Pugh has more than 30 years of experience in banking, with a particular focus on expanding access to capital for underserved families, businesses, and communities. He spent more than a decade at Harlem-based Carver leading the nation’s largest publicly traded African American-operated bank, with more than $720 million in assets.
As LISC CEO, he will oversee a national network that has invested nearly $30 billion in affordable housing, small businesses, education, health, safety, and jobs in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. LISC is one of the nation’s largest community development financial institutions with more than 500 employees, 38 metro area program offices, and a rural development program supporting work in 2,400 counties. In 2022, LISC deployed a record $2.8 billion to bridge gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity, prioritizing efforts to address systemic racial disparities.
“It takes someone with substantial financial and management acumen to effectively connect local programs to national strategies that advance economic opportunity and growth,” said former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, who has served as LISC board chair for more than two decades. “Michael has demonstrated that capacity throughout his career. He is passionate about extending opportunities to people who have not had the chance to fully participate in the American economy. We look forward to him bringing his considerable skills to LISC to help us make a lasting, positive impact.”
As a young man, Pugh developed an affinity for finance while working his way through college as a bank teller, seeing the ways that bankers interact with community members and hearing clients’ hopes and dreams for themselves and their families. He began to understand how basic access to capital directly influences people’s lives.
“Finance is not just about bottom lines. It is a way for people to build a strong future for their families,” Pugh said. “It is about unlocking the opportunity to go to college, buy a home, launch a business, and age with dignity and security. The opportunity to help people create better lives and build assets, and to do so on a transformative national scale, is what attracted me to LISC. I look forward to working with the remarkable LISC team to empower even more people to thrive.”
During his years at Carver, Pugh directed efforts that grew the institution’s base of assets and investors, while digitizing financial products and launching innovative programs to address the needs of underbanked families and small business owners, particularly minority and women-owned business enterprises.
Earlier in his career, Pugh was a senior vice president at Capital One, N.A., where he oversaw 75 banking centers and $3 billion in deposits in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Delaware. Prior to that, he was a senior vice president at Citizens Financial Group, leading retail banking in Michigan and Indiana and overseeing 67 banking centers.
“With Michael, we begin a new era of creative leadership that will help LISC write its next chapter,” said Sally Durdan, a board member who led the CEO search committee. “He is an innovator, a motivator, and an experienced manager of people and financial programs. He has the ability to drive both national policy and local impact—not just for LISC, but for our partners and for communities across the country.”
Pugh, 51, will begin his new role as LISC CEO on October 2nd, joining a leadership team that has decades of experience in the organization and in community development finance broadly. He succeeds Lisa Glover, a long-time LISC board member who came out of retirement in 2021 to serve as CEO and help the organization through a leadership transition at the height of the pandemic amid unprecedented growth at LISC.
“We are grateful for Lisa’s willingness to step up to lead LISC at a time of intense pressure for many of LISC’s partners, and for the country as a whole,” Rubin said. “She was able to put her decades of management experience to work helping steer us through new and expanded programs while overseeing significant workplace changes and solidifying our financial position for the future,” he said.
A native of Detroit, Pugh graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration. In recent years, he has volunteered his time on boards and in organizational leadership positions, including with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, The New York Bankers Association, The Economic Club of New York, the Community Development Bankers Association, and the Society for Financial Education & Professional Development.
About LISC LISC is one of the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $29.7 billion to create more than 489,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 81.4 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances. For more, visit www.lisc.org.
SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)