Valerie D’Costa is the Chief of Community Engagement with the Wikimedia Foundation and leads the organization’s Community Engagement department and efforts to support Wikimedia’s global community of contributors and affiliates.
A native of Singapore, Valerie joined the Wikimedia Foundation after a decade at the World Bank Group, where she was charged with leading international initiatives to support communities of entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world. She led the Bank’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Program, where she helped female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses in developing countries grow and gain access to new market opportunities. Prior to that, she was the Director of infoDev, a Bank program that supports innovation hubs and technology incubators for entrepreneurs in developing countries. Before joining the World Bank, Valerie spent 15 years working with the government of Singapore on issues of international information and communications technology (ICT) policy and trade.
Valerie has worked her whole career in the intersection between technology and improving people’s lives around the world. She brings a deep understanding of the importance of local ownership, cross-cultural communication, and program sustainability. She emphasizes the importance of collaboration and partnership with local communities in designing and implementing programs and approaches, believing that local partners best understand their own needs and aspirations.
Valerie received her Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Singapore and her Master of Laws from University College London. She has also received an executive MBA certification from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and she is certified by the International Coach Federation and Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies as an executive leadership coach She is an avid painter and hiker, and she believes Singapore food is the best in the world.