Submitted by: Grameen Foundation USA
Posted: Oct 19, 2007 – 09:00 AM EST
Oct. 19 /CSRwire/ - WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 2007 - Grameen Foundation today announced the election of Paul Maritz as chair of its board of directors. He replaces Susan M. Davis who will remain on the board after serving as chair for six and a half years.
The election was held following celebrations recognizing Grameen Foundation's 10 years of service.
A former senior executive at Microsoft, Maritz's relationship with Grameen Foundation began in 2002 when he became a volunteer member of its Technology Center Advisory Council. In 2003, he joined the Grameen Foundation board, bringing more than 20 years of experience in business and technology, and a passion for using information and communication technologies to empower individuals and communities across the developing world.
"Paul shares our commitment to broadening microfinance's reach and impact and has provided great leadership through visits to our partners in the field and his work with our strategic services team," said Alex Counts, president of Grameen Foundation. "His extensive technology background and his experience in African development issues will be particularly invaluable as we expand our work in these areas."
Grameen Foundation's volunteer board plays a critical role in nurturing new ideas, innovations, strategic thinking and program development for the organization which, through its global network of 46 partners, impacts the lives of 18 million poor people around the world. Under Martiz's leadership, the foundation will continue to develop innovative financial, social management and technology solutions to help the microfinance industry improve its outreach and impact. It will also continue its rapid geographic expansion to ensure that more poor people, especially those in under-served areas, gain access to essential financial services.
"Microfinance is at a critical stage in its development and we will be actively working to help the industry move to a new level in the way it uses technology, secures capital and measures its impact," said Maritz.
Maritz spent 14 years at Microsoft where he was a member of the executive management team and responsible for major parts of the company's software business, including the development and marketing of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, as well as Microsoft's Internet, Development Tools and Database efforts. Prior to that, he spent five years at Intel Corporation, and also worked as a researcher at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
About Paul Maritz
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Maritz attended the Universities of Cape Town and Natal in South Africa. He maintains strong ties to Africa where he sponsors projects in education and rural development in Zambia. He is currently CEO of Pi Corporation, a software company that he helped found.
Martiz is the fourth chair of Grameen Foundation's board of directors. In addition to Susan M. Davis, his predecessors are Reed Oppenheimer and James F. Sams.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation is a global non-profit organization that combines microfinance, technology, and innovation to empower the world's poorest people to escape poverty. It has established a global network of partners in 25 countries that has impacted an estimated 18 million lives in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East. Grameen Foundation was founded by Alex Counts, who began his work in microfinance with Grameen Bank founder, and recent Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Dr. Yunus is a founding and current member of Grameen Foundation’s board of directors. For more information on Grameen Foundation, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org