William (Bill) Lester - Principal
A visionary in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (particularly in low-resource settings), Bill is well-known in the nonprofit knowledge management and technology communities and is a popular speaker at many industry gatherings.
Bill was a co-founder and Executive Director at NPOKI from 2007 to 2017. He and his team worked tirelessly to advance NPOKI's mission:
Identify, support, and promote a robust information management system for the international nonprofit sector.
Bring together international organizations to share best practices/lessons learned around the management of information, especially in low resource areas.
Provide technical assistance for systems integration, strategic planning, and project management.
Help organizations to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’.
As Chief Information Officer at EngenderHealth for 15 years, Bill was instrumental in capturing and sharing the organization’s operational and programmatic best practices and lessons learned. In 2007, he was honored with NTEN’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, Bill received the InsideNGO’s 2017 Excellence Award in Technology.
Bill was elected to the Board of ASPIRATION in 2009. He was an InsideNGO board member from 2004 – 2013, an NTEN board member from 2000 – 2007, and participated on the Advisory Committees for NPOWER and KABISSA. A strong proponent of social entrepreneurship, Bill works worldwide to promote and encourage problem-solvers. His personal mission is “Imagine • Build • Connect”.
Surya Sayed-Ganguly - Principal
Surya directs a global roster of information management projects. He has a degree in public interest law, is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and is a World Bank Group Senior ICT Advisor to IDA grantees.
Surya has worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co., as Internet Architect at a financial services firm, and as CTO of a managed security software startup, as part of the founding team that took it to acquisition in two years. After graduating from the dot com world, for three years he worked as an international eRider, consulting for nonprofits, NGOs and the U.S. Government, leading operational strategy, implementation and training. He was responsible for designing and deploying grassroots technology capacity, focused on appropriating and localizing technology in low resource settings. One example is a store-and-forward wireless mesh network that employed a mule (later upgraded to a Vespa), solar power and inexpensive wireless laptops to enable email communications, remote diagnostics and medical billing at a community health center in rural Costa Rica.
Surya has spoken at the Global Health Conference, the South Asian Bar Association of NY, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, InsideNGO and the Technology Affinity Group, on topics including civil legal remedies using technology, governance models for cloud-based knowledge, designing global health systems that track concrete health outcomes and using cheap technology in rural schools to enhance learning.
Education: Surya studied Mathematics at Whitman College for a B.A. and public interest law at New York University for a J.D. He holds MCSD, MCSE, CISSP & PMD-Pro certifications.
MK Cope - Principal
MK has extensive field experience and has spent most of her nonprofit career designing and managing field-based programs and living throughout Africa. MK brings an innovative, practical approach to our consulting practice. She is recognized for her skills in integrative program strategy, always seeking new ways to cross the boundaries between traditional sectors of international development.
From 2009 to 2017, MK was the Director of Business Development at NPOKI. Previously, she was the Vice President for Africa/Business Development at IESC for more than 20 years. Key among her past activities was her work with the development of BizAIDS, a cross-sectoral methodology (health/business/legal) designed to mitigate the economic impact of HIV/AIDS on micro/informal businesses, their employees, and their communities. She was also instrumental in positioning IESC Geekcorps programs for information technology /knowledge management /business development in the countries of Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Ghana. She brings a commitment to a strategic focus for development work based on meaningful public/private partnerships, as well as the integration of socio-economic factors in the overall context of health, governance, and education.