Learn about some of the dedicated and creative team members that make Building Markets tick


Jennifer Holt
Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer Holt is the CEO of Building Markets. She joined the organization in Afghanistan in 2006 where she worked with the Afghan Government’s Ministry of Finance. From 2007-2012, she launched and led Building Markets’ US office while managing its rapid programmatic scale in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Haiti and Liberia. Prior to this,...

Favorite Quote
"To be or not to be? That is the question."
– Shakespeare
Favorite Book
The Secret History
by Donna Tartt
Aroop Bhattasali
Chief Financial Officer

Aroop Bhattasali is Building Markets' Chief Financial Officer, and brings over 10 years of experience splitting his time between the non-profit and private sectors. He has spent six years working with NGOs, including field assignments in Western Sahara, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian Territories as well as working for Rio Tinto in the...

Favorite Quote
"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who don't know, and those who don't know they don't know."
– John Kenneth Galbraith (misquoted)
Favorite Book
Fathers and Sons
by Ivan Turgenev
Loring Harkness
Partnerships Manager, Myanmar

Loring Harkness joined Building Markets in September 2016 as the Partnerships Manager in Myanmar. He has over five years experience building impactful technology startups in Myanmar and across southeast Asia. He is currently Founder of Ngwe.Su, which creates financial inclusion tools for the under-banked. He was Co-founder and CEO of Next...

Favorite Quote
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller
Favorite Book
by Joseph Conrad
Emmanuel Maillard
Project Director

Emmanuel joined Building Markets in February 2013 as the project manager for the Sustainable Marketplace Initiative in Myanmar. He spent the last 4 years in Phnom Penh working on financial inclusion for low-income people and MSMEs. He was Technical Advisor for SAMIC Microfinance Ltd. and Marketing Manager for WING, a leading social business...

Favorite Quote
"Being an artist doesn't take much, just everything you got."
– Hubert Selby Jr
Favorite Book
Les clowns lyriques
by Romain Gary
Chelsea McKevitt
Administration and Project Support Officer

Chelsea joined Building Markets in May 2015 as the Administration and Project Support Officer in New York.  Prior to Building Markets, Chelsea interned at a nonprofit organization that worked to promote political and economic equality.  She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida with a major in International Relations and...

Favorite Quote
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any."
– Alice Walker
Favorite Book
The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
Isik Oguzertem
Interim Country Director, Turkey

Isik joined Building Markets in 2016 as the Interim Country Director in Turkey. He comes with nearly a decade of experience in Jordan, Iraq and Turkey working with the United Nations and NGOs on post-conflict recovery and refugee responses. With Save the Children, he led the initiation and delivery of educational support services to tens of...

Favorite Quote
“If you're not actually changing the world for the positive in some way, you're either wasting your time or you're making things worse."
– Geoffrey James
Favorite Book
by George Orwell
Kavya Raman
Project Director

Kavya is a Project Director for Building Markets. Having worked with the organization between 2010 and 2013, Kavya returned to Building Markets in October 2015 to lead a research project identifying ways to support small businesses in Lebanon. In 2016, she will be focused on launching and overseeing the organization’s programming in Turkey and...

Favorite Quote
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
– Mark Twain
Favorite Book
Collected Short Stories
by Roald Dahl
Danielle Reda
Finance and HR Associate

Danielle Reda joined Building Markets as Finance and HR Associate in September 2017. Previously, Danielle worked with a nonprofit foundation for twelve years, moving from an Administration Assistant to a Grants Manager. It was there that her love of nonprofit accounting and finances grew and she is currently obtaining her accounting degree. In...

Favorite Quote
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost
Favorite Book
Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
Selen Ucak

Selen Ucak is a consultant with Building Markets, working with the organization to launch its programming in Turkey, focused on the Syrian crisis response. She is a social impact professional focused on global development, social innovation, and entrepreneurship, in particular in Turkey, the Middle East and Africa. Selen most recently served as...

Favorite Quote
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Favorite Book
The Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks