Our local presence in North America, Latin America, and South Asia, combined with our global experience in our sectors, gives GEF a comparative advantage for sourcing, managing, and adding value to portfolio investments.
Aditya Arora joined GEF in 2015 as an employee of GEF Advisors India and is responsible for sourcing, executing, and managing investments in South Asia. He offers extensive experience in Indian private equity transactions, including portfolio management.
Prior to GEF, Mr. Arora was an Investment Manager with Navis Capital, a South/Southeast Asia-focused private and public equity firm with $5.0 billion in assets under management, where he was responsible for sourcing, structuring, managing, and exiting investments. Prior to Navis, Mr. Arora was a member of the investment banking team of JM Financial, one of India’s leading investment banks, executing transactions in the consumer, healthcare, and infrastructure sectors.
Mr. Arora holds an MBA from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calcutta. He is also a Chartered Accountant and is proficient in English, Hindi, and Bengali.
Alexandre Alvim joined GEF in 2015 as a Managing Director based in São Paulo, Brazil. He is a member of the Latin America investment team. Mr. Alvim has over 15 years of experience as an investor, board member, and executive with various private equity-backed portfolio companies, and for the past several years, his work has focused on the environmental services and renewable energy sectors.
Prior to GEF, Mr. Alvim was Executive Director of Energy and Business Development with Estre Ambiental, Brazil’s largest environmental services company, where he led its waste-to-energy business. Prior to Estre Ambiental, he co-founded and served as Managing Partner of Greentech Capital, an investment and advisory firm in the clean tech and renewable energy sectors.
Mr. Alvim holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He has also completed the CEAG course at Fundação Getúlio Vargas.
Principal, GEF Advisors India
Mr. Sharma joined GEF in 2010 as an employee of GEF Advisors India, bringing extensive experience in Indian private equity transactions. He is responsible for sourcing, structuring, and managing investments in South Asia.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. Sharma was a member of the investment team at AMP Capital Investors (AMP) in India, where he was responsible for identifying, analyzing, and managing Indian infrastructure opportunities. Prior to joining AMP, Mr. Sharma was an Associate Vice President with Ambit Corporate Finance, a leading Indian investment bank, where he focused on acquisitions and private equity transactions while assisting in the expansion of its capital markets practice. Mr. Sharma also spent seven years with Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young, leading teams on consulting assignments for companies in the power and telecommunications sectors. He is proficient in English and Hindi.
Mr. Sharma has a BA in Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, and an MBA from the Indian School of Business. He is also a Chartered Accountant.
Anibal Wadih joined GEF in 2014 as a Managing Director based in São Paulo, Brazil and is a member of the Latin America investment team. He joins GEF from Canepa Management where he was a partner responsible for direct investments and business development throughout Latin America.
Previously, Mr. Wadih was a Managing Director with Macquarie Capital, where he led a private capital merchant banking team investing in Latin America with a focus on the infrastructure and agribusiness sectors. While at Macquarie, he participated in a wide range of private equity transactions as well as the development of private equity and mezzanine fund platforms for the region where he served as an investment committee member. Prior to Macquarie, he was a senior member of the M&A group with Deutsche Bank in Latin America focusing on financial sponsors.
Mr. Wadih holds a BS in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from Universidad Simon Bolivar (Venezuela), a Master’s in Finance from IESA (Venezuela), and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Bhairavi Tripathi joined GEF in 2002. She is responsible for the corporate and fund financial reporting and overseeing tax compliance for all entities.
Ms. Tripathi has a BS in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Virginia and an MS in Taxation from American University. She is a Certified Public Accountant.
Assistant Controller – Funds
Christiana Yuen joined GEF in 2010. She is responsible for the fund accounting and financial reporting.
Prior to joining GEF, Ms. Yuen was a Senior Tax Accountant at Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, P.C., where she provided tax consulting and compliance services in the corporate tax group. Prior to joining Argy, Ms. Yuen was a Senior Tax Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where she worked with private equity and venture capital funds, including GEF.
Ms. Yuen has a B.S. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Virginia. She is a Certified Public Accountant.
Derek Beaty joined GEF in 2008. He has investment sourcing, deal execution, and portfolio monitoring responsibilities across each of the target sectors in emerging market countries for GEF.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. Beaty evaluated investments and monitored portfolio companies for CIVC Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Prior to CIVC, Mr. Beaty worked in M&A advisory for the investment banking divisions of both BMO Capital and Arthur Andersen.
Mr. Beaty has BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Mr. Beaty is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive). He has working knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese.
Corporate Accounting Manager
Jaren McKeever joined GEF in 2003. He is responsible for corporate accounting functions.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. McKeever was an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (2000-2001) and Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors (2001-2003). During his time in public accounting, Mr. McKeever was engaged on financial statement audits and internal control testing engagements.
