The Bridgespan Group Names Pritha Venkatachalam and Jan Schwier Co-heads of its Asia and Africa Unit

09/01/2022

Summary

The appointments underscore Bridgespan’s continued commitment to global growth and the potential for further impact.

BOSTON—September 1, 2022—The Bridgespan Group today announced the appointment of partners Pritha Venkatachalam and Jan Schwier to the Bridgespan Leadership Team as Co-heads, Asia and Africa.

Said William Foster, Bridgespan’s managing partner: “Pritha helped build our office in Mumbai, which opened in 2015, and Jan assisted in launching our office in Johannesburg in 2019. Earlier this year, Bridgespan also opened an office in Singapore that aims to serve several areas of Southeast Asia."

He continued, “I am so proud of what Pritha and Jan have accomplished. And with this new structure in place, I am excited about developing ways that Bridgespan can continue to collaborate with civil society to support deep and lasting social impact in these regions."

Pritha will focus on crucial external priorities for the firm’s offices in Asia and Africa, including client relationship development, knowledge, and fundraising. She joined Bridgespan in 2016 after holding leadership roles at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Cambridge Economic Policy Associates, and the World Bank.

“I am delighted to be able to lead Bridgespan’s learning and impact across our Asia and Africa markets,” said Pritha. “Our growing and locally diverse teams collaborate with funders and changemakers to create more just and equitable societies—a mission with greater urgency in today’s turbulent world. I am enthusiastic about helping to steward Bridgespan’s growth in service of these exceptional organizations, and share their dream of what the world can be, not simply what is."

Jan will take the lead on the firm’s key internal priorities, such as building and growing the Bridgespan teams in Asia and Africa, supporting the leaders of each of our three regions, and developing partnerships to increase our impact. Prior to joining Bridgespan in 2017, he was responsible for the Advisory Services portfolio of the International Finance Corporation in Sub-Saharan Africa and was also a partner at the Boston Consulting Group.

“It has been very exciting to help grow our talent and social impact in Africa over the past three years, and I look forward to extending my role to include operations across Asia,” Jan said. “It is exciting to see how far we have come already—and there is much more on the horizon in the coming years.”

According to William, the appointments reflect not only Pritha and Jan’s deep expertise, but also the firm’s continued growth and commitment to global development. In the past two years, Bridgespan’s Asia and Africa staff has grown from 24 to almost 70.

“These teams are leading research and advisory initiatives on collaborative philanthropy, community-driven change and corporate social responsibility, and are investing in critical equity and justice questions for their regions,” William said. “As a firm, we are far closer to the beginning of our journey than any kind of arrival point. We still have much to learn as a firm from our work in Asia and Africa. In these roles, Pritha and Jan will guide us further on that journey.”

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About Bridgespan

The Bridgespan Group (www.bridgespan.org) is a global nonprofit that collaborates with social change organizations, philanthropists, and impact investors to make the world more equitable and just. Bridgespan’s services include strategy consulting and advising, sourcing and diligence, and leadership team support. We take what we learn from this work and build on it with original research, identifying best practices and innovative ideas to share with the social sector. We work from locations in Boston, Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York, and San Francisco.
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