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Grameen America Names New President/CEO

Former Avon Products chair/CEO will lead the U.S.-based microfinance organization.

Reflecting the growing appreciation of the role of women in driving economic growth, Andrea Jung -- who served as chair and CEO of Avon Products from 1999 through 2012 -- has been named president, CEO and a director of Grameen America, reportedly the fastest-growing microfinance organization in the United States.

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Founded by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America is dedicated to helping women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families. Grameen America has provided more individuals and small businesses with microloans than any other organization in the United States, according to a press release from the organization. Over the last five years, Grameen America's pioneer branch in Jackson Heights, N.Y., reached sustainability, with interest income from loans covering operating expenses. This is the first microfinance organization in the United States to reach sustainability, according to Grameen America.

In the press release Yunus noted: "We are thrilled to have Andrea Jung join Grameen America as President and CEO. Andrea is uniquely qualified to accelerate our mission given her broad global experience and deep involvement over the past two decades in women's empowerment. At a time when conventional employment is increasingly out of reach for low-income women, Andrea is the ideal leader to support our rapid expansion of microfinance as a vehicle for social change."

Added Jung: "I am excited to join Grameen America, a proven model for a scalable and powerful approach to solving the pressing issue of economic inequality in the United States. I have been deeply inspired by Professor Yunus' work fighting poverty and promoting social business, and am extremely honored to lead the organization as we utilize sustainable microfinance to break down economic barriers for women and their families."

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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