New President Steve Hollingworth to Lead Freedom from Hunger

With enthusiasm for microfinance, education and health protection for the very poor, and 26 years of extensive experience in international development, Hollingworth says he is thrilled to lead the Davis, California-based organization.
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Davis - California - US

Oct. 4, 2011 - PRLog -- Steve Hollingworth, Freedom from Hunger’s newly appointed President and CEO, has assumed the helm from longtime leader Chris Dunford.  Hollingworth was offered the position after a year-long international search following the announcement in August 2010 of Dunford’s intention to retire as President.  

With enthusiasm for microfinance, education and health protection for the very poor, and 26 years of extensive experience in international development, Hollingworth says he is thrilled to lead the Davis, California-based organization. “I have a passion for and extensive experience in microfinance and know how microfinance groups can serve as catalysts for major changes in their communities. Health, education, food security, and holding governments accountable—these are all byproducts of group formation and women’s empowerment. I believe that Freedom from Hunger is well-positioned for many ‘frontier’ issues in global development.”  

In his career with CARE, the well-known humanitarian and development organization, Hollingworth began as a Program Officer in Lesotho, advanced to be a Deputy Country Director in Bolivia, and then became Country Director in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India where he developed microfinance and livelihood programs for very poor people. He also led programs that addressed maternal and child health, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and gender equity. While in Northern Afghanistan, he led emergency response programs before becoming Chief Operating Officer at CARE’s Atlanta headquarters in 2007, where he had direct line-management responsibility for global operations, fundraising and programs in a variety of fields, including micro-enterprise and microfinance, civil society strengthening, local capacity building, local governance and emergency relief and rehabilitation.

In his transition to Freedom from Hunger, life will be much different as he faces the challenges that come with working in a smaller organization that must balance enormous ambitions with a relatively modest budget. Hollingworth is undaunted: “During the selection process, I had a chance to directly interact with trustees and staff. I have seen the deep personal commitment these professionals have to Freedom from Hunger’s compelling mission and work and I, too, share this deep personal commitment.”

Hollingworth is grateful to continue to work with the outgoing President, saying, “I thank Chris Dunford for the personal support and advice he has offered me and look forward to working with him.” Dunford, who has served as President for more than twenty years, is one of the architects of the seminal Credit with Education innovation—a microfinance methodology that combines savings, micro-loans and lifeskills education. “I’m not leaving just yet,” Dunford stated. “I can’t pass up the opportunity Freedom from Hunger now offers me to research and write what we’ve learned about supporting self-help efforts of the poor, especially groups of women, over the past 25 years of innovation and testing.” In Dunford’s new role as Senior Research Fellow, he will also continue to represent the organization and speak at gatherings of peers, academics and fellow practitioners.  

The staff and Board of Trustees welcome and look forward to working with Steve Hollingworth. Grover Thomas, Chair of Freedom from Hunger’s Board of Trustees, summed it up this way: “Steve has devoted his adult life to helping the poorest of the poor improve their health, standard of living and self-respect. He believes Freedom from Hunger has enormous potential to bring about these changes by building on the successes that, with Chris Dunford’s leadership, the organization has achieved. He is an experienced, strong leader who is passionate about Freedom from Hunger, its mission and the people it serves."

Freedom from Hunger is a nonprofit international development organization that brings innovative and sustainable self-help solutions to the fight against chronic hunger and poverty. Our staff works with 132 local partner organizations in 19 countries to deliver microfinance, education and health protection services to more than 3.2 million women and families in Africa, Asia and Latin America. See our video, “Stronger Together” at and visit

Source:Beth Harrison
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Tags:Nonprofit, International, Microfinance, Health, World Hunger, Poverty
Industry:Non-profit, Finance, Health
Location:Davis - California - United States
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