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Harold Pettigrew is chief executive officer of the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, a social impact nonprofit and community development financial institution (CDFI) specializing in small business investments with low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs of color. Harold joined Wacif in 2016 after a distinguished career as an economic development professional with nearly 20 years of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining Wacif, he was the Director of Entrepreneurship for Prosperity Now, where he led national efforts to advance policies and programs that increased business success for low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs across the United States. Prior to Prosperity Now, Harold’s career in public serve culminated in an appointment as Washington, D.C.’s small business director, serving as the city’s chief government official advising the mayor on all programs, policies, and issues related to or impacting small businesses. In this capacity, Harold led the city’s agency responsible for supporting the development, economic growth, and retention of small businesses; negotiated over $300 million in small business participation on construction projects; and developed the city’s first small business export program, leading trade missions to Singapore, South Africa, and China to open international market opportunities.
Harold serves on the Community Investment Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Wells Fargo, and Truist, in addition to service nationally on the board of directors for Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Common Future, and Entrepreneur Backed Asset Fund. Harold has also received numerous industry awards, including 2021 Leadership Greater Washington, 2017 OFN Opportunity Fellow, 2016 Common Future Local Economy Fellow, and 2015 Next City Vanguard. Harold earned a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree from NC State University, where he served as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Harold is a Fellow of the 2021 Class of the Finance Leaders Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.