Class of 2020-2021
Carolyn Campbell is a leader in private equity with international board and operating experience of nearly thirty years. She serves as Chief Operating Officer, Member of the Executive Committee, and Co-Founder of Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a $3.2B private equity firm investing in high-growth and emerging market companies in the energy, technology, infrastructure/logistics, consumer, and financial services sectors. Under her leadership, ECP grew from $407M to over $3.2B, making more than 65 investments in 45 countries totaling over $1.5B and 45 exits totaling $1.4B. As COO, Carolyn oversees the firm’s strategic direction and manages the 31-person staff. She serves on the investment and valuation committees, oversees fund strategy and performance, and chairs the firm’s fund advisory committee. Having played key roles at the board and management levels of portfolio companies, Carolyn has considerable expertise in high-growth and restructuring situations with a focus on financial oversight and ESG.
Carolyn has extensive board experience. Carolyn serves on multiple private company boards, including Eranove S.A., a French power and water utility with over $500M in revenues and operations in West Africa, where she served on the compensation committee through to filing for dual listing on Euronext and BRVM exchanges; Wananchi Group Holdings in East Africa, a multi-country fiber optic cable and satellite company with over $100M in revenues; and ArtCaffe Group, a fast-casual dining chain operating five dining concepts with over $25M in revenues.
Carolyn was recently named one of Private Equity Africa’s Women Impact Award recipients. Prior to founding ECP, she worked in global private equity at Emerging Markets Partnership (EMP), where she was responsible for providing overall leadership and strategy for the global funds, including management of the investment staff. Prior to that, Carolyn worked in foreign investment in Eastern Europe at White & Case, where she guided multinational corporations expanding into the region to find suitable investments, build strong local partnerships, and employ solid governance structures, from joint ventures through to initial public offerings. Her work spanned a variety of sectors, including energy, manufacturing, banking, and telecommunications. Carolyn has also served in board leadership positions (finance and audit chair) of several non-profits including the Washington International School.
Carolyn is a sought-after speaker on investment strategy, executive management teams, and board governance, having appeared on Africa Today and C-SPAN, spoken at a wide variety of venues such as Bloomberg, the National Economists Club, Council on Foreign Relations, Edison Electricity Institute, Brookings and Wharton, and has published in the Financial Times and Private Equity International. Carolyn is fluent in French. Carolyn graduated summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut, received her J.D. from the University of Virginia, and earned a D.Phil in political economy at Oxford University, where her thesis focused on integrating troubled steel and textiles industries into the EU.