Lena Sene, President and CEO of DCA - Developing Capital for Africa
Prior to founding DCA, Lena Sene was the executive director of Business developement at CGF BOURSE in Senegal for 3.5 years. Before that, she was a managing director at Deer Isle Capital LLC in New York where she was responsible for overall business development and for the firm’s Africa investment strategy. While at Deer Isle Capital, Lena was named as one of 2012’s Top 100 Most Influential African American Women in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine. Prior to Deer Isle, Lena was at Impact Capital Partners, an international alternative investment advisory firm focused on emerging and frontier markets where she advised USAID on the placement of a $100 million climate change private equity fund mandate to invest in SMEs in frontier markets. While at Impact Capital, Lena was appointed Special Advisor to the United Nations Ambassador of Malawi.
In 2012, Lena was selected by former Prime Minister of Senegal, Idrissa Seck, to serve as his Campaign Manager during the Senegalese presidential elections and manage a team of forty six individuals representing Mr. Seck’s political party members and industry experts. She was responsible for helping develop and for executing Mr. Seck’s campaign strategy, she supervised campaign activities, retained services of various service providers and consultants from Senegal and abroad.
Prior to Impact Capital, Lena was a Banker in the Investment Management division of Lehman Brothers where was responsible for advising institutional and high net worth clients on a full range of investment strategies in the traditional and alternative assets space.
Prior to Lehman Brothers, she was a Banker at JPMorgan Private Bank where she worked within a team of six Private Bankers advising more than 200 high net worth families with total assets under management of over $4.5 billion. While at JP Morgan, she was selected as the sole recipient of the annual JPMorgan Rising Star Award for the Annual Women's Bond Club Merit Award in 2003.
In 2006, Lena was appointed by President George W. Bush to the White House Fellowship, a forty-seven year old non-partisan leadership program, along with 13 other nationally selected Americans. She obtained Top Secret Security Clearance from the FBI. Lena was also selected 1 of 120 global scholar-leaders inducted into the Academy of Achievement Class of 2007.
Lena is a published author on SME investing in Africa, a conference speaker on African investing and was a source for the latest Dalberg April 2011 report on Impact Investing in West Africa. In addition, she participated in the U.S. State Department’s Impact Investing Study that is focusing on the mobilization of private capital to generate both financial and social returns in emerging markets.
Since 2010, Lena serves as Senior Advisor of Business/Government Relations for the International Economic Alliance (IEA), a non-profit organization conceived at Harvard to help advance global investment and promote public/private partnerships, by bringing together Heads of State and Fortune 500 CEOs and institutional investors during year-round investment symposia in the US and abroad.
Lena has a B.A. in Economics from Bates College, an MBA from Harvard and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was selected a Mort Zuckerman Fellow.
Lena was born in the U.S. and was raised in Senegal, Russia and Ukraine. She is fluent in English, French, Russian and Wolof. She serves on the Board of Trustee of Bates College and was an elected Board Member of the United Nations Association of New York. She is a member of The Economic Club of New York.