South Africa.
Nathaniel Dowling has been a Serial Entrepreneur in Rwanda since 2008. Working in Construction, Solar, Agriculture, and Infrastructure sectors. As the founder of multiple companies, he directs all income towards his philanthropic work under Procom Rwanda.
Under Procom, he managed the first Public-Private Partnership in the water infrastructure sector bringing clean water to over 800,000 people in rural settings.
Procom expanded in the water sector by buying and operating a well drilling unit that has drilled over 400 wells in the region. He is the CEO of two agriculture companies (SyEAD and WRTC) specializing in seed production and high-value export products. In 2017 he opened a solar company (Puretech) specializing in solar systems for homes and factories to lower the cost of electricity.
Roger is an experienced BCG consultant with an explicit focus on financial topics including cost calculation, business plan development, PPPs, and business-related services in various fields. At BCG, Roger worked on 15 different projects between the East African community (Kigali, Nairobi), the USA, and Europe. His experience includes development cooperation projects with a focus on Rwanda, where he already collaborated with the Ministry of infrastructure in a previous project.
Prior to joining BCG, Roger held a consulting role for a start-up, which made him familiar with the landscape of small and medium enterprises, he was a Visiting Research Scientist at an educational facility and he evaluated an economic strengthening program led by Global Communities/ the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Rwanda. Roger is currently an MBA candidate at The Wharton School, expected to graduate in 2022.
Carter Crockett is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Karisimbi Business Partners the first consulting firm of its kind in Rwanda, helping business leaders and investors make a strategic and lasting impact.
Since 2009, Karisimbi Partners has had over 150 client engagements across every sector of the economy, and much of East Africa. Karisimbi Partners is a socially-motivated enterprise and the first to become a certified Benefit Corporation in Rwanda.
I am an entrepreneur. In many ways, that defines my life, my passions, and my optimism. I am the founder and CEO of a closer look, a 160-person digital-native marketing firm based in Chicago that works “at the heart of what matters –better health outcomes for patients and better business outcomes for the biopharma brands that serve them.”
I am also co-founder and CEO of Global Transact, a US/Rwandan early-stage company providing critical financial liquidity to Rwandan SMEs looking to grow globally. I serve on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards in the areas of economic development, arts and culture, and anti-violence.
Growing up as the son of a commercial pilot, I took advantage of the travel privileges to see the world. As an adult, that turned into many interesting global business and philanthropic ventures. Along the way, someone suggested I look at Rwanda, and in March 2008 I landed in Kigali with the notion of meeting entrepreneurs like myself.
Two years later, that turned into the non-profit Bigger Future, and with it, a personal commitment to come to Rwanda every quarter for 10 years to work alongside high-potential business leaders and help accelerate their growth. Over that decade, I got to know dozens of entrepreneurs and make many friends. I live in Chicago with my wife and children.
Ben is currently serving as CEO of Glorious Development Group (GDG), a company focused on Education, Agriculture, and Renewable Energy. He is also currently setting up the Rwanda office of Frederick Fyle International, an Investment Firm focused on Capital Raising, Transaction Advisory, M&A Advisory, and Growth Advisory.
He is a recent US Peace Corps Response Volunteer who served in Rwanda for 3 years in strategy, capacity, and economic development (2016-2019). He has an MBA in Corporate Finance from the University of Notre Dame South Bend Indiana in the US and a BA degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi.
With over 20 years’ experience, Ben has developed fluency in strategy, finance, and marketing across Europe, Middle East, Asia, the US, and Africa. His marketing background includes experience with Coca-Cola, Unilever brands. He has also worked in Risk Management, at the Royal Bank of Scotland. As an Institution Development Specialist at Glorious Development Group under the US Peace Corps Response Volunteer Program in Rwanda, he helped train and coach a staff of over 50. In the past, Ben has served on different boards and worked in different volunteer roles.
TODD E LEACH
Todd Leach is a seasoned entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience across multiple verticals of the international marketplace. Todd’s latest passion has centered around the infrastructure development of emerging markets with a committed focus on the relevant “knowledge transfer” that is required for emerging markets that are fighting to develop and maintain their position amongst the global leaders of the world.
Todd earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1994 and a Master’s of Business Administration in 1996, both from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. After graduate school, Todd began his corporate journey in the healthcare industry. He spent over 20 years developing and leading highly functional and successful teams in the Healthcare Information Systems sector, the pharmaceutical sector, and the medical device sectors.
From his field experiences in the medical device sector, his entrepreneurial interests would be borne. As of today, Todd and his local organization, Invictus Security Interests, continue to assist the GoR in the development and modernization of the country’s national security infrastructure.
Matt Gates grew up in New Hampshire, Kenya, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the Great Books Program at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and holds a Master’s in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University.
He served the US Peace Corps as an agroforestry extension agent from 2006-2009 in rural Senegal. He moved to Rwanda in 2012 to establish conservation for the Mennonite Central Committee and subsequently worked for Garden for Health International and the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, as well as at Tenke Fungerume Mining in DRC and Long Miles Coffee in Burundi.
All of these professional experiences lead him toward business as a catalyst for development. In 2019, he founded Bunga Bunga Ubutaka Farm Mechanization Ltd., a tractor service platform committed to bringing mechanization services to small-scale farmers. Working with US and UK-based investors, the company has served 170 clients farming 388 hectares in its first year of operations. He also owns a small farm and has a side business raising broiler chickens, hogs, and pineapples.