Meet Our Advisory Board
As Chief Commercial Officer of Hasbro, Inc., Matt Austin leads all commercial activities across the company's global operating markets – leading the global sales and marketing organization and driving long-term growth in mature and emerging markets. Matt leverages Hasbro's commercial opportunities with powerful, data-driven consumer insights and strategic partnerships across different channels, including e-commerce and direct fan experiences, to continue to drive profitability.
Matt joined Hasbro in 2019 as President of Europe and Asia where he drove sustainable growth across key regions for the company's global business. He has built a strong reputation for developing and empowering impactful teams with a laser focus on achieving strategic priorities and delighting consumers.
Before joining Hasbro, Matt was CEO for the UK and Ireland at Lindt & Sprungli, and prior to that, he worked for MARS across multiple categories, geographies, and functions including a Global Marketing Leadership role on Confections, as well as the General Manager for Confections in Europe and General Manager for the MARS food business in Germany. In both organizations, he was recognized for his ability to build successful, sustainable business growth with a consumer-first approach
Charles Chan is Senior Executive Director, Capitaland China. Prior to that, he was CEO of Ascendas-Singbridge, and before that, he was responsible for developing and managing Ascendas' property portfolio in China and formulating the overall China strategy. Charles has many years of experience working for large corporations across Greater China including those in the real estate and financial sectors. Prior to joining Ascendas-Singbridge, Charles was the Executive Director of Shui On Development Limited, a Hong Kong-based developer. As a serial entrepreneur, Charles spearheaded various community development projects such as Knowledge and Innovation Community in Shanghai and Dalian Tiandi. He also founded two successful incubators, Innospring in US and Innospace in Shanghai. Before joining Shui On, Charles was the Deputy Managing Director of the Hong Kong listed Vision Century Corporation (subsequently known as Frasers Property (China) Limited). In the early years of his career, he held key positions in SunCorp Technologies, Citibank N.A., and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Charles holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Sydney, Australia. He also attended the Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, an associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, and a member of the US Urban Land Institute. For a decade, from 2007-2016, Charles hosted and spoke to Northeastern's Executive MBAs when they visited China as part of their final International Residency. He joined the CEM board in 2017.
Ashish Chugh is a Portfolio Manager and Head of Global Emerging Market Equities at Loomis, Sayles & Company in Boston. In this capacity, Ashish manages long-only and hedge fund portfolios and a dedicated team of equity research analysts. He joined Loomis Sayles in May 2018 from Och-Ziff Capital in Hong Kong, where he was a managing director and manager of an emerging markets portfolio for the firm's multi-strategy hedge fund. Prior to this, Ashish spent a decade at the Wellington Management Company in Boston as a managing director, where he focused on investing in long-short equities in global emerging markets. Previously, he was an associate at Blue Chip Venture Company, responsible for venture capital and private equity investments. Since the beginning of his investment industry career in 2003, Ashish has gained extensive expertise in managing emerging market equities and developing a scalable and repeatable investment philosophy and process. Earlier in his career, he was an engineer at IBM in Toronto and an analyst at Hitachi in Tokyo.
Ashish earned a BASc in electrical & computer engineering from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the firm's Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Advisory Board. Ashish is fluent in Hindi.
Mukul Deoras is the President, Asia Pacific for the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Previously, he was the Chief Marketing Officer for the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Mukul joined Colgate in 2004 as Director, Special Projects for the Asia Pacific Division. Later that year he became Marketing Director Colgate Thailand and in 2006 he became General Manager. In 2008, Mukul was promoted to Vice President, Personal Care in Global Marketing responsible for managing and driving growth for our Personal Care Worldwide. In 2010 Mukul became Vice President/General Manager of Colgate India. In 2012 Mukul became President, Colgate Asia Division where his business insights and focus on building leading brands have contributed significantly to our strong volume and sales performance. In 2015 Mukul was promoted to his current role as Chief Marketing Officer. Mukul is responsible for all the Global Categories and brands as well as Global Insights, Global Advertising and Shopper Marketing on a worldwide basis.
