Grameen Foundation Announces Steve Hollingworth As New CEO

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Board of Directors of Grameen Foundation announced today the selection of its next president and chief executive officer (CEO) Steven L. Hollingworth, a distinguished leader in the field of poverty eradication. He has been the chief executive officer of Freedom from Hunger since 2011, where he has been a transformative leader focusing the organization on the intersection of poverty, financial services, hunger and health in partnership with other organizations.

From 2007 to 2011 Hollingworth (see his posts on NextBillion here) was the chief operating officer of CARE where he worked closely with the CEO to develop and implement key organizational strategy and sound management tools for assessing and enhancing performance. He had direct line management responsibility for global operations, program implementation, and finance in 70 countries. For 22 years before that Hollingworth worked in the field on four continents for CARE, including as country director in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, as well as in other positions in Latin America and Africa.

Robert Eichfeld, Chairman of the Grameen Foundation Board of Directors stated today: “Steve Hollingworth has a passion for the mission of Grameen Foundation — to help the poor realize their potential to get out of poverty. He has world class experience in field operations around the globe and in senior management positions in NGOs that focus on the needs of the very poor. Steve is strongly supportive of Grameen Foundation’s continued leadership in applying innovative technologies to the needs of the poor in agriculture, financial services, and other areas. He also has a demonstrated talent for successfully identifying partners among NGOs, governments and the private sector who can help take an innovative program to scale to reach a growing number of poor people.”

Steven L. Hollingworth

Steven L. Hollingworth

Hollingworth will succeed Alex Counts, the founder and CEO of Grameen Foundation for its first 18 years. Counts is a major leader in the field of international development, where he contributed to the massive scaling up of the microfinance movement globally and more recently focused on the foundation becoming a practical innovator in the fields of financial inclusion, smallholder agriculture and health care for the poor. Counts founded Grameen Foundation in 1997 with a $6000 grant from Professor Muhammed Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who serves today as a Director Emeritus of the foundation.

Under Counts’ leadership Grameen Foundation has grown to become a significant leader in anti-poverty efforts worldwide. Counts serves as Co-Chair of the Microfinance CEOs Working Group, of which Hollingworth is a member, and has been involved in a number of other industry wide groups that encourage organizations working on poverty alleviation to measure, evaluate and improve their performance in advancing their social missions. He has championed the sharing of knowledge about both successes and failures across organizations, geographies and program areas to ensure, and accelerate, continuous improvement in international development efforts. Counts will continue to serve on the foundation’s Board of Directors until January 3, 2016.

David Edelstein has been serving with great distinction as the Interim CEO of Grameen Foundation since late May 2015. Edelstein came to the foundation from Microsoft Corporation with a vision for the expansive role that technology can play in poverty alleviation. In collaboration with his colleagues at Grameen Foundation, he has pioneered a number of initiatives at the intersection of mobile technology and international development that have had measurable positive impact on the lives of the poor. More recently, he has worked on organization wide efforts to enhance the strategic and operational goals of the foundation. He will continue in the role of Interim CEO until Steven Hollingworth joins the organization in early February 2016.

About Grameen Foundation

Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit organization that helps the world’s poorest people achieve their full potential by providing access to essential financial services and information on health and agriculture that can transform their lives. Founded in 1997, it delivers solutions that respond to the needs of the poor, as well as tools that help poverty-focused organizations become more effective. It focuses on initiatives that can achieve widespread impact and uses an open-source approach that makes it easy for other organizations to adopt them broadly.

Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and the Grameen family of companies, is an inaugural member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. Grameen Foundation is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in the U.S., Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @GrameenFdn.

Source: Press Release (link opens in a new window)