Entrepreneur, Non-Profit Executive and Humanitarian Joins Leading Global Empowerment and Microfinance Social Enterprise with ‘Deep Calling’ to Alleviate Extreme Poverty
CHICAGO –October 18, 2016 – Opportunity International, a global nonprofit organization that provides financial services and other sustainable solutions to help millions of families around the world break the cycle of poverty, announced today the appointment of social entrepreneur and proven nonprofit leader Atul Tandon as its U.S. CEO.
Tandon will lead the organization’s efforts to engage American donors, funders, corporations and the public to directly impact the lives of women and children living in poverty, utilizing Opportunity’s innovative financial solutions, sustainable interventions and massive global reach.
Tandon is uniquely qualified to steward the organization’s efforts to scale its global impact to help clients create 20 million jobs by 2020. Tandon is an Indian American who was born and raised in India. His track record includes leadership roles with CitiBank’s global consumer banking arm, World Vision and United Way Worldwide. He played a key part in the founding of the One Campaign and is recognized as a changemaker and business builder. His work has spanned several sectors, including consumer banking, e-commerce, consumer insights, and health and human services, among others.
Tandon is no stranger to microfinance, having launched Citibank’s consumer lending businesses in India and having served on the board of VisionFund International, a global microfinance network. Tandon’s appointment demonstrates Opportunity’s uncompromising commitment to bringing the best talent to its work of eradicating poverty and building vibrant communities in deeply challenging environments.
“We are excited Atul will be leading the U.S. team,” said Vicki Escarra, Global CEO of Opportunity International. “Atul is a man of strong conviction and a respected member of the microfinance and humanitarian development communities. He comes to Opportunity as a step of faith, believing the organization is the right place for him to continue his calling to serve the poor.
“I'm confident that his unique range of skills and experience will benefit clients, create jobs and drive economic progress in the developing world.”
Tandon is thrilled to join the organization. “I strongly believe we are at a turning point in human history – the worldwide alleviation of endemic poverty is within our reach and that Opportunity International will play an instrumental role in that journey,” he said. “I consider it both an honor and a privilege to join hands with Opportunity’s staff, donors, advocates and partners in ‘serving the least amongst us’ and making this promise a reality for the millions of women and children it works with worldwide.”
About Opportunity International
Opportunity International is a global non-profit organization that helps people in developing countries work their way out of poverty. Founded in 1971, the organization has provided more than $9 billion in loans to help clients launch and expand businesses, provide for their children and create jobs in their communities. At the end of 2015, more than 14 million clients in 24 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, were using an Opportunity International loan, savings account, insurance policy or training to improve their lives. The organization has set a goal of helping clients create or sustain 20 million jobs by 2020. Through our long history in developing microfinance and complementary products and services in education, agriculture and health, we’ve helped clients create 15.8 million jobs as of the end of 2015. More than 95 percent of Opportunity’s loan clients are women who would otherwise likely not have access to financial services because of legal and cultural gender inequities in many developing countries. The global headquarters of Opportunity International are in Chicago, with other key offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The organization serves clients through a network of more than 20,000 people worldwide.
Christina Koliopoulos | Vice President, Global Communications | 312.487.5064 | CKoliopoulos@opportunity.org