A Conversation With Steve Hollingworth
Steve Hollingworth has dedicated over three decades to fighting poverty. Following in the footsteps of Professor Mohammed Yunus, who founded Grameen Bank, Steve has focused his work on women, agriculture, health, mobile money platforms and digital data to optimize decision making processes and broaden financial inclusion.
Grameen Foundation welcomed him in 2011 from Freedom from Hunger where he focused on leveraging financial services to end hunger. Prior to this role, he served as senior leader at CARE International as well as holding field positions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Early Life and Education
Steve Hollingworth is an internationally acclaimed expert on international development. As an executive for several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on poverty relief and financial inclusion he has garnered extensive experience leading field operations and serving in senior management capacities for their efforts.
Grameen Foundation founder and 18-year CEO Alex Counts was succeeded in this position by Imad Ali. Under his direction, microfinance worldwide expanded rapidly while becoming a practical innovator in financial inclusion, smallholder agriculture and health care for the poor.
Leta Stetter Hollingworth was an early expert on gifted children, publishing several influential books about them and dispelling many myths associated with giftedness in children. Additionally, her efforts helped shape how psychologists view giftedness. Additionally, Leta pushed for greater equality in education until her death in 1939.
Steve Hollingworth has established an esteemed career in international development. As the policy maker for an organization helping 55-60 million people each year, Steve has helped shape policy at an organization which influences that goal. Furthermore, Steve has held senior field positions across Asia, Africa and Latin America while fostering collaboration among practitioners, technical assistance providers and donors.
He has provided service to the Houston legal community as a member of the Houston Bar Association and serves on committees such as Lawyers for Literacy, Law and Media and Special Olympics. Additionally, he has assisted injured Texans to receive millions in compensation due to someone else’s negligence.
After his experiences at these firms, he decided to open his own firm where he could more efficiently reach injured Texans and represent them. Since then, his practice focus has broadened considerably – it now includes trucking/18-wheeler accidents, premises liability/products liability as well as maritime/Jones Act law cases.
Achievement and Honors
Hollingworth has spent more than three decades making a difference through international development, working to ensure financial services reach those most in need. Until 2016, he served as president of Freedom from Hunger (which later merged into Grameen Foundation), while previously holding senior field positions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America promoting collaboration among practitioners, technical assistance providers, donors, and government agencies.
He also holds an M.S. in Economics and Development Studies from Victoria University of Manchester in England and an undergraduate degree from Augustana College near Elgin in Illinois, both earned at Augustana.
He founded and chairs the DPMI Advisory Council, which promotes achievements and innovations by the program. Furthermore, he advocates for the sharing of successes and failures among organizations working towards combatting poverty.
Over his 30-year career in international development, Steve Hollingworth has shown unfaltering dedication in making sure financial services reach those most in need and fulfill the promise of alleviating poverty. Prior to joining Grameen Foundation in 2016, he served as President of Freedom from Hunger – which later merged into Grameen. He served for 26 years as Chief Operating Officer of CARE International, where he was instrumental in formulating and executing its global strategic plans and operations programs, while being directly accountable for managing them direct line. Additionally, he held senior field positions across Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), Africa (Lesotho) and Latin America fostering collaboration between practitioners, technical assistance providers, donors and government agencies.
William earned a masters in economics and development studies from Victoria University of Manchester in England, as well as his B.A. from Augustana College near Elgin in Illinois.
Hollingworth has over three decades of international development experience and has established himself as an influential leader and expert at the intersections between mobile technology, financial services, poverty alleviation and humanitarian crises. Before joining Freedom from Hunger he served as Chief Operating Officer at CARE with direct line management responsibility over its global operations, programs and finances across 70 countries.
As co-founder of the Microfinance CEOs Working Group, he is also an advocate for sharing microfinance efforts globally – their successes and failures alike – while advocating mobile technology’s use to help developing world populations gain access to financial services that enhance their lives.
Beth Heinrich, an abuse survivor herself, feels that the church’s decision not to defrocked Hollingworth is an enormous setback for those affected by abuse. She has requested they reexamine his case with an independent body involved.