The Joint SDG Fund encompasses a team of UN Agencies, Resident Coordinator Offices, and Partners in 100+ countries implementing joint programmes at country level. These United Nations Country Teams are monumental in making a difference in the lives the most vulnerable and their strength is the true muscle of the Joint SDG Fund.


Lisa Kurbiel

Head of Secretariat, Joint SDG Fund
Lisa Kurbiel

Since joining the Fund in 2019, Kurbiel is responsible for leading this flagship development fund at the UN, currently capitalized to US$ 275 million, to accelerate SDGs achievement in the global south.  She leads the Fund’s inter-agency engagement across multilateral and international organizations, whilst developing new, innovative partnerships with the private sector, from global asset managers and financial institutions to foundations and family offices. A passionate human rights advocate, she has cultivated and managed partnerships with key business entities, civil society organizations and philanthropies, always focused on the most vulnerable.  

Kurbiel brings over 22 years of experience, having served across the UN system, including in Somalia, South Sudan, Mozambique and Kenya. Her skills include public policy and legislative reform, strategic communications and advocacy and innovative financing solutions. Lisa received her Juris Doctor from Saint John’s University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Niagara University.  She and her husband reside in NYC and are the proud parents of their two amazing teenagers. 

Heewoong Kim

Reporting & Evaluation Specialist, Joint SDG Fund

Heew Kim is the Reporting & Evaluation Specialist in charge of M&E and result data analysis/reporting at the Joint SDG Fund. Before joining the Joint Fund, he served as corporate RBM specialist at UNCDF leading design of its Strategic Framework and investment impact measurements as well as managing corporate monitoring and reporting to the UNDP Executive Board. Prior to this, Heew worked as programme specialist at UNDP Egypt leading the Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Livelihoods portfolio and also serving as country resilience focal point for the joint UN response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Heew also worked with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO managing an Asia-Pacific regional ODA fund for education development, as a political and economic risk analyst with a UK-based risk assessment firm in London, and as an intelligence officer with the South Korean military, including a tour in Iraq with the multi-national peacebuilding force in Erbil. Heew has master’s degrees in International Affairs from the London School of Economics (LSE), UK and from Peking University, China, and an undergraduate degree from Korea University.

Vivalda Poggiali

Programme Specialist, Joint SDG Fund

Vivalda works for the United Nations Joint SDG Fund as External Relations and Resource Mobilization specialist. She is the lead focal point in managing the Fund’s relations with current and perspective donors. Before joining the Fund, she worked at the United Nations Development Coordination Office in New York as program analyst in Funding and Financing. Previously worked with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN DESA and the European Union in Somalia, Kenya and Namibia.

Nenad Rava Phd/MDes

Head of Programmes, Joint SDG Fund

Nenad (Ned) Rava has 20+ years of professional experience in Strategic Development focusing on Systemic Design, Strategic Foresight, Social Innovation, Policy and Institutional Change, Learning, Leadership and Stakeholder Dialogue. He has facilitated complex systems change on 60+ initiatives led by, amongst others, the UN, the World Bank, and the EU. Ned works on coherence and integration across “silos” and has contributed to: Business Innovation (Platforms, Incubators, Labs, SMEs, Social Enterprises), Social Policy (Education, Healthcare, Social Protection), Public Administration Reform and Decentralization, Local Economic and Community Development, International and Regional Cooperation, and Democratic Governance.

Ned has a BSC in Management, an MA and PhD in Comparative Politics, and a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. He has produced 50+ strategic publications and designed and delivered over 100 training and educational programs.  Amongst others, Ned published a book “Platforms Everywhere: Transforming Organizations by Integrating Ecosystems in Business Design” and on chapter on Systemic Policy Design in the “Handbook of Systems Sciences”.

Elizabeth Paturzo

Head of Communications, Joint SDG Fund
Elizabeth Paturzo

Elizabeth works for the United Nations Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund as the Head of Communications where she advocates and promotes the Sustainable Development Goals. She is the focal point in communications for all global joint programmes as well as, external communications for the Fund. Before joining the Fund, she served as UNICEF Kenya's Communications Specialist in Advocacy and Partnerships, focused on health, education, and child protection. Previously, worked with UNICEF USA National Committee in events fundraising, and prior with UNHCR in emergency response during the refugee migration crisis in Greece.   

Elaine Smith Genser

Partnership Development Consultant, Joint SDG Fund
Elaine Smith Genser

Elaine works at the United Nations Joint SDG Fund on engagement and partnerships development. Before working in the social sector in 2011, she worked for 20years as a trader and research sales manager at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan. In 2013 she was elected Young Global Leader (YGL) of the World Economic Forum. She holds a BBA from Univ. Mackenzie, an MBA from Univ. Sao Paulo-FIA, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Owner/President Management Program (OPM). She completed executive programs in leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Gov't, Yale School of Mgm't, and Saïd Business School at Oxford University.

