The LEGO Foundation aims to build a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative and engaged life-long learners. Located at their office close to Zurich, the Foundation had an opportunity for a Programme Director to lead its Re-imagine Learning Programme and had been seeking to fill the position for some time without success, before working with Prospectus.
The new Programme Director required knowledge and experience of building successful partnerships, combined with strong analytical abilities to enable them to present high quality investment recommendations to the Foundation’s leadership team and Board. We were seeking candidates with highly developed influencing and leadership abilities, a global outlook and deep understanding of country level or regional implementation gained either in a grant making foundation, NGO or the social entrepreneurship / innovation space. Experience of education programming, preferably including early childhood development, was highly desirable but not essential.
We were successful in appointing Fiona Smith to the position. Fiona had studied early childhood development as part of her degree before joining Accenture. When Prospectus approached her she was Head of Licensed Markets at M-KOPA Solar, a leading pay-as-you-go solar energy social enterprise founded in 2012 that has already connected more than 250,000 homes in East Africa.
Prior to that Fiona held multiple roles at GSMA Mobile for Development and GSMA Foundation, where she played a lead role in driving commercial and scalable mobile phone services for underserved people in emerging markets, including oversight of the global m-learning programme. Fiona brought a strong understanding of portfolio management across emerging markets and was familiar with working with Boards and external representation, with her track record including presenting at the Skoll World Forum and at the G8.