Congratulating Sara Farley and Welcoming Our New Staff

It’s incredible to look back at the first quarter of 2019 and reflect on the transformation taking place here at the Global Knowledge Initiative. First, GKI announces the departure of Sara Farley as Chief Operating Officer. A co-founder of GKI, Sara served as an exemplary leader of the organization for nearly a decade. Under her tenure, thousands of partners across the globe learned to transform themselves and their organizations into “Super Collaborators” — people, institutions and networks adept at uniting disparate ideas and resources to solve challenges in complex systems.  We are grateful for her courage, vision and contributions to the organization and wish her the very best as she joins The Rockefeller Foundation to continue to lead transformation in food systems. Meanwhile, we are thrilled to announce that the GKI team is growing. Sona Gandhi, formerly part of the FINCA leadership team, brings a decade of executive expertise in international non-profits to her new role as interim Chief Operating Officer. Tom Derr joins GKI and brings to the organization his experience in community-driven systems thinking and participatory action research. Prior to joining GKI, Tom served as a Peace Corps Volunteer and researcher in Uganda focused on community-based adaptation to climate change. Christine Geers joins GKI after four years at USAID as an Innovation Advisor in the Global Development Lab. In addition, she served as a Global Innovation Science and Technology Advisor at the AAAS. Both experiences contributed to her passion and experience in designing programs that empower development organizations, local communities, entrepreneurs and innovators around the world to deliver better solutions for complex challenges. Under the leadership of our new CEO, Seema Patel, GKI is growing its network of partners, co-conspirators, change agents, advisors, problem solvers and facilitators.  We are seeking to grow the community of people and organizations that want to harness the power of collaborative innovation to mobilize systems change and solve the complex challenges of our time.  Please feel free to reach out at if […]

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Announcing Our New CEO: Seema Patel

Photo of Seema Patel

We are pleased to announce Seema Patel as the Global Knowledge Initiative’s new Chief Executive Officer! “Ten years into our journey since starting the Global Knowledge Initiative we needed to increase the size of our leadership team and so we sought a tested leader endowed with a clear sense of scale strategy and growth,” said Sara Farley, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of GKI. “Seema’s enthusiasm and vision are infectious!  I trust her ability and hunger to take what we’ve built to the next level and I join the entire team in warmly welcoming her.” Sam Pitroda, chairman and co-founder of GKI echoed this thought and said, “We welcome Seema to GKI and look forward to her leadership, talent, and expertise to help take GKI to new heights.” Seema started her early professional career as an investment banker, where she advised and raised financing for technology startups and large multinational companies to support their growth strategies. During this time, she discovered her passion for achieving social impact through innovation and private sector business models and transitioned into this space shortly thereafter.  She served as a Policy Advisor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she worked to empower citizen voices in designing solutions for economic recovery in postwar environments. After that, Seema served as an advisor to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and helped to pioneer the Agency’s open innovation efforts, which have successfully channeled more than $250 million in investments into promising social innovations around the world. Most recently, she established the Innovative Design and Advisory practice in the U.S. Global Development Lab, working to foster a culture of innovation in the Agency and empowering development professionals to integrate innovation practices in projects and initiatives across the world. Through her courage and vision, Seema has demonstrated an outstanding track record of strategic leadership, design excellence, and a passion for leading entrepreneurial teams in the social sector. “I am extremely excited to lead the team at the Global Knowledge Initiative […]

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