Elaine was the Manager of the Global Future Council of Financial and Monetary Systems and was Community Lead for Banking and Capital Markets at the World Economic Forum from 2015-2018. Then, she worked two years at the World Bank Group in the Global Engagement & Partnerships, advising on the development and implementation of strategy and contributing to the thinking and formulation of financial vehicles for corporate partnerships and philanthropy. She also consulted with the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) on efforts to highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Women Owned Business.    

Vittoria Gemelli

Associate Expert

Vittoria is an Associate Expert at the Joint SDG Fund, working on strengthening interagency cooperation and furthering the implementation of the UN Development System reforms. She has previously worked on health and development with the World Health Organization for the region of Europe and Central Asia, and in Kenya and Somalia with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Vittoria holds a BSC in Political and Social Sciences and is specialized with a MA in international policies for sustainable development cooperation and a MSC in urban management and development.

Sébastien Fahrni

Programme Specialist

Sébastien serves as a Programme Specialist, contributing to the governance of the Joint SDG Fund, providing programmatic assistance to Resident Coordinators through the Integrated Policy and Capacity Building funding track, and fostering strategic coherence among the Fund, the Development Coordination Office (DCO) and the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

Sébastien has over 8 years of international experience within public, multilateral, private and non-profit sectors. Before joining the Joint SDG Fund, he contributed to the Resident Coordinator system by working with the DCO Regional Liaison Office for Africa in New York, involving missions to Niger and Burkina Faso, as well as with the Resident Coordinator Office in North Macedonia. Before joining the UN, Sébastien worked in consulting for international clients, in economic affairs at the Swiss Embassy in Vietnam and with a non-governmental organization in Switzerland. Sébastien holds a BSc in Economics and a MSc in Management. He is native in French, and fluent in English.

Maria Eduarda Berenguer

Portfolio Management Consultant (Africa and Latin America), SDG Finance
Maria Berenguer

Brazilian native, currently living in Paris where I recently graduated from my Master in Environmental Policy at SciencesPo. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and before coming to France I had the opportunity to work for the private sector in Brazil and for the Inter-American Development Bank in Barbados.  At the IDB I specially supported projects, across Latin American and the Caribbean, to leverage finance for MSMEs and low-income households to build resilience to climate change.  During my last work experience with the Institute for Climate Economics in Paris I managed research projects focused on the role of financial regulation in supporting the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Maya V. Márquez

Portfolio Management Consultant – integrated social policy & LNOB
Maya V. Márquez

Maya supports the monitoring of the Integrated Social Protection/Leave No One Behind (LNOB) portfolio of the Joint SDG Fund. She has worked for the International Social Security Association (ISSA) with joint projects with the social protection department for the ILO. Previously, she worked on RCT projects for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Rwanda and Colombia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science (Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala) and an MSc in Public Policy with a focus on social protection design and financing (Maastricht University, The Netherlands).

Ece Berkyürek

Communications Specialist
Ece Berkyürek

Ece is a versatile Communications Specialist with a background in Economics, combining analytical thinking with creative problem-solving to deliver impactful communication solutions. Currently serving as a Communications Consultant for the United Nations Joint SDG Fund, she is responsible for strategic communication planning, content creation, and brand management. Ece crafts comprehensive communication strategies tailored to resonate with diverse audiences, drawing upon her experience in the United Nations System and The Boeing Company. Her well-rounded perspective enables her to navigate complex organizational structures and effectively promote sustainable development.

June Akhwale

Monitoring and Reporting Officer

June Akhwale is a dedicated Monitoring and Reporting Officer at the Joint SDG Fund, actively contributing to the organization's mission of advancing sustainable development. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in economics to her role, ensuring effective oversight and reporting on projects that drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. June holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree in Financial Economics, a testament to her commitment to understanding the intricacies of financial systems and their intersection with sustainable development. Her academic background and professional experiences have equipped her with the skills necessary to ensure that the Joint SDG Fund's projects are not only aligned with the goals but are also financially sound and sustainable.

Christoph Majewski

Web-Development Consultant, Joint SDG Fund
Christoph Majewski

Christoph has 17+ years of professional experience as a Full-Stack-Webdeveloper and Web-Designer. He has served as a consultant with the UNDP since 2012 and provided web-programming services for the MDG Achievement Fund, Sustainable Development Goals Fund and the Joint SDG Fund. Christoph is responsible for the  development and design of the corporate digital platforms, monitoring and reporting gateways and the digital communication campaign websites.