Centre for Strategic Philanthropy team

Shonali Banerjee

Senior Research Associate, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Dr Shonali Banerjee is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy. She joined the Centre as Research Associate in February 2021. She leads the Centre’s research agenda on philanthropy in global growth markets, specifically Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Shonali is an expert in global philanthropy for development, and her previous work focused on the implications of new financial instruments in philanthropy and giving. Prior to academia, Shonali began her career as a development practitioner by spending five years working for international organisations in the United States, Morocco, Thailand, and Cambodia. During this time, she specialized in impact measurement, fundraising, and strategic communications. Most recently, Shonali served as Research Development Officer at Queen Mary University of London, where she worked with faculty across all disciplines to develop proposals for the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

Shonali’s work has been published in top academic journals including Third World Quarterly and Development in Practice, and her forthcoming book with Bristol University Press is entitled Horizontal Development: Shifting Power and Privilege in Aid. She currently sits on the Advisory Committee for the L’Oréal Fund for Women. Shonali holds a PhD in International Development from the University of Sussex, a MSc in Development Studies from SOAS University of London, and a BA in International Affairs and Political Science from The George Washington University.

Dr Juvaria Jafri

Visiting Research Associate, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Samsurin Welch

Consultant Research Associate, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Tania Kossberg

Administrative Assistant, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Dr Tania Kossberg joined the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy in October 2022. Previously, she worked in Higher Education at the University of Cambridge and for the Red Cross in Germany.

Tania has a doctorate in Polar Studies from the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, where she conducted her research in Social Anthropology focusing on culturally competent mental health care in Arctic Norway.

Elena Christodoulou

Visiting Associate, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Elena is a Visiting Associate at the Cambridge Judge Business School and she is leading the study on the ‘demand-side of impact investing in Nigeria’ at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy. She has professional experience in the Higher Education and NGO sectors and has worked on more than 10 EU-funded projects. She is also a Project Manager at the Research and Innovation Support Service at the University of Cyprus. Her work has been focused on the legitimacy of markets, corporate philanthropy, category emergence, and the power imbalances between investors and investees.

Elena holds an MPhil in Innovation, Strategy, and Organisation from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge Judge Business School) and a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Cyprus.

Khaled Soufani

Management Practice Professor of Financial Economics & Policy

PhD (University of Nottingham)

Lionel Paolella

Associate Professor in Strategy & Organisation, Cambridge Judge Business School

Lionel Paolella is an Associate Professor
at Cambridge Judge Business School, and an Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School (Center on Legal Profession). He graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (ENS) in France, after which he took a MA in Sociology at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), a MS in Management and Organization Science (University Paris X), and a PhD in Strategy (HEC Paris).

Before joining the University of Cambridge, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago (Booth Graduate School of Business) in 2011, and a Chazen visiting scholar at Columbia University (Graduate School of Business) between September 2012 and December 2013.

His research lies at the intersection of economic sociology, organisation theory and social psychology. He is studying market categorisations and how they affect social evaluation and performance of organisations, specifically in international legal services. His work has appeared in Academy of Management Journal, and Journal of Management Studies. He received the Cambridge Judge Teaching Award in 2017, the MBA Faculty of the Year Award in 2018, and he has been listed among the Best 40 under 40 Professors by Poets and Quants in 2019.

In his free time, Lionel’s interests centre around photography and the art of watch making.

Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari

Professor of Strategy & Innovation

Professor Ansari has published in several leading academic journals including Academy of Management JournalAcademy of Management Review, Strategic Management JournalOrganization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Organization, Research Policy, Industrial and Corporate ChangeJournal of Management Inquiry and Organization Studies. He serves on the editorial boards of Administrative Science QuarterlyAcademy of Management JournalAcademy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies and Organization Studies, is a high performing member of the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and is a Honorary Professor of UCL, London. He is also a consultant at Thinfilms Inc., a New Jersey firm providing thin film services (in particular coating services) to over 150 corporations in the hybrid microelectronics, semiconductor, optical, medical and sensor industries.

