Washington, DC – November 14, 2018 – Global nonprofit Accion announced today that it will award the fourth Edward W. Claugus Award to Leora Klapper, Lead Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Research Team of the Development Research Group at the World Bank Group, in recognition of her exceptional leadership in advancing financial inclusion.
“Leora’s leadership has established the World Bank’s Global Findex as the gold standard in measuring global progress toward financial inclusion. Her research enables Accion and the broader financial inclusion industry to be more effective in our efforts to reach the world’s three billion underserved people. We are thrilled to recognize her efforts and present her with the Edward W. Claugus Award,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion.
“Accion has done foundational research on financial inclusion and transformative financial service models for decades. Their work has contributed immensely to our understanding of the financial lives of the poor. I’m honored to receive this award,” said Leora Klapper, Lead Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Research Team of the Development Research Group at the World Bank Group.
In her role at the World Bank, Leora is a driving force behind the Global Findex, the most comprehensive database on how people access and use financial services in 150 countries across the world. The 2017 Global Findex dataset, released this spring, spotlighted key financial inclusion indicators such as account usage, borrowing, saving and resilience. (See the analysis of that data from the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion here.)
Leora’s current research focuses on consumer finance, digital payments, and measuring financial inclusion. Since joining the World Bank in 1998, her publications focus on corporate and household finance, banking, entrepreneurship, and risk management. Her current research studies the impact of digital financial services, especially for women. Previously, she worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Salomon Smith Barney. She holds a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from New York University Stern School of Business.
The Claugus Award is named in honor of Accion benefactor Edward W. Claugus, a skilled investor who was passionate about social change. Claugus realized significant professional success and empathized with the people that Accion serves around the world: the farmers, women, and families who lack the necessary financial tools and services to build better lives. The Claugus Award recognizes leaders who have made important contributions to advancing financial inclusion and represents one portion of Accion’s programs funded thanks to The Edward W. Claugus Fund.
Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of — or poorly served by — the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 90 partners in 40 countries. More at http://www.accion.org.