Lead Specialist, Center for Financial Inclusion

Washington, DC or Cambridge, MA
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion seeks a new team member with interests in financial inclusion, social investing, and corporate governance and skills in leadership development, communication and project management for its Investing in Inclusive Finance (IIF) program area. The Lead Specialist will be engaged in all aspects of the IIF program area, particularly the Africa Board Fellowship and Financial Inclusion Equity Council. The Lead Specialist will engage and interact with industry players, including fund managers, risk and governance experts, thought leaders, and board representatives. Much of this industry engagement takes the form of organizing and hosting roundtables, conferences, and training events.

The Africa Board Fellowship (ABF) program strengthens the governance of financial institutions serving low-income clients in sub-Saharan Africa. The fellowship focuses on corporate governance, improving risk management practices, and building strategic leadership abilities. It provides board members and CEOs of financial institutions with an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. The fellowship is designed to create an open atmosphere for frank and open discussion among peers. At the conclusion of the program, fellows stay connected as alumni, providing a network of leaders confronting similar challenges.

IIF is also the secretariat for the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC), which brings together the 20 leading private entities that make equity investments in financial inclusion throughout the developing world. IIF coordinates an annual in-person meeting and manages an annual work plan devoted to advancing the sector and solving challenges investors face.

The Lead Specialist will provide support in program implementation, project management, communications and promotions, and finance. Event organization, coordination and facilitation will be called on as needed. The Lead Specialist will also contribute from time to time to thought leadership on priority IIF topics.

Africa Board Fellowship (approximately 40 percent of time)


Support ABF Program Director with day-to-day operations of the fellowship program including: financial reporting, tracking and analysis for donor reporting. Identify gaps in procedures and fix to improve team efficiency and productivity
Develop, update and manage project work plans
Manage seminar operations consultant in South Africa
Attend ABF seminars as needed in Cape Town


Support ABF Program Director with the implementation of virtual dialogues
Serve as a point person with program faculty and experts, ensure they are prepared to perform well in virtual dialogues
Organize and schedule extended ABF team virtual dialogues with faculty and experts.
Liaise with case writer and ABF Program Director to develop new teaching case studies. May involve identification of relevant case, interviews with stakeholders, and desk research
Assist with in-person seminar agendas, promoting improved facilitation and interactivity
Liaise with participant advisors (who function as modified coaches)


Work with IIF Program Director to ensure the successful implementation of the ABF communication plan, including social media and promotional flyers, website and videos
Manage relationship with videographer or photographer for seminar and roundtable
Promote ABF at U.S. events and within Accion

Financial Inclusion Equity Council: (approximately 35% of time)


Financial management of Council (budget, invoices, contracts)
Recruit and onboard new institutional members.
Manage agenda and action plans for Council advisory board, committees and working groups
Ensure that members are fully engaged by conferring regularly with each. Obtain feedback on the Council, identify priority topics, and encourage participation.
Ensure effective collaboration with other industry initiatives such as EMPEA, GIIN and SPTF.
Organize meeting agenda and resources, plan logistics with hosts, manages RSVPs, prepare meeting summaries.


Foster communication and conversations among members between meetings.
Write and send regular newsletters.
Maintain fresh content on website and LinkedIn group.

Thought Leadership and IIF Execution: (some of this is subsumed above, additionally 25%)

Contribute to thought leadership. Prepare case studies, briefs or written analyses as needed.
Contribute to CFI blog and social media
Organize IIF team meetings, retreats work and project planning.
Support proposal writing, grant management and reporting.
Manage contracts with consultants and vendors
Ensure effective collaboration for IIF with other CFI program areas.
Manage all IT issues related to webinars, file sharing and document management, etc.


Minimum Bachelor’s degree in relevant area; Master’s degree preferred
Minimum 5 years of experience required
Demonstrated knowledge and interest in financial inclusion, governance, social investing or related.
Experience living and working outside of the United Stated a plus
Demonstrated Project management, budget management and event planning.
Strong interpersonal, communication and diplomatic skills
Proven attention to detail and ability to take initiative .
Proven ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Proficiency in English, and a second language preferred.
Experience with social media preferred.
Willingness and ability to travel 15-20%
Possesses Accion’s values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.