Based out of Washington, DC, Rosita joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2015 to advance digital financial services for the poor and has led investments on regtech, derisking of cross-border payments, US government engagement, and advocacy for women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment, among other areas. Rosita came to the foundation after 3 years at the Omidyar Network, 4 years at the World Bank, 4 years across leading NGOs (including Accion and Mercy Corps), and 3 years as a social entrepreneur (co-founder and executive director of an iNGO operating in West Africa).
In 2001-2004, Rosita led and published research in Benin and India regarding household-level social and economic impact of female participation in microfinance. Her contributions to advancing women’s financial inclusion also include staffing then World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati in her role on US Secretary Clinton’s International Council on Women Business Leadership Access to Capital Subcommittee. At the Gates Foundation, Rosita served on the team that developed the strategy for the foundation’s women’s economic empowerment body of work. On the investment side, in addition to initiating the CGAP Global Women’s Financial Inclusion Community of Practice, Rosita designed and currently manages investments with the World Bank’s Women Business and Law report, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Data2X’s Women’s Financial Inclusion Data Partnership (WFID). which seek to remove legal barriers to women’s economic participation and advance sex-disaggregated data.
Rosita brings to her work field research, publications, and operational experience from Benin, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Samoa, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Her contributions and collaborations span government, the private sector, civil society, and multilateral organizations and bodies, including the G7 and G20. A senior thought leader, Rosita regularly speaks at conferences and writes about the opportunities of digital financial inclusion: check out a few pieces regarding women’s FI in Development Finance, The Guardian, and a G20 Turkey publication. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA with honors in Economics, Politics, and French from Wake Forest University. You can follow her @RositaNajmi.