Director of IRC's Center for Economic Opportunity
After 10 years working at the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, and 3 years working as a Technical Advisor for IRC’s Economic Empowerment programs at a national level, Kasra was tapped to lead IRC’s subsidiary CDFI the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). CEO operates through a unique model that links small-dollar, affordable loans primarily to f financial education and other asset-building services provided by IRC or other community-based partners. Most CEO borrowers are low-income refugees and immigrants that use CEO’s financing to help accelerate their upward economic mobility. Kasra has nearly 20 years of experience with IRC’s refugee microenterprise development program and career development + financial education programs. Building off that experience, he has led the effort to have CEO’s affordable loan products now available from over 29 community partners across 16 states. While at IRC San Diego, Kasra implemented the consumer lending program that would serve as the basis for CEO’s national efforts. He currently oversees a rapidly growing operation that has made 4,000 loans and financed $10 million in 5 years of existence. Kasra was born in Iran and came to the United States when he was a child, and his experiences motivated him to work and advocate for the immigrant and refugee community. He holds a BSBA in Economics and an MA in International Business from the University of Florida.