Finance and Funding Programming Board

The role of financial institutions in promoting sustainable development goals is critical for our delivery in the decade of action. Ranging from impact investment and public-private partnerships, financial institutions have a key role to play in the delivery of the decade of action. Composed by experts from NGOs and financial institutions, our finance and funding board aims to analyse how key financial actors can assist with the UN SDGs.

Barry Kolodki̇n (Chair), Director, Deputy Chief Evaluator, EBRD

Bilal Khanzada, Head of Cash Transfer Programme Operations, Save the Children International 

Mark Astarita, OBE, Director, Astarita Aldrich & Ward

Kimberly Gire, Founder, Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy

Simon Meldrum, Innovative Finance, the British Red Cross

Karen E. Wilson, Founder, GV Partners

Board Member's Profile

Barry Kolodki̇n (Chair)

Barry Kolodki̇n (Chair)

Director, Deputy Chief Evaluator, EBRD

Barry Kolodkin is Director, Deputy Chief Evaluator at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London where he also leads the State-Owned Enterprise Community of Practice. Prior to joining EBRD, he was Head of Office for UNDP Greece and Regional Programme Manager for the Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme.

Bilal Khanzada

Bilal Khanzada

Head of Cash Transfer Programme Operations, Save the Children International 

Bilal works as the Global lead for Cash Transfer Programming at Save the Children International. He comes with 18 years of experience in the commercial and Charity sector. Prior to joining Save the children International he was heading the developmental Organisations department at Standard Chartered Bank that included Multilateral and Bilateral Agencies, Micro-Finance Institutions, Local and International Charities.


He has designed and successfully rolled out a number of Cash Disbursement programmes for United Nations (WFP, WHO and UNHCR) and other prominent International Charities including Save the children by using very innovative methods.


His vast corporate banking experience and on ground presence in emergencies has enabled him to bring an insight in identifying innovative Cash management solutions, fraud management, AML, Sanctions and risk.


Bilal’s decision to join Save the Children is based on his previous volunteering experience with Sightsavers and other local charities in Pakistan and Afghanistan during the major disasters. In his own words, “He has a passion to help those who cannot help themselves” thus moving from the corporate sector to fulfil his passion through Save the Children in making life better for the marginalised children and leaving a lasting change.


Mark Astarita, OBE

Mark Astarita, OBE

Director, Astarita Aldrich & Ward

Mark Astarita, OBE has been one of the most successful fundraisers in the UK.  During his 25-year career he has been responsible for raising almost £1.5 billion pounds for charity. He has for a record four times been voted the most influential person in fundraising by his peers.

Mark is the former director of fundraising for the British Red Cross, National Deaf Children's Society and Prisoners Abroad. Mark is the former Chair of the Institute of Fundraising a trustee of St Clare Hospice and has previously held the role of Trustee at the Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and St Joseph’s Hospice based in Hackney.  Today he advises and supports the recruitment of senior personnel at many of the UK's and Global charities through his company Astarita Aldrich and Ward.

Kimberly Gire

Kimberly Gire

Founder, Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy

Kimberly Gire is the Founder of Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy.   A career banking and finance senior executive, she was previously the CFO for the retail, business and private banking divisions of Westpac Banking Corporation and has worked extensively in the international capital markets with Citi.  

As a strategic philanthropist, Kimberly donates her professional skills and experience in capital markets, treasury and structured finance to support humanitarian and development organizations, as a pro bono Special Advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), The World Bank, UNHCR, UNICEF, Swisscross Foundation and the World Food Programme.

Simon Meldrum

Simon Meldrum

Innovative Finance, the British Red Cross

At the Red Cross, Simon is responsible for developing alternative financial instruments to unlock private capital in support of the movement’s mission. He co-chairs the Innovations in Humanitarian Financing Forum and the Investment Committee of Community Impact Partnership. Prior to the Red Cross, Simon managed a £45m blended social investment fund at Access Foundation. He has significant experience in social/impact investing, finance and international capital markets advising and arranging on projects of all types. He was awarded a scholarship for his MBA at London Business School and is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin.

Karen E. Wilson

Karen E. Wilson

Founder, GV Partners

Karen is the Founder of GV Partners, a research and consulting firm focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, impact and finance. Among other mandates, Karen has been working with the OECD since 2009 focused on venture capital, impact investment and the role of private finance for sustainable development. She is also an Associate Fellow at Said Business School at Oxford University and a Visiting Lecturer at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. 

In addition to other boards and advisory positions, she serves as an advisory board member of the G7 Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Financing Forum, a board member of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), an advisor to the Impact Investment and Blended Finance Initiative at University of Zurich and on the Harvard Business School Impact Investment Alumni Steering Committee.

She was a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, an international economics think tank based in Brussels from 2012-2017 and a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation from 2008-2012.  Earlier, Karen worked with international venture capital firm, Index Ventures, and before that was part of the senior management team at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Global Initiative at Harvard Business School. Her earlier experience includes investment banking and management consulting. 

She received, with honors, a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.




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