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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.

 

Anjali SastryFaculty Advisor

Senior Lecturer, System Dynamics MIT Sloan

Anjali Sastry is senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her management science PhD in system dynamics, along with physics and Russian bachelor’s degrees, are from MIT. She began as a management consultant at Bain & Company, then investigated the practical application of electric end-use efficiency India for reducing climate change as research scholar at Rocky Mountain Institute and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories before becoming assistant professor at the University of Michigan and MIT.

Systems thinking, organizational change, social impact, and learning are her passions. In 2007, Anjali developed Global Health Lab to find practical ways for front-line enterprises to improve scope, efficiency, and quality in frontier markets. Through 100 on-the-ground projects, she built lasting collaborations in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere. Drawing on her grounding in system dynamics, her current work investigates how business models and organizational design enable the delivery of needed services and goods amid constraints.

Anjali serves on the Board of Directors of the global nongovernmental organization Management Sciences for Health and the educational non-profit ResearchILD and is a member of the Council on Extended Intelligence. At MIT, she works with the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship and advises the Jameel World Education Lab and SOLVE, along with Harvard University’s Global Health Delivery Project. A former member of the Governing Body of the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum and advisor in residence to Tata Trusts on innovation and systems thinking, she is now founding advisor to a new company, shift7. Anjali shares her work widely. Her book Parenting Your Child with Autism: Practical Solutions, Strategies, and Advice (New Harbinger) pairs personal experience with research. Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner (HBS Press), is a guide to orchestrating learning in the workplace.

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.

Artafern AfsarAssociate Director of Finance and Administration

Artafern Afsar joined the Legatum Center in February 2018 as the Associate Director of Finance and Administration. Previously, he had worked at Rio Olympic Committee in Brazil, managing the operations budget for the various committee units. During his time in Rio, he became fluent in Portuguese and acquired a taste for Brazilian cuisine. As part of his contribution to the Olympic Committee, he volunteered in improving the quality of life in Rio favelas. He has over 16 years of experience in the field of budgeting and finance and enjoys the ever changing financial environment. He holds a BA in Finance, with a Minor in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University.

Julia TurnbullAssistant Director, Student Programs

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.

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.

James CooneyCommunications Coordinator

As Communications Coordinator, Jim is responsible for crafting a variety of content as well as providing a creative yet consistent voice across all Legatum Center communications. Prior to joining MIT, Jim created written and digital content for Leadership for a Networked World, supporting their mission to help leaders envisage and activate organizational transformations. For six years, Jim also worked for the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. There, he developed a program of Webinars for public-sector professionals as part of the Center’s mission to define, identify, and disseminate innovations in government. In the summer of 2010, Jim volunteered with former street children in Arusha, Tanzania, and for several years afterward he raised money to send eleven of them to private school. When he’s not writing about innovation, Jim is also a fiction writer, currently working on his second novel—he spent three years at the University of Florida teaching writing while honing his own craft. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University.

Kavan O’ConnorSenior Marketing and Events Associate

Kavan O’Connor received a B.A. in English from the University of Hartford. After graduation, he moved to Boston and began his career in marketing, database management, and event planning. In 2006, he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve where he was stationed at Fort Devens. He served in Iraq, helping to train the Iraqi army. Upon his return, Kavan worked for the Boston Athletic Association, supervising the Mile Marker Program of the Boston Marathon. Kavan comes to the Legatum Center from DMSE, a national event planning company specializing in expositions and athletic events.