About Us

ABOUT GlobalDF: The Global Clearinghouse for Development Finance (“GlobalDF”) is a nonprofit organization committed to mobilizing the private sector for development, advancing economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (“MDGs”).

GlobalDF develops concrete management techniques, financial structures, training materials, enabling -communication and knowledge tools that increase the capacity of government officials, development agencies, and the private sector to collaborate effectively in creating business-enabling environments, including the identifying, developing, and financing of infrastructure and other productive projects critical to development.   

To date GlobalDF has been funded by the Ford Foundation, UN Financing for Development Office, Norwegian government, Swiss government, UNCDF, and Samuels Associates, with extensive pro bono contributions from private sector experts.

The Core GlobalDF Team has over 100 years of aggregate experience in project development, project finance, and project implementation in developing countries. The Core Team includes five recognized financial experts who have held successful senior positions in international commercial and investment banks, rating agencies, and development banks. The Team Members have successfully developed and financed infrastructure and economic productive projects worldwide, including Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.


LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FINANCE INITIATIVE – GLOBALDF PARTNERSHIP WITH UN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FUND: In September 2010, the Global Clearinghouse for Development Finance (“GlobalDF”) officially launched the Local Development Finance Initiative Programme (“LDFI”) with the UN Capital Development Fund (“UNCDF”). The overall objective of LDFI is to support developing countries in their efforts to promote business-enabling environments conducive to private sector growth - particularly at the local level - and thereby reduce poverty and accelerate the achievements of the UN Millennium Development Goals (“MDGs”).

More specifically, LDFI aims to build capacity among private and public sector stakeholders at local and national level, with a view to introduce – on a pilot basis – innovative approaches to attracting financing from the domestic financial sector for high priority local investments of importance for local private sector growth. The Financing for Development Tools (“FfD Tools”) developed by the GlobalDF will be deployed at the national and local level to facilitate informed decision-making, improved business-enabling environments, and to disseminate lessons learned for replication and scaling up.

The initial focus of LDFI is on two pilot countries (Uganda and Tanzania), which will allow the testing of new approaches and tools, as well as forms of cooperation between UNCDF and GlobalDF. It is important to note that the LDFI Programme explicitly includes the support to the process of project development, finance, and implementation. Project development and access to finance are the cornerstones for achieving the specified outcome of mobilizing domestic finance for MDG-related investments.

LDFI is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and UNCDF, with in-kind contributions from GlobalDF Team Members.


GLOBALDF GOVERNANCE & BOARD OF DIRECTORS: GlobalDF was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in early 2010 in the state of Delaware, USA.  The founding board members are as follows:

Dr. Barbara C. Samuels, Chairperson and Executive Director 

Dr. Samuels has over 30 years experience in development finance, working in specific areas of country assessment, risk management, business development, investor analytic services, government advisory, and decision-making support – all areas critical to the development of the activities of the Global Clearinghouse.

As Vice Chair of the Business Steering Committee, United Nations Financing for Development, Dr. Samuels has been actively involved in developing specific strategies aimed at mobilizing private sector capital and expertise for development. She also served as Senior Advisor to the World Economic Forum, developing specific recommendations on enhancing leverage of official sector resources in developing countries.  

Dr. Samuels was formerly Chase Manhattan Bank's Director of Country Assessment, responsible for managing Chase's $50 billion country risk exposure worldwide. Dr. Samuels also served as Managing Director of Moody's Emerging Markets Service. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Samuels was Project Director of the Council on Foreign Relations' Roundtable on "Country Risk Analysis in the Post Asia Crisis: Identifying Risks, Strategies, and Policy Implications." As a staff member of the U.S. National Security Commission from 1998 - 2000, Dr. Samuels had responsibility for evaluating how worldwide economic and financial developments may impact U.S. national security. After teaching in Tunisia and Brazil, Dr. Samuels was Foreign Affairs Specialist at the US Agency for International Development.

Dr. Samuels is a member of the Steering Committee of the United Nations Global Alliance on Information and Communications Technology for Development. She has been very active in professional business organizations, for example serving as President of the Association of Political Risk Analysts and on a number of boards. She is an active speaker and organizer of conferences on global developments, periodically teaching at universities, such as Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and the Lubin School of Business. Her publications include Managing Risk in Developing Countries  (Princeton University Press); "Emerging Markets Are Here to Stay," in Foreign Affairs; and “The Untapped Potential for Development Finance Institutions to Catalyse Private Investment,” World Economic Forum. She has a Ph.D. in Management and Political Science from MIT, a M.B.A. from the Sloan School of Management, and a M.S. in Political Science from MIT.

Dr. Ellen Perecman – Secretary & Treasurer

Dr. Perecman has extensive experience in international relations and the social sciences. She is currently the Executive Director of the Council for Canadian American Relations in New York City.  She has published a number of edited volumes, journal articles and book chapters, including A Handbook for Social Science Field Research: Essays & Bibliographic Sources on Research Design and Methods, Sage Publications, 2006.  She served as Program Director for a number of international programs administered by the Social Science Research Council in New York from 1990 - 2003. Dr. Perecman holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Graduate Center CUNY. 

Dean Nicyper - Board Member

Mr. Nicyper has over 20 years experience in legal areas critical to developing internet-based tools for development finance. As a law partner of Flemming, Zulack, Williamson, Zaudered LLP, a New York City law firm, with nine years of practice experience at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, Mr. Nicyper has developed leading-edge expertise on intellectual property, software contract and licensing negotiations, the US First Amendment, media, constitutional law, product liability litigation, and securities law.   Mr. Nicyper has a J.D. legal degree magna cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law, and a BA magna cum laude from Marlbaro College.

Jorge Forteza - Board Member 

Mr. Forteza has over 25 years of experience as a global consultant on Corporate Strategy, Competitiveness and Governance, areas critical to the development of the activities of the Global Clearinghouse. Mr. Forteza serves as advisor to leading multinational corporations, large local groups, public sector organizations in Argentina and other Latin American countries. Previously, Mr. Forteza was a Partner and Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton based in Paris, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. He has published books and articles on Internationalization strategies in Latin America. Mr. Forteza was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Latin American Fellow Program in 2008. 

Mr. Forteza is a Professor in Strategy and Competitiveness at Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina, where he chaired the Board for four years and has been a Board Member for over six years. He has a MBA from the Sloan School of Management, M.I.T., as well as a Masters degree from the Norwegian Management Academy of Oslo. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires with a Masters in Political Economy.