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Henry Jackelen, Director


Henry Jackelen, born in Brazil, started his professional career as a Banker in that country in the 1970’s during the so called “economic miracle”. In the early 1980s, as consultant, he began to work on design and implementation of financial services and private sector development initiatives for USAID, the World Bank the Inter American Development Bank as well as UNDP. In this period he worked closely with the emerging microfinance community in Asia (Grameen, and BRAC especially) as well as in Latin America with the Accion network (in particular Banco Sol). In 1989 he joined UNCDF/UNDP as the first technical expert in credit and helped build a portfolio in LDCs as well as major investments with the Grameen Krishi Foundation, and the conversion of Banco Sol and Mibanco from NGO structures.

In the mid 1990s he was on leave from the UN to work in South Africa on the creation of the Community Bank as well as work in the Natal Province on the establishment of community based organizations under an EC program. On return to the UNDP he was made Deputy and then Manager of the Private Sector Development Program where he led a joint UN/Private Sector effort to certify and promote private investments with demonstrable short term and sustainable positive impacts on low-income populations he also created the MicroStart program which mobilized some $ 40 million in investment in over 20 countries for support to early stage microfinance institutions twining them with the large successful MFI who selected and provided technical support to these institutions. The largest Bank in Mongolia (XAC) was a result of these efforts as well as now leading institutions in Morocco and Kenya.

In 1989 he was seconded to the UNDP Brazil Country Office where he managed a technical support program for the National Savings Bank (Caixa Economic Federal) in the areas of microfinance and local development. During this period the Caixa became famous as the government agent disbursing  conditional cash transfers (currently 12 million households receive $ 1 billion per month under this effort). He was then Deputy Resident Representative in Brasilia and afterwards was Resident Coordinator/UN and Resident Representative/UNDP in Paraguay and Bulgaria before returning to New York as the Director of the Private Sector Division in June of 2009

Mr. Jackelen has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1999, advisor to several microfinance initiatives ( including Finmark Trust and UNRWA). A published expert in finance and development  Mr. Jackelen holds a degree in Economics from Boston College and Master’s Degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.