Financial Inclusion and Digital Platforms

View the full poster here.

Thursday, March 24
6:00-8:00 p.m.

The event is free, but please RSVP here:

Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington
Executive Briefing Center (2nd floor)
900 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22203
More information and directions can be found here:

This event will also be broadcast via polycom in Blacksburg (CAUS Dean’s Conference Room, 202 Cowgill Hall)

Roundtable participants:

Pablo Garcia Ahabéhéty, Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor. As a consultant he works in the intersection of mobile technologies, business model innovation and development, specializing in mobile enabled financial services for lower income people as well as on the economics and governance of network sharing. During the last 10 years he has collaborated in research and implementation projects with international organizations and development banks, in addition to start-ups, SMEs and Fortune 1000 companies.

Matthew Homer, Senior Policy Advisor, USAID. At USAID. Matt leads the Digital Finance team’s policy and partnerships activities as well as its financial inclusion investments in India. He recently led USAID’s conceptualization and development of a first-of-its-kind US Government Financial Inclusion Forum that is increasing attention to this issue across government. Matt was previously a member of the FDIC’s consumer protection policy staff where he focused on mobile financial services, emerging payments technology, and financial inclusion. Prior to that, he worked for Deloitte Consulting, where he engaged regulators and financial institutions on matters related to financial regulatory reform. He received his Master of Public Policy with an emphasis in international global affairs from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Gizem Korkmaz, Research Assistant Professor, Social and Decision Analytics Lab, Biocomplexity Institute, Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on social and economic networks and social media, involving both theoretical modeling and empirical analysis. She is trained as an Economist and received her PhD at the European University Institute in 2012. The hallmark of her research is to blend her knowledge in traditional economics with big data using tools from social network analysis and machine learning. She works with traditional as well as novel data sources (social media, 911, Fire/EMS, patient records, census, etc.) to ask how we can make data useful for people and communities.

– Chrissy Martin, Digital Finance Advisor, Global Development Lab, Digital Financial Services Team, USAID. Chrissy focuses on how to accelerate the agency’s agricultural and humanitarian assistance portfolios through digital payments and services. Previously, she was the Consumer Experience Manager for Zoona, a social enterprise expanding mobile payments in Africa through a customer-centric business model. She has experience developing, launching, and scaling digital financial services countried including Uganda, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, and Tanzania,and managed the launch of the first mobile money product in Haiti while working at the mobile network operator Digicel.

Patricia Nickel, Assistant Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech. Her research interests include critical theory, cultural politics, philanthropy and the voluntary sector, global governance, and the political economy of knowledge production.

Dorothe Singer, Economist, Finance and Private Sector Research Team, Development Research Group, World Bank. Her research interests include access to finance and the role of institutions in international finance. At the World Bank she is part of the Global Findex team and a co-author of the 2014 Global Findex report as well as numerous policy notes related to the Findex database. She is also a co-author of the “Opportunities for Digitizing Payments” report prepared for the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion in 2014. She joined the World Bank in 2009 and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

Tom Sanchez, Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech.
He earned his PhD in City Planning from Georgia Tech in 1996 and has since taught at Iowa State University, Portland State University, the University of Utah, and is currently professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech. Sanchez conducts research in the areas of transportation, technology, and the social aspects of planning and policy. He is the editor-in-chief ofHousing Policy Debate, and in 2012 he co-authored, Planning as if People Matter: Governing for Social Equity (Island Press) with Marc Brenman. In 2007 they co-authored The Right to Transportation: Moving to Equity (American Planning Association).

– Moderator: Giselle Datz, Associate Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech

Chair: David Bieri, Associate Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, Co-Director, Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience, Virginia Tech

For more information about financial inclusion, click here