Meet Our Staff: Our New Head of Education Finance, Nathan Byrd
This May, we welcomed Nathan Byrd as our new head of education finance. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, and reporting to Colin McCormack, managing director, Africa, Nathan will provide strategic direction and leadership for our education finance program, developing specialized financial tools for schools and families and forming strategic partnerships in the education sector. Nathan is currently in the process of reviewing Opportunity‘s entire education finance program to redefine and tailor our future strategies.
Nathan aims to grow Opportunity’s current education finance program, which currently operates in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, and India. Kenya is also building its education loan products and will bring at least 250 tuition loans to the program. Opportunity Rwanda, although not part of the program, also identified the education sector as one where they want to expand their loan portfolio and have already begun designing education finance products.
Prior to joining Opportunity, Nathan was deputy director of operations for the International Rescue Committee in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for a budget of $21.5 million and oversaw all functions including human resources, financial planning, procurement, logistics, safety and security, field management and new product development strategy.
Nathan has a passion for improving the lives of children and for development projects that empower the next generation. One of his previous leadership roles includes vice president of strategic development at Covenant House, an organization that helps children around the world overcome homelessness, abuse and trafficking through comprehensive services including education. Prior to serving as VP, he was director of their Latin America operations.
Parents around the world share the same dream: to educate their children so that they can achieve a better life. Opportunity International’s Banking on Education initiative increases access to schooling by offering education finance products tailored to schools and families. Opportunity provides growth capital to small non-governmental schools in underserved neighborhoods in Africa, to develop infrastructure, hire new teachers and improve meal programs, and parents gain access to school savings accounts and school fee loans. We’re so excited to have Nathan Byrd on board to help us meet that need and achieve those parents’ dreams.