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Executive Staff

President and CEO

Steve Hollingworth’s unflagging commitment through 30 years of work in international development has been to ensure that the delivery of financial services benefits the world’s poorest people and fulfills its promise of alleviating poverty.

Prior to joining Grameen Foundation, Steve was President of Freedom from Hunger. Beginning in 2011, he focused that organization on the intersection of financial services and ending hunger through the empowerment of women in rural communities. Previously, he served as Chief Operating Officer for CARE, where he was instrumental in developing and implementing the organization-wide strategy and was responsible for direct-line management of global operations and programs with a total of 13,000 employees and a budget of $650 million. He has also held senior field positions in Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), Africa (Lesotho) and Latin America (Bolivia), building collaboration between practitioners, technical assistance providers, donors and government agencies.
 
Steve’s roots in financial services for the very poor go back to early days with CARE-Bangladesh, the largest CARE mission in the world.  Based on his leadership in the financial services sector, he also served for many years as a member of the Microfinance CEO Working Group. His areas of expertise include microenterprise and microfinance, education, agriculture, health and civil society strengthening.
  
Steve has an M.S. in Economics, Development Studies, from Victoria University of Manchester, in Manchester, England.  He enrolled there as a Rotarian Fellow, and his thesis analyzed the field of microcredit and the role of Grameen Bank.  In that sense, Steve’s position as President and CEO of Grameen Foundation brings him full circle.  Steve has a B.A. in Economics from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, not far from his home town of Elgin, Illinois.

Executive Vice President, Global Programs

Prior to joining Grameen Foundation, Kathleen Stack worked with Freedom for Hunger for 32 years, most recently serving as Interim President and CEO. Ms. Stack has 37 years of experience in international development with expertise in program design and management, strategic business planning, microfinance and microenterprise development.

Ms. Stack has been a leader in the design of financial services for the poor including Credit with Education and Savings Group methodologies. She led the development of Freedom from Hunger’s business education curriculum and was instrumental in the design of the Global Financial Education Program curriculum and approach. In her various roles with Freedom from Hunger, she has provided capacity-building, training and evaluation services for microfinance and civil society organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America and is a founding member of The SEEP Network.

Prior to joining Freedom from Hunger, Ms. Stack served as Associate Director of Plan International in Burkina Faso before becoming a Program Manager for a USAID women’s credit and nutrition project in that country. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali.

Ms. Stack holds an M.A. in International Administration from the School for International Training Graduate Institute and a B.A. in Psychology from Clark University. She speaks fluent French.

Executive Vice President, Program Strategy and Institutional Relations

Lauren Hendricks is the Executive Vice President for Program Strategy and Institutional Relations at Grameen Foundation.  She was previously Executive Director for the Access Africa initiative at CARE, where she led the development of financial inclusion programs and innovative solutions to reach the poorest people in Africa. In this role, she partnered with banks, microfinance institutions, mobile network operators, and others in the private sector to adapt products and services to meet the needs of the poor, and to ensure that participants benefitted from new, digital financial services.  Lauren also served as Director of the Economic Development Unit for CARE USA, where she provided strategic direction and technical leadership for more than 100 active microfinance and enterprise development programs in 54 countries. 

Before joining CARE, Lauren was a Program Specialist at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS) at the University of Maryland. Her research focused on the development of low-cost tools to assess the poverty outreach of USAID funded micro enterprise development programs. Lauren currently serves on the Board of Directors and Investment Committee for MicroVest, a capital management firm investing in microfinance institutions.  She also chairs the board of the Access Africa Fund, a specialized investment fund managed by MicroVest, providing debt and equity investments in African microfinance institutions.

Chief Financial Officer

Ron Aizer is the Chief Financial Officer at Grameen Foundation. Most recently, he served as Deputy Chief Financial Officer for FINCA International, an international nonprofit dedicated to alleviating poverty in developing countries. An experienced and committed professional with a deep dedication for helping poor communities, Ron has held senior financial leadership roles in for-profit and non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross. There he served as finance director for three operating divisions, including disaster services. At the Red Cross, he developed controls for fast-moving, dynamic situations, including a budget model for disaster relief operations that balanced the need for quick and effective disaster relief with visibility and control over expenditures. He also managed a multi-million dollar United States government grant that covered numerous large disaster relief operations.
 
He holds a B.S. with an economics concentration from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. and an M.B.A with a finance concentration from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Vice President Institutional and Program Development

Melanie Mamrack Chen is the Vice President of Institutional and Program Development at Grameen Foundation. She has over 18 years’ experience in international development program planning and business development, covering multiple sectors and broad geographic span.  
 
For over three years, she was Senior Director of Program Development and a Leadership Team member at Freedom From Hunger where she developed and implemented strategies to attract funding for new global multi-sectoral integratedprograms all while ensuring excellent stewardship of existing donors. Prior to joining Freedom from Hunger, she served as CARE-USA’s Associate Vice-President for Competitive Bids for seven years. Melanie was also a direct-hireProject Development Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, serving in Poland, Jamaica and the Philippines. She has successfully led large-scale, interdisciplinary program design efforts and conducted dozens of workshops around the world to build the capacity of NGO staff on proposal development.

Vice President of Development and Communications

Margo Jacobs is the Vice President of Development and Communications for Grameen Foundation. She has spent more than a decade assisting non-profits as both a development consultant and a front-line fundraiser, helping worthy causes realize the resources needed to continue their important work.

Most recently, Margo served as Director of Development, Campaigns for the United Nations Foundation. Margo helped guide the fundraising and donor communication programs of the Shot@Life, Girl Up, and Nothing But Nets campaigns of the UN Foundation, representing more than 1 million combined supporters and $10 million in funds raised annually for the work of, and advocacy for, programs of the United Nations. Prior to the UN Foundation, Margo was a Vice President at CCS, one of the largest strategic development consulting firms in the industry. With CCS she helped clients in the global health, health care, and other sectors to raise more than $35 million for human impact, endowment, and capital campaigns. While directing multi-million dollar campaigns, Margo tapped into her passion for systems and structures to assist her clients in enhancing the efficiency of their fundraising programs.

Margo studied International Relations at Lehigh University, and travels the world regularly to immerse in diverse cultures.