image description image description
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship

Our People

Meet the team behind the Legatum Center

Our People

Fiona E. MurrayFaculty Director, Legatum Center

William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship
Associate Dean of Innovation & Co-Director MIT Innovation Initiative
Faculty Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
Member of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology (CST)
Alvin J. Siteman (1948) Professor of Entrepreneurship

Fiona Murray is the William Porter (1967) Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, the Faculty Director at both the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the Legatum Center. Professor Murray is also the Associate Dean for Innovation, Co-Director of the Innovation Initiative, and has most recently been appointed a Member of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology (CST).

Dina H. SherifExecutive Director, Legatum Center

Executive Director, Legatum Center
Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management

Dina H. Sherif has over twenty years of international and regional experience in integrated sustainable development, corporate sustainability management (including corporate governance, inclusion and diversity, philanthropic activities and environmental risk management), youth civic engagement, strategic philanthropy, program design, impact assessments, social entrepreneurship, youth unemployment and women’s economic inclusion.  Dina holds a Masters of Public Administration and Management from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MA in Economic Development Studies from the American University in Cairo, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the American University in Cairo.

Dina is particularly interested in the role of the private sector in sustainable development. To that end, she has been an avid supporter of social entrepreneurship as a pathway to solving some of the MENA region’s most pressing challenges. She did this through her own social enterprise, Ahead of the Curve, which was founded in 2012. Dina is also a Senior Advisor to Ashoka, providing support to their Global Venture/Fellowship Support arm and helping them reimagine new ways to identify the world’s leading social innovators.

Dina formerly held the endowed Willard Brown Chair for International Business at the American University in Cairo (AUC), where was also Founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. During the time she held the Brown Chair, Dina also taught classes on social entrepreneurship and business ethics making use of experiential and entrepreneurial teaching pedagogies.  Prior to the above, Dina helped establish the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at AUC.

Dina has been lead author of several publications including the book From Charity to Social Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy and key reports such as the 2015 UNDP Business Solutions Report and the first of its kind 7 country study on trends in responsible business practice in the Arab region.

 

Megan MitchellDirector of Fellowships and Student Programs

Director of Fellowships and Student Programs
Lecturer, Sloan School of Management

Megan Mitchell is the Director of Fellowship and Student Programs for the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining MIT in January of 2017, Mitchell managed UBS Americas’ Elevating Entrepreneurs initiative, a portfolio of philanthropic partnerships and programs focused on driving toward a more inclusive entrepreneurial landscape. This included Project Entrepreneur, a collaboration with Rent the Runway Foundation to increase the pipeline of women building economically impactful companies. Prior to UBS, Mitchell oversaw co-curricular and experiential learning activities for Wharton Entrepreneurship, including the annual business plan competition and global internship program. She also served as a member of the Venture Initiation Program management team, and led development of the department’s venture development programs at the school’s San Francisco campus.
Mitchell holds a BA in Economics and Public Policy Studies from Duke University and a MSEd from University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Julia TurnbullAssistant Director, Fellowships & Global Initiatives

Julia Turnbull joined the Legatum Center as the Fellowship Program Associate in November 2014. She has experience evaluating the economic impact of infrastructure investments at the Inter-American Development Bank and growing investment portfolios that finance business in low-income markets for an international agriculture finance company. She has researched the outcomes of trade liberalization for political economies in Mexico’s urban neighborhoods and villages and taught financial literacy workshops for a savings and loan organization. Julia holds a B.A. in International Relations from Connecticut College and an M.A. in International Economics from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She speaks Spanish.

Kavan O’ConnorAssociate Director, Operations and Engagement

Kavan O’Connor has been with the Legatum Center since 2011. In his current role he develops content and strategies to bolster the Center’s global footprint and seeks to build valuable partnerships that strengthen the Center’s networks. He relishes strong personal connections, is excited by new technologies, and deeply appreciates humor. In a past life he served with the United States Marine Corps Reserve and served in Iraq, helping to train the Iraqi army. In his free time he works with the Boston Athletic Association helping organize the the Boston Marathon and is an aspiring brewer of malt beverages.

Caroline ClarkProgram Coordinator for Fellowships & Global Initiatives

Caroline Clark joined the Legatum Center in September 2022 as the Program Coordinator for Fellowships & Global Initiatives. Prior to joining MIT, she lived and worked in Chiang Mai, Thailand as the Associate Director of a study abroad program in sustainable development studies. She has a BA in Mathematics and MSED in Higher Education & Student Affairs from Baylor University. In her tenure as a higher education professional, she has experiences in academic advising, student development, leadership programs, living-learning programs, international programs, and STEM student support. In her role at the Legatum Center, Caroline supports the Foundry Fellowship and Legatum Fellowship programs.

Eileen CarneySenior Administrative Assistant

Eileen has been a member of the Legatum Center team since October 2018. She manages our office space, tackles purchasing and accounting tasks, and provides logistical support for multiple projects, meetings, workshops and conferences.

A native Bostonian, Eileen has a B.A. in Romance Languages from Boston College, and an M.A. in Education from UMass Boston. She dabbles in language learning as a hobby, her latest interest being in Mandarin Chinese. With broad administrative experience in International Business and Higher Education—balanced by a multiyear stint in foreign language subtitling—Eileen is committed to supporting our mission and that of the larger MIT Sloan community. Staying near our campus shores, she sometimes sails the river Charles, musing upon science, art and song. Eileen is elated to be one of our crew.

Valeria BudinichScholar In Residence

Valeria is a leading social entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience enabling high-impact alliances for transforming markets to create value across economic and social systems.  Her passion is generating the power of collaborative entrepreneurship to transform the world into more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable societies.   As a Scholar-in Residence at the Legatum Center, she is focused on developing new approaches to build the capacity of system changing entrepreneurs to solve complex social issues and conducting research on innovation ecosystems to support them.

Before joining the Legatum Center, Valeria served for 17 years as a Leadership Group Member of Ashoka, the largest global community of system change entrepreneurs.  At Ashoka, Valeria founded “Full Economic Citizenship”, a global initiative that initiated over 50 hybrid business models in housing, small farmer agriculture, nutrition for all, and recycling. These partnerships, combined with successive generations of new programs that have been inspired by this work, are transforming formal and informal economies by improving the lives of millions of families.  In 2012, Valeria was recognized for her work on articulating a new vision of capitalism when she received the Harvard/McKinsey M-Prize for management innovation for her pioneering work enabling Hybrid Value Chains and Systems.   This work was featured in a “A New Alliance for Global Change” (Sept 2010), a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article co-authored by Valeria and Bill Drayton.

As a practitioner and a researcher, Valeria co-led a three-year collaborative research project analyzing over 1,000+ innovations and reflecting on the learnings of hundreds of system changers shaping and leveraging markets for good in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  The result was a book, co-authored with Olivier Kayser, “Scaling Business Solutions to Social Problems: A Practical Guidebook for Social and Business Entrepreneurs” (Palgrave, 2015).   More recently, she was involved in multi-year McKinsey-Ashoka research exploring the worldview and leadership skills of leading social entrepreneurs tackling complex issues and triggering massive impact. This work is synthesized in “Answering society’s call: A new leadership imperative,” an article published by McKinsey Quarterly (November, 2019).

Prior to Ashoka, Valeria focused on stimulating the creation of new businesses globally, first at Appropriate Technology International (ATI), a global non-profit transforming small producer economies and impacting the lives of half a million people annually, where she served as its Chief Operating Officer for five years. She then played a leading role in launching the first international operation of Endeavor – a global organization enabling the growth of high-impact entrepreneurship and venture capital around the world. Endeavor’s original design for selecting entrepreneurs was developed in Chile and Argentina and has since spread to 30 countries.

Valeria serves on the Advisory Boards of Danone’s Ecosystem Fund (a $120 million investment transforming Danone’s value chains for social impact and sustainability), Leapfrog Investments ($1 billion impact investment fund), and the Sustainable MBA at the University of Vermont. She is a regular guest lecturer and speaker at leading business schools, global conferences, and forums.

Born in Chile, Valeria grew up in Central America and has lived in six countries. She studied Industrial Engineering at the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Nicaragua and has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso (but she is an anthropologist at heart). Valeria has traveled extensively for work and pleasure visiting 57 countries across all continents.  She is a yoga practitioner and an avid listener of jazz and world music.

Opeyemi AwoyemiInnovator in Residence

Opeyemi is an MIT Legatum Foundry Fellow, serial technology entrepreneur, and investor from Nigeria. He is currently the General Partner of Fast Forward, a venture studio—and early-stage fund—that builds and backs companies to unlock prosperity in Africa through technology.

Previously, Opeyemi cofounded Jobberman in 2010 and helped build it to become the largest online recruitment platform in Nigeria and Ghana and acquired by Ringer One Africa Media. He is also the Founder of WhoGoHost, the leading domain registrar in Nigeria by market share. Opeyemi worked briefly at Indeed, building new verticals and tools for the company. As an investor, he’s backed 50+ Nigerian companies including Bumper, Reliance Health, Altschool, Electronic Settlements, Talent City, and VFD Group.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and completed an executive education program for CIOs and Technology Leaders from CIO Institute, Haas Business School, and an executive education program at Wharton Business School on Innovation and Growth.

    WANT MORE TO READ FROM US?

    By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive email notifications from us

    There was an error trying to subscribe. Please try again later.

    Thank you, you've been successfully subscribed.

    One or more fields have an error. Please check and try again.