Helena Riese Harstad is the Co-Founder and working Chairman of the board of Optimizer Foundation and was brought in by Optimizer Invest to establish and run the foundation.


She is a trained lawyer and has a background within Banking and Financing. Her work included project management within the field of business law, specializing in acquisitions, structured finance, asset finance, securitization, bond issues and financial regulation. She has previously been living and working in Stockholm, London and New York and now lives in Spain with her husband, three children and a rather big dog called Otto. She is also a board member of Change Attitude, a Foundation who uses culture as a tool to raise awareness and increase people’s commitment to end sexualized violence against children. Helena believes in combining skills, experience and talents from different people and work areas in order to create innovative ideas to solve difficult social problems. These ideas are usually found when you listen to and understand local conditions. There is so much that can be done and everyone is needed. If you find that one space where your particular skills may be having the greatest impact, great things can be accomplished.




Anne Partridge is the COO of Optimizer Foundation. She is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy of the foundation; identifying and evaluating investment opportunities; and managing the portfolio. She is a former strategy consultant with specific focus on international development/social impact. She has over 10 years of experience in advising private, public and non-profit organizations across emerging markets as well as in Europe.


Prior to joining Optimizer Foundation Anne worked for the strategy consultancy firm Dalberg, based out of Senegal. As a senior consultant she advised clients such as Google, Rio Tinto Foundation, Omidyar Network, and the Government of Rwanda. Anne has also worked in sustainability consulting, advising multinationals (i.e. L’Oreal, European Investment Bank, AXA etc.) on social, environmental and ethical issues, and held positions at the Swedish Foreign Office, and the UN in East Africa.


Anne has a strong belief in private sector development and markets-based approaches in driving socio-economic growth in developing countries.




Catharina is a lawyer and heads the legal team at Debt Capital Markets at Handelsbanken. Prior to her life as an in-house lawyer, Catharina was a senior associate at Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling, advising on financing transactions, predominantly in syndicated and bilateral lending deals. It was during these years she crossed paths with the foundation’s founding chairman and over the years that came, many discussions took place on the topics of the environment, childrens’ rights and well-being and what they could or should be doing to contribute to a positive development. She is involved in Handelsbanken’s recent project of developing products to promote sustainable financing, combining her desire to contribute to supporting more sustainable businesses and building with her interest in viable financing solutions.


Catharina was born in London, spent her young years in the Middle East, her adolescence in Stockholm and Brussels and has since then studied in Florence, Lund and London and now lives with her family in Stockholm. The things that get her fired up is maltreatment of children and misuse of the earth’s resources and the rest of her spare time is spent exploring the world through the eyes of her two toddler sons and avoiding exercise.




Alexandra Rosberg Hinxman is a governmental advisor specialising in international relations and intra-governmental coordination.


Alexandra has an academic background in political science with a special focus on international relations and politics of the Islamic world. She additionally has a basis in business studies and law. Her work has been centered on supporting the Swedish government in its decision-making and developing its foreign and security policies. Alexandra has mainly worked on conflict and post-conflict areas and her work has involved work and travel across the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and Africa, as well as through Europe and North America.


Alexandra lives with her family in Stockholm. She takes active interest in current affairs and in other cultures and peoples. She also enjoys spending peaceful times with her family and friends in the Stockholm archipelago, and relaxes with music, literature and drinking tea. In the Optimizer Foundation board, Alexandra is hoping to constructively contribute to children's wellbeing in regions that are troubled with structural challenges.