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Jamie M. Zimmerman is Director of the Global Assets Project at the New America Foundation. The Project, which launched in 2006, aims to inform, advance and stimulate new thinking and innovations in policy and practice toward global poverty reduction. Her current areas of focus include, but are not limited to: social protection policy, child and youth savings policies, foreign aid reform, financial inclusion of the poor, asset building among excluded and marginalized populations, gender issues, and the role of technology in global development.
She is a leading voice on open data sharing for development innovations with the design and launch of the Saving for the Poor Innovation and Knowledge Network (SPINNAKER) in 2010 and, more recently, the Global Savings & Social Protection Initiative in 2011. GSSP is the largest global data platform evaluating opportunities for financial inclusion through government-to-person (G2P) cash transfers. Her work on G2P has inspired a global movement toward cashless payment systems, the United Nation’s Better than Cash Alliance.
Ms. Zimmerman speaks frequently and advises on asset building and global development, both domestically and abroad, and her writing has appeared in such various outlets as CNN, the Daily Beast, Yale Global, Enterprise Development & Microfinance, Human Rights Quarterly, the Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy Magazine and AOL News.
Previously, Ms. Zimmerman was the Associate Director of Globalization Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, where she conducted research on the relationship between international trade, human rights, and corporate social responsibility. That research lead to the 2007 co-authored book Trade Imbalance: the Struggle to Weigh Human Rights Concerns in Trade Policymaking, published by Cambridge University Press.
She has worked as an international trade consultant in São Paulo, Brazil, and with nonprofit micro-enterprise development groups in Urubamba, Peru. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she also earned a master’s degree in international political economy and international development from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.