Mr. McKeever has a BBA in Accounting from St. Bonaventure University and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Management from Johns Hopkins University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner
Dr. Leonard is the President and Chief Executive Officer of GEF. With extensive experience in private equity, economic policy, project finance, and environmental issues, Dr. Leonard maintains primary oversight of GEF’s investment activities and is Chairman of GEF’s Investment Committee.
Dr. Leonard is a board member of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), a global organization that promotes private equity and venture capital investment in emerging markets; the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE); and the New America Foundation, which focuses on critical global and domestic policy challenges. Dr. Leonard is Chairman of the Board of The Washington Monthly and Chairman of the Board of CityYear (Washington, D.C.). He is a founding board member and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Beacon House Community Ministry, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and their families in northeast Washington, D.C. He has previously served as co-chairman of the Clean Technology Venture Network. In 2006–07, Dr. Leonard served as Co-Chairman of the energy transition team of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and from 1992 through 1998, Dr. Leonard was a member of the Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. He also served as a member of the Advisory Board of the U.S.–Brazil Biofuels Partnership.
Dr. Leonard has a PhD from Princeton, an MS Econ from London School of Economics, and an AB magna cum laude from Harvard College. He is the author of five books and numerous technical articles relating to global environmental issues, international trade, energy production, and technology development.
Mr. Heyman joined GEF in 2011 and works across GEF sectors with the firm’s prospective and existing U.S. investments.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. Heyman was a Senior Associate at Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm, where he was responsible for advising a variety of companies on strategy and operations issues. While at Oliver Wyman, he had significant experience in the private equity, energy, and clean technology industries. Previously at Investor Growth Capital, Mr. Heyman identified and evaluated clean technology investment opportunities.
Mr. Heyman has a BS in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Office Manager and Executive Assistant, GEF Advisors India
Jyothi Nair joined GEF in 2011. She is responsible for supporting the GEF India Team and oversee the administrative functions of GEF India Office.
Ms. Nair has a Bachelors of Commerce(B.Com) from Mumbai University.
Katie Vasilescu is responsible for the oversight and coordination of all compliance matters relating to GEF’s global business, as well as for the administrative management, including investor reporting and relationship management, of each of GEF’s funds.
Before rejoining GEF in 2002, Ms. Vasilescu volunteered in Romania as a consultant, advising new companies on how to more efficiently manage their offices. Prior to her work abroad, she was the Office Manager at GEF from 1999 until 2001.
Ms. Vasilescu has a BA with honors in Anthropology from the University of Maryland.
Lisa Schule joined GEF in 2005 and leads GEF’s investment activities in the U.S. She is responsible for technology and service related investments, particularly those involving energy technologies, utilizing years of experience in the energy industry.
Prior to joining GEF, Ms. Schule was a Vice President at Perseus L.L.C., a private equity investment firm, where she specialized in energy technology investments. She was responsible for all aspects of the direct investment process, including sourcing opportunities, negotiating and structuring transactions, and developing strategic plans and exit opportunities for portfolio companies. Ms. Schule served on the boards of directors of several Perseus portfolio companies and focused extensively on portfolio company operations. Prior to Perseus, Ms. Schule worked at PECO Energy, a Philadelphia-based utility, where she was a member of the management team for PECO Energy’s wholesale power marketing division.
Ms. Schule has a BA, magna cum laude, from Amherst College and a JD from Georgetown University School of Law.
Mario Mafud joined GEF in 2014. He is based in the São Paulo office, and is a member of the team leading GEF’s Latin America investment program.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. Mafud was part of the corporate finance team at Voga, a mergers and acquisitions boutique acquired by Banco Indusval & Partners in 2013, and later joined the team responsible for structuring the Investment Banking franchise at BI&P, a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus.
Mr. Mafud holds a bachelor’s degree in Production Engineering from Universidade de São Paulo (São Carlos – SP) and has credits in finance from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain).
Marta De La Cruz
Executive Services Associate
Marta De La Cruz joined GEF in 2011 as an Executive Services Associate working with the Emerging Market Funds. In her role, she supports the investment teams headquartered in Bethesda, MD as well as the Africa Forestry Team. Ms. De La Cruz is responsible for the day to day facilitation of executive support across these funds as well as being involved in the compilation of quarterly and annual investment committee materials, compliance documents and management of deal related information and financials across our portfolio companies.
Ms. De La Cruz brings with her 17 years of experience, serving as an EA across a diverse group of industries, ranging from corporate accounting and finance to pharmaceutical marketing. Ms. De La Cruz spent the majority of her career in New York City prior to relocating to MD to join GEF.
