aif logo(DIYA TV) — The American India Foundation, America’s leading philanthropic organization working in the U.S. and India, announced Thursday that its board of directors has named Alex Counts as the organization’s next president and CEO, effective March 29 — familiar territory for Counts, after founding the Grameen Foundation, he was selected for identical titles with that organization in 1997, after working for more than a decade in microfinance and poverty reduction.

“Counts will continue to build and scale AIF’s presence by leveraging its strong spectrum and networks as well as ensuring that AIF stays at the cutting-edge of innovative solutions for poverty alleviation and economic development in India,” the organization’s co-chairs, Lata Krishnan and Ajay Banga, said in a statement.

Counts was mentored under Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank. During his tenure, Counts leveraged a $6,000 grant to grow the foundation, bearing the same forename as the bank, and evolved it into a global leader in international development with a $20 million annual budget.

Alex Counts
Alex Counts

“Alex is a highly regarded development leader who built one of the most successful international humanitarian organizations in the world,” Krishnan said. “He not only has the management experience, passion and drive, but also deep experience in India and South Asia to create the strongest development programs in India.”

“I am honored to have been selected to lead AIF in its next phase of growth. The achievements and capabilities of this organization are remarkable,” said Counts. “I look forward to leading the team to build on its impressive achievements and become an even more impactful, respected, and resilient organization that disrupts poverty and accelerates poverty reduction in exciting and innovative ways.”

Counts succeeds M.A. Ravi Kumar as CEO, who had held the position since 2012, and was responsible for significant growth within the foundation. “I’m proud of the AIF team and I’m optimistic about how we will build on a foundation of innovation to succeed in the future,” Kumar said. “It’s been an honor to have led such dedicated teammates for more than three years, and I am deeply thankful to the Board, Trustees, Chapter leaders, volunteers and all supporters and well-wishers.”