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Opportunity International to Host Experts on Hunger, Poverty and Emerging Women Entrepreneurs at Washington, D.C. Microfinance Conference

More than 250 attendees will gather at the Marriott Crystal Gateway for two days of informative sessions on bringing an end to global poverty and hunger; speakers include internationally recognized experts from the public and private sectors

Oak Brook, Ill., Sept. 22 2010 – Opportunity International announced today it will host its Fall Microfinance Conference in Washington, D.C., October 7-9, 2010. Attendees will participate in lively keynote presentations and breakout sessions about the role that savings-based microfinance plays in eradicating poverty. They can also expect to learn more about innovative ways to increase the productivity and sustainability of smallholder farmers in Africa, establish and grow access to community savings banks, insurance and education, as well as provide support for the millions of women entrepreneurs who are emerging in developing countries.

What: Opportunity International’s Microfinance Conference

When: 7:00 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 7; 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8; 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9. More details outlined in conference agenda.

Who: The conference is expected to draw more than 250 attendees, and will include an exciting lineup of speakers from the public and private sectors. Each will each share their unique perspectives regarding the challenges we face as a global society in solving poverty and hunger. To date, the confirmed roster of speakers includes:

  • Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize and co-author of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” She is also a senior managing director at Mid-Market Securities, an investment-banking boutique, serving growth companies in the middle market, as well as president of TripleEdge, a social investing consultancy.
  • Roger Thurow, former Wall Street Journal Reporter and hunger advocate; co-author of “Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty,” and a senior fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a leading independent, nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues.
  • Tony Hall, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy, from 2002 to 2005, former U.S. Congressman in Ohio’s third district, and a leading advocate for hunger relief programs and improving human rights in the world.
  • Maria Otero, Undersecretary of Democracy and Global Affairs for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former CEO of Accion International.
  • Claudia J. Kennedy, Retired Lt. General, U.S. Army, and the first woman to achieve the rank of three-star general in the U.S. Army. She is also a commissioner for the White House Fellows Program.
  • Dale Hanson Bourke, president of The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) Foundation which supports AIDS research and treatment programs in Africa.
  • Knight Kiplinger, respected economic journalist and business forecaster, is the editor-in-chief of The Kiplinger Letter, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and KiplingerForecasts.com.
  • Reverend Jennifer Hope Kottler, director of policy and advocacy, Sojourners, has a long track record of fighting for strong public policies at the city, state and federal level through issue campaigns, bringing together groups from across the theological and political spectrum.

Attendees will also hear from Opportunity International representatives including CEO Bill Morgenstern; John Magnay, senior agricultural advisor; Mark Lutz, senior vice president, global philanthropy and author of “UnPoverty: Rich Lessons from the Working Poor”; Dennis Ripley, senior VP, International Business Development; Daryl Skoog, senior vice president, technology; Richard Leftley, president and CEO of Opportunity International’s microinsurance intermediary, MicroEnsure; Benjie Motemayor, president of Opportunity’s bank in the Philippines; Alice Gasatura, director of credit support for Opportunity’s bank in Rwanda; and Chance Tsamwa, senior banking officer with Opportunity’s bank in Malawi.

Where: Opportunity International’s Fall Microfinance Conference will take place at the
Marriott Crystal Gateway, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Va.

Registration: The cost of the conference is $125 per person. A special discounted registration rate is available for students and young professionals. To register online, visit
http://www.opportunity.org/opportunity-microfinance-conference/. Interested media, please contact Jennifer Anaya at [email protected] for registration information.

About Opportunity International

Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in over 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. For more information, visit http://www.opportunity.org or join the conversation at http://facebook.com/opportunityintl and http://twitter.com/opportunityintl.

Jennifer Anaya
iD8 Marketing/Opportunity International
[email protected]


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