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January 01 2008

US Treasury Department and OECD Host International Conference on Financial Education in Nation’s Capital to Take Financial Education to the Next Level on World Policy Stage

In new role as Vice Chairman of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, Operation HOPE Founder, John Hope Bryant outlines global “silver rights” agenda during address to promote financial access for underserved    

LOS ANGELES, CA – May 9, 2007 – Operation HOPE Founder and CEO, who serves as Vice Chair of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy (Council), John Hope Bryant furthered global “silver rights” during his address to participants at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) “International Conference on Financial Education” on May 7-8, 2008. In addition to his role as President’s Council vice chair, Bryant was recently tapped to lead the Committee on the Underserved by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Council Chairman Charles Schwab. 

As a one of the keynote Council speakers, Bryant focused comments around enhancing the financial capability of the most vulnerable groups and the unbanked. Under the theme: Taking Financial Literacy to the Next Level: Important Challenges and Promising Solutions, Bryant expounded on the importance of connecting with these under-resourced communities, and his experience running Operation HOPE, which many increasingly view as a model for financial literacy and the economic empowerment of the poor and the under-served.  

HOPE currently serves 51 under-served communities throughout the and, and Operation HOPE has raised more than $400 million to empower the poor, in partnership with leaders from government, community and the private sector.  HOPE’s Banking on Our Future has educated more than 290,000 low-wealth youth in financial literacy and a course in dignity and in , a course in entrepreneurship too. There are more than 6,000 professionals throughout the who have become volunteer HOPE Corps members since inception.  Through its new partnership with USAID and Volunteers for Prosperity, HOPE recently launched a Global HOPE Corps for professionals from the and around the world that want to travel and serve in developing countries.  

As minority markets become a larger and more powerful segment of the and world economy, it is important that these populations be made aware of the all of the financial services and opportunities available to them,” asserted Bryant. “Converting the economically uneducated to the economically literate and empowered is the mission of “silver rights’ and the ultimate answer to poverty eradication. The work of making capitalism and free enterprise work for the poor starts with teaching the poor the language of money.” 

 The international conference is part of an on-going project on financial education. The two-day conference was attended by high-level governmental officials and experts from public, regulatory and supervisory, and private sector decision-makers representing more than 40 countries, with a mission to advance and elevate dialogue on financial education. In addition, participants looked at applied research in an effort to seek solutions for best practices.  

The Treasury Department co-hosts the conference on behalf of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), which published a National Strategy for Financial Education in 2006. For the last two years the conference has covered national strategies on financial education; effective and innovative tools; issues related to credit opportunities and challenges; retirement savings and risk awareness on large-scale catastrophes; as well as challenges related to youth and underserved groups with respect of financial access and literacy. Speakers also included U.S. Treasurer Anna Cabral, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Dan Iannicola. Among attendees were President’s Council members Dr. Robert Duvall and Laura Levine. Following Bryant’s comments, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson delivered closing remarks for the conference.   

The conference is available for viewing via webcast at www.oas.org/OASpage/Live/OASlive.asp. 

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About the President ' s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy  

The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy (the Council) was created on January 22, 2008 by President George W. Bush. The Council’s purpose is to help keep competitive and assist the American people in understanding and addressing financial matters. Each member of the Council represents an industry involved with the delivery of financial education to American citizens. The President and the Secretary of the Treasury have tasked the Council to work with the public and private sector to help increase financial education efforts for youth in school and for adults in the workplace, increase access to financial services, establish measures of national financial literacy, conduct research on financial knowledge and to help strengthen public and private sector financial education programs.