Tue, Feb 20, 2024

5 PM – 6:45 PM CST (GMT-6)

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Conservation Auditorium

Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building, Room 111, Conservation Auditorium , Columbia 65201, United States

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Some people are dreamers. They choose a career shaped by dreams of making the world a better place-caring for kids, lifting up the poor, protecting the planet, etc. When your dreams are that powerful, it's easy to neglect yourself. Both lives and dreams can suffer the consequences. If you're one of the dreamers, this is the talk (based on a book) for you. Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind is a down-to-earth guide to mission-driven leadership. Drawing on his decades of experience as an acclaimed nonprofit leader, Alex Counts offers practical advice on such vital activities as fundraising, team-building, communications, and management. He shows you how to run an organization-and your own life-both effectively and sustainably, giving joyfully to those around you while also caring generously for yourself.


Conservation Auditorium

Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building, Room 111, Conservation Auditorium , Columbia 65201, United States


Alex Counts's profile photo

Alex Counts

Founder and Principal

AMC Consulting LLC


Alex Counts is the author of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship (Revised edition) (Rivertowns Books, 2021), an independent consultant to nonprofit organizations (including the India Philanthropy Alliance), is an adjunct professor at the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, and is a senior adviser and ambassador at large for a)plan coaching.

He also wrote When in Doubt, Ask for More: And 213 Other Life and Career Lessons for Mission-Driven Leaders (Rivertowns Books, 2020), which prompted Ashoka founder Bill Drayton to say, “Alex Counts has been critical to creating and building the global microcredit movement from its start. He knows how to lead. And how to write! When in Doubt, Ask for More will help you be a more powerful leader—and have fun doing so.”

In 1997 he established Grameen Foundation with the support of Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and became its President and CEO. He did so after having worked in microfinance and poverty reduction for 10 years, mostly spent living in rural Bangladesh. He ran the organization for its first 18 years, and remains a friend and volunteer of Grameen Foundation. He served as the President and CEO of American India Foundation in 2016-2017.

A Cornell University graduate, Counts’ commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he witnessed innovative poverty solutions being developed by Grameen Bank. He trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, sparked by a $6,000 seed grant provided by Prof. Yunus (who was a founding board member and continues as a director emeritus), Grameen Foundation grew to become a leading international humanitarian organization.

In addition to his most recent books, Counts’ writings include Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance Are Changing the World and Voices from the Field. Counts has also been published in The Washington Post, the Stanford Social Innovation ReviewThe Miami HeraldThe Christian Science Monitor, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and elsewhere. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Horace Mann School. While at Cornell University, he received the John F. Kennedy Memorial Award, given annually by the Class of 1964 to the graduating senior who is the best example of the ideal of public service articulated by our 35th President.

Counts was a founding member of the Advisory Council of the Center for Financial Inclusion, and served for 12 years before becoming an member emeritus in May 2020.  He has served as the chairman of Fonkoze USA and co-chair of the Fonkoze Family Coordinating Committee—two governance bodies of the largest microfinance institution in Haiti. He was a founding member of and served as co-chair of the Microfinance CEO Working Group (which today is the Partnership for Responsible Financial Inclusion).  He is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children in the state of Maryland.  His blog covers topics related to excellence in nonprofit management and beyond.

Before establishing Grameen Foundation, Counts served as the legislative director of RESULTS and as a regional project manager for CARE-Bangladesh. He loves listening to and promoting live music in intimate venues, especially blues and bluegrass, as well as other genres. He speaks Bengali and lives in Hyattsville, MD with his wife, Emily, and their cat, Meena.

Hosted By

Universities Fighting World Hunger - Mizzou | Website | View More Events
Co-hosted with: Graduate Professional Council, Sustain Mizzou, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Graduate Student Organization

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