Rodger Voorhies is director of the Financial Services for the Poor initiative, and leads the foundation’s effort to make high-quality financial services widely accessible to poor people throughout the developing world. The Financial Services for the Poor team works with a wide range of public and private sector partners to foster the development of digital payment systems – such as mobile money – that can reach hundreds of millions of people with the financial tools they need to mitigate risks and capture opportunities to move out of poverty.
Before joining the foundation, Voorhies lived for nearly 20 years in emerging markets. He worked extensively in Africa and Eastern Europe to establish and grow successful and sustainable microfinance organizations with client-driven cultures that delivered innovative financial services to poor households and communities. He served most recently as CEO of Opportunity Bank of Serbia where he managed the bank through a successful turnaround. He also founded Opportunity Bank of Malawi, the first commercial microfinance bank in Malawi, and grew it to become one of the largest providers of financial services in the country using alternative delivery channels, including biometric smart cards, and mobile banking. Today, nearly one out of every five Malawi families has a relationship with the bank.
Voorhies was a post graduate in organizational behavior and sociology at Northwestern University, he holds a master’s degree in management from Kellogg School of Management, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Biola University. He has contributed to numerous publications in the microfinance industry and is a former member of the board of Nyika-Vwaza Conservational Trust, an organization dedicated to conserving the wildlife and habitats of northern Malawi.