top of page

Meet the Team

GivingWorks is a nimble team of skilled and experienced strategists who are passionate about helping to solve the toughest social and economic challenges of our time. Our small size affords us the flexibility to be responsive to evolving needs and to redirect focus where and when it is most appropriate.  We complement the broad-based experience of our core team with an extensive network of consultants that bring relevant expertise on particular topics, and are guided by our Advisory Board in our efforts to address our client's unique needs. 

Nazir Ahmad, Founder and President

Nazir Ahmad is founder and president of GivingWorks. Nazir is dedicated to helping organizations develop disciplined analyses to better deliver global impact and innovate in social change. His clients range from well-established organizations to smaller enterprises, including UNICEF, the World Bank Group, Open Society Foundation, Gates Foundation, AARP, Bipartisan Policy Center, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, and Vital Voices.


Nazir’s social activism is rooted in his experiences growing up in Bangladesh with a family tradition of community service. At an early age, Nazir became passionate about social impact initiatives, organizing school students to launch a door-to-door smallpox vaccination campaign in Dhaka’s slums, and volunteering at a literacy program for slum-dwellers and a rural nutrition clinic.


Throughout his secondary school and college years in the U.S., Nazir interned at a range of institutions, including the American Council on Education, Oxfam America, American Friends Service Committee, the Institute for Policy Studies, ICDDRB-Bangladesh, and the UNU World Hunger Programme at MIT. He was active in the anti-apartheid movement and other endeavors to advance tolerance and collaboration across racial and religious identities.


Previously, Nazir directed the leadership, strategic marketing and innovation practices for Strategic Decisions Group (SDG) in Palo Alto, California. He co-founded the Overseas Development Network and served on the boards of Pact Inc. and the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University.


He serves on boards of the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement, Decision Education Foundation, Giving Circles Network, Open Future Institute, and iBeam Materials. He also mentors gifted social entrepreneurs.


Born in Bangladesh and graduate of Deerfield Academy, Nazir has a B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College and an M.A. in international economics and an MBA from Stanford University. At Stanford, he received a coveted Koret Fellowship for academic excellence. He lives with his wife and son in Falls Church, Virginia.

Timothy Smythe, Senior Consultant

Tim joined GivingWorks in 2004 and has worked closely with large nonprofits and international development organizations to enhance the quality and evidence base of strategic plans, develop analytical frameworks around difficult strategic challenges, design structures and systems that more efficiently and effectively support the organization's mission, and develop results-based management methodologies and tools that drive ongoing performance improvement.


Prior to joining GivingWorks, Tim served as a strategy consultant with Dean & Company, a firm specializing in quantitative problem solving for Fortune 500 corporations and technology start-ups. At Dean, he advised senior executives on business strategy issues in the telecommunications, electric utility, and private equity industries. Tim lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two daughters. He holds a M.S. in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in finance from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce.

Our Advisory Board

Photo courtesy of Stanford University

Dr. Donald Kennedy (In Memorium)

Dr. Kennedy served on the faculty of Stanford University beginning in 1960, and was University President from 1980 to 1992. From 2000 until 2007, Dr. Kennedy was the editor-in-chief of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 1977 to 1979.


Dr. Kennedy was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He also served as a trustee for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and was co-chair of the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Technology, and Law. He received his A.B. and Ph.D. degrees in biology from Harvard University.

Photo courtesy of Columbia University

Dr. Kenneth Prewitt

Dr. Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He has taught at the University of Chicago (1965-1982), Stanford University, Washington University, the University of Nairobi, and Makerere University (Uganda). From 2001–2002, he served as dean of the Graduate Faculty at the New School University.


Dr. Prewitt has had a long professional career outside the classroom. Previous positions include director of the United States Census Bureau (1998–2001), director of the National Opinion Research Center, president of the Social Science Research Council, and senior vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Russell Sage Foundation, and member of other professional associations, including the Council on Foreign Relations. Throughout his career, Dr. Prewitt has earned numerous awards and honorary degrees and has authored and coauthored a dozen books and more than 100 articles and book chapters.


Dr. Prewitt earned his B.A. from Southern Methodist University. He received an M.A. from Washington University, and attended the Harvard Divinity School as a Danforth Fellow. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University.


Photo courtesy of WNYC

Lisa Baird

Lisa Baird is the current Commissioner of the U.S. National Women's Soccer League. She previously served as Chief Marketing Officer at New York Public Radio (NYPR) where she led the marketing and audience development, data, membership, sponsorship and communications teams. In addition, she was also responsible for raising substantial revenue, increasing audience size and diversity across all programs and platforms, cultivating audience loyalty, and amplifying digital membership.

Prior to joining NYPR, Baird was Chief Marketing Officer at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). During her almost 10-year tenure, she oversaw all commercial activities including the USOC’s media assets, sponsorship, licensing, advertising, hospitality, events and marketing and branding. She launched the Team USA brand, which is one of the most active digital sports brands, collaborated on the launch of an OTT channel with NBC and the International Olympic Committee, and achieved record revenues benefiting national governing bodies of sports and America’s athletes. She also led an extensive marketing, media and sales team and built a digital media platform, home to 26 national governing bodies. In 2017, the City of Los Angeles was awarded the honor of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028 and Baird was an integral architect of the launch of US Olympic and Paralympic Properties, a joint venture between the USOC and the Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee.  

Earlier in her career, Lisa was the Senior Vice President, Marketing and Consumer Products, for the National Football League (NFL). She has a rich and extensive background in leading branding, development and marketing for several Fortune 50 companies, including managing iconic brands at IBM, General Motors, Warner-Lambert Company (now Pfizer), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, and the Procter and Gamble Company.

bottom of page