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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship


The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the Fellowships and Grants

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David Lighton

Mastercard Foundation 2017 - 2018
Legatum Fellow
United States of America
Financial Services
MBA, Sloan School of Management

David’s business empowers US-migrant workers to transfer money to their families overseas at better rates, more quickly and more securely, leveraging blockchain technology. SendFriend also serves unbanked users with new access to financial services including micro-loans, micro-investments, and credit scoring. David hopes to address the unacceptably high cost of remittance and the challenges of financial inclusion on the same platform, beginning in the US-Philippines corridor, with plans to scale elsewhere in Southeast Asia and Africa. David is passionate about economic justice and using technology to help the underserved, at home and abroad.

David served as the Analyst on the Haiti desk in the World Bank in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He co-led and co-authored the Haiti National Financial Inclusion Strategy, a Central Bank-sponsored initiative to increase consumer account penetration from 25% to 50% of adults. He is an honors BA/MA graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins, where he earned degrees in International Economics and International Relations. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management.



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