Dalberg Advisors Elects Edwin Macharia as Global Managing Partner

Dalberg Advisors, the leading global consulting firm specializing in inclusive and sustainable business, policy, and investment strategy, is pleased to announce Edwin Macharia as its incoming Global Managing Partner. Elected by the firm’s equity partners to serve a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2020, Edwin will be the fourth Global Managing Partner since Dalberg’s founding in 2001. He will succeed Yana Kakar who was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016, serving the maximum of two terms. 

Over the course of his eleven years with Dalberg, Edwin has served in a range of leadership roles. He founded Dalberg’s first office in East Africa in 2008, established the firm’s Agriculture and Food Security Practice, chaired the internal Strategy, Impact & Quality governance committee, and most recently, served a second term as the Regional Director for Africa. 

A citizen of Kenya who is based in Nairobi, Edwin served as a global Director with the Clinton Foundation across the HIV/AIDS portfolio, as well as agriculture before joining Dalberg. This focus continued when he joined the firm where he supported new areas of speciality including sustainable agriculture, food security, global health and distributed infrastructure. 

Edwin’s influence extends to the broader development and business communities. He was part of two successive Global Agenda Councils for the World Economic Forum, and is a current Board member of Nabo Capital and Digital Green. He also serves as member of The Nature Conservancy Africa Council, and the Amref University Governing Council. Edwin was named on Forbes’ 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa in 2015 and was recognized as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in the same year. In 2010, the Africa Leadership Institute named Edwin an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow. 

Edwin steps into the role during a period of significant growth and innovation for Dalberg Advisors. Under Yana’s leadership, the firm has expanded from 12 to 27 offices worldwide, established new successful business lines in human-centered design and impact investing, and emphasized the incubation and launch of new initiatives in close collaboration with partners across the private, public and philanthropic sectors. 

Recent initiatives under Yana’s leadership include the development of The Human Account and DigiFarm, both recognized by the prestigious Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards; the release of the State of Aadhaar 2019, the world’s largest study and dataset on the use and experience of digital identification; the design, incubation and launch of Convergence, the foremost global organization for blended finance; and the creation of Safe Surgery 2020, similarly designed, incubated and launched by Dalberg and partners to bring surgical care to underserved communities in low and middle-income countries. 

In Yana’s words: “While I am proud of our expansion, it is not the growth in our size but in our significance as innovators, advisors and agenda setters that has been most important to me. Dalberg is demonstrating how a professional services firm can succeed due to – not despite of – its commitment to inclusion, integrity, environmental sustainability and social justice.”

During Yana’s tenure, the broader Dalberg Group has grown to encompass Dalberg Research, Dalberg Data Insights, Dalberg Media and Dalberg Implement.

“Edwin has spearheaded a lot of innovation into the new business lines within the Group. That will serve him well as he steps forward to lead Dalberg’s biggest and longest standing business” said Henrik Skovby, Dalberg’s Founder. 

“Edwin demonstrates the difference a person can make when they combine deep passion with unmatched dedication,” says Yana Kakar, Dalberg’s outgoing Global Managing Partner. “Our entire partnership is tremendously excited to welcome Edwin and to see what new horizons he helps Dalberg reach next.”

“Yana is responsible for some of Dalberg’s most impactful partnerships and projects,” says Edwin, “and yet nowhere is her impact felt more deeply than within the firm. She inspires and cultivates the next generation of leaders and she has been a driving force in building Dalberg into a firm known not just for its analysis and insights, but also its commitment to applying a gender lens and climate lens across all of our work. I am excited to build upon these foundations towards our shared vision for the future of Dalberg.”


Dalberg is the leading social impact group that brings together strategy consulting, design thinking, big data analytics, and research to address complex social and environmental challenges. We work collaboratively with communities, institutions, governments, and corporations to develop solutions that create impact at scale. 

Dalberg Advisors provides advisory services that combine the best of private sector strategy skills and rigorous analytical capabilities, with deep knowledge and networks across emerging and frontier markets. We work collaboratively across the public, private and philanthropic sectors to fuel inclusive growth and help clients achieve their goals. Our global perspectives are firmly rooted in local realities. We have 27 offices across the world, have served clients in over 120 countries and staff members speak over 95 languages. By combining local knowledge and international experience, our strategies blend the best global ideas and innovations with the local practicalities and partnerships needed for effective implementation.

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Edwin Macharia is the incoming Global Managing Partner of Dalberg Advisors and is based in Nairobi. In his capacity as Africa Regional Director, he has been instrumental in building out the firm’s footprint, talent and capabilities in Africa. He began as the founder of the Nairobi office in 2008, and has played catalytic roles across the firm, including pioneering the Agriculture & Food Security practice; chairing the Strategy, Impact & Quality Committee, one of two governing bodies in the firm; and incubating Dalberg Implement.

In his advisory capacity, he supports clients on a range of issues including strategy, operational efficiency, and program implementation. He is a board member of Nabo Capital and Digital Green. He also serves as member of The Nature Conservancy Africa Council, and the Amref University Governing Council. He has previously been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa (2012-2014) and on Risk & Resilience (2014-2016).

Edwin joined Dalberg from the Clinton Foundation, where he held multiple roles focused on rural communities. As Director of Agriculture, he led the Foundation’s thinking, operations, and partnership-building in the agriculture space for a $100m initiative focused on affecting holistic development at the grassroots level. Before that, Edwin was Director of the Rural Initiative for the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, charged with developing and supporting the execution of programs that extend HIV/AIDS care and treatment services to low-level heath facilities (health centres and dispensaries) across partner countries.

Prior to joining the Clinton Foundation, Edwin was at McKinsey & Company, where he served clients in the financial services and pharmaceutical sectors. Edwin holds a degree in Biology from Amherst College. He has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, was listed by Forbes’ as one of the 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa in 2015. He is also an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow. 

Edwin lives in Nairobi with his wife, one daughter and three energetic dogs.


Yana Watson Kakar is the Global Managing Partner of Dalberg Advisors, elected to head the firm in 2013 and re-elected for a second and final term in 2016. During her tenure, Yana has grown Dalberg Advisors significantly, increasing its footprint to 27 offices worldwide, and strengthening the core strategy business by establishing and scaling two successful new businesses in human-centered design and impact investing. A champion for creating system-wide changes that start at home, Yana has led the organization to apply a gender and climate lens across all its work as standard. 

Yana helps leaders in business, government and the social sector to improve individual and organizational performance through sustainable, responsible and inclusive strategies. In 2018, Yana was appointed to serve on the African Presidential Youth Advisory Council, advising heads of industry and state on matters of youth entrepreneurship and employment across Africa. Yana serves on the Board of Directors of Convergence, on the Frontier Markets Investors Council of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association and is a member of the Brookings Global Leadership Council and the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Yana’s perspectives have been published in several media outlets, including the Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Huffington Post, DevEx, The Guardian, The Economist and Forbes. Yana holds a BA from McGill University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, speaks five languages and lives with her husband, two children and much-loved dog in New York.

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