ACCION Welcomes New Board Chair and Members

ACCION Welcomes New Board Chair and Members

Microfinance Organization Names Diana Taylor to Board Chairmanship

Boston, Mass., June 29, 2009– ACCION® International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance, today announced that it has elected four new members to its board of directors and has appointed Ms. Diana Taylor as its new chair, effective June 19, 2009.

Ms. Taylor brings extensive expertise in banking and finance to her role as ACCION board chair.  Currently a managing director at Wolfensohn & Co., a New York-based investment banking firm, she has also served as superintendent of banks for the State of New York, from 2003 to 2007. Between 1996 and 2003 she held various positions in the New York state government, including CFO of the Long Island Power Authority and deputy secretary to the governor for housing and finance. Prior to her government work, Ms. Taylor was an investment banker at Smith Barney, Lehman Brothers and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.

Ms. Taylor sits on the boards of Allianz Global Investors, Brookfield Properties, FNMA, and Sotheby’s. She also sits on several not-for-profit boards, including the Hudson River Park Trust, which she chairs, and Dartmouth College, the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, the New York Women’s Foundation, and the International Women’s Health Coalition. She chairs a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation commission focused on financially underserved communities, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Diana is succeeding Álvaro Rodríguez Arregui as ACCION board chair, who will remain an active member of the board.

“Serving as chair has been a privilege and an enormously enriching personal experience,” said Mr. Rodríguez. “However, the demands of my other commitments at this time made me decide to step down, while looking forward to continuing to be involved on the board.”

“I am profoundly honored to help direct an organization with so much history, so many ‘firsts’ in microfinance and poverty alleviation, and such a promising future,” said Ms. Taylor. She added, “I’m enormously grateful to Álvaro for his contributions and fierce dedication to ACCION, and we thank him deeply for his outstanding work as board chair.”

ACCION also welcomes  the following new members to the board: Nancy Birdsall, president, Center for Global Development; Ricardo Hausmann, director, Harvard Center for International Development and professor of the Practice of Economic Development, Kennedy School of Government; Barbara Lucas, partner, Capital Market Risk Advisors; and Roy Sosa, chairman, MPOWER Ventures and CEO, MPOWER Labs. Gustavo Herrero, executive director of the Latin America Research Center at Harvard Business School and a long-time ACCION board member, will take over as ACCION’s vice-chair.

About ACCION
ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need – microenterprise loans, business training and other financial services – to work their way out of poverty. A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil.  ACCION’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor men and women entrepreneurs in 23 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States. In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 28.5 million loans totaling $23.4 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid.  Selected for the fifth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 45 organizations awarded the 2008 Social Capitalist Award by Fast Company Magazine/Monitor Group. ACCION has also been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating – four stars – for efficiency and sound fiscal management, for the second consecutive year.  For more information, visitwww.accion.org.

ACCION® is a registered trademark of ACCION International.

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Contact:
Bruce MacDonald
SVP, Communications
ACCION International
Tel: +1-617-625-7080, x1245
bmacdonald@accion.org

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