Gerardo Espinoza

Executive Director

Gerardo has served as Executive Director of LEAF for the last eight years, spearheading the Fund’s move into retail food co-ops and healthy food financing.  He joined LEAF after spending many years in the commercial banking and investment management field.  His background includes ten years as a Vice President at First National Bank of Chicago, and 15 years in investment management in the positions of Portfolio Manager and Senior Vice President with Baring Asset Management and John Hancock funds.  In 2015, Gerardo also joined the board of the Food Co-op Initiative, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the number of new food cooperatives delivering access to healthy food in diverse communities across this country. He has a master’s degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Amine Benali

managing director, strategy & development

Amine is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and brings with him a vast experience in investment analysis and management. He joined LEAF after 19 years as an investment analyst and portfolio manager focused on Emerging Markets and Global Natural Resources. He worked as an equity analyst at Baring Asset Management, as Senior Research Officer at John Hancock Advisors, and as Managing Director at Manulife Asset Management. He has co-managed equity portfolios with up to $1.8 billion in AUM.  He is also an entrepreneurship Lecturer at Northeastern University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in Economics from Boston University.

Ben Selden

Development & Marketing Manager

Ben joins the LEAF team on the development side after serving an 11-month fellowship as part of New Sector Alliance’s Residency in Social Enterprise. RISE is an AmeriCorps program that pairs fellows with nonprofits to work on capacity-building projects. Ben previously interned at the Harvard Art Museums and Dumbarton Oak’s Research Library. He graduated with a degree in Classics from Harvard University.

Nathan Hixson

Loan and investment manager


Nathan performs financial analysis for LEAF and identifies new sources of funding to support our work. Prior to joining LEAF, Nathan served as an AmeriCorps New Sector Fellow at Aspire Institute. He has also performed underwriting at RSF Social Finance, co-founded the BYU Social Innovation Leadership Council, and served a two-year mission in Albania. Nathan graduated with a B.S. in Finance and International Development from Brigham Young University. Nathan is a candidate in the CFA program and has passed the level 2 exam.