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Grameen Foundation appoints Africa CEO, Technology Director

Two appointments have been made by the Grameen Foundation. Norman Buckham will be the new regional CEO for Africa; David Edelstein becomes Director of the Grameen Technology Centre and Vice-President of Technology Programmes...

The Grameen Foundation has announced the appointment of Norman Buckham as Regional CEO for Africa and David Edelstein as the new Director of the Grameen Technology Centre and Vice- President of Technology Programmes. Norman Buckham, who assumes his position on January 1, 2010, will help lead the foundation’s diverse technology and micro-finance initiatives across sub-Saharan Africa. David Edelstein, who previously served as Director of Grameen’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Innovation programme, will lead the work of its Seattle-based Technology Centre.

“Entrepreneurial, mission-focused leaders with proven experience tackling big challenges are essential for Grameen Foundation’s long-term success,” said Peter Bladin, Grameen Foundation’s Executive Vice-President for Programmes and Regions. “Norman and David exemplify this leadership and bring innovative ideas and passion for enabling poor people to benefit from expanded access to financial services and technology. With deep experience in key regions and outstanding programmatic leadership, Grameen Foundation is well positioned to deepen and broaden our positive impact working with the poor.”

As Director of the ICT Innovation Programme, David Edelstein built a programme widely recognised for its innovative approaches to using mobile phones to provide vital information and services in poor communities.  Prior to joining Grameen Foundation, he worked at Microsoft and McKinsey & Company where he focused on providing affordable technology products for people in emerging markets and business strategies tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses in developing countries.  He also conducted economic analyses and evaluated public policy with the White House Council of Economic Advisors and Resources For the Future.

Norman Buckham, a South African, brings more than 25 years of experience to Grameen Foundation as its first Regional CEO for Africa. He has worked extensively in commercial banking in Southern Africa and has also managed and directed development finance and poverty relief institutions in Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. In addition, he has served as a consultant with microfinance institutions in a number of African and South-East Asian countries. Norman Buckham, who will be based in Johannesburg, was most recently CEO of South Africa-based Thembani International Guarantee Fund.

These appointments round out an extremely strong executive team, which includes Jennifer Meehan, Regional CEO for Asia; Alberto Solano, Regional CEO for the Americas; and Camilla Nestor, Vice- President for Microfinance.

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