Partner, Dalberg Advisors

Naoko Koyama, a Dalberg Partner based in South Africa, has been instrumental in expanding the firm’s presence on the continent and introducing integrated service offerings spanning strategy, design, research, data analytics, and strategic implementation.

Naoko advocates that livelihoods are critical to enhancing the agency of individuals, communities, and nations. She asserts that inclusive, sustainable growth requires engagement from both public and private sectors. As co-leader of Dalberg’s Gender Practice, she focuses on advancing women’s economic empowerment to bolster their agency and overall well-being. Her efforts in gender equality dispel misconceptions, collaborate with grassroots organizations such as BuildHer, and advise development partners on gender equality program strategies. Additionally, Naoko examines the gendered effects and opportunities of climate change, and the influence of social norms on women’s economic empowerment. She co-leads Dalberg’s firm-wide Neutral is Not Enough Initiative, integrating a gender lens into all engagements.

Naoko is dedicated to advising government agencies and development partners to drive economic growth through industrialization. She has led a number of cross-country comparative analyses in agriculture and off-grid energy sectors, aiding investors in prioritizing market entry strategies. Naoko also led the development of master plans for agricultural and ethanol sectors in Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, and Madagascar.

Naoko finds great joy in bringing big ideas to life through strategy, design, and implementation support. She co-directed Dalberg’s support to the Fast Company award-winning DigiFarm, from initial research to partnership development and rapid learning. She also contributed to the feasibility study and initial implementation of Mitsui/ETG’s Farmers 360° Link, empowering cotton farmers by connecting them to global consumers through traceability applications.

Before joining Dalberg in 2010, Naoko held positions at Fuji Bank, Arthur Andersen, KPMG, and the International Finance Corporation. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration/International Development from Harvard Kennedy School, is a US CFA Charter holder, and is fluent in Japanese, English, and French.


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