First Latina to spearhead the US Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
Since being appointed by President Biden earlier this fall, Marla Bilonick quickly won the approval of her peers. Now she hopes to tackle financial discrepancies throughout America.
Marla Bilonick has become the first Latina unanimously elected as Chair of the Community Development Advisory Board for the US Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in its 27-year history.
This is a historical moment for the Latino community within the federal government, and in addition, Bilonick is only the second woman to fill the role.
"I am humbled and honored to serve in this role, and I look forward to bringing my perspectives as a leader of community-based and nationally-focused CDFIs to this Board during a time where CDFIs are more critical to our economy's success than ever," Bilonick said in a statement.
On September 15, President Joe Biden appointed Bilonick to the advisory board as one of nine private citizens who have demonstrated expertise and service in economic community development. She will serve as chair for a four-year term.
The board consists of a total of 15 members as part of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994.
Bilonick has a history of her proven ability to support underserved neighborhoods both domestic and international. Her experience in finance and development began in 1999 as a microloan fund specialist at the Latino Economic Development Center.
She has a track record of eight years working in community settings at the center, and was later promoted to CEO in 2014.
In April, Bilonick accepted the President and CEO position at the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), where she currently leads the organization in D.C. NALCAB is a national hub that networks over 140 non-profits that aid Latinos and immigrants in America. The organization believes that when Latino communities are thriving it results in a strong economy for all.
Bilonick’s experience expands beyond horizons where she also assisted in the distribution of international aid with donor agencies in Latin America for over three years. Her role as chair will help lead the discussions surrounding federal funding programs in the U.S.
The CDFI works to generate economic growth for local communities through the support of mission-driven organizations. These funds create support for small businesses, first-time home buyers, underserved communities, build affordable housing, and more
This Latina’s recent accomplishment creates promise for future multicultural leaders on the rise who contribute to the conversation for better communities, and who will direct the course of our nation.