CHICAGO, November 9, 2020 – Opportunity International congratulates Chief Executive Officer Atul Tandon on receiving the esteemed Life & News Krach Transformational Leader of the Year award, an honor bestowed upon select leaders committed to creating a better future for all.
Established in 2018, the Transformational Leader of the Year Award was created to celebrate those who go above and beyond to elevate the quality of livelihoods around the globe through dedicated and innovative leadership. In 2019, the award was officially named after Keith Krach, a tech entrepreneur, diplomat, and philanthropist who was first awarded this title.
Life & News noted, “Tandon is leading his organization to play their part in what he calls ‘the greatest story our generation could write.’ Under Tandon’s leadership, Opportunity International has planted itself firmly in this story, too. Through innovative programs and services, Opportunity is reaching out to those that the economic juggernaut has left behind—working to help them build sustainable incomes, feed their families, educate their children, and escape generational poverty.”
Two decades ago, Tandon pivoted from his successful Wall Street career toward a calling to humanitarian service. His deep commitment to those living in poverty was fueled by his experiences growing up in India, where he saw his neighbors struggle to break the cycle of poverty. He witnessed the power of opportunity—coupled with commitment and hard work—in breaking that cycle. He went on to find success in an array of industries that offer a unique perspective: consumer banking, nonprofit organizations, and social enterprises around the world. Before joining Opportunity in 2016, he served in senior leadership positions at Citibank, World Vision, and United Way.
Tandon’s impact since taking the helm at Opportunity is substantial and has included: shifting the organization to have a razor-sharp focus on helping people living in extreme poverty build income and skills and escape poverty; scaling the availability of affordable education by financing thousands of schools serving millions of poor children in Africa, Asia and Latin America; building a scalable financing and technical services solution to help smallholder farmers increase yields and incomes; and, most recently, launching a “Survive to Thrive” initiative to help Opportunity’s clients—some of the most marginalized families and communities on the planet—tackle the multiple catastrophes set in motion by the pandemic. Under Tandon’s leadership, Opportunity is building on its 50 years of investments, experience, and networks to develop innovative solutions for maximum outreach and impact for the next 50 years.
“This year reminds us more than ever what a significant role leadership plays in overcoming challenges,” says LeAnn Pope, Opportunity International Board Chair. “We are grateful to have an incredible leader in Atul to steer our organization through such tumultuous times and keep us focused on serving those who are fighting to break free from extreme poverty.”
ABOUT OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL
Opportunity International is a global non-profit committed to ending extreme poverty and promoting quality education for families in need. Since 1971, Opportunity has helped millions of families work their way out of poverty by providing financial resources, training, and delivering ongoing support to start small businesses, earn living wages, and feed their families. The organization provides loans to families seeking tuition and educators who want to improve local schools to get more children into better quality schools. In 2019, Opportunity International and its partners made more than $3 billion in loans, reaching more than 7 million loan clients and 12 million savings clients in 27 countries, and helped fund 6,400 schools that reached nearly 2 million children. Discover more at opportunity.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
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Life & News Honors Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon with Krach Transformational Leader of the Year Award