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.