Lisa G. ThomasFounder & Managing Director at Samata Capital
Ms. Thomas has more than 15 years of experience in venture capital and private equity investing, governance, and operations in emerging markets; having worked with companies in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caucasus. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Samata Capital, a fund management company dedicated to making private sector investments in small and growing businesses in emerging markets that advance opportunities for women and promote gender diversity. Ms. Thomas previously co-founded and was the Chief Investment Officer for Vested World, a venture fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to that role, she was Director of Investments - Asia for Equator Capital Partners where she managed investments in scaling financial institutions in frontier and emerging markets. Her early career was in investment banking at Merrill Lynch in New York.
Ms. Thomas is the co-founder of Advancing Women in Investing, a collaborative of first time and emerging female capital movers with the goal of ensuring that women capital movers are represented on investment teams and receive backing as managers, particularly in emerging and frontier markets. Ms. Thomas was an Emerging Leader Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and appeared on NPR’s worldview to discuss business development in Africa. She has taught and guest lectured at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and is a regular speaker at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Ms. Thomas holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science (Honors) from the University of Oregon.