Who We Are

Randy Mitchell

Randy Mitchell, Chief Development Officer

Randy is a globally connected results-oriented private capital strategist who has an outstanding combination of private sector, government, and non-profit trade association experience. 


His extensive relationships with private equity/venture capital general partners (GP), and institutional limited partner (LP) investors on 6 continents have been invaluable.  He has organized and executed 100+ LP GP executive roundtables in 43 cities involving hundreds of GPs and LPs.


Randy has 17+ years of experience in development of global entrepreneurship, private equity, and venture capital which included roles at the U.S. Department of Commerce and EMPEA. Randy was the U.S. civil servant responsible for the private equity and venture capital industry 2005-2014; and for entrepreneurship 2002-2005.  From 2014-2018 at EMPEA, Randy worked with emerging market GPs and LPs.

Irina Mitchell

Irina Mitchell, VP Programs &

Irina has 10+ years of experience in design and implementation of entrepreneurship and local investment capacity development programs with five years experience in blended learning and instructional design.


At the U.S. Department of Commerce, Irina worked with SMEs on international market access, trade and logistics facilitation.


Former positions include: Program Lead, EMPEA Institute. Program Manager, CRDF. International Trade Specialist, U.S. Government, Director of Operations (AEN).

Robert W. Van Zwieten

Robert W. Van Zwieten Senior Advisor

30+ years of experience in global financial markets, of which 20 years in emerging markets, investing (ADB), lending (ABN AMRO Bank), borrowing (GE Capital) and leading the development of the EM private capital industry (EMPEA).


Former positions include: President & CEO, EMPEA. Director- Private Sector Capital Markets, AsDB. COO, Asian hedge fund. CFO & EVP, Singapore Exchange. CAO, Lehman Brothers. Global Treasurer, GE Energy. Treasurer Asia, GE Capital. Head of Global Clients Asia, ABN AMRO.


PE experience at AsDB: led LP investments in US$ 1 billion PE funds portfolio, with 47 funds invested in 420 portfolio companies; incubated 3 new PE funds and 3 non-bank financial institutions; raised US924 million in third-party commitments; led 12 exits.

Chad Gracia

Chad Gracia Senior Advisor -- GCC

Chad Gracia focuses on helping U.S. and international private equity, venture capital and real estate fund managers to build strong LP relationships in the Middle East, where he has raised more than US$1 billion for his clients. For more than twenty years, he has worked with high net worth individuals in the region, as well as advised Saudi ambassadors, the Saudi Royal Court, the Bahrain Royal Court, various regional institutions, the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) as well as the U.S. government. As a placement agent, The Gracia Group has represented some of the largest hedge fund and private equity funds in the world; in real estate, Gracia was chosen by Gary Barnett of Extell Development to lead their Middle East relationship-building efforts.

From 2013-2018, the Gracia Group was the private sector mission leader for U.S. Commerce Department Certified Private Equity and Real Estate trade missions to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Oman, where he has introduced fund managers to more than 100 active LP allocators, including dozens of local family offices and all of the regional sovereign wealth funds. His delegations were hosted at the homes of US ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Oman and throughout the region. He has worked closely with U.S. embassies and ambassadors to introduce these delegations to local LPs.

Mr. Gracia is also a registered securities broker who trades pre-IPO tech unicorns via the broker-dealer, Rainmaker Securities.

Chad is also a Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary film director and is Series 7, 63 registered with FINRA.

Stephen Eastham

Stephen Eastham Senior Advisor

30+ years of experience in international economic development project management (USAID).12 years of founding and building start-up leasing and financial services business culminating in IPO.Former positions include: Team Leader, USAID Enterprise Investment Funds. Team Leader, USAID’s Enterprise Legacy Foundations. Director, USAID’s Office of Private Sector Investment, President , Finalco Group Inc.