ACCION Names Cathy Quense Chief Deputy and Chief Administrative Officer

Microfinance Pioneer Creates New Position to Facilitate Global Growth;
Names Former CFO to Role

Boston, Mass., March 4, 2008– ACCION® International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance, today announced that it has appointed Catherine Quense to the newly-created position of Chief Deputy and Chief Administrative Officer.  Ms. Quense, a senior vice president of the nonprofit organization, formerly served as ACCION’s chief financial officer, a position she held since 1996.

The creation of the Chief Deputy position reflects the growing demands of ACCION’s rapid expansion, whose partner network now operates in 25 countries, providing three million active clients with microfinance – small working capital loans and other financial services to assist the poor in working their way out of poverty.  As Chief Administrative Officer, Cathy will be responsible for business and support services for operations.

“ACCION’s ambitious new strategic plan and expanding operations in West Africa, India and China demand a larger and deeper executive team, and someone to serve as the right hand of the organization,” said María Otero, ACCION president and CEO.  “Cathy is just that person.”

Ms. Quense joined ACCION in 1985, and holds a Master of Public Administration from HarvardUniversity’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in Latin American studies from YaleUniversity.

Bridgestar, an initiative of the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting arm of Bain & Co., is conducting the search for the ACCION CFO position.

ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need – microenterprise loans, business training and other financial services – to work their way out of poverty.  A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil.  ACCION International’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor men and women entrepreneurs in 25 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States.  In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 17.9 million loans totaling more than $12.3 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid.  Selected for the fifth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 45 organizations awarded the 2008 Social Capitalist Award byFast CompanyMagazine/Monitor Group. ACCION has also been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating – four stars – for efficiency and sound fiscal management.  For more information,

ACCION® is a registered trademark of ACCION International.

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Media contact:
Bruce MacDonald
VP, Communications
ACCION International
Tel: +1-617-625-7080, x1245

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