Our Leadership

Leadership Team

Interim CEO

Jalpa Patel

Jalpa has been with ASI since 2008 and was Director of the Governance Practice prior to her appointment as Interim CEO in November 2020. She has designed and overseen some of ASI’s most innovative and complex governance programmes globally, in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Prior to joining ASI, Jalpa worked with the World Bank in Afghanistan on public administration reform, and at the Department for International Development. Jalpa graduated with an MA in Political Development from the University of Manchester.

Interim COO

Ben Fetton

Ben joined ASI in 2007 after working as a consultant on programmes in Africa and the Middle East. He was soon charged with managing some of our most complex and challenging projects. He has extensive experience working in fragile contexts and previously directed our South Asia Practice. Since 2019 he has overseen ASI’s entire project portfolio as Director of Programmes.

Ben has a law degree from Cambridge University and an MSc in public policy & management from SOAS.


Riaan Bloem

Riaan, who is a Chartered Accountant with specialist certifications in audit and theoretical accounting, has been CFO since 2018, based in South Africa.

He began his career in 2005 as a senior auditor with the UK Audit Commission before he moved to ASI, where he was appointed Finance Director in 2009.

Three years later he became head of ASI’s Southern Africa Office, overseeing financial services as well as substantial involvement in two climate-related projects. In 2016 he served as head of internal audit globally and was head of the finance and risk group, before being named Group CFO.

Senior Management

Corin Mitchell, Director – Asia Pacific
Over the past 25 years, Corin’s career has spanned sub-Saharan Africa, the UK and now Asia Pacific. Corin’s experience includes leadership and Board positions as well as management and strategy consulting in both the private and not-for-profit sector. Corin’s career has mainly focused on development economics and finance, in the promotion of growth, investment, and inclusive business. In more recent years, Corin has been engaged in innovative programmes that are working on blended finance models, working with public investors and private investors alongside one another.

Prior to joining Adam Smith International, Corin was a Director within KPMG Development Advisory Services.

Matt Uzzell, Director – Infrastructure, Climate and Extractives
Matt’s work is focused across infrastructure, private sector development and climate change in developed, developing and post conflict countries. He has been with ASI for over twenty years and has directed many of ASI’s largest and most complex regional programmes across Africa and Asia for the UK government, World Bank and other donors. Matt is skilled at directing large multi-location, multi-sector adaptive management programmes with a particular focus on resilient, sustainable and appropriate infrastructure solutions. He is passionate about maximising impact, building resilience and achieving sustainable inclusive growth.

Zane Kanderian, Director – North America
Zane leads our USAID-funded activities and business development efforts. Zane has worked with ASI since 2006, over which time he has managed projects in Georgia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Brazil and Laos and in a diversity of technical areas from civil service reform and public financial management to renewable energies and entrepreneurship development. His particular area of interest is in political reform in the Middle East and North Africa, where he managed ASI programming from 2011 to 2017.

Myles Bush, Director
Myles is focused on projects that support reform of rule of law and security institutions, countering violent extremism and terrorism, and strategic communications. Myles joined ASI in 2002 and has delivered complex projects in the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan on behalf of several departments of the UK government, the European Union and other donors.

Gareth O’Hagan, Regional Director – Africa
Gareth joined ASI in 2012, and has been based in our Africa regional office in Nairobi since 2016, having previously held the role of Head of Extractive Industries Governance. Gareth has over 20 years of development and private sector experience with industry-leading organisations, and is skilled at managing complex programmes to deliver impactful results. His career has spanned many countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

Gareth holds an economics degree from Trinity College Dublin, and a Masters of Management Science from the Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin.

Non-Executive Directors

Independent Non-Executive Chair of the Board

Dr Jeya Wilson

Dr Jeya Wilson was appointed in 2018, bringing a wealth of experience in international development and governance. Along with her NED role at ASI, she is on the board of the Africa Initiative for Governance, the start-up where she was founding CEO, with a mission to develop future public sector leaders in Africa. She is also an independent Governor of Northumbria University, and serves on the Oxford Union’s Audit Committee. Jeya has been Chair of the World Health Organisation’s Independent Expert Oversight Advisory Committee, Vice-Chair of the Board and Governance Committee of Fairtrade International, and has served on the International Labour Organisation’s Independent Oversight Advisory Committee, and the Global Fund’s Audit and Ethics committee.

Among a wide range of executive positions, Jeya was CEO of Africa’s largest chamber of commerce and industry in Durban, Director for Business Partnerships at UNDP, New York, CEO of the World Heart Federation, and Adjunct Professor and Executive Director of the International MBA of the University of Geneva. She was New Zealand Honorary Consul in South Africa.

She has a doctorate in international relations from Oxford where she was President of the Oxford Union. She holds the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Post-Graduate Diploma, the Certificate in International Enterprise Risk Management, and Certificate in Digital and Cybersecurity Management. She has lived in Germany, Nigeria, New Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka, South Africa, UK and USA and currently resides in Switzerland. In her younger days she rode a 750cc Dunstall Honda, and was an occasional soap actress.

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Attracting the right people to work with us, and supporting their performance, development, and well-being is a critical factor in ASI’s success and our impact in the countries where we work. Our culture champions diversity and inclusion and we live by our values.

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