Hélène Smertnik

Program Director

“The learning partnership with the Mastercard Foundation has been a fantastic opportunity for knowledge exchange and creation. It’s about the research we conduct but also how we conduct it, with whom, how we disseminate it and what impact it will have on the Foundation and key actors in the digital development space.”

Hélène is Program Director at Caribou Digital, where she leads the company’s learning partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. She supports the program in delivering actionable research and insights activities on youth livelihood opportunities in a digital and AI age. Previously, she worked for the GSMA Mobile for Development, leading advisory to Mobile Network Operators in the utility access sector. Hélène holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Toronto (during which she did a year exchange to Salamanca, Spain) and an MA in Policy and Strategic Communications from Université La Sorbonne - Paris 1. Hélène is French and Canadian, and is currently based in Paris.

Contact them at: helene@cariboudigital.net

Meet more people in the team

Abbie Phatty-Jobe

Research & Engagement Manager

Adrine Muhura

Partner Engagement Manager

Aimi Zhou

Anan Abu Rmieleh

Head of Program Communications

Annabel Schiff

Senior Director of Programs

Bryan Pon

Senior Director of Operations & Data

Carlotta Maucher

Program Associate

Chelsea Horváth

Measurement & Impact Manager

Chiara Pasquini

Measurement & Impact Manager

Chris Edwards

Program Director

Chris Hurst

Senior Finance Manager

Chris Locke

Founder & Chair

David Taverner

Senior Director of Space & Climate

Elise Montano

Director of Measurement & Impact

Ellen Ukpi

Communications Associate

Emrys Schoemaker

Senior Director of Advisory & Policy

Fernanda Matsinhe

Measurement & Impact Manager

Gemma James

Director of Program Operations

Giulia Costella

Manager, Space and Climate

Grace Natabaalo

Research & Insights Manager

Hana Hanfi

Measurement & Impact Analyst

Hanna Laufer

Measurement & Impact Manager

Hélène Smertnik

Program Director

Janet Shulist

Senior Insights Manager

Jen Lawrence

Senior Director of People & Culture

Jessica Osborn


Jo Tofts

Senior Director of Finance

Jonathan Donner

Senior Director of Caribou Digital Institute

Laura Litaba

Project Coordinator

Marissa Dean

Senior Director of Inclusive Business

Marius Karabaczek

Measurement & Impact Manager

Niamh Barry

Senior Director of Measurement & Impact

Nicki McGoh

Senior Director of Space & Climate

Rosie Afia-Ford

Senior Innovation Fund Manager

Savita Bailur

Senior Director of Gender Equality & Social Inclusion

Zsuzsanna Bodi

Program Director

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