Grameen Foundation appoints NYU Wagner grad Fernando Henao Velasco as Country Director for Colombia

Grameen Foundation has named recent NYU Wagner graduate Fernando Henao Velasco (MPA, 2010) as its new country director for Colombia. He will lead the organization's efforts to expand access to agricultural information and financial services for the rural poor via mobile technology, and the creation of tools and programs to improve the lives of farming families throughout the country.

A native of Colombia, Henao was previously the planning director of the Colombian Corporation for Agriculture and Livestock Research (Corpoica), the government agency that leads research and technology transfer for farmers. He also worked in Colombia's Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Government Advisor on Coffee Affairs, and was a consultant on local development for the United Nations Development Programme in New York. He holds a B.A. Economics and a J.D. from Universidad de Los Andes and his Master of Public Administration from NYU Wagner.

“I am thrilled to join Grameen Foundation and to work with an incredibly talented team at the country and global level to design and implement practical technology solutions to empower people living in poverty," he said. “Colombia is in the middle of an important transition that will enable us to reach and provide more economic opportunities to the millions of families living in rural areas. I look forward to building significant partnerships in Colombia and across Latin America that lead to measurable, meaningful improvements in the lives of these families."

Grameen Foundation has worked in Latin America for more than a decade. Since opening its office in Colombia in 2011, it has focused on designing solutions that harness mobile phones and local networks of people to help poor farming households increase their productivity and income, and improve their lives.