Celina Lee

From Disrupting Africa
Jump to: navigation, search
Celina Lee
Celina Lee.jpeg
Image retrieved from Financial Times on 21 February, 2021.
San Francisco, United States of America
Alma materColumbia University
Known forBeing the Co-founder & CEO of Zindi

Editor: Tamia Adolph

Celina Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Zindi, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup that acts as a data science competition platform, dedicated to solving Africa’s problems by bringing together a community of data scientists who collaborate and compete to come up with the best possible solutions.[1]

Zindi is based in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Accra.[2]


Celina co-founded Zindi in 2018, as a Cape Town-based startup, with South African, Megan Yates and Ghanaian, Ekow Duker.[3]

The motivation for starting Zindi was to create a space where data scientists in Africa could hone their skills, get real-life experiences, and be in touch with African companies and organisations searching for talent.[4]

Lee holds a BSC in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science, as well as a Master of International Affairs in Advanced Policy Economic Analysis, with a concentration in quantitative analysis - both from Columbia University in New York City.[5]

Before becoming the CEO and co-founder of Zindi, Lee was the Head of Financial Inclusion for Ixio Analytics from 2018 to 2019. Ixio Analytics is a data science company that played a crucial role in the formation of Zindi, as Zindi was first the subsidiary of Ixio before it became its own startup.[6]

In April 2016, Lee became the Director of The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion which is based in Cape Town. During the same time, Lee worked as a Facility Lead for Insight2Impact.

From 2013 to 2016, Lee was an Associate Consultant at Oxford Policy Management. In 2012, Lee founded and acted as an Independent Consultant at Meridian Analytics. Meridian Analytics is a niche consultancy company specialising in financial inclusion data and evaluation systems.

From 2012 to 2013, Lee worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant at the Bank of Namibia.[7]

Lee worked in El Salvador as a Financial Inclusion Consultant at Banco Central de Reserva from 2014 to 2015. At The World Bank in Paraguay, Lee was a Financial Inclusion Consultant in early 2014.

Awards and Achievements

In 2006, Lee was a contributor to the International Labour Organization Annual Reader on Business Development Services. In the same year, she contributed to SEEP Network’s Progress Notes 16.[8]

In 2011, she authored a publication for the National Banking and Securities Commission of Mexico.

Lee was a guest speaker at the Central Bank of Brazil’s 3rd Financial Inclusion Conference in 2011.[9]

In 2015, she presented at a training on financial inclusion session for the staff of the Central Bank of El Salvador. She authored an article for The World Bank in Paraguay, in 2015.

In 2018, Lee contributed to the World Economic Forum white paper.[10]