NEW YORK, April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Andrea Jung has been named President, CEO and a director of Grameen America, the fastest-growing microfinance organization in the United States. Ms. Jung, the former Chairman and CEO of Avon Products, Inc. and longtime champion of women's issues, joins in April 2014. Founded by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America is dedicated to helping women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families. Grameen America has provided more individuals and small businesses with microloans than any other organization in the United States. In a record achievement over the last five years, Grameen America's pioneer branch in Queens, NY reached sustainability, with interest income from loans covering operating expenses. This is the first microfinance organization in the United States to reach sustainability.
Professor Yunus, founder and Chairman, announced: "We are thrilled to have Andrea Jung join Grameen America as President and CEO. Andrea is uniquely qualified to accelerate our mission given her broad global experience and deep involvement over the past two decades in women's empowerment. At a time when conventional employment is increasingly out of reach for low-income women, Andrea is the ideal leader to support our rapid expansion of microfinance as a vehicle for social change."
Ms. Jung, the longest serving female chief executive in the Fortune 500, is respected as a trailblazer for women's empowerment. During her tenure, she was responsible for developing and expanding economic earnings opportunities to over six million women in over one hundred countries. Ms. Jung has been lauded globally for her dedication to empowering women through her pursuit of public-private partnerships to end violence against women and to stem the breast cancer epidemic. Under her leadership, the Avon Foundation for Women raised and awarded nearly $1 billion to support health and empowerment causes, becoming the largest women-focused corporate philanthropy around the world. Ms. Jung's efforts were recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative, which in 2010 honored her with the Clinton Global Citizen Award for her visionary leadership in solving pressing global challenges.
Andrea Jung stated: "I am excited to join Grameen America, a proven model for a scalable and powerful approach to solving the pressing issue of economic inequality in the United States. I have been deeply inspired by Professor Yunus' work fighting poverty and promoting social business, and am extremely honored to lead the organization as we utilize sustainable microfinance to break down economic barriers for women and their families. I look forward to bringing my experience and longstanding passion for improving the lives of women to help realize the profound impact of this vision."
About Andrea Jung
Andrea Jung is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avon Products, Inc., where she served as CEO from 1999 through April 2012, and as Chairman from 2001 through December 2012. Ms. Jung was also the first female to serve as Chairman of the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association, and Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Association.
Throughout her professional career, Ms. Jung ranked consistently among the top leaders on lists including Fortune magazine's "Most Powerful Women in Business," Forbes magazine's "Most Powerful Women in the World" and Financial Times' "Top Women in the World."
Ms. Jung is a graduate of Princeton University. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the General Electric Company, Apple, Inc. and Daimler AG.
About Grameen America
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit microfinance organization dedicated to helping women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families. The organization offers microloans, training and support to transform communities and fight poverty in the United States. Since opening in 2008, Grameen America has disbursed over $140 million in microloans to more than 23,000 women. Started in Jackson Heights, Queens, Grameen America has expanded within New York City and to Indianapolis, IN, Omaha, NE, the Bay Area, CA, Charlotte, NC, Los Angeles, CA, Boston, MA, Union City, NJ, San Jose, CA, Austin, TX and San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information please visit www.grameenamerica.org.
Becky Asch, Communications Manager
Phone: (212) 735-4031
SOURCE Grameen America