Photo of Donna Gambrell

Donna J. Gambrell

Former Director, U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
  • Biography

    Donna J. Gambrell is a steadfast advocate for lifting up and revitalizing our most vulnerable, low-wealth communities. She is also the longest-serving and first African-American woman to be appointed director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund).

    During her tenure from 2007 to 2013, the CDFI Fund experienced significant growth, more than doubling funding under its flagship program. It strongly supported a CDFI industry responsible for providing affordable capital, credit, and financial services to low-income neighborhoods. The CDFI Fund also designed and administered a number of new initiatives targeted to underserved markets, including the Capital Magnet Fund, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, and the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.

    She is currently a visiting, nonresident scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She is also a board member for Southern Bancorp Inc., in Little Rock, which is one of the nation's largest CDFIs and the model upon which the CDFI industry was founded. Gambrell also speaks and consults on issues related to consumer protection and community and economic development.

    Previously, Gambrell served in several executive positions at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), including deputy director for compliance and consumer protection, where she was responsible for overseeing the FDIC's national compliance bank examinations, as well as the agency’s community affairs, consumer affairs, and deposit insurance programs. Prior to joining the FDIC, she served at the Resolution Trust Corporation, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

    Gambrell received a bachelor of science from Towson University in Baltimore and a master of science from New York University.

  • Atlanta Fed Publications


    Donna J. Gambrell. "CDFIs Seek Federal Home Loan Bank Membership." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Partners Update (January/February 2016).

    Donna J. Gambrell. "Community Development Financial Institutions: Providing Capital for Revitalization." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Partners Update (March/April 2015).

    Podcast Episodes podcast

    Donna Gambrell with Joseph Firschein. "Should CDFIs Join Your Job-Creation Team?." Economic Development podcast. August 31, 2011.

    Donna Gambrell with Joseph Firschein. "Giving Credit Where It Is Due: CDFIs in LMI Communities." Economic Development podcast. August 17, 2011.