In July, SSG opened its third US office in Seattle to enable us to better engage with clients and partners on the West Coast. Seattle is a natural choice for a West Coast Office for a firm such as SSG. Home to world class technology firms, such as Amazon and Microsoft, and a growing bio-technology industry, it also boasts a dynamic international development scene with organizations such as World Vision, the Gates Foundation and PATH. According to SSG President Nazgul Abdrazakova, “For SSG, Seattle is the perfect home on the West Coast. Not only does it boast an amazing ecosystem of innovative international companies and organizations, the Seattle community emphasizes local sustainability and global engagement – qualities very similar to what drew us to base SSG in Burlington, Vermont, a decade ago.”
Leading up the charge to build our Seattle office is James Bernard, Director of Strategic Partnerships. James joined SSG from Microsoft where he spent nearly 12 years building and managing international technology public private partnerships, primarily in the education sector. With more than 25 years of experience with technology and consumer companies, and a decade working at the nexus between technology and development, James brings a deep understanding of how companies, donors and communities can leverage ICT to solve social, economic and environmental problems. Although he has only been with the firm since April, James is already making an impact with clients from Kenya to Haiti.
“I have been blown away by the amazing team and incredible passion that SSG has in building partnerships and engaging in frontier markets.” says James. “The best news is that this is exactly what companies in the technology space are looking for – real-world expertise in working on the ground to help public, social and private sector organizations solve some of the world’s most intractable problems.”
We opened our office at the Impact Hub, an incubator for social enterprises located in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. The central location, open work space and collaborative atmosphere enables SSG to connect with Seattle’s social innovation community and build relationships with firms and organizations committed to building a better world. We are excited to grow our team in this dynamic and diverse community.