Condé Nast's Cookie Magazine Recognizes ACCION International’s María Otero

New York, NY,  April 25, 2007 - 

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, Cookie magazine is honoring Washington, D.C.’s own mother of three María Otero in the first annual Smart Cookie Awards, which recognize and support mothers in the business, philanthropy, and celebrity worlds who are making outstanding contributions to women’s and children’s causes around the globe.

Ms. Otero is the president and CEO of ACCION International, a nonprofit microfinance organization that in 2006 alone granted, through its partners, small loans to nearly 2.5 million individuals in 23 developing countries – 65 percent of them to women. The small-business loans, often as low as $100 apiece, provide the entrepreneurial poor with the tools to work their way out of poverty. Recognized by Newsweek as one of the U.S.’s 20 most influential women leaders, Ms. Otero also serves on the board of BRAC Holding of Bangladesh, the largest NGO in the world, as well as the United States Institute of Peace.

Previously, she has chaired the boards of Bread for the World and the MicroFinance Network, a global association of 30 leading microfinance institutions. In 1994, she was appointed by President Clinton to chair the Inter-American Foundation Board of Directors, where she served until 2000. Since 1997, Ms. Otero has been an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. She currently resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children Justin, 24; David, 21; and Ana, 19.

“María and ACCION’s partners have disbursed more than $12 billion in the last 10 years to meet the financial needs of millions of mothers and children worldwide,” said Pilar Guzmán, editor-in-chief of Cookie. “Her commitment to helping those around her – all while balancing the day-to-day challenges of being a mom of three – is truly awe-inspiring.”

Ms. Otero is being honored alongside celebrity mothers Sharon Stone, Mariska Hargitay, Marcia Gay Harden, Cynthia Nixon,and Liya Kebede. The women will be featured in the May/June issue of Cookie, on sale April 24, as well as distinguished at anawards ceremony on April 30 at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, hosted byCNN’s Soledad O’Brien.

Cookie is a family lifestyle magazine published by Condé Nast Publications, tailored to the sensibilities of parents with young children. Catering to a mom with a sophisticated lifestyle, it covers fashion, travel, food, health and nutrition, home, and beauty in a modern way, giving moms permission to retain their “premotherhood” sense of style and adventure. www.cookiemag.com

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