Nozomi Witherspoon’s role as an International Programs Manager involves program implementation, expanding partnerships, establishing regional strategies, and leading the coordination of market and impact assessments in Southeast Asia. She works closely with the Water.org team in country offices to maximize impact on the ground.
Nozomi brings 11+ years of experience in international development specialized in microfinance and small and medium enterprise (SME) development. Prior to joining the Water.org, Nozomi worked at the World Bank leading a number of significant projects with objectives to deepen and strengthen the financial sector in Africa. Topics covered include: housing finance, Islamic finance, agricultural finance, microinsurance, SME finance, and financial inclusion. Nozomi’s countries of experience include Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, and China.
Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked at FINCA Tanzania, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She also worked as a Consultant at a think-tank based in Washington D.C and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Nozomi is a Japanese national who grew up in Baghdad, Iraq (3 years) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (7 years). She holds Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from ICU University (Tokyo, Japan) and Master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University (Massachusetts, US).
Commitment to Water.org:
In the process of re-prioritizing my life goals, I encountered Water.org. When I learned of the WaterCredit model, it immediately grasped my passion for the following reasons: 1) I am a strong believer of the market driven approach to sustainable international development. 2) It promotes strong community ownership - I trust the power of poor to climb their own economic ladders 3) Having access to water is the most fundamental and critical foundation for all economic activity.
Some values in life that I care about are- intellectual stimulus, making direct impact on the ground, absorbing energy of growing/learning organization or individuals, and contributing in the most effective way to alleviate poverty. Water.org shares these values. I am thrilled to join the team and contribute in this global challenge. Each step may be small, but every day, we are walking farther than yesterday.