Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, known as Stanford Seed, today named Darius Teter as its new executive director. Stanford Seed is led by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and receives university-wide support. It is designed to promote greater economic prosperity through leadership and innovation training in Africa and India. In this role, Teter will lead Seed’s growth and expansion, building upon the success it has achieved since its inception in 2011.
Teter previously served as vice president of global programs at Oxfam America, where he oversaw the humanitarian emergency response team and regional development programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as research, learning, and evaluation. His experience spans the field of international development, from responding to humanitarian emergencies to financing public infrastructure mega-projects, including leadership positions with the Asian Development Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent U.S. government foreign aid agency.
“Darius is passionate about promoting global economic prosperity, making him the ideal leader for Stanford Seed,” said Jonathan Levin, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford GSB. “As Stanford Seed continues to grow and evolve, Darius’ deep experience will help guide the institute to its next level of success.”
“Within just a few years, Stanford Seed created a lasting impact in West and East Africa, and the future is looking bright as we now expand to India,” Teter said. “I’m thrilled and humbled to join this dynamic institute as we equip some of the most promising business leaders in emerging markets with the tools to scale their businesses and, in turn, drive sustainable regional prosperity in their part of the world.”
After Seed’s founding in 2011, the first Seed Transformation Program launched in Accra, Ghana, in 2013 and expanded to Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016. Since then, the Seed Transformation Program has trained and mentored 565 entrepreneurs and senior staff members, leading to increased revenue and new job creation throughout the region. In addition, participating companies have raised almost $11 million in funding and 79 percent have grown their customer base.
In May 2017, Seed announced its expansion into India through its new location in Chennai, which will serve entrepreneurs from across the country. The first annual program will run from August 2017 to August 2018 and will be held at the state-of-the-art Infosys corporate campus.
“We’ve made great strides with Stanford Seed over the past five years and I look forward to the continued momentum under Darius’ leadership,” said Jesper Sørensen, faculty director of Seed and the Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford GSB.
Teter will work closely with Sørensen, who served as executive director of Seed from 2015 to 2017, and Raj Chellaraj, associate dean for finance and administration at Stanford GSB, who served as chief operating officer of Seed during the same time period.
Teter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University and a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard Kennedy School. He has also completed advanced studies in resource economics at the University of British Columbia.