Our team

Learn more about the team guiding the International Fund’s work and development.

Nishant Lalwani

Chief Executive Officer

Nishant is Chief Executive Officer at the International Fund for Public Interest Media. Alongside James Deane, he co-founded IFPIM and has worked closely with the team, Board and the media development sector to launch the Fund.

Nishant has twenty years of experience in international development, media development and strategy and leadership roles. Prior to joining IFPIM, he was Vice President of Global Programmes at Luminate, which included leading the international philanthropy’s strategy for funding independent media. In 2013, Nishant helped launch the non-profit Global Innovation Fund (GIF). As COO, he led GIF’s investment process and venture support team, making investments and grants across the world.

Nishant was also on the founding team of the Monitor Inclusive Markets (MIM) group in India, which sought to drive scale among market-based solutions to poverty. He has previously worked at the UN Development Programme in Zambia and also at Marakon Associates, a strategy consulting firm in London.

Amélie Baudot

Chief Operating Officer

Amélie Baudot is the Chief Operating Officer at the International Fund for Public Interest Media, overseeing fund strategy, operations, finance, legal, governance, and talent. Amélie has over a decade of experience in managing global multi-donor impact funds.

Amélie joined the International Fund after six years at the Global Innovation Fund including as Chief Strategy and Chief Legal Officer. In 2013, Amélie pivoted from a career as a finance and restructuring lawyer at Allen & Overy LLP into impact investing and international development when she joined AgDevCo Limited as its first in-house counsel.

Amélie is admitted to practice in New York State and is a solicitor in England & Wales. She holds a Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law, a Master’s Degree from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Economics from Connecticut College.

Pierrick Judéaux

Director of Portfolio

Pierrick spent the first years of his career in the Strategy Unit of Europe’s largest broadcasting group, RTL Group, and advising various media and telecommunications companies in Europe, before embracing an international development career.

In the past 10 years, Pierrick has been a senior advisor to multiple Heads of State across Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe on economic and democratic development. He has led large-scale international development initiatives such as the USAID-funded Power Africa Senior Advisory Group and was an Associate Director of Policy at the Open Society Foundations.

Khadija Patel


Khadija pushes words on street corners. She is the former editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian in South Africa, a co-founder of the youth-driven, award-winning digital news startup, The Daily Vox, and a vice chairperson of the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI).

As a journalist she has produced work for Sky News, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Quartz, City Press and the Daily Maverick, among others. She is also a research associate at WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Witwatersrand). She is passionate about the protection and enhancement of global media as a public good.

Vanina Berghella

Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean

Vanina started her career in journalism more than 25 years ago and gained extensive experience working in print, radio, and digital media. She has worked as a project management consultant for companies, media outlets, advertising agencies, and other organizations such as ICFJ, Deutsche Welle, BID, WAN-IFRA, Meta, IFEX, etc.

Vanina also served as director for Velocidad, the media accelerator of SembraMedia and the International Center for Journalism (ICFJ), which supported a group of ten media in Latin America to strengthen their sustainability.

She was the executive director of the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA), an organization dedicated to the professionalization of journalists and freedom of expression in the country and a member of the IFEX-ALC Board prior to this.

Vanina is also a speaker at conferences, seminars, universities, and international events.

Her main interests are media sustainability and innovation, professional and independent journalism, freedom of expression, and researching the issues that undermine quality journalism.

Irene Jay Liu

Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific

Irene works at the intersection of journalism and tech, based in Singapore. 

Before joining the International Fund, Irene led the Google News Lab in the Asia-Pacific region, where she developed partnerships and programs to promote newsroom innovation, counter mis/disinformation and support greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the news industry.

She was previously a Hong Kong-based investigative reporter and data editor at Thomson Reuters, where she was a 2017 Pulitzer finalist in the national reporting category. Earlier, she worked at the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and as a political reporter with the Times Union in Albany, New York.

She taught data-driven investigative journalism at the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong and is a graduate of Yale University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

James Deane

Co-founder and Senior Advisor

James was instrumental in conceiving and developing the feasibility of an International Fund for Public Interest Media. He has spent over 30 years in leadership on media development and communication for development issues. He is the former executive director and founding member of Panos Institute, London. As well as working as a part time consultant to Luminate on the International Fund for Public Interest Media, James is also Head of Policy at BBC Media Action, the BBC’s international media support charity. He is a writer, commissioner, and editor of numerous books, briefings, articles, and blogs on the role of media and communication in democracy and development.

He is also an organizer of numerous conferences on the issue. James has provided strategic advice to most bilateral and multilateral development organizations, as well as numerous foundations and NGOs, on media development and communication for development. He is the Chair of Global Voices and a steering committee member of Global Forum for Media Development.

Colin Crowell

Senior Advisor

Colin is the former VP of Global Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy at Twitter. While there, Colin built an award-winning philanthropy programme and engaged with global policymakers and civil society on a range of Internet policy issues. Prior to Twitter, Colin worked in the Obama Administration as Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Before that, Colin spent over two decades on Capitol Hill drafting telecommunications and Internet laws on the committee staff of the then U.S. Representative (now Senator) Ed Markey (D-MA).

Colin was Sen. Markey’s top staffer during consideration of numerous foundational laws for the Internet era, including the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Tommaso di Robilant

Strategy Manager

Tommaso is a strategy manager at the International Fund for Public Interest Media, where he focuses primarily on organizational strategy and development. Prior to joining the International Fund, he worked as a consultant at Dalberg Advisors, a management consultancy specialized in international development and social impact work. In this role, he advised governments, NGOs, foundations, and private sector clients on strategy, investments, and organizational design, with a focus on the global health and agriculture & food security sectors.

Tommaso spent the early years of his career in the Office of the Vice President for the Africa Region at the World Bank, where he supported senior leadership in engaging with client countries on poverty reduction and growth strategies.

Guenara Meril

Executive Assistant

Guenara is assistant to the executive team at the International Fund for Public Interest Media, providing comprehensive operational support. Having previously served as the Executive Assistant to the Ambassador of New Zealand in France, Guenara has gained invaluable experience in diplomatic and governmental affairs.

Guenara holds a diverse skillset with a strong background in international relations, engaging and building relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. In earlier stages of her career Guenara worked in account management and sales development in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, mostly in the SaaS industry.

Stay up to date with important developments of the Fund, our news, articles, events and reports. We’ll also link to relevant content from our partners and other players in the space.

Your cookie settings

This website deploys cookies for basic functionality and to keep it secure. These cookies are strictly necessary. Optional analysis cookies which provide us with statistical information about the use of the website may also be deployed, but only with your consent. You can opt out from these cookies below.

Please review our Privacy & Data Policy for more information.