The BOMA Project is thrilled to announce the appointment of Wendy Chamberlin as the Director of Expansion and Innovation. Chamberlin has held various positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for the past twelve years. Most recently she was the Associate Program Officer for Financial Services for the Poor, developing and delivering solutions to drive financial inclusion for the ultra-poor in emerging markets, including work on Government Payment Digitization, Smallholder Finance, and Poverty Graduation.

As Director of Expansion and Innovation, Chamberlin will have a global mandate to promote and expand the evolution, adoption and scaling of BOMA’s graduation approach to INGO partners, governments, World Bank and UN agencies in support of BOMA’s goal to reach one million women and children by 2022.  The Director of Expansion and Innovation is a member of the executive team, and contributes to overall organizational development, strategy and results. The position will focus on working with existing partners to customize and replicate at scale; source new partnerships; lead project/program design and adaptation with partners and promote BOMA and its approach on the global stage.

“Wendy’s deep experience in implementing strategies for building long-term resiliency in vulnerable populations in Sub-Saharan Africa will be invaluable for BOMA as we scale our work across Kenya, Uganda, and other countries in Africa,” says John T. Stephens, Executive Director of the BOMA Project. “She has an innate understanding of, and deep commitment to, BOMA’s core mission to help the ultra-poor achieve self-sufficiency and shares our belief that changing the way humanitarian aid is perceived and delivered is the key to ending extreme poverty.”

“I am very excited to join the BOMA Project,” says Chamberlin. “For more than three years, I worked closely with BOMA in my capacity as a Program Officer overseeing the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s investment in the organization under the Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development Global Grand Challenge Award. Having lived in Northern Kenya myself, I was intrigued and impressed by the success BOMA has had in investing in women to uplift whole families in the country’s most entrenched pockets of extreme poverty, chronic hunger, and patriarchy. The more I got to know BOMA, its program and the dedicated teams in Kenya and the U.S., the more I was convinced that BOMA’s work is an exemplary representation of how it is possible to address the development and gender equality gaps – deeply, systematically, measurably, and even in the toughest and most challenging to reach places. I have had the privilege of witnessing up close how BOMA’s solution helps women and families become self-reliant, building resilience that goes beyond providing short-term aid in times of shocks such as drought or conflict. I was struck by the remarkable depth of the organization’s impact on the women and children it serves. I have seen the deep passion and professionalism of BOMA’s staff, the success of its model. I believe deeply in BOMA’s mission and vision and couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this team.”

Prior to her time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chamberlin was a teacher, including a stint at a secondary school in Northern Kenya. She currently serves on the board of Pilgrim Africa. Chamberlin currently lives in Shoreline, Washington with her husband and their two children, but will be relocating to Kenya in summer 2019. She holds an MA from Antioch University, and a BA from the University of Washington.

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