Exciting news came from the White House, nominating Maria Otero to the position of Under Secretary of Global Affairs at the Department of State.
Maria Otero is currently serving as ACCION International’s President and CEO. ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization. Its mission is to give people the financial tools they need to work their way out of poverty. ACCION commitment to providing microenterprise loans, business training, and other financial services to the world’s poorest has made this organization a world pioneer in microfinance. During her tenure, the number of poor micro-entrepreneurs served by ACCION’s network has expanded considerably, to an astounding 3.7 million members served, in over 25 countries. She has published extensively on the subject and spoken around the world on microfinance, women’s issues, and poverty alleviation.
This nomination marks a pivotal moment for the microfinance world. In these harsh economic times, it would be easy for the richest nation in the world to forget its less fortunate neighbors, focusing inward instead. Especially given our history of only half-hearted commitments to development, it is an encouraging image to see — Maria Otero, who has devoted her life to microfinance and poverty alleviation, will garner an important title. As Under Secretary of Global Affairs, this pioneering leader will coordinate US foreign policy on a variety of global issues – including democracy, human rights, environment, health and science, population, and refugees and migration. She will undeniably bring her vast experience and knowledge to this influential role. And perhaps, we will see some positive and substantive changes in American foreign policy.
Maria Otero’s nomination will face Senate Confirmation in the next few weeks. To read more, click here.