9th – 10th OCTOBER 2023 | LONDON
World Food Bank, All Africa
Scott Brown applied his McGill civil engineering training to water and sewer projects in the Canadian Arctic serving dozens of First Nation communities. One of his most rewarding projects was the dredging of the harbour and construction of a rather large, round water reservoir in Tuktoyaktuk which can be seen from space. Following jobs in other parts of the globe, he returning to his home town of Montreal to complete an MBA and a shift into banking with Royal Bank of Canada for over 18 years. He was fortunate to have been fast-tracked through an organizational program where he worked in most areas of the global bank with time both in the retail and investment bank. As an executive in London, he was CFO and COO of a $13BN regulated UK bank with offices throughout Europe and the Middle East, engaged in retail, financial institution and corporate lending, global treasury, bond distribution, and private banking.
Over the years, Scott’s passion for justice and poverty alleviation led him to dabble in house building in Guatemala, and found and run a street youth shelter in Toronto. He made the leap from commercial to NGO in 2006 when he joined World Vision to become President & CEO of VisionFund International, with operations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Initially with grass root lending in 48 countries and only 3 people overseeing the work, over the next 11 years, he set about building a respected global network of microfinance operations with strong governance and risk management framework, operations, and fundraising, balancing financial and social performance measures. The network now employs 7,500 people serving 1.4 million people (73% women) in 31 countries, and has over ½ a billion dollars in loans. Continuous improvements in technology saw increasing use of mobile and tablet applications to collect client data and transfer funds in order to serve more remote clients. He also chaired an industry group of microfinance CEOs, which together impacted over 70 million clients, and focused on financial inclusion and client protection. He also gave oversight to World Vision’s venture into an agriculture production and distribution company which was later spun out into a commercial operation.
Scott realized poverty alleviation, improved nutrition for children and food self-sufficiency required agriculture value chain improvements on a commercial basis. He joined World Food Bank as President in 2018 and is working on regional agriculture and nutrition projects, and a blended funding “grain trading fund” in East Africa. As a UK and Canadian passport holder, he and his wife live in the UK. His three boys live and work in various parts of Canada.