Professor Ansari’s areas of expertise in executive education include strategic management, technological and business model innovation, social innovation, and corporate social responsibility. He has contributed to executive education programs in many organisations, including McKinsey, Airbus. Shell, British Telecom, China Development Bank, Nokia, Laing O’Rourke, UNICEF, Essex County Council, City & Guilds, KLEC (Kuala Lumpur Education City), Shanghai University of Finance and Education among several others. He is frequently invited to speak on issues related to strategy, innovation and social change. Professor Ansari is a member of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN).

Jennifer Howard-Grenville

Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies

PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Thomas Roulet

Professor of Organisational Sociology and Leadership

Dr Thomas Roulet is an Associate Professor in Organisation Theory at Cambridge Judge Business School and the Fellow in Sociology at Girton College, both at the University of Cambridge.

Before Cambridge, he worked in a range of universities including Oxford, Columbia and SciencesPo Paris. His work focuses on social evaluations and institutional theory and is published in a range of research and practitioner outlets, and has been covered among other by The Economist, the Financial Times, and the Washington Post.

Thomas has also published important research contributions in the field of corporate philanthropy, in particular looking at its impact on the theatre industry. The originality of his work is to focus on the recipient’s rather than the donor’s side. In a co-authored piece published in the Academy of Management Journal in 2017, he shows how theatres can suffer from lower peer evaluation when they receive corporate money, because of the taint attached to it. He also explains how theatres mitigate this impact on the way they are perceived. Further ideas around this conundrum are discussed in a piece in Harvard Business Review.

In more recent work and with the same co-author, Thomas explores what makes potential recipients more or less attractive to donors.

Finally, together with Meghna Godya of King’s College London, he explores the impact of corporate donations on theatres’ efficiency and the innovativeness of their programme.

Jaideep Prabhu

Professor of Marketing and Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise

Vice-Dean for Faculty, Cambridge Judge Business School

Professor Jaideep Prabhu is interested in cross-national issues concerning the antecedents and consequences of radical innovation in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. In the context of these sectors, he has published widely on 1) what types of firms do most innovation and gain most from innovation, 2) the role of alliances and acquisitions in driving innovation, 3) the drivers of successful conversion of ideas into launched drugs, and 4) the long term stock market outcomes of mergers and acquisitions. He is currently engaged in studying how multinational firms in these sectors organise their innovation activities worldwide, the forces that drive their R&D location decisions, and the factors that influence the performance implications of these decisions.

Visit Professor Jaideep Prabhu’s profile

Eden Yin

Associate Professor in Marketing

PhD (University of Southern California)

Simon Learmount

Associate Professor in Corporate Governance

PhD (University of Cambridge)

Clare Woodcraft

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Clare Woodcraft was the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy and charged with its establishment in early 2020. She has over 25 years of experience working in the field of socio-economic development and philanthropy in emerging markets. She is the former CEO of Emirates Foundation, the national foundation of the UAE, where she led the organisations transition from traditional to Venture Philanthropy. During this time, she also served as the Chair of the Arab Foundations Forum, a regional professional association. Earlier, she served as the Deputy Director of Shell Foundation, a leader in the philanthropic sector whose business model entails building scalable social enterprises to address access to energy. Prior to this she was the Regional Director of Communications for Royal Dutch Shell in the MENA region overseeing the company’s social investment portfolio. Earlier, Clare headed Visa International’s public affairs arm in emerging markets and worked as the Finance Editor of Middle East Economic Survey. Clare writes and speaks on the paradigm shift in the philanthropic sector and is a vocal champion of venture philanthropy. She sits on the advisory board of Cambridge Global Challenges, the Cambridge Partnership for Education and Boldly Go Philanthropy. She is also a Trustee of Sumerian Foundation and Chanel Foundation. She is a fluent Arabic and French speaker and has a BA in Modern Languages and a MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.

