Elizabeth L. Littlefield New OPIC President and CEO
Friday, June 25, 2010
OPIC President & CEO
Elizabeth L. Littlefield
Nominated for the OPIC presidency by President Obama on November 19, 2009, Ms. Littlefield was approved unanimously by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 13, 2010 and by the full United States Senate on June 22, 2010. She succeeds Dr. Lawrence Spinelli, who had served as OPIC Acting President and CEO since January 20, 2009.
“The mission of OPIC has been my own mission for much of my career - helping to bring private sector resources to developing countries to improve the lives of their citizens and to support sustainable development,” Ms. Littlefield said in her nomination statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 11, 2010. “My work in the international financial markets, and in development finance, has given me great appreciation for the importance of the public and private sectors working together to achieve common goals. It has shown me how focus in strategy, generosity in partnership and excellence in execution are essential to achieve lasting results.
“I am honored that President Obama has appointed me to further the OPIC mission of investing in economic and social development around the world, and to build upon OPICs role as a pre-eminent sustainable investor, particularly because of OPIC’s growing expertise and engagement in renewable energy. OPIC is uniquely positioned to assemble private capital and channel it into clean and renewable energy initiatives, through large projects and working with small businesses throughout the developing world,” she said.
Ms. Littlefield recognized the service of her predecessor: “During the past year, Dr. Spinelli has expanded OPIC’s outreach and financing to U.S. small businesses and has taken concrete actions to enhance transparency and accountability to the public on OPIC’s programs.”
From August 1999 until last month, Ms. Littlefield served as a Director of the World Bank and the CEO of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a multi-donor organization created to help build a large scale permanent microfinance industry providing flexible, high-quality financial services on a sustainable basis to the poor.
Prior to that, Ms. Littlefield worked from 1983 to 1999 with JP Morgan, where she was the Managing Director in charge of JP Morgan’s Emerging Markets Capital Markets Division. As such, she oversaw JP Morgan’s capital markets business in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa. She also served as head emerging markets debt trader for Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa, and as a Director for institutional investors in JPMorgan's investment bank in Paris.
In parallel to her career in investment banking, Ms. Littlefield also spent a year and a half living and working with several start-up microfinance institutions in West and Central Africa and in Pakistan. She has served on the executive board of several organizations including Women’s World Banking, Profund, Africa International Financial Holding, the Mastercard Foundation, the Calvert Foundation, and E&Co.
Ms. Littlefield is a graduate of Brown University and also attended Ecole Nationale de Sciences Politiques in Paris.