Finance (with focus on private debt deals, impact investment and development finance)
Corporate Law (start-up and growth-stage social enterprises)
Business and Human Rights; Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
Wilson Williams LLC, New York, NY, partner, October 2021–present
RPCK Rastegar Panchal, New York, NY, partner; of counsel, 2017–September 2021
International Senior Lawyers Project, New York, NY, director, 2011–2017
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York, NY, associate, 2003–2005; 2007–2011
Arent Fox LLP, New York, NY, associate, 2005–2007
The George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C., J.D., 2003 (Highest Honors)
Member, The George Washington Law Review
Order of the Coif
Dean's Fellow, Legal Research and Writing Department
Summer program in post-Soviet legal transition at Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, 2001
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, B.A., 1996
Summer program in political theory and race relations at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, 1996
Rating and Honors
Finalist, 2021 Grunin Center Prize for Law and Social Entrepreneurship (Dual Guarantee Facility to Finance Healthcare Needs at the Frontlines of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa)
Finalist, 2019 Grunin Center Prize for Law and Social Entrepreneurship (Blended Finance Structure for a Multi-Strategy Investment Fund)
English, Spanish (fair), Russian (basic), French (basic)
Significant Representations and Experience
Finance / Investments
Advised the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (“DFC”) on a first-loss capital loan to the IIX Women’s Catalyst Fund to catalyze bond issuances financing gender-lens investing to support climate action and gender equality.
Advised DFC on its purchase of a limited partnership interest in a Mauritius fund investing in control positions in developmentally significant African companies.
Advised DFC on its direct loan to a Kenyan agricultural lender on-lending to companies in Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Ivory Coast, and Tanzania.
Advised DFC on its investment in a private equity fund investing in sustainable agriculture and climate resilience projects in India and Southeast Asia.
Advised DFC on its investment in a private equity fund investing in healthcare solutions in South and Southeast Asia.
Advised DFC on its interests involving its ownership of senior, unsecured notes issued by a Luxembourg SICAV on-lending to SMEs affected by COVID-19.
Advised a non-profit organization on its master and subcontract agreements establishing and governing a loan program to high-impact small- and medium-sized enterprises in Kenya.
Advised an agribusiness-focused social enterprise in Bhutan on a workout with its debt and equity investors.
Advised a leading global environmental organization on easements and site agreements to facilitate tax credit-financed infrastructure solutions to improve water quality and climate resilience at stormwater retention ponds across the United States.
Represented Malaria No More on an emergency dual-guaranty facility, which paired recoverable grants from philanthropic foundations with USDFC capital to backstop up to $30 million in loans made by the Medical Credit Fund to private healthcare providers in Sub-Saharan Africa that were at risk of closure due to COVID-19.
Advised a leading impact investor on multiple limited partnership investments into private equity funds financing clean energy initiatives in the United States.
Advised a leading impact investor on various debt and equity investments in Sub-Saharan Africa across sectors including affordable housing, fintech, and public education.
Advised the Open Road Alliance on multiple loans to bridge financing gaps for social enterprises operating in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Advised an impact lender in connection with its flexible senior/subordinated co-financed revolving credit facility in favor of a social enterprise that hosts a digital platform that allows small- to medium-sized businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain safe, efficient, and transparent access to global supply chains.
Served as senior legal advisor to the Global Innovation Fund, a U.K.-based impact investor investing in debt and equity in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa; advised on multiple investments made to promote gender equality and equity and climate resilience and adaptation.
Designed and drafted template debt agreements, including a loan agreement and a debt term sheet, for impact investor clients, which included detailed annotations and multiple annexes with additional provisions that could be utilized depending on the nature of the transaction (e.g., secured debt transactions). Provided trainings to clients regarding the substance and functionality of such templates.
Advised an impact investor on its direct and indirect solar tax equity investments to finance solar projects with municipal and non-profit partners across New England.
Advised the Zoma Foundation on its debt facility to finance a social enterprise’s down payment assistance program to help Denver public educators purchase homes in the Denver metropolitan area.
Advised a major U.S. energy company in connection with the leveraged financing of a spinoff of its nuclear division.
Grants / Exempt Organizations
Reviewed and negotiated long-term, multimillion-dollar grant agreements on behalf of The Circulate Initiative, including agreements governing grants from PepsiCo and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which included complex terms regarding intellectual property, indemnities, programmatic governance, and other key issues.
