Silvia Bastante de Unverhau is a global philanthropy expert and executive with close to 25 years of experience working across the business, international development, non-profit, and government sectors. She has extensive experience in grantmaking for education, health, economic opportunity, human rights and gender equality, as well as enabling philanthropists and foundations to utilize their investments for positive impact. She is a regular writer and speaker on philanthropy and has been quoted by leading publications including the Financial Times and Forbes.
Silvia provides independent philanthropy advisory and consulting services to philanthropists and philanthropic organizations through Braymont. She is also a Senior Advisor with LGT Philanthropy Advisory, and a Senior Advisor to Co-Impact, a global collaborative of some of the world’s leading philanthropists focused on systems change and gender equality to improve the lives of millions of people. In addition, she teaches for the Diploma in Advanced Studies in Strategic and Operational Philanthropy at the University of Geneva’s Center for Continued Education.
Silvia serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at the University of Zurich. She also serves on the Board of the I AM WATER Ocean Conservation Foundation, a global organization fostering nature and species conservation through human experience both as a non-profit and social mission business. In addition, Silvia is an Advisory Board member for VALUEworks, an independent multi-family office in Zurich with a values-based approach.
From January 2018 until September 2021, Silvia was Co-Impact’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, where she joined the founding team and helped to bring together over 40 philanthropists and foundations from 16 countries who contributed more than US$ 500 million for grants to partners in the Global South. Between 2013 and 2017 she was the Global Head of Philanthropy Advisory at UBS where she led a team of specialists helping wealthy philanthropists. In that role, she created the largest community of billionaire and UHNW philanthropists and social impact investors with over 400 members worldwide. From 2004 to 2013, she was an Associate Partner at the strategy consulting firm Monitor Group where she worked with national leaders, executives and social entrepreneurs on social change, strategy, leadership and organizational design. Early in her career, she held management roles at the Organization of American States in Washington DC, the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London, and served in the Office of the President of Peru in Lima.
Silvia’s work has been published extensively. She has authored or collaborated on pioneering guides and reports on strategic and systems change philanthropy, fundraising, and global philanthropy. She has also published regional and country reports focused on Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa), Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru), the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden), China, and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).
Silvia graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with a bachelor’s degree in Government and Economics, and holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) in Cambridge, MA where she was also distinguished as a Mason Fellow. Silvia brings a unique and global perspective to her work. Originally from Lima, Peru, she has visited and worked in over 70 countries across six continents. She lives with her husband and two children in Zurich.