Our People .
Director, Latin America and the Caribbean Heather Joffe Reyes
Currently the director of the Colombia Rural Finance Initiative, Heather Joffe Reyes is an international development practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in agricultural value chains, small business development, and rural development. In addition, Heather has worked on contracts and grants management with an emphasis on designing grant programs to avoid market distortions. She previously served as the deputy chief of party and grants manager for the USAID Bolivia Rural Competitiveness Activity. Heather is fluent in Spanish and holds a B.A. in Hispanic studies from Brown University and an M.B.A from James Madison University.
by Heather Joffe Reyes
Building a Financial Services Market Where There Wasn’t One
Emerging economies such as Colombia, Philippines, and South Africa offer sophisticated financial sectors that historically failed to reach marginalized groups. In Colombia specifically, this left rural areas largely unbanked and excluded from the broader economy, after decades of war. In four years, USAID/Colombia’s Rural Finance Initiative (RFI) — implemented by Chemonics — has linked more…
Value Chain Finance with a Digital Twist
Back in 2015 while designing our approach for USAID’s Colombia Rural Finance Initiative (RFI), a Colombian colleague and I visited a sugar smallholder who had settled in the Meta department, fleeing the civil war. On his adobe walls hung a photograph of the farmer smiling proudly next to Colombia’s President Santos, who had visited their…