Clara Ford, Hunt Institute Fellow

Clara Ford joins the Hunt Institute as a Fellow, bringing with her a passion of finding sustainable solutions to alleviate poverty.

Clara Ford was born and raised in Tanzania to a politician father and a mother who was a public school teacher, hence public service and the importance of giving back was instilled in her from a very young age. She migrated to the United States in the year 2000, and now lives in Dallas, TX with her husband and 3 children.

Clara graduated with a BBA in Accounting from the University of Houston-Downtown in 2010 and she currently holds 2 MA degrees for Applied Economics as well as Sustainability & Development from Southern Methodist University.

Her professional experience is within the financial service industry, where she worked as a Commercial lending officer, first for JP Morgan Chase Bank, and later in 2017 for Bank of America. She currently works for the Federal Reserve System as a Senior Associate Bank Examiner.

In 2019, Clara who is a Native Swahili speaker, together with her former Economics Professor from SMU, founded Kijiji Innovative Sustainable Solutions (KISS): a Non-Profit Organization as a tool for finding practical, but sustainable solutions for alleviating extreme poverty in rural Tanzania, starting with her late father’s birth Village of Kasisa. Her project was part of the 2020 cohort with the Clinton Global Initiatives University (CGI-U) through SMU MASD program.

As a way to give back to the country of her birth, she hopes to provide a venue for those willing in any capacity, to make a difference in the lives of Kasisa Villagers. She believes in the notion that, “It takes a Village” and only through cooperation and interdependence in helping folks help themselves, by giving them the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty, can we end, in the long term, the perpetual cycle of poverty in rural parts of Tanzania.
KISS is also part of SMU’s Hunt Institute Global Development Lab Social enterprise program.

When asked what her motivation is for doing impact work she replied, I believe when we customize solutions to address unique situations at a local level, it will allow us to be most effective in making a lasting impact towards poverty reduction in rural areas, one Village at a time, starting with Kasisa Village, Mwanza, Tanzania. That is the main aim of our Kijiji Project.”

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