María Otero

María Otero served as the president & CEO of ACCION International which pioneered making small loans to the self-employed poor beginning in 1973 in Recife, Brazil.  ACCION is a leading global microfinance institution that seeks to open the financial systems in developing countries to reach the poor.  In 2009, Maria was appointed by Secretary of State Clinton to serve as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs.   Ms. Otero has an MA in literature from the University of Maryland and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, and resides in Washington, D.C.