Drafted and negotiated a multi-year, multi-phase grant agreement governing an award from the Global Innovation Fund to a non-profit organization using innovative technologies to create digital maps that aim to improve public services for the poor and promote climate resilience and adaptation.
Reviewed multiple grant, repayable grant, and forgivable loan agreements as part of due diligence prior to clients’ investments into early-stage companies.
Advised charitable foundations regarding program-related investments and mission-related investments in connection with direct and indirect debt and equity transactions.
Reviewed, negotiated, and implemented multiple grant agreements with governmental and foundation grant providers as director of an international human rights program at a New York-based non-profit organization.
Created sub-grant agreement template and negotiated the terms thereof with various sub-grantor beneficiaries.
Business and Human Rights / Environmental, Social, and Governance
Advised communities in the Kerio Valley regarding their rights in connection with Tullow Oil’s exploration and potential development activities on their lands; developed strategies to help communities obtain land title from the Kenyan government.
Advised communities in Southeast Asia, East Africa, and Latin America affected by large-scale land-based investment (for infrastructure, natural resource extraction, and other projects) regarding their rights under international and domestic law (including laws governing tenure security, Indigenous rights, and environmental, social, and cultural rights) and the relevant policies of project investors and sponsors.
Created training programs and materials for finance lawyers, human rights advocates, and impacted communities regarding community rights, consultation, and participation in natural resource development projects.
Provided guidance to an impact fund investing in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa on its environmental, social, and governance policies and investment guidelines.
Advised an impact fund investing in plastic solutions in South and Southeast Asia on the various human rights policies imposed on it and its portfolio companies by its limited partners.
Advised Cambodian communities and oversaw a legal project that aimed to secure compensation for those communities for loss of lands and livelihoods as a result of an alleged illegal seizure of land that was subsequently used to grow and supply sugar to U.K.-based Tate & Lyle.
Publications and Speeches
How Debt Finance is Driving Capital to the Front Lines of COVID-19 in Africa, RPCK Perspectives (February 2021)
Lead Author and Editor, Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, 2nd ed., Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment in partnership with the International Senior Lawyers Project (January 2017)
Lead Author and Editor, Guide to Land Contracts: Agricultural Projects Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment in partnership with the International Senior Lawyers Project (March 2016)
A Proper Refusal of Deference: An Analysis of Humane Society v. Glickman in Light of the Supreme Court's Most Recent Standard for Judicial Review of Agency Statutory Interpretation, 70 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 390 (2002)
Panelist, Practicing and Shaping the Law in the Era of Impact, Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing—in the US and Beyond, New York, New York (2021)
Panel Leader, Innovative Blended Finance for Climate Solutions, SOCAP19, San Francisco, California (2019)
Panelist, Democratization of Impact Investing, Sustainatopia 2019, Miami, Florida (2019)
Panelist, Regenerative Agriculture, High Water Women’s Sixth Annual Investing for Impact 2018 Symposium, New York, New York (October 2018)
Panel Leader, Inclusive Development: How Human Rights Frameworks Can Help Impact Investors Maximize Impact and Avoid Unintended Consequences, GIIN/ISLP Legal Practitioners Track Third Annual Convening, New York, New York (November 2017)
Discussion Leader, Outside the Law Firm: What Impact-Seeking Professionals Want and Need from Their Lawyers, IILWG Conference on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing, New York, New York (May 2017)
Workshop Leader, International Senior Lawyers Project's Training Program on Representing Development-Impacted Communities, New York, New York (May 2017)
Co-Presenter, Bringing Sustainable Principles to a Transactional Lawyering Practice, Columbia Society of International Law Speaker Series, New York, New York (March 2016)
Session Leader, Enhancing Companies' Respect for the Human Rights of Affected Communities, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment's Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture, New York, New York (March 2015)
Co-Presenter, Land Grabbing, Human Rights, and the Law, Columbia Law School, New York, New York(April 2014)
Co-Presenter, Professional Excellence: How to Manage Working Partnerships, Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia's Second SE Asia/Asia Pro Bono Conference & Workshop, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (October 2013)
Presenter, Human Rights and the Cambodian Land-Grabbing Epidemic, Khmer People Network for Cambodia's Cambodian National Conference, Arlington, Virginia (October 2012)