Robin Young

Global Practice Specialist, Financial Services |

Robin Young began to focus her career on micro and small enterprise finance after learning in an undergraduate development economics course more than 20 years ago how this emerging field ‘just worked. ... It was so practical and brought macroeconomics and global politics down to a concrete and effective level.’ Since then she has dedicated herself to working with financial institutions and professionals in developing countries to build the capacity to effectively and sustainably service hundreds of thousands of enterprises with financial services. Her career has ranged from fund raising for nonprofit microfinance institutions to guiding a credit union through the tedious licensing process to advising the CEO of large banks on micro and small enterprise finance strategies and designing programs to strengthen national financial systems with modern innovations to increase access to finance. Increasingly, Robin’s work focuses on agricultural finance, blending the lessons from microfinance and value chain development to customize strategies and systems to effectively expand outreach to incorporate small holders and improve commercial agriculture.

Robin works as an advisor, team leader, and project manager developing and overseeing DAI’s portfolio of agricultural and micro and small and medium enterprise finance projects worldwide. She has led financial services advisory and research projects for the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the U.K. Department for International Development, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development and private sector financial institutions and has published and presented on  the commercialization of microfinance and public sector financial institutions in retail and agricultural finance.

  • M.B.A., Georgetown University
  • B.A., economics, Tufts University

“Working with people around the world—from CEOs to young loan officers—to help them express their knowledge and combine it with what we have learned from similar challenges to develop and implement strategies that improve and expand services for those that don’t have access is the most rewarding aspect of my work. I feel like a student and a teacher, continually learning and sharing to help make the world a better place.”

— Robin Young