Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Mae is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Change Machine, formerly The Financial Clinic. Mae brings decades of experience on financial security issues and innovation around pro-poor financial technology.
Mae founded Change Machine – one of the nation’s first nonprofits dedicated to building financial security – out of a deep and abiding respect for the lived experiences of customers. Her early work promoted customers as their own best experts – drawing solutions from their expertise. Mae continues to apply this framework to the organization’s work to build an equitable economy in which we all thrive.
Mae is also a respected innovator, having pioneered the creation of Change Machine’s platform – a scalable solution for social service organizations and public agencies to embed effective financial coaching practices into their work with low-income communities and contribute to lasting economic change. Within 10 years, the platform fueled Change Machine’s growth from a volunteer-run local service organization to a national social enterprise. To date, more than 6,000 practitioners across 46 states have used this platform to build their practice, connect with each other, and amplify their national impact.
The nation’s first randomized controlled trial evaluation of financial coaching – commissioned by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and conducted by the Urban Institute, validated the Change Machine’s model and demonstrated unprecedented causal effects. For example, research participants who were financially coached at Change Machine increased savings and credit scores at statistically significant levels, an impressive accomplishment for study participants earning an average of $22,000 annually.
As an inaugural member of the New York Federal Reserve Board’s Community Advisory Group, Mae advises the New York Fed president on socio-economic and financial conditions faced by communities in the Second District.
Mae has been appointed as a Consumer Advisory Board member with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), serving a two-year term to strengthen the CFPB’s charge to serve and protect consumers. Mae is serving as an expert and analyst on trends and practices in consumer finance across the country.
Mae is a co-founder of Nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology (nLIFT), a leadership group dedicated to advancing the field at the intersection of technology and financial inclusion.
Prior to establishing Change Machine, Mae was a senior labor market policy analyst with Public/Private Ventures, a national nonprofit research and policy organization. She has extensive experience in work supports and low-wage, low-skilled workers’ self-sufficiency issues. Among her publications, “Unrealized Gains: How Workforce Development Organizations Can Put Money In the Pocket of Low-Wage Workers” examines how nonprofit organizations address their constituents’ financial security within the fabric of their preexisting services.
Mae steers discussions and advocates for New York City’s public interest, legal, and social service communities, drawing on her career-defining experience at the Legal Aid Society where she led a number of diverse initiatives, including implementing the nation’s first permanency planning policies for parents with HIV and AIDS, and advocating on behalf of public assistance recipients for financial solutions that avoided sanctions and maximized household budgets.
In addition to raising Change Machine, Mae and her husband are raising three amazing kiddos in Brooklyn.