Our Leadership

Executive Team

Jonathan Pell (CEO)

Executive Director of the Board

Jonathan was appointed CEO in 2018 after serving as an executive director on the board since 2013.

Soon after joining ASI in 2002, he successfully established the company as a global leader in private sector development and extractive industries governance. Jonathan built and managed ASI’s subsidiary in Australia and led work funded by the governments of New Zealand and Australia across the Asia-Pacific region.

Jonathan has managed numerous economic growth and government reform programmes across Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East on behalf of many donor governments and organisations as well as directly for governments.

Riaan Bloem

Chief Financial Officer

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.

Rebecca Jefferies

General Counsel, Director of Legal & Ethics and People teams

Rebecca joined ASI in 2017 as the General Counsel and Company Secretary, and she later took on the leadership of People, Talent, Legal & Ethics teams as well as overseeing the work of the Safeguarding Lead.

She earlier served as Legal Counsel for the Marken Group, a supply chain logistics organisation where she led the global anti-corruption programme.

Rebecca trained as a solicitor at Watson, Farley & Williams and qualified into their International Litigation & Arbitration team in 2008.

Luqman Ahmad

Chief Operating Officer

Luqman joined ASI in 2011, first managing extractives industries projects, then projects to expand the private sector in developing economies. In 2017, he was appointed to lead the business growth team.

Since obtaining a BSc in engineering from Queen’s University in Canada, Luqman has devoted himself to work in development, first with the Canadian aid agency, CIDA, and then as a consultant working mainly in sub-Saharan Africa for many private and public donor agencies on issues from climate reform, labour market and skills development, economic growth and the extractive industries to market development and economic governance.

Non-Executive Directors

Rodney Slee

Non-Executive Chair of the Board

Rodney Slee joined ASI in 2000 as a Non-Executive Director with particular responsibility for finance. In 2006 he briefly served as interim CFO.

Rod, who is a qualified Chartered Accountant, has held financial management positions in business and industry, including 14 years at Deloitte Consulting. He established a small consulting company and has also done humanitarian work in Libya during the revolution.

Dr Jeya Wilson

Independent Non-executive Director, Deputy Chair

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. Jeya is Vice-Chair of the board of Fairtrade International; Chair of the Independent Expert Oversight Advisory Committee of the World Health Organisation; and independent governor of Northumbria University. She previously 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, CEO of the World Heart Federation, Executive Director of the International MBA of the University of Geneva, and 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 a Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma, and a Certificate in International Enterprise Risk Management. In her younger days she rode a 750cc Dunstall Honda, and was an occasional soap actress.

Calum Thomson

Independent Non-executive Director (Adam Smith Advisory Group), Chair of the Audit Committee

Calum, who was appointed in 2018, is a qualified chartered accountant with a career spanning more than 25 years in the financial services industry.

For two decades, Calum was a partner at Deloitte LLP, advising and reporting to the audit and executive committees of asset managers, sovereign wealth funds, large charities, investment trusts, private equity funds and managers, and banks.

He currently holds a portfolio of non-executive director roles and chairs the audit committee for four listed investment trusts as well as the Bank of London and the Middle East, which is governed by the British financial regulator. He is on the board of regulated subsidiaries of a major UK investment manager.

In voluntary roles, Calum chairs the Board of Trustees of La Serenissima, a historical performance ensemble that specialises in the music of Vivaldi and contemporary musicians, and chairman of Tarbat Historic Trust a small Pictish museum in Scotland.

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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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