Robert Christen

Robert Christen is the Director of Financial Services for the Poor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York. The Initiative brings together leaders in politics, business, science, academics and religion to discuss global issues such as climate change and peace in the Middle East.

Robert Christen is President and founding member of the Boulder Institute of Microfinance. He has held several positions including Professor of Practice in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, Director of Financial Services for the Poor at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Senior Advisor for CGAP at the World Bank.  He currently holds the position of Deputy Director General at Banco Compartamos in Mexico.  He has had a prolific career advancing the work of leading microfinance institutions in diverse regions of the world including Mexico, Brazil (Banco Noreste), Tanzania, Chile (Banco Estado), China, South Africa and more. He has been a pioneer and creator of key initiatives serving the industry's need to establish measures, risk analysis, and executive capacity building. Among these initiatives are the MicroBanking Bulletin, the Microfinance Information Exchange, and the Microfinance Management Institute. Bob Christen, as he is known to colleagues and to the close to 6,000 Boulder alumni, has his M.A. in Agricultural Economics and Development Finance from The Ohio State University. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Beloit College and is a native of the City of Syracuse in the heart of the State of New York.

Posts by Robert Christen

ASA’s Culture, Competition and Choice: Introducing Savings Services into a MicroCredit Institution

This document highlights Association for Social Advancement (ASA), Bangladesh’s provision of financial services to 1.5 million poor people.

Introducing Savings into a MicroCredit Institution – Lessons from ASA 

This note gives lessons on introduction of an open access savings scheme from a successful MFI- ASA (Association for Social Advancement) in Bangladesh.