Dr Alix Peterson Zwane steps down as CEO of the Global Innovation Fund.

By James Clark, Board Chair

Feb 28, 2024

Dr Alix Peterson Zwane has recently informed GIF’s board of her intention to stand down as Chief Executive Officer after eight years of leadership.

Alix has been offered an exciting new role as Executive-in-Residence at the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability at Duke University. She will also be continuing in her role as a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Jackson School of Global Affairs at Yale University, a position she has held since September 2023.

Alix has served as founding CEO of the Global Innovation Fund since 2015. She has shaped our organisation from its inception as a flagship UK-US project mobilising aid funding into high impact innovations, guiding its growth as a leading multilateral investment vehicle with a portfolio of 68 innovations with a footprint across 36 countries and multiple sectors. Alix has demonstrated the value of taking smart risks in international development. I am pleased that she has agreed to remain as a senior adviser to GIF after she steps down as CEO at the end of March.

I am also delighted that Joseph Ssentongo has agreed to be GIF’s acting CEO. Joseph, who joined GIF in 2017, has worked closely with Alix for several years, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Alongside Avinash Mishra, GIF’s Chief Investment Officer and Head of GIF Growth, and the wider Executive team, Joseph will continue GIF’s mission: finding and funding innovations with the potential to transform the lives of people living on less than $5 a day. Under Alix’s tenure, GIF has had a positive impact on the lives of millions of the world's poorest people. This work will continue in the hands of the talented team she has assembled. 

From Left: Avinash Mishra, Joseph Ssentongo and Alix Peterson Zwane

GIF is known for placing rigorous evidence and impact measurement at the core of our investment decision-making process. Alix’s contribution to GIF, and the wider policy debate on modernising development funding, has been immeasurable. On behalf of GIF’s Board, I would like to thank Alix for all she has achieved at GIF. We wish her every success for the future and look forward to following her work in her new role.