Greg Nelson and Janelle Lassonde Join Board to Advance Global Nonprofit’s Mission of Empowering People in Developing Countries to Work Their Way Out of Poverty

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Greg Nelson

Greg Nelson

Greg Nelson

Janelle Lassonde

Janelle Lassonde

Janelle Lassonde

CHICAGO, September 21, 2021 – Opportunity International, a longstanding global leader in providing financial services to lift people out of poverty, today announced it has named two high-profile business leaders to join its Board of Directors.

“Janelle Lassonde and Greg Nelson are exceptional global business executives who have already demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing the strategic objectives of Opportunity International,” said Atul Tandon, CEO. “Greg has served on the Board’s Stewardship and Impact Committee for the past year and has wide experience in product development, marketing, sales, strategy, and business development that will be a wonderful asset to the Board and our management team. Janelle was the previous Education Finance Chair for Opportunity International’s last fundraising campaign, and she continues to be an enthusiastic advocate for EduFinance today,” said Tandon.

Greg Nelson is a retired Microsoft executive who most recently was Vice President of Partner Ecosystem, helping Microsoft’s Business Applications Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) grow their business. Over his 26-year career at Microsoft, Greg held a variety of roles spanning disciplines including engineering, partner and business development, marketing, and sales and was based in Seattle, London, and Paris. Greg has an MBA from Harvard University. His previous work in developing economies includes teaching English in China and serving as a Rotary Scholar at the University of Cape Town, where he did a one-year post-graduate degree in African Studies with a focus on political transition. There, he helped a nongovernmental organization (NGO) called the Triple Trust Organization (TTO) create training tools for entrepreneurs, and co-wrote a book about the organization’s model to help other NGOs replicate TTO’s success. He currently lives near Seattle with his wife Laurie, but has spent his career living and working internationally.

Janelle Muntz Lassonde chaired Opportunity International’s “Schools of Opportunity” campaign and has been an unwavering advocate of the organization’s Education Finance work since its inception. She formerly served as a Director of Credit Risk at UBS and was based in London and Johannesburg, where she led the investment bank’s mining and sub-Saharan Africa portfolios. She is a writer and blogger with articles appearing in Maclean’s, Motor Boat & Yachting, The Good Life France, and her blog, “French Lessons,” and has recently completed a memoir tentatively entitled, “The House That Taught Me French.” She has a B.A. from Northwestern University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s in Economics from the London School of Economics. Now based in Toronto, she is also a board member and finance and audit chair of The Walrus, a Canadian non-profit organization that publishes esteemed long-form journalism and hosts idea-focused events.


Opportunity International is a global non-profit celebrating 50 years of equipping people to work their way out of poverty. Opportunity provides 19.4 million families with innovative financial resources, training, and support to grow their small businesses and send their children to school. In 2020, Opportunity International and its partners released $2.3 billion in capital across more than 30 countries and helped fund 8,800 schools that reached 2.8 million children.

Discover more at opportunity.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Scott Gilmore
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