Deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor, Gates Foundation
Liz Kellison is the Deputy Director of Strategy, Planning and Management for the Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is responsible for leading the strategic, financial, and operational activities for the team, which works to make high-quality digital financial services widely accessible to poor people throughout the developing world. She also leads a new body of work on FSP that is focused on improving women’s access to digital financial services, in the belief that a woman’s access to and control over financial assets strengthens her position in the household and leads to better outcomes for her and her household.
Liz joined the foundation in June, 2008. As a Senior Project Officer in the Chief Administrative Office, she helped manage and advance major cross-foundation initiatives that focused on organizational design and staffing strategies for programmatic work, as well as improving information management and workflow for investments. In addition, Liz lead the team that opened regional foundation offices in Africa (Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria) and the UK, and also helped rationalize the operating model with the offices in India and China.
Liz brings over a decade of experience in technology-enabled education, online communities, and project management of complex programs and technology platforms. Prior to joining the foundation, Liz was instrumental in launching and managing WebJunction.org, a learning portal for public library staff run by OCLC, the world's largest nonprofit library cooperative. Before WebJunction, Liz was Vice President of Business Development at Quisic, an online business and management education company, serving top business schools and global 1000 corporations interested in putting education programs online and exploring new markets.
Liz earned a BA in Russian Language and Literature from Williams College, and an MA in Slavic Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill. She spent seven years managing the Russian language program at the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, where she taught Russian and ran a high school exchange program with the 2nd Gymnasia in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is an avid tennis player, cyclist, and skier.