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Seema Patel

USAID, Global Development Lab
Chief of Innovative Design, USAID
Washington D.C., USA
Seema Patel is the Chief of Innovation Design in the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID. She is leading efforts to advance USAID’s results by bringing culture of innovation, strategic leadership and a deep understanding of how to design and broker opportunities for collaborative problem solving for social impact.

With a background in International Policy and Development, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Organizational Strategy and Finance, she cuts across a wide range of sectors, geographies and organization types and brings a unique set of skills and insights to solving global challenges. For the past decade Seema has relentlessly pursued the mission of testing new models for innovation in the social sector, pioneering USAID’s Open Innovation experience with the launch of the Development 2.0 Challenge in 2008 and helping to build it over time into a portfolio of Competition-based Innovation Programs and Collaborative Design Labs across the Agency and across wide range of issues from Wildlife Trafficking to Palm Oil Deforestation to Global Malnutrition.

Prior to her social innovation work, Seema was a Policy Advisor and Public Speaker for the Center for Strategic and International Studies specializing on the role of citizen empowerment and entrepreneurship in postwar environments, most notably in the Afghanistan recovery. Her first professional years were spent in investment banking working early stage deals with a Silicon Valley boutique investment firm and large global transactions with CitiGroup Europe for their consumer, retail and luxury corporate clients.