Shared Interest Announces New Executive Director

Shared Interest Ann M McMikel

Ann M. McMikel takes the helm of prominent social investment fund

New York, New York – After an extensive search, Shared Interest, one of the nation’s prominent non-profit social investment funds, selected Ann M. McMikel to serve as the organization’s new executive director. McMikel succeeds Donna Katzin, who retired in December 2020 after leading the organization for 27 years. 

McMikel is a global leader who advocates fearlessly for women’s health, education, economic empowerment, and gender and racial equality. Her extensive professional experience, achievements, and educational background, as well as her passionate enthusiasm for the work done by Shared Interest, have made her the perfect choice to lead the organization into the future. In this role, McMikel will work closely with the board of directors and staff to build on the strong legacy of Shared Interest in realizing its strategic goals for program growth and expansion, executing its vision for economic justice and impact, and mobilizing increased resources to advance its mission.

“Our Shared Interest board and staff are absolutely delighted that Ann McMikel has joined us to serve as our new executive director,” said Tim Smith, Board Chairman at Shared Interest. “Ann’s multiple skills and diverse experience fit perfectly with Shared Interest’s needs at this moment, and her commitment to social and economic justice along with her passion for making a distinct difference in the lives of women and girls will guide her as Shared Interest moves forward to serve low-income communities in South and Southern Africa.”

During her 16 years at the American Cancer Society, where she held the first-ever role of VP, Global Partnership and Planning, McMikel helped to establish and implement a global program that focused on women’s cancer, pain control, tobacco control, and civil society capacity building in low-and middle-income countries. In addition, she has successfully managed high-level global relationships with multilateral organizations to make cancer and other non-communicable diseases a worldwide health and development priority, including partnerships with the World Health Organization, UN agencies, the corporate sector, and a broad range of civil society organizations in the developing world, including Africa, Latin America, and India.

Before joining Shared Interest, Ann served as the inaugural Chief Development Officer/Executive Director of SIS Circles for the Black Women’s Health Imperative. She led and oversaw fundraising strategy and donor engagement plans, resulting in a three-fold increase in income for their programs and priorities in two years. She also served in a dual role as Executive Director for SIS Circles overseeing a social/emotional empowerment program for teen girls of color to become tomorrow’s resilient, health-conscious professional leaders. McMikel has also served as the founding Executive Director of Step Up in Atlanta, GA, where she was responsible for leading Step Up’s mission, fundraising strategy, and programs to propel teen girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential for college and career pursuits.

“I am so honored to join Shared Interest and to build on its successful legacy of empowering the most marginalized ‘unbankable’ communities in Southern Africa– particularly women and youth – to be respected, engaged, and included in creating an equitable and just path forward for this incredibly vital, culturally rich and diverse region of the world,” McMikel said. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic with a shared sense of purpose and commitment to combat systemic racism and income inequality. I look forward to working with the Board, staff, our partners, and donors to increase the impact that Shared Interest can have in unlocking local capital for entrepreneurs in low-income communities who are so critical to reducing poverty and stimulating inclusive economic growth in a part of the world that, according to the World Bank, is the most unequal and where the difference between the wealthy and poor is the starkest.” 

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with Ann M. McMikel, contact Jameka Whitten via email at or by phone at 704.965.3297. 

About Shared Interest

In 1994, Shared Interest set out to unlock South Africa’s wealth to benefit the majority of the country’s people. Although political power had changed hands in South Africa, economic power had not. We launched a non-profit social investment fund to mobilize the resources for Southern Africa’s economically marginalized black communities by moving banks to lend to them.  Our loan guarantees and technical assistance allow smallholder farmers and emerging entrepreneurs to access the credit, markets, and training they need to create sustainable livelihoods for their families and communities. 

Our model generates a leverage effect that multiplies our capital’s impact: since our founding, we have also placed $30 million of guarantees, unlocking $125 million in loans benefitting more than 3 million people, and never lost a cent of an investor’s interest or principal. Shared Interest has also helped create more than 180,000 new small and micro-enterprises, 1.9 million jobs, and 120,000 affordable homes. Building on our successful South African model, we have expanded to Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia. For more information, please visit