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NYU Stern’s Citi Leadership & Ethics Program Selects Mary Ellen Iskenderian as Distinguished Fellow

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Considering market-based approaches to tackle the world’s most intractable social problems is exactly the type of study NYU Stern’s Citi Leadership and Ethics Program was created to explore. Marking its 7th year, the Program appointed Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking (WWB), the world’s largest network of microfinance institutions and banks, as this year’s Distinguished Citi Fellow in Leadership and Ethics. Having got her start in investment banking, Iskenderian soon after refocused her career on alleviating poverty, determined to more closely align her passion for finance with her values. Today, she is considered a leading voice for women’s leadership and participation in microfinance, and is a strong advocate for the role of capital markets in the sector.

Iskenderian joined WWB in 2006, bringing to this leadership role more than 20 year of experience, largely from the private sector arm of the World Bank, in building global financial systems throughout the developing world. Based in New York, she heads a global team that provides hands-on-technical services and strategic support to 40 top-performing microfinance institutions and banks in 28 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The WWB network collectively reaches more than 20 million clients, of whom 74 percent are poor women entrepreneurs. With the Citi Foundation’s longstanding support of microfinance, coupled with Stern’s strength both in finance and in attracting one of the highest percentages of women to its MBA program, Iskenderian is an exemplary choice for this year’s Fellow.

Iskenderian will keynote the Citi Program’s annual spring conference for Stern students and alumni, and throughout the academic year, she will interact informally with faculty and students. The Stern community will benefit from her insights on microfinance and the role of women entrepreneurs in improving emerging economies, as well as her perspective on leadership and professional responsibility.

About the Citi Leadership and Ethics Program

Established in 2003, NYU Stern’s Citi Leadership and Ethics Program, made possible through the generous support of the Citi Foundation and managed by Stern’s Markets, Ethics and Law Program, represents a comprehensive effort on behalf of the School to extend its longstanding commitment to the practice of professionally responsible business. Mary Ellen Iskenderian is serving as the 7th distinguished fellow under the program, which also supports the development of curricular and research innovations in the area of leadership and ethics. She follows six previous fellows: Arthur Levitt, John Biggs, Harvey Goldschmidt, Charles D. Ellis, Alice Tepper Marlin and Fred Krupp.

Find out more about the Citi Leadership and Ethics Program at NYU Stern.