Rosenthal Launches CDFI History Project
Clifford Rosenthal, the former CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, has started gathering information about the creation and early days of community development financial institutions.
CDFIs are credit unions, banks, loan funds and other financial institutions that the U.S. Treasury Department has recognized as having a unique role in developing the economy of their surrounding area. Once recognized, they are eligible for investments and grants from the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund.
Under Rosenthal and community development credit unions, the National Federation played a key role in the development and early organization of CDFIs and the CDFI Fund.
Rosenthal, who began his career as a historian, said he has begun to interview people who played similar roles.
“There is widespread enthusiasm about this project,” Rosenthal said. “I have met with and interviewed CDFIs, advocates, funders, and federal officials, present and former.”
Rosenthal worked for and then ran the National Federation from 1980 through 2012. He joined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2012 as assistant director, managing the Office of Financial Empowerment.
He is currently a consultant based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with clients in regulatory policy, credit union development, and financial empowerment.
On Oct. 16, Rosenthal will conduct a session at the Opportunity Finance Network conference in Denver. The OFN is a Philadelphia-based national network of CDFIs that invest in opportunities to benefit low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities.