Women’s Banking Pioneer Michaela Walsh To Discuss Financial Service Initiatives

GENESEO, N.Y. - Michaela Walsh, founding president of Women's World Banking, will discuss her life as an activist, scholar and author at SUNY Geneseo's next All-College Hour Speaker Series event Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m. in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom. Her address is free and open to the public.

Walsh was a pioneer manager with Merrill Lynch in Beirut in the 1960s and the first female partner of Boettcher & Co. in the 1970s. In 1980, after five years spent actively developing support for the establishment of an international network of financial institutions serving women, she was elected the first president of Women's World Banking (WWB). She recently published a book on the experience, "Founding a Movement: Women's World Banking 1975-1990."

By the time she stepped down from her WWB responsibilities in 1990, the global network had grown to 45 affiliates with $10 million in capital. Not only had members come to own and control a global banking agency, they brought their local perspective with them. The result was a huge wave of projects around the world run for and by women. After ten years of service, Michaela successfully led the transition to new leadership, and she remains an emerita member of the board.

Concurrent with Michaela's nearly five decades of leadership in the financial world has been her continuing commitment to service and education. From 1998 and 2008, she was adjunct professor at Manhattanville College, where she created a Global Student Leadership Program for undergraduate women from emerging economies. She earned a degree in English literature in 1971 from Hunter College (CUNY).

Walsh also has served on multiple boards and advisory committees, including USAID, Synergos Institute, IPPF-WHR, and the Union Theological Seminary.

The All-College Hour Distinguished Speaker Series embodies the principles of Geneseo's Bringing Theory to Practice Project and is sponsored by the college's Divisions of Student and Campus Life and Academic Affairs. Its aim is to provide opportunities for the campus community to come together to engage in learning that promotes cognitive, emotional and civic development. The topics of the series are intended to challenge thinking, spur self-reflection, encourage civil discourse, and promote social responsibility.

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