PRESS RELEASE | Women’s World Banking Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Trustees

October 24, 2016


Ashleigh DeLuca, +1 212 556 3170 or

Two new Co-Chairs take the helm as four leaders in financial services, business leadership and investing join global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to financial services

NEW YORK—Women’s World Banking appoints four new members to its Board of Trustees: Ms. Ineke Bussemaker, CEO and Managing Director of National Microfinance Bank PLC (NMB) of Tanzania; Mr. Uzoma Dozie, CEO Diamond Bank PLC of Nigeria; Dr. Frannie Léautier, Senior Vice-President of the African Development Bank in Côte d’Ivoire; and Dr. Michael Useem, Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The four join a group of global leaders advising Women’s World Banking in its mission to ensure women and girls have access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity.

“I’m thrilled to work with this distinguished group of individuals who truly embody the expertise, creativity and innovative spirit of Women’s World Banking,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. “Not only are they committing to achieving full financial inclusion for all women, they’re recognizing the unique role that Women’s World Banking can play to make this a reality.”

As the four members join, two new Co-Chairs also take the helm to lead the Board of Trustees: Connie Collingsworth, General Counsel, and member of the Executive Leadership Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who first joined the Board in 2010; and Muna Sukhtian, Managing Director of leading microfinance institution Microfund for Women in Jordan who first joined the Board in 2015.

“For the past six years, I have seen Women’s World Banking work to reach millions of women with vital financial services. As the Board embarks on this new chapter, we are more energized than ever to advance this work,” said Ms. Collingsworth. “I’m honored to take a leadership role as we welcome such an impressive group of allies to our mission.”

Ms. Bussemaker shepherded a strong partnership between Women’s World Banking and NMB, in which the two organizations are working together to develop products for women and girls across Tanzania. Ms. Bussemaker is a strong advocate of digital financial services and financial inclusion, both are core to the strategy of NMB. Ms. Bussemaker has 30 years of experience in banking having held senior positions in corporate banking, as a country manager, in e-solutions and in transaction banking with Citigroup and ABN AMRO. Prior to starting her current position with NMB in 2015, Ms. Bussemaker was Head of Payment Services & Savings for Rabobank in The Netherlands. She has also worked in the UK, Denmark and Ireland.

Diamond Bank PLC began partnering with Women’s World Banking to develop financial products for women in 2012. Mr. Dozie joined the institution in 1998, expanding the Bank’s Oil and Gas Group, setting up the Personal Banking Group, and serving as Executive Director in charge of Lagos Businesses and Deputy Managing Director overseeing the Retail Banking Directorate of the Bank before becoming CEO in 2015. Mr. Dozie fosters a culture of innovation at Diamond Bank, leading e-banking development, introducing the Diamond Mobile app, and launching Diamond Y’ello to offer a safe and easy means of operating a robust bank account using mobile phones.

Dr. Léautier joins the Board with rich private sector and international development experience around the world, including 49 countries in Africa, most recently as a Founding Partner of Mkoba Private Equity Fund in Tanzania. Prior to Mkoba Private Equity, and to the African Development Bank, she was the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). She previously served as Vice President of the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Institute, Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank,  previously served as Vice President of the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Institute, and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank. Prior to that, Dr. Léautier was the Founder and Managing Partner at The Fezembat Group, a  company focused on risk management and leadership development.

Michael Useem is Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change and Faculty Director of the McNulty Leadership Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  His university teaching includes MBA and executive-MBA courses on management and leadership, and he offers programs on leadership and governance for managers in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.  He works on leadership development with many companies and organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors.  He is the author of The Leader’s Checklist, The Leadership Moment, Investor Capitalism, Leading Up, and The Go Point.  He is also co-author The India Way, Boards That Lead, Leadership Dispatches, and the Strategic Leader’s Roadmap.

New Co-Chair Muna Sukhtian joins in welcoming the new members: “As the leader of one of Women’s World Banking’s network member organizations, I have seen firsthand this organization’s ability to research and design essential financial products to reach unbanked women in Jordan. I’m excited to work with this new group of Board colleagues, supporting Women’s World Banking to bring this expertise to all women around the world.”