The appointment of Kisha Perkins as Chief Program Officer and Randy Repka as Chief Growth Officer corresponds with a doubling of nonprofit’s staff

Washington, D.C. – Feb. 1, 2023: The Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR) announced the appointment of Kisha Perkins as Chief Program Officer and the promotion of Randy Repka to Chief Growth Officer. These executive-team additions come after a successful 2022 in which AIR exceeded its fundraising goal by nearly 70 percent and doubled its staff, which now spans 10 time zones and three countries.

AIR also executed key mission-driven initiatives in 2022. This included work to advance women’s economic empowerment in India and fight global financial corruption with tech tools under a State Department grant as part of the White House Summit for Democracy. AIR also launched an initiative to equip Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) with the digital tools that they need to improve financial services offerings for communities of color.

Kisha Perkins joins AIR as its first Chief Program Officer, responsible for strategy, project design and delivery of major program workstreams including TechSprints, advisory services and technology education for regulators. Prior to joining AIR, Kisha spent 12 years at consulting firms, where she led large projects focused on financial regulatory matters. Her past experience includes leadership roles at SoFi, Protiviti, Treliant Risk Advisors, Freddie-Mac and Wells Fargo Risk Advisors.

AIR is also proud to promote Randy Repka to the newly created position of Chief Growth Officer. Since joining AIR in early 2020, Randy has planned and produced an array of regulatory TechSprints (hackathons) in partnership with both U.S. and non-U.S. government agencies. In her new role, Randy will develop a process for program expansion and delivery, lead cultivation of new concepts, drive a learning culture throughout the organization, and support growth initiatives.

“I am thrilled to welcome Kisha to AIR, and to congratulate Randy on her much-deserved promotion,” says Jo Ann Barefoot, AIR CEO and Co-founder. “Kisha’s in-depth understanding of consumer challenges in the financial sector — and her ability to solve them in very complex organizations — will transform AIR’s work in financial and regulatory innovation. Randy has a proven track record of driving growth and will continue to play a vital role in shaping AIR’s future. Their leadership will help us drive our impact to a new level,” she adds.

AIR’s continued expansion also adds key capabilities in program and event execution, domain expertise and international reach.

Mesha Bailey plays a critical role as our new Events Strategist. She leads the planning, logistics and execution of the wide variety of events that AIR produces, enhanced by her focus on both compelling storytelling and success metrics. She is the owner of Nice2Mesha Consulting, LLC and previously worked for the Financial Health Network.

A mechanical engineer by training, Ethan Bagley brings a combination of data-driven thinking and innovation management experience centered on human outcomes to his role as TechSprint Program Manager. Before joining AIR, he used hackathons, design thinking and other approaches to spur innovation initiatives at numerous private companies, including Constant Contact, AMICA Mutual Insurance and J.J. Keller & Associates.

As Crypto Lead, Sujit “Bob” Chakravorti brings broad experience and knowledge dealing with both financial innovation and traditional finance to AIR. His role includes advising regulators and other policymakers on the impact of cryptoassets and blockchain technology on financial markets, as well as supporting TechSprints and other initiatives. Bob held previous positions at the Chicago and Dallas Federal Reserve Banks and the Clearing House (TCH).

Aye Diallo joins AIR as a TechSprint and Innovation Program Manager, working with global partners to conceive and implement TechSprints and other initiatives. She supports AIR’s ambitious initiative to equip MDIs with the digital tools they need to improve financial services for communities of color. Previously, she led efforts to create a more equitable startup community through Gender Equality in Tech (GET) Cities Chicago.

AIR welcomes Grace Mathebula, who is based in South Africa, as a new TechSprint Manager. She is certified as a senior Project Management Professional (PMP) and a certified SCRUM Master with over 14 years of experience managing programs in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and data analytics. She has experience in credit risk and technology enhancement projects from her prior work for an African fintech company and then at South Africa’s National Credit Regulator.

AIR’s international expansion also includes Katie Smith, based in the United Kingdom, as a TechSprint Consultant focused on innovation programs across the organization. Before joining AIR, Katie amassed a wealth of experience during more than 15 years in the financial services industry, including various roles at American Express and Visa.

“With funding support from the Gates Foundation and the International Finance Corporation,  AIR will continue to lead technology education for regulatory agencies and central banks, and run TechSprints on key topics like improving safe and affordable lending access and anti-money laundering,” says David Ehrich, AIR Executive Director and Co-founder. “The ongoing expansion of our team is testament to the need for a financial system that is fully inclusive, fair, and highly resilient through responsible use of new technology,” he continues.

Kisha Perkins

Chief Program Officer

Randy Repka

Chief Growth Officer

Mesha Bailey

Events Strategist

Ethan Bagley

TechSprint Program Manager

Sujit “Bob” Chakravorti

Crypto Lead

Aye Diallo

TechSprint and Innovation Program Manager

Grace Mathebula

TechSprint Manager

Katie Smith

TechSprint Consultant

About AIR

AIR is a nonprofit, non-membership organization working to make the financial system fully inclusive, fair and resilient through responsible use of new technology. By connecting regulation, finance, technology and society, AIR drives global innovation and collaboration to address rapid technology change.

Connect with AIR

BLOG • Three Years Ago, AIR Didn’t Even Have a Logo. We’ve Come a Long Way Since.

The Alliance of Innovative Regulation launched in 2019 with a small staff and a huge mission. Since then, the organization has more than tripled in size, advanced digital regulatory solutions and fostered a global conversation about innovation.

INITIATIVE • AIR Initiative to Create Digital Transformation Road Map for MDIs

The MDI ConnectTech initiative helps participating Minority Depository Institutions assess their technology capability, identify digital offerings to benefit their customers, and establish a road map to implement third-party digital solutions.

VIDEO • TechSprints Are a Collaborative Method Used in Solving Complex Problems

What are “techsprints?” Adapted from the hackathons invented by tech companies, TechSprints are events in which people with diverse knowledge from the public and private sector come together to ideate and co-create technology solutions for complex problems.

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