Rodger Voorhies is executive director of the Agricultural Development, Financial Services for the Poor, Gender Equality, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene teams within the Global Growth & Opportunity Division.
In this role, Rodger leads the foundation’s efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty for millions of farming families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia by increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable way; make high quality digital financial services widely accessible to people living in the poorest parts of the world; promote sustainable approaches to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and bring groundbreaking innovations in sanitation technology and new ways to deliver sanitation products and services to people in the developing world. Prior to his current role, Rodger was director of the foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor program.
Before joining the foundation in 2011, Rodger worked in emerging markets for nearly 20 years. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe, he helped establish and grow successful microfinance organizations with client-driven organizational cultures that delivered innovative financial services to poor households and communities. He was CEO of Opportunity Bank of Serbia, where he managed the bank through a successful turnaround, using data to reach smallholder farmers. He 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 (e.g., biometric smart cards, mobile banking). Today, nearly one out of every five Malawi families has a relationship with the bank.
Rodger was a postgraduate student in Organizational Behavior and Sociology at Northwestern University, holds a Master’s degree in Management from Kellogg School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Biola University. Rodger contributes to numerous publications in the microfinance industry and is a former member of the board of Nyika-Vwaza Trust, which is dedicated to conserving the wildlife and habitats of Northern Malawi.