Our Team

Board of Directors

Matthew Tierney

Matthew Tierney co-founded FFE because he believes that solutions to many of the world’s problems lie with social entrepreneurs. He has been involved in emerging markets for over twenty years in both advisory and investment roles, including as a co-founder and partner of Development Capital.

Matt joined Development Capital in 2002 to manage the firm’s private investments and later expanded his coverage to include emerging markets, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Matt was co-founder and general partner of Aperture Venture Partners, an early stage investor in healthcare. He also worked in the Global Corporate Finance group at Credit Suisse First Boston and was a founding TechnoServe Fellow, assisting early stage companies in Latin America and Africa. Matt serves on the Board of Trustees of the Trinity School, TechnoServe’s Global Advisory Council and is a member of the African Leadership Network. He is on the Advisory Board of the African Leadership Finance Committee, was a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and sat on the Board of The BCS Group, a Kenyan based ICT company. Matt received his B.A. from Georgetown University and his M.B.A from Columbia Business School.

Paul Tierney Jr.

Paul Tierney co-founded FFE because he is a firm believer that individuals and entities from the private sector must be active participants in the development of emerging market countries. Paul is also a co-founder and Partner of Development Capital and a General Partner of Aperture Venture Partners, two private investment vehicles specializing respectively in emerging markets (with an emphasis on Africa) and early stage healthcare ventures.

Paul served as Chairman of the social impact nonprofit TechnoServe for 27 years, overseeing the organization's greatest period of growth and transformation. He was the co-founder and a General Partner of Coniston Partners and several other large investment partnerships. He serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Paul is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Chile), and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (magna cum laude) and the Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar). He was an Adjunct Professor of Emerging Markets at Columbia University.

Trish Tierney

Trish Tierney co-founded FFE because she passionately believes that every single person can contribute to positive change. Trish is also a co-founder and CEO of Women’s Alliance for Knowledge Exchange (WAKE), a social impact organization that amplifies the work of women’s rights and social justice leaders worldwide.

Prior to founding WAKE, Trish was Executive Director of the Institute of International Education (IIE) in San Francisco. She led the growth of the office through partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, foundations and corporations. Trish also worked in the private sector, at Cisco Systems, helping to bring the Cisco Networking Academy Program to the world’s fifty least developed countries. Trish ensured that the program had a special emphasis on the inclusion of women. Trish spent spent several years at the World Bank, focusing on education reform and girls’ education in Africa. She began her career as a WorldTeach volunteer in Namibia. Trish is on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Day School, and holds a B.A. from Notre Dame and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Trish lives in beautiful San Francisco, with her husband and three kids.

​Chris Bradford

Chris Bradford is co-Founder and Chairman of African Leadership Academy in South Africa. He is also the President of the Morehead-Cain Foundation, which operates the oldest merit scholarship program in the United States of America. He is driven to build transformational education programs that prepare future leaders to shape their communities and the world.

At African Leadership Academy, Chris spent seventeen years building a unique institution that sought to address what he and his co-founders saw as the most important factor in Africa’s future development: the supply of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders across the continent. Chris shaped the admissions process, curriculum, and development of ALA’s lifelong network as COO, Dean, and then CEO. In recent years, he has worked to shape the ALforEducation network and unlock the power of education entrepreneurs across Africa through Accelerator programs designed in partnership with FFE.

Chris is an Echoing Green Fellow and Siebel Scholar. He holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University.