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United States
Speaks English, French

An expert in digital technology, economic and financial services in Africa

Megan O'Donnell has 15+ years improving economic livelihoods for vulnerable populations, integrating digital technology and expanding financial services for frontier markets. She has worked with governments, donors, telecom operators, tech and finance companies, including USAID, the UN, the EU and the World Bank. She is focused on agricultural market systems and practical tools for savings mobilization, Ag & SME lending and digital financial services development for Tanzania, DR Congo, Ghana, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mongolia, Moldova, Kosovo, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, East Timor & the Caribbean

World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) • United States

Director, Financial Inclusion

2017 - Present (1 year, 11 months)
WOCCU is the global trade association for financial cooperatives with a network of 68,000 institutions in 109 countries reaching 235 million households worldwide;
Growing WOCCU's portfolio of financial inclusion activities;
Advising on integration of digital strategies into WOCCU's development programs;
Financial markets development in growing economies, promoting financial inclusion, strengthening institutions and providing policy and regulatory support;
Projects in Haiti, Ukraine, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Kenya with partners including USAID, UNCDF and the World Bank
MF Development

Advisor, Technology Solutions in Frontier Markets: Mobile/ Digital Finance, Health, Agriculture

2008 - Present (11 years, 3 months)
Mali - country assessment to expand digital finance mapping payments streams, regulation, tech innovation, impact on jobs and incomes
Russia – digital finance component of the National Financial Inclusion strategy, consumer protection, regulatory policies, World Bank, 2016;
Ghana - country landscaping, how mobile money/digital finance can be deployed in agricultural populations for USAID/Ghana. FHI360, 2015;
Myanmar - market entry strategy for Telenor’s Digital Money Myanmar (advising app designer), Small Surfaces, 2015;
Pakistan- landscaping for digital finance (advising app designer), Grid Impact 2015;
Global - Financial Inclusion Insights, country landscaping - Pakistan, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, InterMedia, Gates;
Global - UN Capital Development Fund, mapped country-wide payment streams to shift to digital in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America
GSMA (Mobile Operator Association) • Global

Mobile for Development Deputy Director, Partnership Development, Advisor

2010 - 2015 (4 years, 9 months)
Designed, raised $10m mWomen Program designing mobile services for women with USAID, AusAID and Visa Corp. focused on Africa, Asia and the Middle East;
Developed GSMA mobile agricultural solutions program and mobilized $ 3 million mFarmer program with USAID and the Gates Foundation with pilots in India and Kenya, GSMA
Dexis Consulting Group • United States

Technical Manager & Consultant – Private Sector Development

2004 - 2007 (3 years, 12 months)
Grew Dexis, an economic development consulting firm, from revenue of $500,000 to more than $6 million in backlog, $2 million annually. Managed teams implementing projects for the World Bank, UNDP, USAID;
Sustainable market developed for the Mongolian cashmere industry, 2005-7. Created branding strategy and Mongolian Fibermark Society business association, linking producers to export markets. Analyzed demand potential among select cashmere buyers in Hong Kong, China and internationally. Provided due diligence and accompanied Chinese cashmere production investors on site visit in Mongolia;
Social Impact Development Funds. Structuring and developing relationship to create innovative finance vehicles targeted at emerging markets;
Competitiveness strategy for horticulture industry, Ghana, 2005. Performed value chain analysis focused on assessing competitiveness of key clusters including small and medium enterprises, business service providers and other cluster participants. Focus sectors included pineapple, papaya, mango, and fresh vegetables;
Analyzed business cost of investment, Africa, World Bank, 2005. Performed research and analysis for the Global Enterprise Benchmarking Project for 17 countries in Africa as input to a regional benchmarking initiative by the World Bank. Examined factors for sustaining a competitive business and investment environment
GE Capital Ventures/Prime Capital • United States

Venture Capital Analyst

1997 - 1999 (2 years, 6 months)
Identified and executed strategic investments complementary to GE businesses. Explored new markets and emerging technology investment opportunities in the information systems medical technology, power systems and telecommunications industries. 12 investments completed ranging from $1-10 million;
Drafted business plans, financial projections performed company valuations for innovative technology companies to facilitate the closing of equity placements;
Prepared written analysis of new markets and investment opportunities to present within GE and to complementary co-investors