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As President & Chief Executive Officer, Harold is responsible for the direction, strategic growth, and executive leadership of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the nation’s leading investment intermediary and network of mission-driven financial institutions serving rural, urban, and Native communities across the United States. With over $1 billion in total assets under management, OFN represents a membership network of over 400 mission-driven financial institutions, including community development loan funds, credit unions, green banks, community development banks, minority depository institutions, and venture capital funds.
With over 20 years’ experience, Harold’s career spans executive leadership in community and economic development finance and has appeared as a featured expert with OFN, the Aspen Institute, New York Times DealBook, The Atlantic, SOCAP 365, and numerous podcasts, among other media and finance outlets. Prior to OFN, Harold led the Washington Area Community investment Fund (Wacif), a community development financial institution (CDFI), for over 7 years as CEO, leading the deployment of over $70 million in capital to communities throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. During his career in public service, Harold served as an appointed economic development official in Washington, DC negotiating over nearly $400 million in economic development projects, leading market expansion with international trade missions (Singapore, South Africa, and China), and reformed the city’s business licensing operations as a regulator managing over $30 million operation with seven regulatory operating divisions responsible for issuing over 140,000 business, corporate and professional licenses annually.
Harold has served as an advisor to the World Bank, National league of Cities, and elected and appointed economic development officials nationally, in addition to serving as a featured university lecturer with Columbia University, Yale University, New York University, and NC State University. In 2021, President Biden appointed Harold to serve on the US Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Advisory Board, advising the CDFI Fund and other federal agencies on inclusive and equitable financing and economic development strategies. He also served on the Community Investment Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Harold has received numerous industry awards. The Washington Business Journal recognized him in 2021 and 2022 as one of the Power 100 most influential business leaders across Greater Washington. Harold is also a member of the Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2021. His fellowships include a 2017 OFN Opportunity Fellow, 2016 Common Future Local Economy Fellow, and 2015 Next City Vanguard. In 2021, Harold was named as a fellow of the 2021 Class (V) of the Finance Leaders Fellowship and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He has received numerous professional accolades including the 2021 Diversity in Business Award from the Washington Business Journal, 2016 Leadership Center for Excellence’s 40 Under Forty, 2016 NC State Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, and Development Counsellors International’s inaugural 40 Under Forty in economic development 2013.
Harold earned a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University, where he served as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.