Brian Branch

President & Chief Executive Officer


Brian Branch, president and CEO of World Council of Credit Unions, was appointed in 2011. Dr. Branch has worked at World Council since 1990 and has been engaged in development fieldwork, research and implementation for more than 30 years.

Headquartered in Madison, Wis., U.S., World Council is the leading international advocate, trade association and development agency for credit unions. 86,000 credit unions in 118 countries serve 291,000,000 people. 

Dr. Branch’s former World Council positions include economist, manager of research and development, regional manager for Latin America, director of technical services, vice president of development services and executive vice president and COO. He has worked with credit union, microfinance and other financial institution services for more than 30 years.

Dr. Branch has developed programs to update and expand the savings based financial services of credit unions worldwide. Technical duties have included designing programs to transfer financial management practices, policies, procedures, tools, products, technologies and management skills to credit unions in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. He has provided service and product development assistance for savings, tailored credit products and transaction service networks as well as well as designing international financial network systems. Dr. Branch has designed and led individual survey impact time series studies, market research, institutional assessments and financial field analysis for credit union systems.

Dr. Branch has undertaken credit union development assignments in Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mexico, Moldova, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Trinidad, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. He co-authored Striking the Balance in Microfinance: A Practical Guide to Mobilizing Savings (2002) with Janette Klaehn and co-edited Safe Money (2000) with Glenn Westley.

In 1990, Dr. Branch received his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in 1981 his Master of Arts in Latin American studies at the University of Texas-Austin. He received his Bachelor of Arts in government and Spanish, graduating magna cum laude from Bowdoin College, Maine, in 1979.