November 20, 2019
Nov 20

WATCH LIVE TOMORROW: President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton Hosting Domestic Policy Conference on Economic Inclusion and Growth

New York, NY
Press Release

For Immediate Release: November 19, 2019
Contact: [email protected]   



President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton Hosting Domestic Policy Conference on Economic Inclusion and Growth

This event will be livestreamed at: starting at 10:15 a.m. Eastern, 9:15 a.m. Central

Conference agenda:

Little Rock, AR – Tomorrow, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton will host “Economic Inclusion and Growth: The Way Forward,” a conference on domestic economic policy at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. The conference will reflect on efforts during the Clinton Administration to drive entrepreneurship and economic growth; discuss steps to take moving forward to promote economic growth in underserved communities; and announce new commitments by business and civic organizations to drive development in those regions.

The conference is being held on the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, among other important economic milestones from the Clinton Administration, including the development of Rural Empowerment Zones, establishment of the New Market Tax Credit, and more.

Watch live Wednesday morning at 10:15 a.m. Eastern, 9:15 a.m. Central, at

Featured participants include:

President Bill Clinton, founder and board chair, Clinton Foundation; Hillary Rodham Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State; Darrin Williams, CEO, Southern Bancorp; Lisa Mensah, CEO, Opportunity Finance Network; Donna Gambrell, president and CEO, Appalachian Community Capital, and former director, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund; Jodie Harris, director, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund; Cliff Rosenthal, visiting scholar, Center for the Study of Brooklyn at Brooklyn College; Jennifer Tescher, CEO, Financial Health Network; Secretary Henry Cisneros, principal, Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC; Brian Argrett, president and CEO, City First Bank of D.C.; Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver, Colorado; Erin Robert, head of capital strategies, JPMorgan Chase; Mayor Stephen Benjamin, Columbia, South Carolina; Stacy Leeds, vice chancellor for economic development, dean emeritus, and professor of law, University of Arkansas; Luz Urrutia, CEO, Opportunity Fund; Lisa Hall, fellow, Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation; Annie Donovan, COO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); Peter Filipovic, vice president and global treasurer, Starbucks; Dan Letendre, CDFI lending and investing executive, Bank of America; Cynthia Muller, director, Mission Investments, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Gene Sperling, former director, National Economic Council; Megan Glover, co-founder and CEO, 120WaterAuditFagan Harris, president and CEO, Baltimore Corps; Anna Mason, partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund; Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland, California; Gene Ludwig, founder and CEO, Promontory Financial Group; Cathie Mahon, president and CEO, Inclusiv; Matt Petersen, president and CEO, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator; and Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond, Virginia.




Welcoming Remarks

9:15 AM CT

  • Stephanie S. Streett, Executive Director, Clinton Foundation
  • Frank Scott, Jr., Mayor, City of Little Rock, Arkansas

Opening Conversation

9:30 AM CT

  • President Bill Clinton, Founder and Board Chair, Clinton Foundation, and 42nd President of the United States
  • Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State
  • Darrin Williams, CEO, Southern Bancorp

Panel Discussion

From the Origin: Creation of CDFIs and Their Catalytic Impact

10:15 AM CT

This conversation and panel will examine the CDFI creation story, noting how the passage of the CDFI Fund legislation created a distinct field in the finance sector that gave a higher priority to unlocking economic opportunity for much-needed areas. The panel will discuss examples of successes in the CDFI field, while focusing on current challenges like income inequality and banking deserts, and how CDFIs can help create even more positive growth moving forward.


Lisa Mensah, President and CEO, Opportunity Finance Network


  • Donna Gambrell, President and CEO, Appalachian Community Capital, and Former Director, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund
  • Jodie Harris, Director, CDFI Fund, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Cliff Rosenthal, Author, and Former CEO, Inclusiv
  • Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO, Financial Health Network

Panel Discussion: Revitalizing America’s Cities

11:30 AM CT

This panel will highlight the work being done by CDFIs, community foundations, grassroots organizations, mayors, and others to support the revitalization of diverse American cities. Urban areas face a wide range of challenges to ensuring economic opportunity for all citizens, including affordable housing, entrepreneurship, and small business support. The panel will also explore how cities are confronting growing economic inequality, especially the increasing racial wealth gap.


Secretary Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman, CityView


  • Brian Argrett, President and CEO, City First Bank of D.C.
  • Mayor Michael Hancock, Mayor, City of Denver, Colorado
  • Joe Neri, CEO, IFF
  • Erin Robert, Head of Impact Finance, JPMorgan Chase

Panel Discussion: Financial Inclusion and Supporting Underserved Communities

1:00 PM CT

This panel will discuss ways to support rural communities, Native Americans, recent immigrants, and others who often lack access to the banking sector. As part of this conversation, panelists will examine the effectiveness of historical and current efforts to reduce economic inequality, especially in rural communities and other underserved areas.


Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, President and CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation


Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State


  • Mayor Stephen Benjamin, Mayor, Columbia, South Carolina, and Immediate Past President, U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)
  • Secretary Mike Espy, Chairman, Board of Hope Enterprise Corporation
  • Stacy Leeds, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University of Arkansas
  • Luz Urrutia, CEO, Opportunity Fund


Panel Discussion: The Investors’ Perspective: Attracting More Capital to Community Finance

2:00 PM CT

This panel will feature current investors in the CDFI space and closely related fields. This discussion will examine ways to expand on current efforts, and how banks, foundations, and investors that have long supported the CDFI industry can advance efforts to promote small business growth, entrepreneurship, and impact investing.


Grace Chionuma, Executive Director, Public Finance Banking, Morgan Stanley


  • Annie Donovan, Executive Vice President and COO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Peter Filipovic, Vice President and Treasurer, Starbucks
  • Dan Letendre, Managing Director of ESG Capital Deployment, Bank of America
  • Cynthia Muller, Director of Mission Investments, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Panel Discussion: Supporting Entrepreneurial Growth

3:15 PM CT

This panel will discuss strategies for supporting entrepreneurship in America. Despite significant investment, entrepreneurial activity is nearing a 40-year low and inequality is close to a 100 year high. Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurs in creating inclusive economic growth and opportunity, panelists will explore ways to change these trendlines and provide support for entrepreneurs, especially those who are marginalized and often lack access to traditional financing sources.


Gene Sperling, Former Director, National Economic Council


  • Megan Glover, Co-Founder and CEO, 120WaterAudit
  • Fagan Harris, President and CEO, Baltimore Corps
  • Anna Mason, Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
  • Mayor Libby Schaaf, Mayor, City of Oakland, California

Closing Plenary and Announcements: How Do We Scale The Field?

4:15 PM CT

This panel will ask major organizations in the field to underscore their commitments to collective action. Recognizing the progress that has been made, this panel will highlight effective models and approaches and ask what we need to do in 2020 and beyond to achieve further progress in the CDFI, inclusive growth, and small business areas.


President Bill Clinton, Founder and Board Chair, Clinton Foundation, and 42nd President of the United States


  • Gene Ludwig, Founder and CEO, Promontory Financial Group
  • Cathie Mahon, President and CEO, Inclusiv
  • Matt Peterson, President and CEO, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
  • Mayor Levar Stoney, Mayor, City of Richmond, Virginia

This conference is made possible by the generous support of our partners: Ford Foundation, The Honorable Eugene and Dr. Carol Ludwig, Quorum, Southern Bancorp, Inc., Inclusiv, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Road Runner, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, National Community Investment Fund, Opportunity Finance Network, Community Development Bankers Association, IFF, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Financial Health Network, Oweesta, Beek Center, Calvert, Wayne Silby, Sunrise Bank, and Community Development Venture Capital Association. 

About Clinton Administration priorities to unlock economic opportunity and inclusion:

  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: The Clinton Administration promoted the formation of more than 400 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) through the creation of the CDFI Fund. Through the passage of the Riegle Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994, the CDFI Fund was created within the U.S. Treasury Department to provide federal support for CDFIs serving low-income communities.

Since 1996, the CDFI Fund awardees have provided more than $29 billion in loans and investments across the country, including $6.1 billion in small towns and rural communities, $757 million in Native communities, and $726 million to women-owned businesses.

  • Rural Empowerment Zones (EZs): To spur economic growth in areas with poverty rates about 20 percent, the Clinton Administration established the first three rural and six urban EZs in parts of Philadelphia-Camden, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Atlanta, and the rural regions of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the Mississippi Delta, and Appalachian Kentucky. Between 1997 and 2008, EZ and Enterprise Community (EC) tax credit dollars claimed by employers within both rural and urban EZs/ECs grew from just over $10 million to nearly $180 million.
  • New Market Tax Credit: President Clinton initiated a focus on ‘New Markets,’ which sought to integrate the efforts of several government agencies and private sector actors to ramp up investment and business development in underserved and marginalized economic areas in the United States. 

In an announcement of the New Markets Tour in 1999, President Clinton said, “Our greatest untapped markets are not overseas; they are right here at home.” Areas were prioritized based on high proportions of low-income people and included Appalachian Kentucky, the Mississippi Delta, Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, East St. Louis, South Phoenix, and the Watts area of Los Angeles.




About the Clinton Foundation

Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.

As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.

We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.

Learn more at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.