Astrid ManrothHead, Global Infrastructure Facility
Astrid brings 25 years of experience in development finance and sustainable investments in the public and private sectors with a focus on infrastructure and climate finance, including through public-private partnerships. During her 11 years at the World Bank (2003-2014), she led the upstream preparation of infrastructure sector strategies, reform dialogues and project pipelines and the downstream financing of complex projects in the energy sector in Africa, Europe and Central Asia (ECA), and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) regions, including based in Cameroon and Ukraine. She also served as Director of Energy Partnerships and Director of Operations at the African Development Bank, based in Abidjan. In the private sector, Astrid held roles as Managing Director for Sustainable Investments in Europe and Africa at Deutsche Bank Asset Management and as Vice President of Emerging Markets Power at Shell Renewable Energy Services. In addition, she served as Director of Climate Finance at the European Climate Foundation in Brussels.
Astrid has extensive background in interacting with governments, regulators, donors, development partners, project developers, private investors, civil society, philanthropy and academia and in managing teams for high performance. She is a recognized expert in public-private ‘blended’ partnership finance, having structured and managed several blended finance investment vehicles. Astrid holds an MBA from the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and an MSc in Political Economy of Transition from the London School of Economics in the UK.
Towfiqua HoqueSenior Infrastructure Finance Specialist
Towfiqua Hoque, a Bangladeshi national, has been with the GIF since 2015 and has been part of the team that designed, launched, and operationalized the Global Infrastructure Facility. Towfiqua is passionate about development finance and has 20 years of experience in delivering infrastructure projects in emerging markets. Her experience spans policy design, transaction advisory, bid structuring and implementation, project development, and equity and debt financing.
Towfiqua brings deep experience in building relations between public and private sector decision-makers, financiers, and donors influencing infrastructure investments and policies. Prior to joining the GIF, Towfiqua spent 18 years with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and worked on both the transaction advisory and investment side in Washington, D.C., Dubai, Hanoi, and Singapore. She has worked in many sectors, including power, airports, ports, water, and social infrastructure sectors in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Pacific Islands. Towfiqua is based in Singapore and oversees GIF’s activities in Asia. She has an MBA from George Washington University.
Michael KaneSenior Infrastructure Finance Specialist
Michael covers the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions for the GIF. His current portfolio consists of projects from across a diverse range of infrastructure sub-sectors including water, telecommunications, transport, and energy and he works in collaboration with the GIF’s Technical Partners including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the World Bank.
Michael joined the GIF from the African Development Bank (AfDB) where over an 8-year period he held several infrastructure-related positions/titles with the latest being as a PPP Advisor within the renewable energy department working on project development and transaction structuring for small- to medium-scale renewable energy projects across several technologies including biomass, waste-to-energy (WTE), mini hydropower plants, and solar.
Prior to the AfDB, Michael worked in engineering consultancy in the UK focusing on the transport/highways sector where he advised clients, including the Highways Agency (on the private finance initiative (PFI) roads programme) and PFI Contractors, Transport for London (TfL), the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), private developers, and municipal/county councils.
Michael is a national of Ghana where he completed his undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering. He has an MS in Transport Engineering & Planning (University of Salford, UK), an MS in Infrastructure/Construction Economics (University College London/UCL, UK), and an MBA from Imperial College London.
João Reye SabinoSenior Infrastructure Finance Specialist
With 10 years of experience in the infrastructure sector, João joined the GIF in 2019 focusing on transport and energy across different regions including Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining the GIF, João started his career at IFC’s investment business focusing on the real estate sector. In 2013, he joined IFC’s Corporate Transaction Advisory team in Brazil, supporting central and local governments to develop and structure their infrastructure projects in various sectors including transport (airports and roads), energy (distribution and public street lighting), and social infrastructure.
Mariana Carolina Silva ZunigaSenior Infrastructure Finance Specialist
Ms. Silva Zuniga is a senior infrastructure and sustainable finance specialist, with over 15 years of experience. She started her career in the investment banking industry in Hong Kong before transitioning into the policy space. Over the last decade, working as an infrastructure finance expert for the International Institute for Sustainable Development and most recently the InterAmerican Development Bank, she provided technical advisory services to governments in Asia, America and Europe on their infrastructure procurement processes in a manner that provides for economic growth, social justice, and stewardship of the natural environment. Mariana has ample experience in the capitalization of infrastructure assets, with emphasis in project finance, investment due diligence and Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s).
