Board of Directors & Team

MFC Board of Directors currently consists of seven Directors,  selected through a nomination process involving MFC member organizations. Read more about how the Board is composed and managed in our Association Principles.

Sanavbar ShSanavbar Sharipova –   Chairwoman of the Board of Directors

Founder, IMON International, Tajikistan

Sanavbar has over 25 years of executive leadership experience in development banking and finance with specific focus on financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment. She is Founder of “IMON International”, and for 17 years have been the CEO of this Company. She successfully managed the transformation of community based development project “Microcredit in Tajikistan” into a specialized and regulated financial institution, which became the largest and leading MFI in the country providing all range of banking products to people in Tajikistan.



Alisher Akbaraliev – Board Director

Executive Director, Association of Microfinance Institution, Kyrgyz Republic

Alisher Akbaraliev is a microfinance expert with 16 years of experience providing technical support to financial institutions throughout Central Asia. He is establishing relationships with relevant stakeholders in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, including government organizations, NGOs, and partner organizations. Well-versed in financial management and loan oversight, and has developed products to fit the needs to potential clients, including new deposit technologies and Sharia lending and involved in researches on country level, like the financial ombudsmen model for the Kyrgyz finance market and financial literacy issues in Kyrgyzstan (2014-2016). As Country Manager for Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society, Mr. Akbaraliev managed microfinance lending across Central Asia, and provided technical guidance in finance and investment. Throughout his tenure, he has managed multiple MFI branches, where he oversaw day to day operations, managed budgets and staff, and monitored all lending operations. He has expertise in market analysis, business analysis, collateral assessment, and client monitoring. Mr. Akbaraliev holds a diploma in economics and a diploma in jurisprudence. Fluent in Russian and Uzbek and is proficient in English and Kyrgyz.

Archil Bakuradze – Board Director

Chair of Supervisory Board at JSC MFO Crystal

Archil served as Chairman of the Georgian Microfinance Association and is currently a member of its board. He is a Chairman of the Board of Crystal Fund and serves on the Boards of several non-profit organisations. Through the Chevening Scholarship, from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Archil received an MBA from Lancaster University’s Management School (2004). He is a fellow of the John Smith Trust (2000) and recipient of the international van Heuven Goedhart award from the Dutch Refugee Foundation, Stichting Vluchteling (2003).



Gabriele Giuglietti – Board Director

Director in Charge of International Development Activities of Banca Etica, President of Cresud

Gabriele began his banking career at “Credito Italiano” in 1990 and joined Banca Popolare Etica in 1998 where he held a number of positions including: deputy Managing Director from October 1998 to 2011 , Director of Sales and Institutional Affairs from 2011 to May 2013, Director of Credit, Institutional and International Affairs since 2013, now is in charge of the international development activities of Banca Etica. Appointed Officer of the Italian Republic in 2000 as among the founders of Banca Etica by the Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi , he is currently President of Cresud (the Banca Etica’s Group financial tool dedicated to microfinance and fairtrade ). He served as a member of the Board of Etica SGR (Banca Etica Group Investment Company) from 2002 to 2014 and as a member of Libera Terra Mediterraneo (cooperatives working on the grounds confiscated to mafia) until 2020. Board member of Coopest and Coopmed. Married, three sons, his wife Elisabetta Viscardi is a pediatric oncologist at Padova General Hospital and still shares with Gabriele a long term social experience in the Italian Catholic Scout Movement (Agesci).

Brunilda Isaj, MBA, CRB – Board Director

Secretary General at the Albanian Microfinance Association

Brunilda Isaj brings to microfinance more than 22 years of experience and successful track record in the Albanian banking and financial system, covering various senior commercial and c-suite management positions. Her experience extends to retail and commercial banking, financial products and services development, financial markets and instruments, as well as micro-enterprises and SME business development management. Ms. Isaj is contributing with her experience in advocating and promoting microfinance sector, actively participating in policy making and regulatory area. She is the organizer and leader of a number of roundtable discussions and events on addressing microfinance challenges and reaching our solutions to them, in close cooperation with the government, regulators, investors and stakeholders, with the aim of supporting the sector and the vulnerable society layers with little or no access to mainstream banking. As of August 2019, she holds the position of Secretary General at the Albanian Microfinance Association.

Paul Kalinauckas – Board Director

Founder Chief Executive,  BCRS Business Loans, UK

Paul Kalinauckas is a skilled Board Member and was Chair of the Board of Responsible Finance, the UK Association for MFIs. He is also the Access to Finance Champion on the Board of his Local Enterprise Partnership and is now retired from his role as the Founder Chief Executive of BCRS Business Loans. He was the Chair of the Fair Finance Consortium in the West Midlands, UK and has undertaken training in running meetings, facilitating, coaching and chairing discussions.





Elma Zukić – Board Director

President of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in B&H – AMFI

Elma Zukić has more than 22 years of experience in financial sector, and last 2 years and half in microfinance sector.

Most of her working experience is with international banks. She was also Executive Director – Board Member of one domestic Bank.  She was part of the team responsible for crisis management for restructuring of the Bank,running several departments : Retail, Corporate, IT, Treasury, HR, Legal, Operations, Marketing. Furthermore, he is a recognized expert in crisis management.

Since February 2019, she is the president of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in B&H. She have accepted this responsible position with all enthusiasm and energy and readiness to represent the common interests of MCOs in front of international institutions, regulatory and executive bodies. She is in the process of making PhD thesis with a focus on management and organization. She continuously working on professional development and additional education. In free time she doing charity work in the horse club ‘Spirit’

Our Team

Katarzyna Pawlak

Contact: kasia[at]

Katarzyna oversees the Centre’s programs  in the area of financial inclusion and responsible finance. In the years 2005-2014, she served on the Steering Committee and then the Supervisory Board of Social Performance Task Force and took an active role in developing sector standards on responsible finance (Universal Standards for Social Performance).

