Announcing the Caren S. Franzini Fellowship

Recognizing outstanding women in development finance for their leadership and dedication to the advancement of the industry.
The Caren S. Franzini Fellowship was established in 2017 by the CDFA Board of Directors to recognize the exemplary leadership of Caren Franzini, a past President of CDFA and former CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). During her career, Caren was dedicated to the advancement of development finance best practices, education, and advocacy.

Recognized by her peers and colleagues as “simply the best,” Caren brought a high level of mastery and acumen to her work. Her commitment to the development finance industry is evident in the numerous programs created and the billions of dollars of investment that she catalyzed during her tenure at NJEDA. She was equally passionate about building leaders and experts in the field as she was about financing businesses and expanding economic growth and job creation for New Jersey communities.

The Caren S. Franzini Fellowship was created to build leadership positions for women in the field of development finance and to inspire them to embody Caren’s spirit and professionalism. Franzini Fellows are given the opportunity to work directly with CDFA through a one-year program aimed at developing lasting woman leaders in the field of development finance. Each class of Franzini Fellows will collaborate on a project of significance to the development finance industry and present it to a national audience. Franzini Fellows may build a new type of financing program, research creative deal structures, write a publication of best practices, or demonstrate new methodologies in the development finance industry. Collectively, their work will showcase expertise in development finance and the power of woman-led initiatives.

Franzini Fellows will meet in-person four times per year: at CDFA Summer School, the CDFA National Summit, and twice at the CDFA Rosenberg Leadership in Columbus, OH. During these engagements, Franzini Fellows will meet with other successful women in the development finance industry, receive training and inspiration from leaders in the field, and create a roadmap for building a successful career in development finance. In between in-person meetings, Franzini Fellows will be connected through an online platform that allows them to collaborate on their project and share best practices for building leadership traits.

The Caren S. Franzini Fellowship is open to women who have worked in the development finance field for less than 10 years. Franzini Fellows accepted into the program must be employed by a CDFA member and be sponsored by their employer for the duration of the fellowship. Applications will be made available once the Franzini Fellowship has been fully endowed. Consider making a gift in Caren’s honor to help establish the Fellowship.

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