Executive Staff

President and CEO

Steve Hollingworth’s unflagging commitment through 30 years of work in international development has been to ensure that the delivery of financial services benefits the world’s poorest people and fulfills its promise of alleviating poverty.

Prior to joining Grameen Foundation, Steve was President of Freedom from Hunger. Beginning in 2011, he focused that organization on the intersection of financial services and ending hunger through the empowerment of women in rural communities. Previously, he served as Chief Operating Officer for CARE, where he was instrumental in developing and implementing the organization-wide strategy and was responsible for direct-line management of global operations and programs with a total of 13,000 employees and a budget of $650 million. He has also held senior field positions in Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), Africa (Lesotho) and Latin America (Bolivia), building collaboration between practitioners, technical assistance providers, donors and government agencies.
Steve’s roots in financial services for the very poor go back to early days with CARE-Bangladesh, the largest CARE mission in the world.  Based on his leadership in the financial services sector, he also served for many years as a member of the Microfinance CEO Working Group. His areas of expertise include microenterprise and microfinance, education, agriculture, health and civil society strengthening.
Steve has an M.S. in Economics, Development Studies, from Victoria University of Manchester, in Manchester, England.  He enrolled there as a Rotarian Fellow, and his thesis analyzed the field of microcredit and the role of Grameen Bank.  In that sense, Steve’s position as President and CEO of Grameen Foundation brings him full circle.  Steve has a B.A. in Economics from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, not far from his home town of Elgin, Illinois.

Executive Vice President, Program Strategy and Institutional Relations

Lauren Hendricks is the Executive Vice President for Program Strategy and Institutional Relations at Grameen Foundation.  She was previously Executive Director for the Access Africa initiative at CARE, where she led the development of financial inclusion programs and innovative solutions to reach the poorest people in Africa. In this role, she partnered with banks, microfinance institutions, mobile network operators, and others in the private sector to adapt products and services to meet the needs of the poor, and to ensure that participants benefitted from new, digital financial services.  Lauren also served as Director of the Economic Development Unit for CARE USA, where she provided strategic direction and technical leadership for more than 100 active microfinance and enterprise development programs in 54 countries. 

Before joining CARE, Lauren was a Program Specialist at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS) at the University of Maryland. Her research focused on the development of low-cost tools to assess the poverty outreach of USAID funded micro enterprise development programs. Lauren currently serves on the Board of Directors and Investment Committee for MicroVest, a capital management firm investing in microfinance institutions.  She also chairs the board of the Access Africa Fund, a specialized investment fund managed by MicroVest, providing debt and equity investments in African microfinance institutions.

Vice President, Fundraising, Marketing and Communications

Jeanne Schwartz is the VP, Fundraising, Marketing and Communication.  She is responsible for leading a team to raise unrestricted funds for Grameen Foundation so that it may continue to operate, explore new areas of opportunity, and support efforts made to solicit, cultivate, and retain broad-based, mid-range, and major gift donors. She is also responsible for leading the marketing efforts for Grameen Foundation in traditional and digital media utilizing paid, earned, and owned media strategies.

Before joining Grameen Foundation in 2019 Schwartz held several leadership roles during a 19-year span at Assurant, a specialty insurance company. From 1990 to 1999, she rose through the ranks to senior vice president in the company’s preneed business unit. She rejoined Assurant in 2007 to help drive product innovation and identify strategic growth opportunities. During that time, her work in launching a solar insurance product was recognized with an American Business Award for best new business to business product and a Stevie Award for Women in Business.

Schwartz held the role of executive vice president at Corporate Communications Group prior to rejoining Assurant. Serving as general manager for the firm, she transformed business operations to help grow the largest independent marketing and communications consulting firm in Kansas City. Prior to joining Grameen Foundation in this position, she served on its board, as well as the board of Freedom From Hunger, and was Chief Strategy Officer for Funeralocity, an online marketplace that lets consumers compare prices, reviews and prices of funeral and cremation service providers.

Schwartz earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University.