Caroline Fiennes

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Caroline Fiennes founded and directs Giving Evidence. She is one of the few people whose work has appeared in both OK! Magazine and the scientific journal Nature. A recognised expert in philanthropy, she is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, for three years wrote the ‘how to give it’ column in the Financial Times, and has advised many donors in many countries over many years. She often speaks at conferences and in the press. She serves on boards of The Cochrane Collaboration (specifically Evidence Aid), The Life You Can Save founded by ethicist Peter Singer, and the (amazing) Flemish Red Cross. She has worked with J-PAL at MIT and with its sister organisation Innovations for Poverty Action. She is described by Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler as “charmingly disruptive”.

John Sfakianakis

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Philanthropy

Dr Sfakianakis is the Chief Risk Officer and Finance Director of The Paratus Group. He has over twenty years of experience in banking, research and policy making in emerging markets. He is a Senior Advisor with Bain & Company and Colombo Wealth SA. He is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs) and the Chief Economist and Head of Economic Research of the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh. He sits on the board of the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He’s the co-editor with Dr Don Babai (Harvard University) of the Middle East political economy series for Oxford University Press. He is a the Vice Chairman of the board of governors of Summer Fields, Oxford and a Trustee of the Maclaren Foundation.

Previously he was Middle East Director of the Ashmore Group (FTSE 100 firm) in Riyadh. His other former positions have included chief investment strategist at MASIC, a Saudi family-owned investment company; chief economic adviser to the Saudi Ministry of Finance; group general manager and chief economist, Middle East North Africa region for Credit Agricole C.I.B.; chief economist, Saudi British Bank (SABB/HSBC); and chief regional economist, Samba Financial Group. He also has served as adviser at the Ministry of Economy and Planning in Saudi Arabia and as economist at the United Nations (UNDP) and the World Bank.

Alberto Lidji

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Alberto is the Founder of The Do One Better Podcast and Knowledge Hub – focused on philanthropy, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship. He advises a wide range of clients on philanthropy and ESG.

Previously, Alberto was Global CEO of the Novak Djokovic Foundation, served as Senior Advisor to the Goldie Hawn Foundation and was Director of Development at the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. His earlier career was in the private sector working in capital introduction with HNWIs.

Alberto has worked closely with the World Bank on education, UNICEF on global advocacy and Harvard University on funding research into childhood development. He is a member of the Global Council of STiR Education, sits on the Board of Governors at St Peter’s C of E Primary School and is on the Judging Academy for the World’s Best School Prizes.

He has written for the Economist EIU and Economist Impact on a range of topics including philanthropy, sustainable business, impact investing and gender equity; and has been invited to lecture at various academic institutions including the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics, Warwick Business School, SDA Bocconi School of Management, and the University of Sydney.

Alberto holds a Masters in Management from the London School of Economics and is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge.

Katy Steward

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Dr Katy Steward is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy which is dedicated to enhancing the impact of strategic philanthropy, address the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is based in Cambridge Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.

Katy is also an experienced non-executive, speaker, consultant and mentor.

She was the National Director of the Compassionate Cultures  programme at NHS England from 2020 to 2022. Previously she ran a consultancy business for 5 years in Humanising Healthcare, was Senior Fellow at the independent health think tank, the Kings Fund, a non-executive director of the global charity Oxfam GB from 2015 to 2020, of Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, head of governance policy at the health regulator, Monitor and is a non-executive director of the UK for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to public service, leadership, culture and governance. Her publications include What is collective leadership? , Exploring the CQCs well led domain: how board can ensure a positive organisational culture, Why humanise healthcare: values, connection and teamwork (stewardod.co.uk). Katy completed a PhD on organisational culture at Imperial College, London in 1990s and has been working on culture as a route to performance ever since.

Katy’s research interests focus on philanthropy, the charity sector, grant making and population health.