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Lisa G. Thomas

Managing Director

Samata Capital, Sub-Saharan Africa


Lisa G. Thomas has over a decade 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 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. Lisa previously co-founded and was the Chief Investment Officer for VestedWorld, 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.

Lisa was an Emerging Leader Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and co-authored the paper “Africa Is Now: The Opportunity for Mid-Sized US Companies” 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. Lisa holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. (Honors) from the University of Oregon.

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