Meet our Team
Kate Cincotta (Clopeck)
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Kate Cincotta (Clopeck) is the Executive Director for Saha Global. A former aerospace engineer, Kate wanted to figure out a simple solution to the difficult problem of getting clean water to rural villages. She worked throughout Africa for ten years and found that again and again, the problem was not technology; it was distribution. She established Saha Global in northern Ghana to deliver clean water for all using materials readily available everywhere.
Kate earned a Master’s of Science in Technology and Policy from MIT in 2009 where her research was focused on the sustained use of water treatment technologies in Northern Region Ghana. She holds Bachelor’s in Science from the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Prior to founding Saha, Kate was an associate engineer at Aerojet, an aerospace firm located in Virginia. Kate is passionate about finding simple yet effective solutions to complex problems, and shares this passion through speaking and writing engagements. She has been featured in numerous publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington Post, and at many events including, TEDx Middlebury and TEDx Accra. She loves running marathons and the island of Nantucket. She currently splits her time between Ghana and Boston, MA.
Kathryn served as a Field Rep to Kpalbusi in the Winter 2011 Global Leadership Program. She’s drawn to smart people, thoughtful technologies, and she just can’t stop coming back to Saha Global! She worked as the head of Saha’s Ghana-based staff for two years, where she grew her passion for human-centered design, mostly-accurate maps and motos. After a stint with San Francisco-based Scoot Networks, she re-joined the team to recruit and train new Field Reps as the Program Director. Kathryn graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (BSFS in Science, Technology and International Affairs, Certificate in International Development) in 2011.
Director of Ghana Operations
As the Director of Ghana Operations, Theo is the leader of Saha’s Ghana team, driving operations and helping build a self-sustaining organisation in Saha. After 4 years of working with for-profit organisations, Theo decided it was time to be part of an effort to address socio-development needs and be part of the change he wished to see.
Theo holds a Degree in Business Administration from Ashesi University where he was involved in projects that aimed at increasing entrepreneurial prospects for local townsfolk. Prior to joining Saha, he was the general manager of Laundry Chief, Ghana’s first on-demand dry-cleaning company, helping the startup build an impressive logistics and operations management, and chalking recognitions while at it.
Theo is excited about his work at Saha, believes there is so much potential for Saha’s expansion into other geographical areas in Ghana and is happy to be able to work with the team to expand our operations to these areas.
Peter is one of Saha Global’s Senior Managers and was our first full-time Ghanian team member. He has worked with Saha Global since 2008, when we implemented our second water business in the village of Nymaliga. Peter was born and raised in Tamale, Ghana. He loves leading groups of Saha Global Field Reps, reggae and the Lion King.
Hussein M. Amin
Amin officially joined the Saha team in 2011 although, he has been involved with our organization since our very first water business in the village of Kasaligu in 2008! During the last week of our pilot implementation, we needed a new translator at the last minute and Amin came to our rescue! He then worked for a local water filter business, Pure Home Water, for a couple of years before re-joining our team, first in 2010 as a translator for the Global Leadership Program and then as a full-time district manager. Amin is a trained chef and often cooks up delicious meals for his lucky teams of Field Reps. When he’s not out in the field or in the kitchen, he loves rapping and playing with his pet monkey.
Shakool (better known as “Shak”) is a Senior Manager for Saha Global. Shak joined our staff in 2009 and is THE man to know around Tamale, making him an invaluable asset to our team! Prior to working at Saha Global, Shak was a salesman at Pure Home Water, a social enterprise that distributes ceramic water filters in Northern Region Ghana. In his spare time, Shak is a busy entrepreneur – he runs a local car washing business, raises poultry, and farms.
Abdul Wahab Lawal
Wahab first joined the team in 2010 after successfully leading a team of Field Reps. He was born in Northern Region, Ghana, and studied in Kumasi before returning back to Tamale. He can fix anything and is an expert back-country moto rider. Wahab loves chatting with former fellows on Facebook, listening to hip-life and singing along with his favorite Rihanna tune.
