Featured Speakers for Careers in International Development

Pratik Desai 

Pratik leads strategic engagement efforts for the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), an independent institution seeking to generate a movement around increasing the private sector’s impact on sustainability and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. At the WBA, Pratik develops and implements outreach, engagement, and policy and advocacy strategies to ensure that WBA benchmarks are relevant, inclusive, and impactful across a diverse range of stakeholders and geographies. In this role, he oversees the growth and management of the global, multi-stakeholder Alliance of over 130 organizations, and works specifically on driving social and financial system transformation.

Pratik joined the WBA from the United Nations Foundation, where he managed efforts to align organizational policy objectives with broader UN priorities around sustainable development, corporate responsibility, and private finance. In addition, he worked to seed and incubate strategic initiatives, including the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and the World Benchmarking Alliance. Previously, he held positions in program development, stakeholder relations, and communications and outreach with TechnoServe, The White House, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

A native of Gweru, Zimbabwe, Pratik is a graduate of Boston University, where he earned a B.A. in international relations and political science.


Emma Pfister

Emma is currently an Advisor on Marketing and Development at the Response Innovation Lab, an initiative led by Save the Children, World Vision, and Oxfam to support the integration of innovation into humanitarian responses. She has worked over 14 years in the international development and recently jumped to the humanitarian and emergency response sector. Previously, she worked at UNICEF USA on their Global Partnerships team, and at Water For People supporting Global Marketing and Communications initiatives. Emma has an M.A. in International Studies from the Korbel School of International Development at the University of Denver, and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Utah. Emma is based in New York City.


Katherine Arnold Armeier

Katherine is a Director for Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) at Save the Children. Katherine provides technical MEAL support and guidance for emergency and development programs across Save’s food security and livelihoods portfolio. Prior to Save the Children, Katherine worked at the United Nations Foundation for five years where she focused on building research and evidence around clean cooking in humanitarian settings. She also served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali. Katherine has a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Columbia University and speaks French and Bambara.