U.S. Speaker Program

*Please click on the arrows on the right side to read each person's biography.

Lauri Elliott

U.S. Speaker Program, Zimbabwe, 2019

Lauri Elliott has over 30 years of experience in strategy, innovation, organizational development, change management, human performance technology, business process reengineering, instructional design, and technology. She also has over 18 years of in-depth business and strategy experience in developing markets, particularly in Africa.

As the chief enterprising officer of Globalstratos, Lauri currently assists small start-ups to large companies develop strategies and new ventures, focusing on early-stage development and pre-transaction activities in frontier and emerging markets. Lauri leads a team that develops methodologies for managing and developing partnerships; designing and deploying early-stage projects, project preparation, and structuring organizations and systems to minimize risk and maximize opportunities while building sustainable enterprises. These methodologies are specifically designed for turbulent and continually changing business environments in these frontier markets.

Lauri has two patent-pending inventions covering small producer value chain optimization and scaling. She is also the author of six books, including Redefining Business in the New Africa (2011), which was launched at the World Bank, and Grow Rich in the New Africa (2012). In addition, Lauri is a frequent commentator on ETV South Africa and has been interviewed or quoted by media outlets such as SABC and Fox News.

Lauri is an alumna of the U.S. Speaker Program and holds a master’s degree in education, specializing in instructional design.

Sumi Mehta

U.S. Speaker Program, Kuwait, 2019

Sumi Mehta is a senior epidemiologist in the environmental health division of Vital Strategies, a global public health organization. She has over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of air pollution, health, and development. Sumi has expertise in epidemiology, exposure assessment, comparative risk assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, and extensive field experience in South and Southeast Asia. In addition, she has worked in Africa, East Asia, and Latin America.

Prior to joining Vital Strategies, she was the senior director of research and evaluation at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, now the Clean Cooking Alliance, lead scientist for the Health Effects Institute’s international program, and health policy analyst at the World Health Organization. Sumi received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology, her master’s degree in public health in epidemiology and biostatistics, and her doctoral degree in environmental health science from the University of California, Berkeley.