Ms. De La Cruz has a BA in Marketing from Bernard Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business in NYC.
Principal, GEF Advisors India
Nakul Zaveri joined GEF as an employee of GEF Advisors India in 2011 and is responsible for sourcing, executing, and managing investments. He also oversees the funds environmental, social, and governance components. Nakul brings extensive experience in private equity covering infrastructure and industrials sector.
Prior to GEF, Mr. Zaveri worked for several years as a Principal Investment Consultant at Climate Change Capital, a London based environmental investment manager and advisory group where he was responsible for origination, execution and portfolio management of CCC’s investments in India including covering solid waste, energy transmission and distribution and agri sectors. He has also worked at EcoSecurities, a leading environmental finance organization and with the professional services firm Arthur Andersen in Mumbai.
Mr. Zaveri is a MBA from the University of Oxford and received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Mumbai. He has also completed the Applied Finance Program from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and is proficient in English, Hindi and Gujarati.
Senior Investment Partner, Managed Accounts
Mr. Morriss joined GEF in 2011 and provides strategic guidance on fund formation, structuring and fundraising.
Mr. Morriss has over 30 years of experience in private equity, corporate finance and privatization in both developed and emerging economies. Prior to joining GEF, Mr. Morriss was co-founder and Managing Partner of EMAlternatives, a private equity funds investment group focused on emerging markets. Prior to that, he was Partner in charge of Mergers & Acquisitions/Privatization Advisory at PricewaterhouseCoopers, initially in the U.K. and, from 1992, in the U.S. Prior to PwC, he was an Assistant Director in the Corporate Finance Division of Barclays Capital in London. He spent a number of years with Price Waterhouse, London, and qualified as a UK Chartered Accountant.
Mr. Morriss has a BA in Economics from the University of York (England).
Vice President, GEF Advisors India
Nupur Jalan joined GEF in 2012 with GEF Advisors India, responsible for analyzing growth stage investment opportunities in South Asia. She has a background in the areas of debt finance and private equity.
Prior to joining GEF, Ms. Jalan was a credit analyst in the corporate finance business at GE Capital, a leading U.S.-based non-banking financial company, in its Mumbai office. She joined GE Capital in 2008 in the Commercial Leadership Program, and worked across commercial lending, private equity, and infrastructure finance transactions in GE Capital’s Gurgaon and Mumbai offices. Ms. Jalan also interned with IDBI Bank’s project finance group, identifying challenges and financing opportunities in the road sector.
Ms. Jalan has a BS in Computer Applications from University of Bangalore, India and an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, with a major in Finance. Ms. Jalan is proficient in English and Hindi.
Mr. Borissow supports day-to-day operations at GEF serving as Executive Assistant to the CEO and managing ad-hoc projects for the Corporate team. Enabling technology to support the Firm’s mission, he is responsible for the overall IT and telecom strategy at GEF, directs all IT-related projects, and ensures adherence to compliance requirements as related to IT.
Prior to joining GEF in 2008, Mr. Borissow worked in various capacities in the public and private sectors, at the U.S. Department of Human Services (NIH), the U.S. Department of Justice, and at a large commercial printer as Assistant Production Manager.
Mr. Borissow has a BA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and a Certificate in Computer Networking from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and is fluent in Russian.
Paula Torre joined GEF in 2015 and is based in the São Paulo office.
Prior to joining GEF, Ms. Torre was part of administrative team at Rioforte Investimentos, a non-financial holding of Espirito Santo Group, a Portuguese company with investments in Portugal and Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia.
Ms. Torre holds a BA in Business Administration from Universidade Ibero Americana in São Paulo and has a postgraduate degree in Business Management from FAAP – Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado in São Paulo.
Managing Director, GEF Advisors India
Raj Pai joined GEF in 2008 and focuses on clean energy investments in South Asia. He has over 20 years of professional experience spanning entrepreneurial, operational and venture investing activities.
Prior to GEF, Mr. Pai was a Managing Director at CID Capital, a 27-year old growth equity investment firm that has over $500 million of growth and expansion stage capital under its management. Mr. Pai was responsible for successfully raising and deploying two venture stage funds, investing in over 25 companies—leading efforts in technology, life sciences and clean technology areas. He was instrumental in business development initiatives with several of his portfolio companies, particularly in the green software and clean lighting (LED) space, assisting them in navigating market opportunities along the U.S.–India corridor. Prior to CID, Mr. Pai worked in consulting and in operational capacities for various Fortune 1000 technology companies globally. He is very active in the investment community in the U.S. and India, and serves as a founding member/advisor to CleanTech India and New Ventures India (NVI).