Since 2009 she has been leading a global fund financed by the Ford Foundation supporting more than 50 microfinance associations and over 500 their member microfinance institutions to mainstream the responsible finance standards locally. She was chosen “Woman of the Year 2008″ by the international organization Women Advancing Microfinance. She graduated from Warsaw School of Economics and holds Canadian Executive MBA degree from  Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Quebec at Montreal.

Ewa Bańkowska

Deputy Director
Contact: ewa[at]

Ewa has been with MFC since October 2005. She has been managing MFC projects and developing content in various topics of responsible finance: social performance management, client protection, financial health. She has been supporting MFIs in marketing research, institutional assessments, product development. She leads MFC initiatives for capacity building in digitalization of MFIs. With a background in market research, her previous professional experience covered marketing research in the banking sector and market analysis for the B2B service global alliance. Ewa holds an MSc in Quantitative Methods and Information Systems from Warsaw School of Economics and a postgraduate diploma from Warsaw University in psychology of consumer’s behaviour.

Nina Józefina Bąk

Senior Policy Officer
Contact: nina[at]

Nina is an educator and promoter of social economy and cooperative movement in Poland. Co-founder and leader of the biggest polish food cooperative “Dobrze” (2014-2020).  She initiated the establishment of the Nyeleni Polska (2017) network for food sovereignty and the Living Earth Coalition (2018). She has been a leader in CoopTech Hub – an organization focused on digital transformation of cooperatives (platform co-ops). She is an author of  “Handbook of Cooperatives” (2021) – a publication describing theory and practice of cooperatives in Poland.  She is an ESG consultant, trainer and educator. In MFC Nina is working on Social Economy Finance in regard to SE Action Plan and financial inclusion of refugees.

Anna Skowera

Partnership Officer
Contact: anna[at]

Anna Skowera has joined Microfinance Centre in May 2022. Previously, she has worked in various non-governmental organizations focusing on development and humanitarian projects. She has received her MSc degree in International Economics from Warsaw School of Economics, as well as MSc in Local Economic Development from London School of Economics.In MFC Anna is responsible for partnership agenda in social and green economy, micro entrepreneurship and financial services as well as for the relations with partners and stakeholders including other EU level networks and the EU institutions.


Justyna Pytkowska

Research, Program Manager
Contact: justyna[at]

Justyna manages research projects and is the author of the annual publication on the state of microfinance industry in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She also conducts market research studies in the demand for microfinance products (credit, savings,  microinsurance), access to finance and the use of financial services, indebtedness, using a variety of research techniques (focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, questionnaire-based surveys). She has 20 years experience working in development in Eastern European countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States and 12 years experience in conducting microfinance research. This includes hands-on experience in conducting qualitative research and quantitative data analysis using statistical software, writing and publishing articles on the state of microfinance in the region.


Agnieszka Lubowiecka

Communications Manager 
Contact: agnieszka[at]

Agnieszka has joined Microfinance Centre in the beginning of 2022. She is responsible for all of the communications-related activities, both external and internal, she also prepares and implements the overall communications strategy for MFC.  Agnieszka has been working in the financial sector in the field of insurance and investment funds. She has over 15 years of experience in marketing and PR. Feel free to contact Agnieszka on MFC communications-related issues:



Joanna Żukowska

Projects Coordinator
Contact: joanna[at]

Joanna has joined Microfinance Centre in the end of May 2022. She is the digital and business development expert, the creator and promoter of modern education. Previously she has worked in non-governmental organizations focusing on education  projects and empowering women projects. She was the pioneer and leader, and created the biggest entity on the Polish digital press distribution market. Joanna has 20 years of experience working in creating and development start-ups. She graduated from Warsaw School of Economics, Foreign Trade Faculty. She holds the postgraduate diplomas from Warsaw University in European Integration and from University of Humanities and Economics in education management and in pedagogics.


 Marcin Sawicki

Finance and Administration Coordinator

Marcin is taking care of Microfinance Centre’s finance and administration since August 2020. He is responsible for general budgeting in the organization and HR-related services for the MFC Team. Audits, grant financial reporting and invoicing are also his areas of operations. Prior to joining MFC, Marcin worked as a lead financial planner – using SAP and other modelling tools he was planning and forecasting budgetary operations. He’s a graduate in Finance and Banking of Warsaw School of Economics, he also studied in Vienna. One of his biggest hobbies is traveling.


Grzegorz Galusek

 In recognition for 22 years service in MFC Management Board

It is a great honor for the MFC  to give an appreciation for Grzegorz for his contribution to MFC for over 22 years of its development as a leading microfinance network.

Grzegorz started to work for MFC in 1999 and has been an outstanding CEO all these years. Step by step he has managed to grow MFC from first obtaining the status of a CGAP/World Bank Training hub for microfinance, later together with the team he successfully implemented the policy agenda for microfinance in a cooperation with the Soros Foundation, GIZ and CGAP. One of his great successes is the introduction of the customer protection standards, promoting customer protection certification globally.

Over those years Grzegorz has initiated the MFC annual conference as the flagship service of the MFC, which has continued over the years and is recognized as one of the best global networking events. He has helped to establish the strategic partnership with members of MFC, international donors and global financial institutions. He has always been committed to the social impact of the sector and its focus on the final beneficiary in microfinance. His strong leadership has led MFC to adopt social finance principles and focus on the benefits of the final client as the DNA of the organization. He has brought significant value into each and every achievement of the MFC.