55 JAMES MILITZER Financial Inclusion Takes the Next Step: An Interview with MetLife Foundation President Dennis White AsNextBillion launchesour newFinancialHealthsite under the sponsorship of MetLife Foundation, we touched base with its president and CEO, Dennis White, to discuss the evolution of the financial inclusion movement, and the work the foundation is doing to advance it. In this wide- ranging interview, White discusses the foundation’s grant- making and investing approach, its ongoing challenges, and the lessons it has learned from both success and failure—along with his insights into the key issues and opportunities facing financial services providers in low- income communities. James Militzer: You’ve been president and CEO of the MetLife Foundation for a little over eight years now. How has the foundation’s focus changed in that time, and what broad changes have you seen in the financial inclusion space? Dennis White: Up until 2012, we were a pretty typical corporate foundation, in many ways. We did a lot of different things across many different areas: arts and culture, community development, health, education. And we did good work with many great nonprofit organizations. We were almost exclusively focused on the U.S., where MetLife’s business activities were. But in late 2010, MetLife became a much more global company, with the acquisition of a company called Alico, and that brought us into over 40 new markets across the globe. With this global expansion, the composition of MetLife Foundation’s board changed to have much more global Photo: Mark Tominski, via Flickr.