Mr. Pai has a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Bombay, a Master of Computer Science from Arizona State University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is a dual U.S.–India citizen and speaks three native Indian languages as well as English.
Scott MacLeod joined GEF in 1998 and has over 40 years of experience in international finance and investment focused on establishing, acquiring, restructuring, privatizing, and expanding private-sector companies and projects in emerging markets. He is a Board Member of GEF and serves as Vice Chairman of GEF’s Investment Committee.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. MacLeod served for 20 years in various capacities at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). He has worked in more than 30 countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America with corporate executives and senior-level government officials on the execution of private-sector transactions.
Mr. MacLeod has a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Managing Director, GEF Advisors India
Sridhar Narayan joined GEF in 2012 as a Principal with GEF Advisors India; he provides overall guidance for GEF’s investment activities in India and South Asia. He brings 16 years of experience investing in India with expertise evaluating opportunities in solar power, waste management, and water treatment.
Prior to GEF, Mr. Narayan worked for JRE Partners in Mumbai, where he led minority, growth capital investments in a variety of rapidly advancing sectors within India. Prior to JRE Partners, he served as Vice President of Direct Investment for American International Group (AIG), a Mumbai-based company as well. While there, he invested both the proprietary capital of AIG and third-party private equity funds managed by AIG. He began his career with Zurich Asset Management India/ITC Threadneedle AMC India as the Head of Fixed Income, responsible for the portfolio management, trading, fixed income research, and the monthly communications to investors.
Mr. Narayan has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology BHU (IIT–BHU).
Chief Financial Officer
Steve Guffey joined GEF in 2006 and is responsible for overseeing the fund and corporate accounting functions.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. Guffey was the Assistant Controller at The Carlyle Group, where he was responsible for corporate financial reporting and accounting systems. During his seven years at Carlyle, Mr. Guffey was also in charge of various corporate and managerial financial reporting as well as budgeting, forecasting and planning.
Mr. Guffey has a BBA in Accounting from James Madison University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer
Stuart Barkoff joined GEF as a Managing Director in 2008. In 2011, he became GEF’s General Counsel and in 2017 he became GEF’s Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for all business and legal matters related to GEF’s investment and operating activities. Mr. Barkoff also serves as a member of the firm’s US investment program where he serves on the board of directors of Gro-Well Brands, Inc. and as a board observer of Aurora Flight Sciences.
Prior to joining GEF, Stuart was an attorney with Arnold & Porter LLP, an international law firm based in Washington, D.C., where he worked principally with private equity and venture capital funds, and their portfolio companies, on a wide variety of acquisitions and investments. At Arnold & Porter, Mr. Barkoff advised GEF as legal counsel on many of GEF’s U.S. investments.
Mr. Barkoff has an AB in English from Vassar College as well as a JD and an MBA from Emory University.
North America Growth Equity
Daniel Prawda joined GEF in 2016 as a Managing Director. He is based out of Washington DC where he focuses on lower middle-market growth equity opportunities in North America.
Prior to joining GEF, Mr. Prawda served as an investment professional with ACON Investments where he spent 14 years sourcing and executing private equity investments in the United States and Latin America. Transactions included Fairway Outdoor and Magic Media in the U.S. media/advertising space, SAE Towers and IDX Corporation in the global manufacturing space, ProEnergy Services and APR Energy in the global power services sector and Grupo Sala; one of the leading waste management companies in Colombia. Prior to joining ACON Investments in 2002, Mr. Prawda worked with the Latin America Corporate Finance Group at JP Morgan Chase, where he was responsible for various corporate debt offerings in Mexico and Brazil.
Mr. Prawda currently serves on the board of directors of Gro-Well Brands Inc, a Phoenix based company specializing in the production of organic lawn and garden products including soil, mulch, compost and wood chips made out of recycled green waste materials that would otherwise end up in local landfills. Mr. Prawda holds a BA in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.
Chairman of the Board and Founding Partner
John Earhart is the Chairman of the Board and a founding shareholder of GEF.
With extensive experience in international environmental policy and natural resource management, Mr. Earhart assumes primary oversight of GEF’s environmental outreach. As a professional forester, Mr. Earhart has served as a technical advisor, helping to structure private equity investments, project finance and international grants for a number of major forest management projects undertaken throughout the world. Mr. Earhart currently serves as a director of both profit and non-profit corporations, and sits on the investment committees of several GEF entities. Prior to starting GEF, Mr. Earhart served as senior fellow to World Wildlife Fund and The Conservation Foundation, and as an associate director of the Peace Corps in Paraguay. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala.
Mr. Earhart holds a BS from the California State University, Sacramento and received a Master’s of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.