Will Lead Initiatives to Expand Poverty-Focused Financial and Information Services in the Region
November 14, 2012 – Grameen Foundation has announced the appointment of Christopher A. Tan as regional CEO for Asia. Tan, who previously served as Grameen Foundation’s Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia, will lead the organization’s efforts to provide access to financial and information services that are specifically designed to address the needs of the poor. It will also deepen its focus on using data to improve and strengthen poverty-focused initiatives.
Tan succeeds Jennifer Meehan, who will continue to work with the foundation in a volunteer governance role. She will serve on Grameen Foundation’s Asia Advisory Sub-Committee, will continue to chair the board of Grameen Foundation India and serve on the board of Kashf Holdings Ltd.
“Over the past five years, Christopher – known to virtually everyone by his Filipino nickname ‘Happy’ – has played a critical role in broadening Grameen Foundation’s work across East and Southeast Asia,” said Alex Counts, president and CEO of Grameen Foundation, which has its headquarters in Washington, DC. “His deep insight and knowledge of the Asian development sector, as well as his experience and passion, make him the ideal person to build on the excellent work that Jennifer has done in the region.”
A native of the Philippines, Tan has almost 15 years of experience in development finance, nonprofit management and public-interest law. He previously worked for ShoreBank Advisory Services (SAS) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC/Chicago) in the U.S., and for SALIGAN in the Philippines. He holds an MPP from the University of Chicago and a JD from the Ateneo de Manila University.
“I am honored to take the reins from Jennifer at such an important juncture in Grameen Foundation’s work in Asia, and want to thank her for her leadership,” said Tan. “We are now well-positioned to support new business models that enable microfinance institutions and other social enterprises to serve remote, rural communities in a more sustainable way, and I look forward to working with others across the region.”
Grameen Foundation has been working in Asia for more than a decade, helping to spread microfinance and technology innovations. Over the next three years, it will focus on several key areas to address some of the significant concerns of poor people across the region and in targeted countries. One core area will involve expanding the availability of mobile banking products to poor and remote rural communities – particularly in India and the Philippines, where Grameen Foundation is already working with local organizations. It will also introduce a new service in Indonesia to provide agricultural tips and other valuable information to poor farmers. And, it will work with poverty-focused organizations across the region to help them better collect and analyze data about their clients and use those insights to improve their services.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people – especially women – lift themselves out of poverty by providing them with access to appropriate financial services, life-changing information and unique business opportunities. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Kenya; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.
U.S. Contact: Liselle Yorke
1-202-628-3560, ext. 128
lyorke [at] grameenfoundation.org
Asia Contact: Christina Chao
+852 3584 8511
cchao [at] grameenfoundation.org