Mariana has designed and implemented multiple funds & Initiatives, including: the UK Sustainable Infrastructure Program, the MDB Sustainable Infrastructure Aligned Set of Indicators and she acted as a member for the G20 infrastructure taskforce, co-authored and presented a report at the Antalya G20 summit on ideas and solutions for closing their infrastructure deficits.
Mariana Silva holds a Master’s degree (Hons) in International Banking and Finance from Hong Kong Lignan University. She has pursued her studies and working experiences in different regions to gain an international perspective born in Mexico, she has since lived in Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and now the United States.
She speaks fluent English, German, French, and Spanish.
Nadine GhobrialInfrastructure Specialist
Nadine Ghobrial is a finance and infrastructure professional with around 12 years of experience across multiple sectors. Originally from Cairo, Egypt she started her career as Equity Analyst at the top-ranked Research Department of regional investment bank EFG Hermes, where she provided investment recommendations to institutional investors and eventually held the position of Vice President, Equity Research. Subsequently, Nadine moved to New York for graduate studies at Columbia University, graduating with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) with a focus on energy finance and policy. During her time at Columbia University, she held graduate internships at Roubini Global Economics and the Albright Stonebridge Group. Upon graduation, she consulted on several projects at the World Bank’s Energy and Extractives practice, Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as at infrastructure consultancy Castalia. Prior to joining the GIF, Nadine spent three years working for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), across both the Corporate Strategy and Partnerships and Multilateral Engagement departments. Nadine is currently a CFA Level III candidate. She is fluent in English, Arabic, and has intermediate proficiency in French.
Jade WongInfrastructure Specialist
Jade Wong is an infrastructure finance professional with a wide range of experience in the public and private sectors. She has direct hands-on experience in financial and project structuring as well as in assessing public policies for infrastructure projects.
Before joining the GIF, Jade was with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Infrastructure group where she had closed investments totaling over $550 million. She has built expertise in originating new business, conducting due diligence, structuring project and financial instruments, managing portfolios, and executing successful exits. She was a key member of the pioneering team to structure convertible loans and syndicate equity investors for the Asia Infrastructure program. Prior to IFC, she was an investment analyst at a global macro hedge fund with $1.7 billion of assets under management where she was responsible for investment strategies in the global commodities and energy sectors.
Jade is bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese. She holds an Executive Master’s in Finance from INSEAD and obtained her Bachelor’s degrees in Accountancy and Finance from the Nanyang Technological University.
Javier Montero VivasAnalyst
Javier, a Spanish national, joined the GIF as Research Analyst in January 2021. Prior to this, he worked in the Embassy of Spain located in the U.S. as a Trade and Investment Analyst, where his work involved analyzing large data sets of exports/imports and investments, tracking the main macroeconomic factors in the U.S. on a monthly basis, and writing reports about the Water and Transportation sectors in the U.S. Moreover, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry as an intern in Merck KGaA for six months. Javier holds a Bachelor in Business Management and Law from the University Carlos III of Madrid and an MBA in International Management from ICEX.
Sara AhmedPartnerships Specialist
Sara joined the World Bank Group in 2014 and worked for several years in the Infrastructure Finance, PPPs and Guarantees (IPG) group of the World Bank, as well as spending one year at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). While at IFC, she worked on multilateral engagement and managed relationships with key multilateral development bank (MDB) partners and other global platforms—such as the G20 Infrastructure Working Group, MDB Infrastructure Cooperation Platform, and the OECD. She has also continued to manage the strategic partnership with the Islamic Development Bank on the role of mobilizing Islamic finance for infrastructure PPPs, while both at IFC and the World Bank.
Before IFC Sara worked on supporting the management of the IPG Group and Infrastructure Vice Presidency, including support to various infrastructure-related trust funds. She also spent a few years at the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), managing the Global PPP Knowledge Portfolio, focusing on developing products to help client governments strengthen policies, regulations, and institutions that enable sustainable infrastructure development with private sector participation.
Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Sara worked as a Program Manager at AECOM International Development, where she managed USAID-funded infrastructure programs based in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. She holds a Master of Arts in International Economics & Energy, Resources, and Environment from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Tehreem Saifey FordCommunications Specialist
Tehreem brings over 12 years of experience working with diverse teams in international organizations including the World Bank, ADB, NATO, the US Congress, and academia on tough issues like COVID, conflict and climate. At the World Bank, she led strategic communications and stakeholder engagement for the South Asia regional gender platform and WePOWER- South Asia Women in the Power Sector Network. She is highly skilled at advocacy campaigns, media engagement, brand awareness and reputational risk management. Before joining the World Bank, Tehreem worked as a Research Associate and International Programs Coordinator in the Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security (CIP/HS) at George Mason University. Tehreem holds a Master’s of Public Policy degree from George Mason University and a Master’s of Political Management from the George Washington University.
Rui MaProgram Officer
Rui joined the GIF in May 2017 as an Operations Analyst. Over her 20 years with the World Bank she has held various positions, including most recently supporting the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) on its budget formulation and monitoring, funds management, and financial reporting. Prior to that, Rui was responsible for the resource management of the Poverty Global Practice and South Asia Region. She also worked in the World Bank’s Beijing office to provide project support to the energy team. Rui holds an MBA from the University of Maryland University College.
Adil joined the GIF team in 2020 as an infrastructure specialist consultant, with over 9 year of experience in engineering and advisory services for Governments and SOEs on infrastructure projects in France and Morocco. He was most recently Principal Engineer within the transport practice of Conseil, Ingénierie et Développement, where he contributed to various transport policy and regional planning studies in Morocco and Africa. Prior to that, within Valyans Consulting, he advised Ministries and Public agencies such as the National Railways Operator (ONCF) and the National Ports Agency (ANP) in Morocco on the assessment and structuring of their Public-Private Partnerships infrastructure projects. Earlier in his career, Adil has specialized in transport planning and economics within French engineering groups (Setec, CDVIA), where he carried out several socioeconomic appraisal and traffic forecasting studies for major transport and urban mobility projects. Adil holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics, du Bâtiment et de l’Industrie (ESTP Paris, France).
A lawyer by profession licensed in the United States (California) and Argentina, and currently a consultant for international organizations, Celina brings to the table more than 20 years of international cross-sector (infrastructure, energy, financing and services) experience in project finance, policy and regulatory matters, political risk and credit enhancement, contract negotiations, litigation, and mediation of complex investment disputes between governments and foreign investors. Celina’s governance expertise includes matters of integrity, corruption, and reputational risk at the project- and inter-institutional levels; independent project/procedural evaluations and audits; taxes and intermediate jurisdictions; confidentiality and disclosure of information; and institutional compliance matters.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Celina worked in the legal department of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the, World Bank Group, advising in international project transactions. She also held the position of MIGA Operational Conflicts of Interest Officer and was appointed Evaluation Officer for Sanctions and Debarments by the World Bank President. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked in law firms in Argentina and California. Celina received her J.D. from the University of Buenos Aires and a Master of Law in International Transactions (LL.M.) from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
Celina is a strong advocate of education for all, and until recently, she served as President of the Board of Directors of Edu-Futuro, a non-profit that helps under-privileged minorities attain a college education.
Yi Yao is a monitoring and evaluation specialist, working on the GIF's results team. She has worked for the World Bank Group's (WBG) Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) since 2019, where she provided key inputs for its Flagship Report “Results and Performance of the World Bank Group.” She also conducted project development outcome assessments for both public and private sectors and led the first published IEG look at IFC’s Anticipated Impact Measurement and Monitoring (AIMM) system.
Prior to IEG, Yi was at IFC for a few years, where she contributed to analytics for various investment and advisory projects, as well as WBG publications, including “Innovative China: New Drivers of Growth.” She has also evaluated the impact of infrastructure investment along the Belt and Road and promoted knowledge sharing in PPP. Before IFC, she worked in the office of the World Bank's Chief Economist for the Africa region, researching poverty issues using household survey data in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Yi holds a Master’s degree in International Economics and Asian Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude from Nanjing University.