"Microfinance as a Platform""Microfinance as a Platform"http://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/169212Stokes Auditorium2011-03-24T16:30:002011-03-24T18:00:00
March 24, 4:30PM–6:00PM
President's Social Justice Speaker: Alex Counts
Alex Counts is President and CEO of Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on enabling the poor to escape poverty, using microfinance and technology. Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its CEO in 1997, after having worked in microfinance and poverty reduction for 10 years. Since its modest beginnings, sparked by a $6,000 seed grant provided by Grameen Bank founder (and founding Grameen Foundation board member) Professor Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Foundation has grown to a leading international humanitarian organization with an annual budget of approximately $25 million.
A Cornell University graduate, Counts’ commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he witnessed innovative poverty solutions being developed by Grameen Bank. He trained under Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Counts has propelled Grameen Foundation’s philosophy through his writings, including Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance Are Changing the World. Counts has also been published in The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Miami Herald, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere. In 2007 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Horace Mann School.
Counts chairs the Fonkoze USA board of directors and is the immediate past chair of Project Enterprise’s board. He sits on the Advisory Council of the Center for Financial Inclusion, the Advisory Board of the ThinkGlobal Arts Foundation, and he co-chairs the Microenterprise Coalition. He serves on the Board of Directors of two social businesses: Grameen-Jameel Pan-Arab Microfinance Ltd. and YouChange PuRong Information Advisory Co. Ltd., which promote microfinance and related efforts in the Arab World and China respectively.
Before leading Grameen Foundation, Counts served as the legislative director of RESULTS and as a regional project manager for CARE-Bangladesh. He speaks fluent Bengali and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Emily, and their cat, Seymour.
There will be a reception and book signing at 5:30 p.m. in the KINSC Rotunda.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Economics and the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.
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