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NEW YORK, January 12, 2023 / — IIRR is delighted to announce the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors: Diana Amoa, the Chief Investment Officer of Long Biased Strategies at Kirkoswald; Wendy Erikson, the Managing Director of Adjacent Markets; and Smitha Patil, the Audit Senior Director for Global Head of Payments Technology Audit at JP Morgan.

On behalf of the Board, I warmly welcome Wendy, Smitha, and Diana to IIRR,” says Emily Cheng, IIRR interim board chair. “I am confident that their backgrounds and talents will make a major contribution and impact to our organization. The board is effectively a team, working together to drive our common mission forward. Rural reconstruction may be less visible globally, but in many ways, it is the silent foundation of our planet. It is imperative to encourage growth in rural communities and their productive capacities that can support people and the planet”.

Diana Amoa is the Chief Investment Officer of Long Biased Strategies at Kirkoswald, based in New York. Prior to this role, Diana was a managing director and senior portfolio manager at JPMorgan Asset Management, co-managing in excess of USD 10 billion in global fixed-income and currency strategies. In addition, Diana has previously held EM fixed income and FX trading roles at UBS, Société Générale, and Standard Chartered Bank

Diana is very excited to be joining the IIRR Board. She says, “Food Security is one of the major challenges faced by many across the globe, and I look forward to working with the organization as we implement solutions that can help address this issue.”

Diana holds an MSc and MBA from the University of Oxford, where she attended as a Rhodes Scholar. She also holds a BSc in finance and banking from the University of Reading and is a CFA charter holder.

Wendy Erikson has over 20 years of experience in higher education and possesses exceptional strategy and execution skills in forming mutually beneficial partnerships between higher education and industry. As an innovative and creative strategic thinker and executor, she has sold over $20M in revenue from entrepreneurial initiatives related to market expansion and partnership development. With two decades of international experience in Europe and Latin America, Wendy has opened markets and launched products globally for top organizations such as the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago and UChicago Medicine, IESE Business School, Pearson, Target Stores, LVMH, and Mentor Collective.

Wendy is excited to be part of IIRR. “I am honored to be part of IIRR and looking forward to contributing in the areas of Public/Private Partnerships and Global Education Programming,” she says.

Wendy has her B.S. in Finance from DePaul University and her M.B.A from IESE Business School. She is fluent in Spanish.

Smitha Patil is a Senior Audit Director and the Global Head of Payments Technology Audit at JPMorgan Chase & CO, leading a worldwide team responsible for executing and delivering technology audit plans. She has over 15 years of experience working in technology auditing for financial services firms, including more than 12 years with JP Morgan. Her specialties include Blockchain technology, change activity, AI Machine Learning risk and controls, and Anti-money laundering.

Prior to assuming her current role in March 2022, Smitha worked for four years as an Executive Director and the Global Corporate Technology Audit team lead, where she was responsible for the Technology audit for areas including Compliance AML, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and third-party oversight. From 2006 to 2010, Smitha worked as a Senior Associate in the IT Risk & Advisory Services division of accountancy firm KPMG, where she was twice a recipient of the KPMG Encore Standing Ovation award for outstanding achievement.

“I am very excited to be joining the board of directors at the Institute of Rural Reconstruction. IIRR does tremendous work in uplifting people’s lives and building sustainable communities. I hope to bring my expertise to contribute towards the good causes supported by IIRR,” she says.

Smitha has previously organized activities for both JP Morgan and KPMG’s Network of Women groups. She is also an accomplished linguist, speaking English, French, Creole, Hindi, and Telugu. Smitha holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Management Information Systems from Buffalo State College.

“Each board member brings a different wealth of experience to the team”, says Peter Williams, IIRR President. “I know that Wendy, Smitha, and Diana will be valuable assets to IIRR. Their skillsets and mission-driven values are welcome additions to our organization, particularly as we seek to expand our impact. I am inspired for our future relationship together, as the board continues addressing the challenges and opportunities at the heart of IIRR and the sustainable development of rural communities”.

Smitha and Wendy were both officially elected to the board on December 9, 2022, and Diana on January 6, 2023.