Bert van der Vaart co-founded the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) in 1989. He managed SEAF’s first fund in Poland from 1994 to 1997, when he returned to Washington, DC to become SEAF’s CEO. Mr. van der Vaart has led the growth of SEAF to more than $1.2 billion in total capital across 39 investment funds, having invested in more than 430 companies in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. SEAF is committed to achieving strong positive developmental impact with commercial returns through investing in entrepreneurs in underserved markets. In furtherance of its mission, SEAF established in 2007 the Center for Entrepreneurial and Executive Development (CEED) to facilitate the growth of early stage entrepreneurs to maturity. More than 35,000 entrepreneurs have taken part of CEED activities, with a core membership of 3000 enterprises in 13 countries.
From 1984 through 1994, Mr. van der Vaart was a Partner and Associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C, Frankfurt, and Brussels. Prior to that, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company in London and Munich. From 2008 through 2011, Mr. van der Vaart served as a principal advisor for Discovery Global Citizens Fund, a Connecticut based emerging markets hedge fund.
Mr. van der Vaart holds a J.D. from Yale Law School. He received an M.A. in Politics and Economics and an M.Phil in Economics from Oxford University, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina.