Susy Cheston
Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

Susy Cheston is Senior Advisor for the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and leads the Financial Inclusion 2020 campaign.

She previously served as Senior Director for Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; Agriculture; and Economic Development for World Vision. In that position she oversaw a team providing technical assistance, program management and new business development for WASH, agriculture, economic development, shelter and climate change. From 1992 through 2010, Susy served in various positions within Opportunity International, most recently as Senior Vice President for Policy. In the early 1990s, Ms. Cheston lived in Costa Rica and El Salvador, where she launched the pilot project of Opportunity’s Women’s Opportunity Fund. Her work in refining a group lending model now called Trust Groups in El Salvador led to Opportunity’s adoption of Trust Groups as its primary lending methodology. That model is now serving over a million clients worldwide. Ms. Cheston also served as Senior Vice President for Policy & Research for the Opportunity International Network, focusing on client impact assessment, gender issues, integration of AIDS programs, environmental linkages, and other ways to increase impact, outreach, and financial sustainability.

Cheston’s publications include “Measuring Transformation: Assessing and Improving the Impact of Microcredit,” published in the premier issue of the Journal of Microfinance and “Empowering Women through Microfinance,” published in the book Pathways Out of Poverty. She has been active in the leadership of the Microenterprise Coalition since 2003, including helping to lead the microfinance industry in brokering the Microenterprise Results and Accountability Act passed by the US Congress in 2004.  She was a founding member of the steering committee of WAM (Women Advancing Microfinance).


Articles by Susy Cheston

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