The ABLE Financial Empowerment Conference is a national biannual conference for all stakeholders interested in fostering financial empowerment for people who live on low incomes.
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Rachel Schneider

Aspen Institute FSP
co-author of The Financial Diaries and the Omidyar Network Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program

Rachel Schneider is the co-author of The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty. The Financial Diaries connects the findings of the ground-breaking U.S. Financial Diaries research project, which collected highly detailed data about how 235 households save, spend, borrow and plan over the course of a year, with the broad trends upending the economic lives of American families. It uncovers the emergence of a hidden inequality, in addition to disparities in income and wealth – an inequality in access to steady finances. It provides a framework for how to develop the products and policies that can help. Rachel is a highly sought-after speaker and consultant, whose research and ideas have been featured in national media, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio.

Rachel has spent the last decade at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), leading many of the projects at the heart of CFSI’s work. She developed the Compass Principles, which are standards for excellence in the design and delivery of financial services, and developed CFSI’s strategy for encouraging adoption of those standards. When CFSI transitioned from how to serve the underbanked to how to build financial health, she lead CFSI’s work to define financial health and to assess the financial health of American families. She is both a conceptual, and a practical thinker, with an unusual ability to both think about big ideas and the smaller steps that can be taken today towards those big ideas.

Rachel began her career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co., but credits her commitment to the potential for innovative finance to solve major social problems from her days as a VISTA Volunteer (now AmeriCorps). She holds a J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley.