Susan Davis (author)

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Susan Davis is an author, public speaker and expert in international development and social entrepreneurship. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University and senior Advisor to New York University's Reynolds program on social entrepreneurship and active on many boards and advisory councils.

She was the founding president and CEO of BRAC USA, an organization created in 2006 to support BRAC, a position she held until 2016. BRAC runs programs to alleviate poverty using microfinance, education, healthcare, legal services, community empowerment, and other methods.[1]


Davis has been an advisor to New York University's Catherine B. Reynolds Program for Social Entrepreneurship since its inception.[2] Susan taught Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development in the Spring semester of 2015 at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and will teach at NYU's Reynolds/Stern School program in Spring 2017. Susan led Ashoka's Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and serves on its international board committee that selects Ashoka Fellows and the Advisory Council of Ashoka U, its program for universities. She also oversaw Ashoka's expansion to the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia and served as a Senior Advisor to the Director General of the International Labor Organization. Davis served as the Assistant Director of the first quasi-public export trading company founded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[3] She was the executive director of Women's Environment & Development Organization, founded in 1990 by Bella Abzug and Mim Kelber to take action in the United Nations and other international policymaking forums.[4] Prior to that, she led initiatives aimed at scaling up microfinance institutions that were owned and governed by poor women at Women's World Banking and the Ford Foundation in Bangladesh.[5] During her four and half years in Dhaka, she organized the Grameen Bank, BRAC and Proshika donor consortia to scale up microfinance.[6] She was a founding board member and chair of the Grameen Foundation and was a board member there as of 2013.[7] She was also featured in Fast Company's The League of Extraordinary Women list in 2012.[8] Davis was educated at Georgetown (BSFS 1978), Harvard (MPA 1982), and Oxford Universities (MPhil candidate 1980-81).

Publications and appearances[edit]

In 2010, Davis co-authored the book Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know with David Bornstein.[9] She has appeared on CNN and ABC News discussing global poverty and health issues.[10][11] Her work on microfinance and entrepreneurship creation in developing countries has appeared in Innovations, Forbes, Harvard Business Review and other publications.[12][13][14] In 2013, she delivered a Frank Rhodes lecture as part of "Creation of the Future: A Lecture Series for a New American University" at Arizona State University.[15]

Board memberships[edit]

  • United Nations Fund for International Partnerships - Advisory Board member, appointed by the UN Secretary General for two terms
  • Learn with All - board member of start-up technology platform enterprise to promote collaborative lifelong learning via L2O
  • Segal Family Foundation - board member
  • Centre for Social Innovation - New York board member
  • Solutions Journalism Network - elected to board 2016
  • BeMore America - Advisory Council
  • Ashoka U - Advisory Council since 2006
  • Grameen Foundation – founding board member and past board chair emeritus, former board member 17 years
  • Sirleaf Market Women's Fund – past board member[16]
  • Project Enterprise – past board member
  • Aid to Artisans – past board member
  • BRAC, BRAC USA, BRAC International - past Board member
  • BRAC Liberia Microfinance Company Ltd. and BRAC Sierra Leone Microfinance Company Ltd. - former Chairperson

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About BRAC". BRAC. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship at NYU". New York University. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Bio & Contributor Information". Skoll World Forum. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Member Profile". Global Philanthropy Forum. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Susan Davis". Carnegie Council. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Susan Davis". Grameen Foundation. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Davis, Susan (2010). Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 0195396332. 
  10. ^ "Debate over 'Kony 2012' viral video". CNN. 2012. 
  11. ^ "Progress in Bangladesh". ABC News. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Davis, Susan (2012). "Enabling Entrepreneurial Ecosystems". Innovations. 7 (2): 3–10. doi:10.1162/INOV_a_00122. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Davis, Susan. "Scaling Up Without Losing Your Edge". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Davis, Susan. "Can Technology End Poverty?". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Susan Davis delivers Frank Rhodes Lecture". ASU News. Arizona State University. March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Board Members". Sirleaf Market Women's Fund. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 

External links[edit]