Accion International

Managing Director, Center for Financial Inclusion

Posted Date 3 months ago(6/22/2023 1:35 PM)
Job ID
Accion Washington, DC


About Accion:

Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a trailblazing legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the 1.8 billion people who are left out of, or poorly served by, the financial sector. For more than 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 200 partners in 63 countries. More at

About Center for Financial Inclusion:

Nearly two billion people globally lack access to financial services that can help build businesses, pay for health and education expenses, and much more. Founded in 2008, the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) is an independent think tank housed at Accion that uses rigorous research and advocacy to advance inclusive financial systems for low-income people around the world.


CFI’s vision is a world where all people are able to use financial services and participate in the economy to improve their lives and prosper.


Following its highly successful first decade, CFI recently adopted a new strategy focused on four thematic priorities collaborating with stakeholders globally to achieve the goal of enabling two billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. These priorities are:

  • Consumer Protection
  • Data Risks and Opportunities
  • Women's Financial Inclusion
  • Green Inclusive Finance

Achieving CFI’s vision requires research on how financial services can both reduce risks and help consumers adapt to the reality of climate change. It also involves conducting additional research and experimentation on how to address the remaining policy and norms barriers that impede progress on women’s participation in the formal financial system. CFI also seeks to better understand the risks and opportunities that the digital economy and the use of data pose in order to identify innovative solutions for managing those risks through regulation, data practices, and industry-wide solutions.


Position Summary 

The CFI Managing Director (MD) will shape the vision for and drive the implementation of CFI’s strategy, building upon the Center’s strong foundation. Serving as a thought leader, the MD will stay abreast of the current and future state of the inclusive finance sector through research and by networking with stakeholders, including financial service providers, researchers, investors, funders, policy makers, regulators, and consumers. In turn, this information will be used to inform and develop priorities for the sector as a whole and priority areas for CFI.


As a member of Accion’s senior leadership team, the MD will also be engaged in broader organizational strategies and initiatives, working collaboratively with other Accion teams, including Resource Development and Communications.


The MD will provide effective leadership and oversight to a high performing team, ensuring the continued development of a professional and efficient organization that balances current and future growth needs, while maintaining a culture of teamwork and representative of Accion’s values.


Reports to:         President and CEO, Accion

Location:            Washington, D.C.

Team:                  CFI comprises a team of 14 staff and a network of consultants.

Governance:      CFI is legally governed by Accion’s Board of Directors and is primarily funded by Accion. CFI has an independent Advisory Council with approximately 8 or 9 members who are global leaders in financial inclusion and research.


Position Responsibilities 

  • Implement CFI’s current strategy and, over time, propose new, impactful ideas to strengthen CFI and its future strategy, including a strong research agenda.
  • As a thought leader, expand the reach and influence of CFI and advance the financial inclusion sector through passionate, persuasive engagement, including speaking engagements and writing about financial inclusion, drawing on CFI’s work in articles, blog posts and social media. 
  • Proactively engage and maintain the CFI Advisory Council as a group of non-fiduciary, trusted advisors who provide advice on the Center’s strategy, priorities, and tactical options. Working with the Chair of the Advisory Council, ensure that the Advisory Council is active/involved and that membership is refreshed as needed.
  • Working with CFI staff, and in consultation with CFI’s Advisory Council, ensure that ongoing CFI work achieves the strategic goals. Conceive and develop new programs that address priority areas and may either deepen CFI’s established areas of concentration or evolve new areas.
  • Ensure the high quality of the output of CFI’s work, including oversight of research and publications. Develop and implement influence strategies for CFI to achieve greater impact.
  • Work with Accion’s Resource Development Department to raise funding, building a strong pipeline that ensures CFI has adequate financial resources to fulfill its mission, take advantage of strategic and innovative opportunities, and continue to build and leverage the brand.
  • Manage staff and budgets to ensure excellence in execution of all CFI work. With support from Accion Human Resources, select, manage and develop staff such that CFI operates smoothly, with high morale, strong teamwork, and creative, high-quality work output.
  • Participate actively as a member of Accion’s senior leadership team, contributing to Accion’s overall strategy and success.
  • Model Accion’s organizational values of excellence, respect and passion for social change, working collaboratively across Accion, and supporting both the CFI and Accion brands. 


Position Qualifications 

  • Minimum 15 years in a strategic leadership role, in a highly networked, growth-oriented, and impactful environment.
  • Strong knowledge of financial inclusion and digital financial services, including current trends and future innovations.
  • Knowledge of social science research methodologies.
  • Track record of thought leadership and innovation, preferably including publications and public speaking.
  • A global citizen, ideally with experience working in emerging and frontier markets.
  • Cross-culturally competent and comfortable interfacing with staff, board, funders, partners, and other key stakeholders around the world.
  • Track record of working collaboratively with a governing body on strategic planning.
  • Significant fundraising and influence mapping experience; adept at building visible and innovative partnerships.
  • Experience of innovative adaption of technology, especially related to the financial sector.

Style & Attributes

  • Authentic leadership style, confident working both inclusively and collaboratively with diverse groups. A team player: collaborative and flexible management style, and a willingness to roll up sleeves when required.
  • Impeccable integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and history of striving for continuous improvement. 
  • Comfortable taking calculated risks and advocating for new ideas; in the spirit of innovation and professional development, encourage and empower others.
  • Direct and transparent communicator at all levels within and outside the organization.
  • An innovative leader with the ability to create and execute on plans and translate strategy into action; able to course-correct when required and engage the Accion board, CFI Advisory Council, and staff behind a shared vision.
  • Ability to set clear priorities, delegate and guide investment in people and systems; strong strategic, organization and problem-solving skills that enable sound decision-making.
  • Flexibility to listen, learn, adapt, and shape CFI as it grows and evolves.
  • Superior mentoring, professional development, people management, and leadership skills; evidence of leading through change with positive outcomes; comfortable delegating to, and empowering, a talented and motivated senior leadership team and staff.
  • Interested in our mission and working globally.
  • Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
    • Excellence: Accion staff should always put forth their best effort in all activities, strive for high quality of collective and individual performance; and demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times while in the workplace and while working on behalf of the organization.
    • Respect: Accion staff should value one another’s roles and responsibilities as much as their own, be encouraging, and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues. They should honor obligations and commitments to each other and to external partners.
    • Passion for Social Change: Accion staff should be committed to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, value the greater good of the organization over personal gain, and promote a productive workplace by acknowledging the accomplishments of others. 


As needed this job will require occasional travel to speak at and attend conferences or other relevant events.


Accion is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. Accion seeks qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, change of sex or transgender status, or any other basis protected by law. Accion is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.


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