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Griffin to head Cooperative Development Foundation


WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 1, 2021 - Mary Griffin, an attorney with extensive experience in cooperatives, was selected by the board of directors of the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) to serve as the organization’s executive director. Griffin will also serve as senior policy advisor to the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA). She joins the organizations on September 7.


“Mary brings to this position a deep passion for the cooperative business model and a wealth of experience from a career that has spanned the governmental, nonprofit and cooperative sectors. We are thrilled she will be leading CDF at this time of unique opportunity — at this Cooperative Moment. We believe that under Mary’s leadership, CDF can build on its strong foundation, grow its asset base and advance to a new level of excellence as it works in close collaboration with NCBA CLUSA to build a more inclusive economy,” said CDF Board Chair Rich Larochelle.


Griffin was director of public policy for NCBA CLUSA from 2004 to 2010. With the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since its launch, she has served as senior advisor in its Office of Community Affairs since 2012, focusing on developing policies and programs to improve the financial lives of the economically vulnerable. During her time at CFPB she was twice detailed to the World Bank’s Consultant Group to Assist the Poor. Earlier in her career she served as senior counsel at Consumer Reports.

“We are excited to welcome Mary back to work on behalf of the cooperative community. Her track record of partnerships, program implementation, and commitment to people-centered businesses will serve CDF, NCBA CLUSA and the entire cooperative community during this critical time,” said Doug O’Brien, NCBA CLUSA President and CEO.


Through its funds, fiscal sponsorships, and fundraising, CDF makes grants and loans that foster cooperative development domestically and abroad. The Foundation is a leader in the use of cooperatives to create resilient communities, including the housing and care needs of seniors and people living with disabilities. The Foundation provides recovery grants to cooperatives impacted by disaster, scholarships to train local cooperative leaders, and funding for research and education to advance the understanding of cooperatives. CDF hosts the annual Cooperative Hall of Fame, an event that recognizes the career accomplishments of outstanding cooperative leaders.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, CDF is the 501 (c)(3) non-profit affiliate of NCBA CLUSA. In addition to overseeing all aspects of CDF’s grantmaking, grant and program management, and fundraising, NCBA CLUSA is the national apex association for the cooperative community in the United States that also does extensive work in developing regions empowering people through people-led development strategies.

“I am excited to build on the work of CDF and NCBA CLUSA in supporting and expanding the impact of cooperatives, and to help drive a more inclusive economy that supports key infrastructure goals by demonstrating how the cooperative model can help,” said Griffin.


A graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, Griffin holds a JD from Temple University in Philadelphia and an LLM, Economic Regulation from George Washington University in Washington. Griffin will succeed Leslie Mead who is retiring after seven years as CDF’s Executive Director.”

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