Edmund DiSanto (BS '75) is currently Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of American Tower Corporation (ATC), an S&P 500 company with a market capitalization of approximately US$ 100 billion and leading wireless communications infrastructure company that develops, owns, and operates more than 223,000 communications sites in both developed and developing countries. From April 2007 through December 2022, Ed served as EVP, Chief Administrative Officer, and General Counsel, and was responsible for legal and regulatory affairs, human resources, corporate governance, and international business development support.
Prior to joining ATC, Ed was with Pratt & Whitney(P&W), a unit of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), now Raytheon Technologies. Ed started with UTC in 1989, where he first served as Assistant General Counsel of its Carrier Corporation subsidiary, then Corporate Executive Assistant to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UTC, and from 1997, he held various legal and business roles at P&W, including Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, Global Service Partners, Business Development. Prior to UTC, Ed served in various legal and related positions at what is known today as National Grid.
Ed earned his J.D. degree from Boston College Law School in 1978 and a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University in 1975. He is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire, a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S.-India Business Council and the Business Council for International Understanding. He was Strategic Officer of the World Economic Forum from 2015-22. In 2022, he received the New England Legal Foundation John G.L. Cabot Award for his steadfast commitment to the advancement of free enterprise principles in the community. Ed joined CEM's board in 2023.
Spencer Fung (MS/MBA '96)
Spencer Fung is Executive Chairman of Li & Fung based in Hong Kong. He is leading the 112-year-old company through its transformation to create the supply chain of the future to help the Company's customers navigate the digital economy and to improve the lives of a billion people in the supply chain. He is Li & Fung's seventh CEO since its inception in 1906. Spencer has been an Executive Director since 2008. Previously, he was the Group Chief Operating Officer, responsible for building the company's global infrastructure. Since joining Li & Fung as a merchandiser, Spencer has been involved in all aspects of the group's operations, from liaising with factories across Asia and conducting quality control inspections to serving customers across three continents and managing acquisitions and integrations in over 20 countries. During his time as President of LF Europe, Spencer built the largest European Principal Trading business.
Spencer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and a Master of Science in Accounting and a Master in Business Administration from Northeastern University. He is a US Certified Public Accountant. Born in 1973, Spencer is the eldest son of Victor Fung, Honorary Chairman of Li & Fung, and a nephew of Group Chairman, William Fung. He is the fourth generation of the Fung family to lead the business. He lives in Hong Kong. Previously, he has lived in the US, Spain, Japan, China, and the UK. Spencer began his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with PwC in Boston. He then co-founded HelloAsia.com, a Silicon Valley startup with $30 million of venture capital funding, and created one of the first pan-Asian online marketing platforms. Spencer is a member of the Board of Trustees at Northeastern University. Spencer has been on CEM's board since 2009.
Jean-Michel Halfon is a Director on the Board of Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals and is based in Tel Aviv. He was previously President and General Manager of the Emerging Markets business unit at Pfizer Inc. based in its New York headquarters. At Pfizer, Jean-Michel launched the Emerging Markets Business Unit in January of 2009, and for two years dedicated himself to establishing the optimum organization to spearhead Pfizer's growth in a critical area of business, establishing commercial hubs across five international regions and more than 70 countries, and ensuring strong business growth. He also served on the advisory boards of a Canadian generic drug company and a major healthcare distribution company in Asia and continues to be involved with a Tokyo-based mobile healthcare company. He worked at Pfizer from 1977-1987, then moved to Merck, where he served as marketing director in France. After returning to Pfizer he worked as Country Manager of Pfizer-Canada, where he helped increase the company's competitiveness and access to medicines for patients. Under Jean-Michel, Pfizer-Canada grew from a $500 million to a $2.3 billion business. Additionally, Jean-Michel has served as chair of Rx&D, the Canada research-based pharmaceutical association, and has also served as Chairman of the Canada PhRMA Committee and Vice Chair of the Latin America PhRMA Committee. He has been a member of CEM's Advisory Board since 2010.
