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Natalia Gavrilita joins GIF to support portfolio learning agenda

By Garreth Spillane, Chief of Staff  |   Posted 2nd June 2020

Learning is at the heart of everything we do at GIF which makes us very excited to kickstart the process of documenting our investments and grants as they close or move to a different phase. This critical work will allow us to understand in greater detail how and where we are adding value as investors, and where we can do more to help our investees and grantees to maximise their social impact.

To help us as we embark on this journey, we’re delighted to have attracted back an amazing GIF alumna, Natalia Gavrilita, formerly a Managing Director on GIF’s Investment Team.

In June of last year, Natalia’s time at GIF ended abruptly when she was appointed Finance Minister of her native Moldova and she headed back immediately to take up her post. While we were sad to see her go, it was clear that this was a brilliant appointment for an immensely talented person. We are delighted that she is now returning on a consultancy basis to support our team on the learning agenda.

Before joining GIF, Natalia was State Secretary at the Moldovan Ministry of Education where she led high-impact reforms in education financing, student assessment, and school governance. She previously spent several years at UK-based development consultancy Oxford Policy Management where she worked on governance and evaluation projects in Tajikistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Occupied Palestinian Territories. Prior to that, she held senior positions in Moldova’s Government Office and Ministry of Economy, working on public administration reform, strategic planning and donor coordination.

Our CEO, Alix Peterson Zwane, said: “Natalia was such an inspiring and brilliant colleague during her time at GIF, who contributed so much and played a key role in helping to shape our mission and our approach. Natalia had an enviable CV before she joined our team the first time, and now with her additional to her ministerial experience in Moldova, I am delighted that we are able to benefit from her expertise on this critical work. On a personal note, I am very much looking forward to working with Natalia again. We had many animated and philosophical discussions during her previous time with GIF, and I know that she will once again play an integral role in driving forward GIF’s working agenda.”

Natalia said: “At GIF, we want to understand what works and what doesn’t, and how, through our investment in innovations with the potential for outsized social impact, we can transform the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people. Learning about the potential of using flexible funding instruments for innovations with social impact is particularly important in the times of uncertainty and economic rebalancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very excited to rejoin GIF to help my colleagues fulfill this important part of our mission.”

Ken Chomitz, Chief Analytics Officer, said: “Over the past year, many of GIF’s early investments have matured and so we have begun the process of assessing them.  A key goal of GIF’s evidence-based approach is to draw lessons for the development community about the impact and scalability of the innovations we support.  Our approach combines the evaluation expertise of our analytics team with the operational experience of the investment team.  We are delighted to be joined in this effort by Natalia, who has worn the hats of evaluator, grant-maker, and policymaker.”