Washington, D.C. January 9, 2024—Global nonprofit Accion today announced Nataša Goronja has joined as the new Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), an independent think tank housed at Accion that uses rigorous research and advocacy to advance inclusive financial systems for underserved people around the world.

“We’re delighted to welcome Nataša Goronja as the new Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion,” said Accion Board Chair Diana Taylor. Around the world, nearly two billion people lack access to responsible financial services to improve their lives and prosper. Nataša will lead CFI’s important work conducting rigorous research and testing promising solutions to advocate for evidence-based change.”

“I am honored to be joining the Center for Financial Inclusion at this exciting time,” said Nataša Goronja. “CFI has a strong reputation for rigorous research and advocacy to advance inclusive financial systems for low-income people around the world. I look forward to helping CFI continue and expand its leadership, testing promising solutions, and advocating for evidence-based change.”

Goronja brings a strong leadership record in financial inclusion around the world. She comes to CFI from the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, where she served as lead for the Center’s social enterprise ecosystem product offerings and supported organizational alignment, strategic planning, business development, and key stakeholder engagement. In 2018, she founded and managed a global development consulting firm that worked with clients including the World Bank and IFC on financial inclusion, digital finance, and consumer protection. She guided more than 80 faculty on technical financial inclusion content at The Boulder Institute of Microfinance and worked on consumer protection with regulators in Central Asia and established mainstream debt counseling and financial literacy programming in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the International Finance Corporation. She started her career working in microfinance and on credit policy for several nonprofit organizations and the European Commission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Goronja holds a graduate degree in European Integration Studies from the University of Bologna and University of Sarajevo in partnership with London School of Economics and an undergraduate degree in International Relations from William and Mary. She is fluent in English and Bosnian.

“Throughout her career, Nataša has worked to increase access to financial services for underserved communities globally,” said CFI Advisory Council chair Joanna Ledgerwood. “Her recent work on consumer protection and extending responsible financial services to underserved groups including women align with CFI’s focus. This, together with her track record of leading impactful research initiatives, uniquely positions her to lead the Center into the future.”

“For more than a decade, CFI has played an important role challenging and engaging the financial services industry to better serve, protect, and enable the two billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. I am pleased that Nataša Goronja has agreed to join as the new managing director, and I would like to thank the Search Committee of Diana Taylor, Joanna Ledgerwood, Juliet Anammah, and Bob Annibale, who were unanimous in their recommendation. Nataša’s extensive experience delivering innovative research promoting responsible financial inclusion positions her as the right leader to build on CFI’s strong foundation of industry-shaping work,” said Accion President and CEO Michael Schlein.

The Center for Financial Inclusion is a powerful advocate for the protection and empowerment of underserved clients. It established the world’s first global consumer protection campaign – the Smart Campaign – which set standards for inclusive financial services that have been adopted by 100 institutions serving over 40 million people around the world. Its other initiatives include industry convenings like Financial Inclusion Week and the Responsible Finance Forum.

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About the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) is an independent think tank that uses rigorous research and advocacy to advance inclusive financial systems for low-income people around the world. We work to advance inclusive financial services for the billions of people who currently lack the financial tools needed to improve their lives and prosper. We leverage partnerships to conduct rigorous research and test promising solutions, and then advocate for evidence-based change. CFI was founded by Accion in 2008 as an independent think tank on inclusive finance. More at https://www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org  

About Accion

Accion is a global nonprofit on a mission to create a fair and inclusive economy for the nearly two billion people who are failed by the global financial system. We develop and scale responsible digital financial solutions for small business owners, smallholder farmers, and women, so they can make informed decisions and improve their lives. Through targeted investment strategies, advisory, and expert thought leadership, we work with local partners to develop and scale cheaper, more accessible, and customer-friendly financial solutions. Since 1961, Accion has helped build more than 230 financial service providers serving low-income clients in 75 countries, reaching more than 350 million people. More at https://www.accion.org.

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