Born and raised in Tamale, Eric graduated from the Dambai College of Education in the Volta Region of Ghana with a diploma certificate in Basic Education. Eric began his career with Saha during the Winter 2013 Global Leadership Program when he oversaw the successful implementation of the water treatment center in Nekpegu; Eric did so great that he was invited to join the full time team that same year. Prior to joining our team, Eric was volunteering as a teacher in Kpalbusi, a Saha Global partner-community in the Northern Region of Ghana. Eric enjoys reading, watching and playing all sports, especially soccer, and music. He also loves meeting new people, which is one of his favorite aspects of working with Field Reps!
Simply is the women to join Saha’s full-time field team! She first started working with Saha as translator in January 2014, after learning of our work through Eric. She implemented a water center in Manguli 2. She became a full time monitor in September 2017, and says her favorite time at Saha is when new Field Reps arrive for the Global Leadership Program. Simply grew up in Bulpela neighborhood of Tamale with her brother, Nestor. Before Saha, Simply obtained her certificate in hair dressing and cosmetics. She enjoys eating banku with hot pepper sauce and fish, and she likes listening to music in her free time.
Danaa Nestor Donyon
Nestor grew up in Bulpela neighborhood of Tamale. He found out about Saha through Peter, and joined our team as a translator for the Global Leadership Program in January 2012. His first Saha business was a water center in Manguli 1. Nestor joined the team full time in September 2017 as a monitor, alongside his sister Simply. In his free time, Nestor loves listening to music and dancing, and his favorite food is T.Z. and ayoyo. When the Saha Field Reps are in town, he enjoys having fun with them and the kids out in our partner communities.
Dzorsah first found out about Saha through Peter and started as a translator for the GLP. His first Saha business was in Changbuni. Before joining Saha, Dzorsah drove a taxi in Tamale. His favorite part of working for Saha is going out to the field and monitoring, talking with the women entrepreneurs, doing household visits, and interacting with people. When he is not at work, Dzorsah keeps busy with a small plot with fowls, ducks, goats, and sheep, plays football in his neighborhood and enjoys cooking.
Sita grew up in Tamale, and learned about Saha through Wahab. She first started as a translator in 2014, implementing a water business in Balamposo. Before she joined Saha, Sita was studying business management at school. When she’s not out in the field, Sita likes to listen to music, dance, and eat T.Z. or “anything soupy!” Her favorite part about Saha is on opening day when she sees a child taste the water for the first time and smile.
TJ first learned about Saha back at the beginning from Shak and Kate. He first implemented in Nyanguipe with Wahab and Kate, and his first GLP village was Yapei-Yipela. Before working at Saha, TJ was a sales associate at Melcom and drove a taxi. When he isn’t working, TJ likes to listen to Ghanian dancehall music and his favorite food is banku. TJ is excited to be a part of a team that is bringing his country clean water and be a part of a team helping Ghana.
Seidu grew up in the Kakpagyili neighborhood of Tamale, and first found out about Saha through Eric who took him out in the field monitoring and implementing with him. The first village he worked in was Nekpegu. Prior to joining Saha, Seidu was a skilled electrician, and he still uses his skills from time to time at the Saha office! Seidu is excited about the possibilities of working with Saha. When he is not at work, he enjoys playing football on his neighborhood team.
Ziblila Mohammed Taufik
Taufik grew up in Tamale, and first learned about Saha through Peter, who is a friend of his senior brother. Taufik started as a translator and has worked three Global Leadership Programs, with his first implementation in Baiyili. Before joining Saha, Taufik was teaching ICT – Information Communication Technolgy. When he isn’t working, Taufik enjoys playing football, taking selfies, and rooting for his favorite team, Chelsea. Taufik’s favorite part of Saha is the GLP program and seeing the clear water being scooped from the blue drums into the poly tank.
