Mr. Millard "Mitty" A. Owens

Senior Deputy Director
New York City Office of Financial Empowerment
New York, New York
United States

Focus Areas

Economic Security
Economic Development
Finance / Fundraising / Administration


Millard "Mitty" Owens is the Senior Deputy Director of the newly formed "Office of Financial Empowerment," a core component of the City Administration's efforts to fight poverty. OFE is the country's only municipal office with an exclusive mandate to strengthen the financial health of low-income city residents This encompasses programs, research and policy initiatives to address the 'unbanked,' foster savings, promote the Earned Income Tax Credit, enhance the city's infrastructure for financial education, fight predatory lending, and advance other innovations to build assets and achieve long-term economic security. Mitty's prior experience includes: six years as an economic development program with the Ford Foundation; five years directing micro-lending with the Center for Community Self-Help in Durham, North Carolina, a national leader in the field of development finance; and more recently time with NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action and the Community Development Finance Lab at The New School. Earlier experience included youth and community organizing; affordable housing development; cooperative development in Zimbabwe (southern Africa); and community revitalization of an historic African-American community in western North Carolina. Mitty has also been a consultant to the Coro Leadership NY program and for a national initiative aimed at strengthening the linkage of art/culture and social change. Mitty, a native of Brooklyn, has served as a trustee of various economic development and social justice organizations including the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (the U.S. micro-enterprise trade association), the North Carolina Minority Credit Union Support Center, Grassroots Leadership, Global Exchange, the Fifth Avenue Committee, and the Dwight Hall Center for Social Justice and Public Service at Yale. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Community Economic Development M.S. program at New Hampshire College; and he was a W.K. Kellogg National Leadership Fellow.