NCIF 2021 Virtual Conference: Reimagining Mission-Oriented Banking

NCIF 2021 Virtual Conference

Our Featured Speakers

This virtual event offers four days of content where key industry experts and leaders will share experiences, perspectives and actionable strategies that support sustainable, long-term change and growth in the mission-oriented banking sector and economic development in underserved and low-income communities. Review the Agenda.


Chief Operating Officer
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
President and CEO
Appalachian Community Capital
Chief Innovation Officer
Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments
U.S. Impact Investing Alliance
Sorenson Impact Foundation

Speaker biographies


Annie Donovan

Annie Donovan is Chief Operating Officer of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Immediately prior, she was a Senior Fellow at the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Annie’s distinguished career in community development and impact investing includes serving as Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund).

Prior positions include CEO of CoMetrics, Inc.; Senior Policy Advisor to the White House from 2012-2013, working collaboratively with the Office of Social Innovation and the Council on Environmental Quality; and Chief Operating Officer of Capital Impact Partners, a certified CDFI. Annie has also been a thought leader and a board member of many of the highest performing organizations in the community development sector. She has published papers and articles for the National Academy for Public Administration, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Forbes, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, and the Milken Review, and was a contributor to the upcoming Surgeon General Report on Community Health and Economic Prosperity.

She has an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance.


Donna Gambrell

As President and CEO of Appalachian Community Capital, Donna Gambrell attracts and directs investments to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and mission-driven lenders that are ACC members. These members, in turn, make loans to small business owners — including minority- and women-owned businesses — in underserved communities in Appalachia. She also serves on several CDFI boards.

Prior to her current position, Donna served in several executive positions at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as well as Director of the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund — the longest serving and first African-American woman to be appointed to this position. During her tenure the CDFI Fund more than doubled funding under its flagship program, thus enabling the CDFI industry to provide affordable capital, credit, and financial services to low-income communities across the country. Under Donna’s leadership, the CDFI Fund also designed and administered several new initiatives targeted to underserved markets, including the Capital Magnet Fund, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, and the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.

Ms. Gambrell received a B.S. degree from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and an M.S. degree from New York University.


Jodie Harris

Jodie Harris is the Director of the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), which she joined in 2007 as Associate Program Manager, and later as Senior Advisor to the Director. The CDFI Fund generates economic growth and opportunity in some of our nation’s most distressed communities by serving mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities.

During her time with Treasury, Jodie has managed grant programs and developed legislative and policy proposals for a wide range of issues with a focus on access to capital, community development banking, and financial inclusion. Most recently, as the Director of Treasury’s Office of Small Business, Community Development, and Affordable Housing Policy, Jodie led a team of policy analysts in developing policies and programs that support community and economic development nationwide.

Jodie spent several years in the Strategy and Business Architecture division of Accenture, LLC, working with financial institutions, nonprofits, and technology companies. Jodie has extensive experience in policy research, having been a policy analyst with New York University’s Institute for Education and Social Policy and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, focusing on low-income food programs.

Jodie originally hails from Philadelphia and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland. She holds an MBA and MPA from New York University.


Jelena McWilliams

Jelena McWilliams is currently serving a six-year term on the FDIC Board of Directors, and began a five-year term as the 21st Chairman of the FDIC on June 5, 2018. Jelena was Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she also served as a member of the executive management team and numerous bank committees. She also previously worked in the U.S. Senate for six years — most recently as Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and previously as Assistant Chief Counsel with the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. McWilliams served as an attorney at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she drafted consumer protection regulations, reviewed and analyzed comment letters on regulatory proposals, and responded to consumer complaints.

Before entering public service, she practiced corporate and securities law in California and Washington, D.C., advising management and boards of directors on corporate governance, compliance, and reporting requirements. She also represented publicly- and privately-held companies in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, strategic business ventures, venture capital investments, and general corporate matters.

Jelena graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in political science, and earned her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.


Sultan Meghji

Sultan Meghji was named Chief Innovation Officer of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in February 2021. Prior to joining the FDIC, Sultan co-founded Neocova, a financial technology firm providing secure, cloud-native, artificial intelligence-based software for community banks and credit unions. In addition, he has worked on an aid mission to help implement digital banking in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and worked with fintechs and central banks to create peer-to-peer banking solutions for hundreds of thousands of people in underserved areas of Africa and Central Asia.

Sultan has served as an advisor to the U.S. Treasury, the Group of Seven (G7), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the areas of cybersecurity, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence.

Sultan is a nonresident scholar in the Cyber Policy Initiative at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, researching the architecture of the global financial system, cyber and critical infrastructure security, and the impact of artificial intelligence and quantum computing. He is also an adjunct professor at Washington University’s Olin Business School, and a distinguished member of the Bretton Woods Committee and the Missouri Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.


John W. Rogers

John W. Rogers, Jr., is Founder, Chairman, Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments, which he founded in 1983 after working at William Blair & Company, LLC. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm focuses on undervalued small and medium-sized companies, and offers five no-load mutual funds for individual investors and defined contribution plans as well as separately managed accounts for institutions and high net worth individuals.

Beyond Ariel, John is a board member of McDonald’s, NIKE, and The New York Times Company, and serves as vice chair of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago. Nationally, John is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

In 2008, John was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumnus or alumna whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, he served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009, and, more recently, he joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors.


Fran Seegull

Fran Seegull is President of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, which works to increase awareness of impact investing in the U.S., foster deployment of impact capital across asset classes globally, and partner with stakeholders (including government) to build the impact investing ecosystem. She also serves as Executive Director of the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing—a donor collaborative focused on growing the field.

Seegull was the Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director at ImpactAssets, where she headed investment management for The Giving Fund—now a $1.4 billion impact investing donor-advised fund. Prior to joining ImpactAssets, Seegull was Managing Director at Funk Ventures, an impact venture capital firm. She also served as VP of Business Development at Novica, an online retailer representing artisans in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She serves on the Investment Committee of Align Impact and the Advisory Boards of SOCAP and the CASE i3 Initiative at Duke University.

Seegull has a B.S. in Economics from Barnard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


James Lee Sorenson

James Lee Sorenson serves as chairman of the Sorenson Impact Foundation, which funds sustainable, scalable endeavors that maximize positive impact on the lives and societies they touch. Jim is also a founding partner of Catalyst Opportunity Funds, a double bottom-line private equity firm focused on transformative investments in high-potential but historically underserved U.S. markets. Sorenson endowed the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah and is a member of the U.S. Impact Investing Presidents Council and a member of the U.S. National Advisory Board.

A world-renowned entrepreneur, business leader, and societal innovator, Sorenson was instrumental in developing several new industry categories, including digital compression software that helped usher in the online multimedia revolution at Sorenson Media, and video relay services that transformed the capabilities and opportunities for millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals through Sorenson Communications.