Nearing graduation from graduate school, my friend Bhakti told me there was someone I had to meet.
His name was Jeffrey Lee. From my first conversation with him many years ago, I knew this was a very special man of God.
At HOPE, we seek leaders with the head of a banker and the heart of a pastor. No one exhibits this better than Jeffrey.
Formerly CEO of Shinhan Bank America—the US division of one of Korea’s largest banks—Jeffrey championed its growth of assets to $950 million. He was also CEO of Premier Bank in Denver. While he was CEO, Business Week Magazine stated Premier Bank was “…what a bank should be.”
Five years ago, he joined Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), HOPE’s partner in Rwanda. From 1999 to 2002, I had the privilege of serving as Urwego’s Managing Director. Let’s just say that when Jeffrey joined the team, the program received a major upgrade in leadership. The program has seen a 95 percent growth rate in 2011 alone (45 percent growth in 2012). Over 170,000 Rwandans are breaking the cycles of physical and spiritual poverty through banking and entrepreneurship. UOB has a diversified loan portfolio of $17M in 42,000 accounts and more than $10.5M in client savings.
He’s also pushing the boundaries in innovation—UOB rolled out a mobile banking program and a comprehensive education financing program. He also has kept the “heart” of the mission front and center with his team. You can learn more about his journey here: Ministries of Jeffrey and Kristin Lee in Rwanda.
But what I most appreciate about Jeffrey is that whenever I’ve seen someone pay him a compliment, he responds, “Thanks be to God for anything that has happened.” He constantly redirects the attention to God and his team’s capability.
The rare combination of technical proficiency and genuine humility make Jeffrey an exceptional leader. Jeffrey exhibits the traits we are looking for in the field of Christ-centered microfinance.
Jeffrey is stepping down next February and so we are looking for someone like him, who has the heart of a pastor and the mind of a banker, to take the lead in Rwanda, as well as in the other countries of HOPE’s Network.
I’m wondering if you would help us find the next Jeffrey and other leaders to guide us into the future. From a CFO based in Lancaster, PA to Executive Directors based internationally, we have a number of very important domestic and international assignments. Please visit our current job listings here and consider joining us!