World Council of Credit Unions names first woman CEO

Economic development specialist Elissa LaBorde will be the next president and CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions.

LaBorde, who will be the first woman to head the WOCCU, has been CEO of the holding company Vitas Group since 2009. For the past 16 years, has also been vice president of development finance for Global Communities, the parent organization of Vitas Group. In that role she managed strategy, investments and fundraising.

LaBorde will succeed Brian Branch, who has been president and CEO of WOCCU since 2011 and announced his retirement in January. The organization’s board chair Rafał Matusiak directed the search for a new president and CEO, choosing LaBorde from among 175 candidates.

“Elissa went through a long selection process with the best results and was unanimously selected by the WOCCU Board of Directors,” Matusiak said in a press release.

Elissa LaBorde will become president and CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions, succeeding Brian Branch, who has held the roles since 2011.

LaBorde teaches at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies as an adjunct professor. She has lived and worked in France, Benin, Armenia, Turkey and Zimbabwe and traveled to over 70 countries. She authored two books and has written essays about finance and economic development.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based WOCCU advocates for 86,055 credit unions and credit union education in front of international standards-setting bodies. Credit unions serve about 291 million people in 118 countries.

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