Karine Hirn is a Partner and Co-founder of East Capital Group. Established in Sweden in 1997, East Capital has expanded its reach from being a pioneer investor in Russia and Eastern Europe, and one of the largest investors in this region, to offering global emerging and frontier market strategies. The firm also offers innovative products in the field of sustainable investing, such as East Capital Global Emerging Markets Sustainable. She is a frequent media commentator on emerging markets and investments in CNBC, Bloomberg as well as French and Swedish media.
Born in France and currently based in Hong Kong, Karine is CEO of East Capital Asia Ltd, Chief Sustainability Officer for the East Capital Group as well as a member of East Capital Public Equity Investment Committee. She is also the Chairperson of the Luxembourg-domiciled management company and fund structures. Previously, Karine was China Chief Representative in Shanghai and CEO of East Capital in Sweden. Karine is a French Trade Advisor, Vice Chair of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Board of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Prior to East Capital, she worked in the banking industry and as a financial consultant in Nizhny-Novgorod and Moscow. She holds a Master's Degree in Business Management from EM Lyon, a Post Graduate Degree in Eastern European Studies from Sciences Po Paris, and studied at the Moscow Academy of Finance and Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. Karine has participated in CEM seminars and webinars and joined its advisory board in 2020.
Syed Jafry was Senior Vice President and President, Regions at Thermo Fisher Scientific, and is currently on the board of a private equity company, GTCR, based in Chicago. Jafry joined Thermo Fisher Scientific in March 2005 as General Manager and Vice President of the Air Quality Instruments business after several years with GE. He was promoted to President of Thermo Fisher China in January 2008, based in Shanghai, China, and one year later, became President of the Environmental Instruments Division, also based in Shanghai. In October 2009, Syed was named Senior Vice President of Customer and Commercial Excellence and relocated to the company's corporate office in Waltham, Massachusetts. He retired from Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2022. Syed has served on CEM's board since 2013.
Karen Tay Koh
Karen Tay Koh served on Northeastern's Corporation from 2011-18 and joined CEM's Advisory Board in Sep 2018. She is a Board Director of HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited, Manulife US Real Estate Management (the investment manager of SGX-listed Manulife US REIT), SGX-listed Banyan Tree Holdings, BC Platforms AG, Switzerland, and The Red Pencil Singapore. She has been in private equity since 2015 and is currently Senior Advisor to TVM Capital Healthcare Partners. Her advisory projects have spanned hospitals in Asia, healthcare startups, a medical school, and an international school in Singapore. Karen was Executive Director/ CEO of IP Investment Management Singapore, an alternative real estate fund manager from 2016-18. Prior to that, Karen was Deputy CEO of Singhealth from 2001-08, and concurrently Deputy CEO of Singapore General Hospital from 2003-08. The first 19 years of her career were at the Singapore Ministry of Finance, which included postings to the Inland Revenue and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Karen's past directorships included Falck (Denmark), Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, Singapore EDB Investments, and Republic Polytechnic. She has a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Cambridge and an MPA/International Tax Program from Harvard University. Karen was a Singapore President's Scholar and an Overseas Merit Scholar and was awarded a Medal of Commendation by the National Trade Union Congress in 2008.
Janice Lee is Managing Director, PCCW Media Group, in charge of the Company's media and entertainment businesses including Hong Kong's largest pay TV service Now TV, and OTT entertainment services including Viu and digital music service MOOV. She spearheaded the internationalization of PCCW's media business of Viu which is now Asia's leading video streaming service in 16 markets across South East Asia, Middle East, and India. Janice joined PCCW in January 2003 and was appointed Executive Vice President of TV & New Media in 2006. She was appointed Managing Director for PCCW Media Group in 2010. Janice serves as a board member of STX Entertainment, a Hollywood film and entertainment company based in US. Janice has over 25 years of experience in media and consumer businesses. She joined the CEM board in 2019.
Suranjan Magesvaran is President of P&G Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, based in Singapore. He is responsible for P&G's sales and marketing organization in these key regions. Previously, Suranjan was the President of Asia Pacific SMO. He has held numerous leadership positions at P&G since joining the company in 1994 in the finance and accounting areas. Since 2004, he has been involved with P&G China. In 2015, he was appointed President of P&G Asia Pacific SMO, and in 2018 his responsibility was expanded to include India, Middle East, and Africa SMO. Suranjan is also involved with other activities including maintaining a board member position of the Singapore Economic Development Board, and he serves as Director of the Board of Directors of the US-ASEAN Business Council. Born in Sri Lanka, Suranjan obtained his BSc (Hons.) in Accounting from Indiana University and his MBA from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. He was a keynote speaker in CEM's 8th annual symposium on “The Rise of Asia” in June 2018. He joined CEM's Advisory Board in July 2018.
David Nardone (BSBA ‘79, MBA ‘82)
David R. Nardone is Vice Chairman of the Board, Executive Director, and Group Executive of WHA Hemaraj Industrial, International, which is Thailand's leading developer of industrial estates, utilities, electric power, ready-built factories, logistics warehouses, and property solutions. Industrial customers include companies such as Ford, Mazda, GM, Suzuki, and SAIC MG. Industrial customer investment in Hemaraj's eight industrial estates is estimated at USD $26 billion. Prior to joining Hemaraj in 1993, David held senior financial and manufacturing management positions over 14 years in the computer industry while residing in the U.S.A., Thailand, and Hong Kong. An expert on ASEAN and the Thai economy, he is a frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg. He has served as a governor and VP of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, and serves currently on AMCHAM's Automotive Council. He completed a BSBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship and MBA at Northeastern University's D'Amore McKim School of Business. As a result to this day, he is an incurable Red Sox fan. David Nardone's generous support to the Center for Emerging Markets (CEM) has made possible the “David R Nardone Seminar Series,” which brings leading scholars and practitioners to speak at CEM.
Mezuo Nwuneli is the Managing Partner of Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers, a food and agribusiness-focused private investment firm investing across sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to founding Sahel Capital, Mezuo held roles at J.P. Morgan & Co., Ocean and Oil Holdings, and AFIG Funds. He is a non-executive Chairman/Co-Founder of AACE Foods, a Nigeria-based food manufacturing company, and Co-Founder/non-executive director at Sahel Consulting an agriculture-focused management consulting firm. Mezuo also serves on the Nigeria National Advisory Board for Impact Investing, and on the boards of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) and the Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Nigeria (PEVCA). He is an Eisenhower Fellow and an Archbishop Tutu Fellow.
He holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School, and received a B.Sc. in Industrial Management, with a minor in Information Systems, from Carnegie Mellon University. He was honored by Harvard Business School in 2021 with its distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.
Jack Perkowski is the Founder of JFP Holdings, a company specializing in helping global companies develop and implement their China strategies, providing infrastructure support and access to capital as needed, and assisting Chinese companies to develop global footprints. Jack is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School. He spent 21 years as an investment banker at Paine Webber until deciding to make the move out east to China. In 1994, he founded AMISCO, an automotive company based in Beijing, China, where it was twice named one of the “Ten Best Employers in China.”
Pankaj Sharma is Executive Vice President, Secure Power Division and Data Center Business, Schneider Electric. He is passionate about empowering his teams to embrace a relentless focus on innovation and customer-centricity, enabling the delivery of complete physical infrastructure solutions for data centers, distributed IT environments, and industrial applications which are efficient, sustainable, resilient, and adaptive. He is responsible for leading all global functions including strategy, commercial operations, marketing, R&D, supply chain, finance, and human resources. He manages teams in numerous countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, driving overall growth and profitability. During his 20+ years at Schneider Electric, Pankaj has held numerous leadership positions including SVP of the Home & Business Networks LoB, Business VP for India, Japan, South Korea, and East Asia, and roles in marketing and sales. Based in Boston, Pankaj joined CEM's Advisory Board in 2021.
