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Winsome Leslie

Dr. Leslie is an international development specialist with exceptional functional skills in strategic planning, project identification, design and implementation, negotiations, problem-solving, and team-building. She is currently President and CEO of DevSolutions Consulting, a firm providing advisory and consulting services in micro and small business development for organizations in the U.S. and emerging markets. With her team, she has conducted microfinance assessments, designed projects to increase small business financing, and designed training programs for entrepreneurs. She is also currently the Senior Advisor to the Caribbean Microfinance network, the only regional network of microfinance institutions in the Caribbean, and a member of the Advisory Committee for the US Government-funded Inter-American Foundation, which focuses on community development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously, she was a Lead Specialist at the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), now re-branded as IDB Lab, a grant facility of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, where she held several professional roles with progressively higher levels of responsibility. In her last position, she was a member of the MIF Management team, head of the MIF Strategy team and coordinator for the MIF's project priorities in the Caribbean.

Dr. Leslie has a significant network in the region and a strong track record advising on business development, as well as extensive experience in the identification and development of projects supporting micro and small businesses in in the context of a strategic approach. Working with a team of 14 staff and consultants, over a two-year period, she built a healthy pipeline of 30 projects for the Caribbean for a total of US$26 million. She also spearheaded the development and implementation of MIF's priorities in the Caribbean, which served as a model for the Bank’s private sector strategy in the region. As coordinator for the Caribbean, she was the Team Leader on all aspects of the successful transfer of the US$7.8 million Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund to the MIF in 2012, and she was responsible for the subsequent management of the Fund's resources. She also led the design of several MIF Micro, Small and Medium-sized enterprise (MSME) finance projects in Jamaica, including support to the Development Bank of Jamaica to establish the eco-system for venture capital financing.

Dr. Leslie has also mobilized key partnerships to support Caribbean projects. She initiated and nurtured an ongoing collaboration between the MIF and the European Commission, Citi Foundation and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which became a co-financing partner in several of her projects in MSME development. She also represented the MIF on the Steering Committee of the Emergency Liquidity Facility, a loan program funded by the MIF to assist microfinance institutions in the aftermath of natural disasters, with a grant program for the Caribbean.

Prior to her staff position at the IDB, she served as Economist and Advisor to the Government of Jamaica, at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington in the areas of bilateral and multilateral assistance and foreign investments. Dr. Leslie has Ph.D. and Masters degrees in International Relations from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Economics from Barnard College. In 2012, she received the prestigious Antonio Ortiz Mena award from the Inter-American Development Bank for her contribution to the institution's work in the Caribbean. She is a citizen of the United States.