Heidi is a Global Leadership Program (GLP) Alum from the summer of 2015. She helped implement a solar business in Jangbaryili Heidi’s passion for providing the world with basic human needs brought her to Peru to working with Engineers without Borders implementing rainwater catchment systems and developing sustainable water filters and leading UC Berkeley’s water filter making competition team. After participating in Saha’s GLP, Heidi spent some time working in San Francisco as a Project Engineer for a General Contractor before finally returning to Saha winter 2017 as an Operations Coordinator. Heidi attended the University of California, Berkeley and received a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Studies. She hopes to contribute her work experience, education, and passion to support the team in continuing to provide a sustainable solution for clean water in Northern Ghana!
Rhiana first learned about Saha Global more than four years ago while she working on her master’s thesis related to drinking water treatment with ceramic filters at Tufts University. She always followed Saha’s progress, and in January of 2018, took a leave of absence from her job to participate in the Global Leadership Program, implementing a water business in Nyantag. Immediately after the program, she leapt at the opportunity to come work in Tamale full-time! Prior to joining Saha, Rhiana spent two years at Cambrian Innovation, a Boston-based industrial wastewater treatment startup, most recently in field operations. She’s thrilled to return to the drinking water world. Rhiana has a M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tufts University, and a B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College.
Board of Directors
Our inter-disciplinary Board of Directors brings a range of specialized skills and experience to the Saha Global. The team is led by former management consulting professionals, holding graduate degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology specializing in Household Water Treatment and Safe Water Storage (HWTS) in the developing world, as well as engineering and business degrees from MIT, Dartmouth, Harvard, and the University of Virginia. Over half of the team has previous field experience implementing water health projects in other Sub-Saharan countries of Africa as well as Latin America. In addition to the Directors listed below, Executive Director, Kate Clopeck, also serves as a member of the Board.
Vanessa Coleman (Green)
Co-Founder of Saha Global
Vanessa co-founded Saha Global following her MIT graduate work on household water treatment in northern Ghana. Her thesis work convinced her that the key to universal clean water access was sustainable. This belief was shared across the Saha founding team and the organization was born. Today, Vanessa is co-founder and CEO of FINsix, an advanced power electronics company that enables smaller, lighter power solutions for consumer devices. Prior to her work with FINsix, Vanessa was a manager at TECOM Investments in Dubai, UAE and a consultant with the Monitor Group in New York, NY. In 2014 FINsix was selected as an Inc 35 Under 35 company. Previously, Vanessa won MIT’s Patrick E. McGovern Entrepreneurship Award, and was selected as a Boston Business Journal Innovation All-Stars Rising Star and Forbes 30-under-30 in Energy. Vanessa holds a M.Eng. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT, a MBA from MIT Sloan and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.
Mark is an international senior executive with broad management experience in finance, strategy, leadership and general management. His expertise includes both public and private sectors, executive and non-executive board roles, venture capital and private equity investment, transaction experience including acquisitions, divestitures and financing, investor relations, risk management, board & corporate governance and organizational development. Mark’s experience included 15 years at Devonshire Investors, a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, including positions of Managing Director responsible for investments in communications, information & technology, real estate, oil and gas and biotechnology sectors. During his tenure at Decvonshire, Mark held the position of Chief Financial Officer of Colt Group SA, (London stock exchange listed company) a global provider of network, voice, IT and data center services to business enterprises from 2011 through 2014. Prior positions included VP Finance at Kronos Incorporated, a global provider of software based workforce management solutions and Audit Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, LLC. Mark is also a member of the Board of Directors of Matthew 25, Inc, a non profit organization located in Worcester and Boston, Massachusetts that acquires and renovates run down and abandoned properties for leasing to low-income families.
MBA Candidate: Stanford Graduate School of Business
Mark was elected to Saha Global’s Board of Directors in February of 2014. Mark first got involved with Saha Global as a Field Representative in 2012 and piloted the first Solar program after winning the Saha Global Social Enterprise Competition in 2013. Mark is currently pursuing his Masters in Business Administration at Stanford where he is focused on social enterprises and how to start and grow social ventures. Mark has a passion for global development having worked across Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America in a variety of fields including education, sanitation, energy, technology, and community leadership. Mark believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys to lifting communities out of poverty – and hopes to put his interests in management and development to use in the impact investing field. Mark holds a B.S. in Philosophy and Communications from Boston College.
Founding Partner and Chairman of Bluefield Research
William W. Ambrose is a business information entrepreneur and industry analysis expert with over 30 years experience in the telecommunications, energy and infrastructure industries. He is principal of Stone Silo LLC, a consultancy that supports industry insight start-ups, and is founding partner and chairman of Bluefield Research, a start-up providing insight on the global water sector. He founded two successful industry research start-ups – Emerging Energy Research, specializing in renewable energy, and Pyramid Research, specializing in emerging markets telecoms.
Mr. Ambrose is actively engaged in the non-profit sector at the board level. He is board chair of The BOMA Project, a US and Kenyan-based organization with a mission to alleviate extreme poverty and build resiliency in the drylands of Africa. He is a director of Saha Global, working with women entrepreneurs to provide clean water in Northern Ghana. And he is on the board of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, whose mission is to support investigative journalism. Mr. Ambrose received an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York with a concentration in international business, strategy, and industry analysis. He holds a BA in economics and intercultural studies (Africa specialization) from Trinity College, Hartford CT.
President of beep! Directed
Patrick was elected to Saha Global’s Board of Directors in February 2014 after spending a year advising the organization on marketing. Patrick strongly believes in the power of entrepreneurship as an agent of change and empowerment having founded beep! Directed after starting and selling his first marketing services firm and through his work at The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. At beep!, start-ups to publicly traded companies look to Patrick on how to implement, measure, and systematically improve scalable outreach campaigns that directly impact revenue. Patrick brings this focus in his work with Saha, ensuring the organization is implementing best practices tested and perfected in the ‘for-profit’ world. Patrick holds a B.S. degree from Babson College where he focused on Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management.
Manager of Preconstruction, Gilbane Building Company
Greg joined the Saha team in Q1 2017, and brings a corporate perspective to the BOD from his career as a construction professional in the Boston area. As Manager of Preconstruction for Gilbane Building Company’s Boston Interiors Group, Greg specializes in helping corporate and institutional clients budget and plan for their upcoming construction projects. Greg was born and raised on a small family farm in rural New England and thus embraces a culture of sustainability and resilience that has many parallels with the Saha mission. In addition to the Saha BOD, Greg serves as Academic Co-Chair on the Professional Advisory Board at Roger Williams University, his alma mater, where he received a B.S. degree in Construction Management and Business Administration.
VP of Strategic Development, Kiva
Bennett has a background as a Tech Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Community Leader, Fundraiser, and Business Developer at leading Social Enterprises. As Vice President of Strategic Development at Kiva Bennett designs and capitalizes new initiatives for Kiva. He is a co-founder of Kiva Labs, a program to accelerate product innovation among social enterprises and financial service providers and manages partnerships with major foundations and corporations such as the MasterCard Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Omidyar Network, Cisco and Google among many others. Awards include the Yale School of Management-Goldman Sachs National Nonprofit Business Plan competition for TechSoup Stock, an online product philanthropy service that went on to distribute over $1 billion in technology and a Google Impact Challenge award for Kiva Labs.
Through our work on the ground in Ghana and the United States, we have built relationships with partners that have helped us engage with communities, bridge the language gap, establish a local network and expand our impact. Such partners are essential to project sustainability in the developing world and represent an equally valuable component of our Saha Global team.
In Ghana, we have received guidance and support from several organizations who share our motivation to solve some of the biggest challenges that rural communities of the developing world face. We think of these people and these organizations as an extension of our team: Public Service Center at MIT, Pure Home Water, UNICEF, the Carter Center, PATH, Burro, International Aid, the Center for Disease Control, The Central Gonja, East Gonja, Sevelagu, and Tolon District Assemblies.