Vivek Sharma is the Chief Executive Officer of Saama, leading the company in its mission to empower the life sciences industry to conduct faster and safer clinical development programs and file New Drug Applications (NDAs) more efficiently. His expertise in pharma services, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), combined with over 25 years of life science and financial industry operational experience, has resulted in a business philosophy that aligns investor, customer, and employee interests while creating significant business value. Prior to joining Saama, Vivek served as CEO at Decision Resources Group (DRG), Piramal Pharma Solutions, and Piramal Critical Care, as well as Managing Director at Thomas H Lee Partners. At DRG, Vivek implemented a highly successful, growth-focused strategy with data analyses, AI, pharma insights, market access, and strong customer focus to fulfill the company's mission and allow pharma customers to gain invaluable information and data access prior to leading the sale process for DRG to Clarivate. Vivek leads with inspiration and has been recognized as “Global CEO of the Year” by CPhI Pharma Awards. Vivek earned an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Vivek has a passion for philanthropy and has been actively involved in supporting various nonprofit missions with a focus on women empowerment, social and educational advocacy, and the environment. Vivek participated in CEM's India Lecture (April 2018) and its annual symposium in June 2018 and has been a guest speaker in classes at Northeastern. He joined CEM's board in 2019 and is also on the board of several biotech and technology startups.
Prahlad Singh (MBA '00)
Prahlad Singh (MBA '00) is President and Chief Executive Officer at PerkinElmer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors. Previously, Prahlad was the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since January 2019. Prahlad joined the company in May 2014 as President of the Diagnostics business. Prior to that, he was General Manager of GE's Women's health business. Before that, he held senior executive-level roles in Strategy, Business Development, and M&A at both GE and Philips Healthcare. From 1995 to 2007, he held leadership roles of increasing responsibility at DuPont Pharmaceuticals and subsequently Bristol Myers Squibb Medical Imaging, which included managing the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Prahlad holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA from Northeastern University. His technical work resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and global patents. Prahlad joined CEM's board in 2018.
Venkat Srinivasan is the Founder and Managing Director of Innospark Ventures, which invests in founders and ideas that leverage advanced AI to create a differential and disruptive impact on the economy and society. He was previously Founding Chairman and CEO of Rage Frameworks, an AI-based company that was sold to Genpact. Prior to Rage Frameworks, Venkat was the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of eCredit.com, the leading provider of credit, financing, and receivables management solutions for business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce. Venkat is an expert in knowledge-based systems architectures, and computational linguistics for business process automation. Venkat has spent the last 25 years contributing his research and acting as a thought leader to both the business community and the academic world. Prior to founding eCredit.com in 1993, Venkat served as an Associate Professor of Finance at Northeastern University's Graduate School of Business in Boston, MA. Venkat holds a Ph.D. In Finance from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. He has served on CEM's board since 2012.
Former Board Members
Albert Carvalho | former President of Procter & Gamble – Brazil
Nigel Burton | former Chief Marketing Officer for the Colgate-Palmolive Company
Dionysios Bouzos | Vice President, Emerging Markets for Merck Consumer Care
Michael Cannon-Brookes | former Vice President, Global Strategy for Growth Markets, IBM
Mitchell Habib | former Chief Operating Officer of Nielsen
Joe Hamilton | Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development and Strategy Officer at Liberty Mutual International
Sanjay Mirchandani | Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific and Japan, at VMware
Cyril Perducat I EVP IoT and Digital, Schneider Electric
Ozires Silva | Founder of Embraer
Ron Somers | former President of the U.S.-India Business Council
Ravi Uppal | Managing Director and CEO of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd
Wiebe Tinga | former Chief Commercial Officer of Hasbro