Jan 13, 2021
ZOOM: Prof Alex Counts, Principal @ AMC Consulting
Global Development - with a focus on the Grameen Bank and Microfinancing

Professor Alex Counts has a remarkable career in international development with a focus on poverty eradication.  His extensive biography is below and a link to is website is here.  Alex worked in microfinance and microcredit movement in Asia where he encountered Nobel Prize winner Dr. Muhummad Yunus.  This association led him to found The Grameen Foundation and lead it for a decade. 

A special thanks to Essex Rotary member Steve Schmida who has tapped his rolodex to give us access to remarkable speakers with global reach and impact. 

Alex Counts is the author of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship, an independent consultant to nonprofit organizations, and an affiliated faculty of the Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

In 1997 he established Grameen Foundation with the support of Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and became its President and CEO. He did so after having worked in microfinance and poverty reduction for 10 years, mostly spent living in rural Bangladesh. He ran the organization for its first 18 years.

A Cornell University graduate, Counts’ commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he witnessed innovative poverty solutions being developed by Grameen Bank. He trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, sparked by a $6,000 seed grant provided by Prof. Yunus (who was a founding board member and continues as a director emeritus), Grameen Foundation grew to become a leading international humanitarian organization.

Counts was a founding member of the Advisory Council of the Center for Financial Inclusion, and served for 12 years before becoming an member emeritus in May 2020.  He was appointed as an advisor to the Small and Growing Business Loan Committee of MCE Social Capital in January 2020, where he continues to serve. He has served as the chairman of Fonkoze USA and co-chair of the Fonkoze Family Coordinating Committee—two governance bodies of the largest microfinance institution in Haiti. 

He lives in Hyattsville, MD with his wife, Emily.