DFI was founded in 1992 by Diane M. Willkens. Building on previous international business development work, Ms. Willkens realized that many US corporations lacked the networks and know-how to leverage opportunities of the World Bank, regional development banks, and other US export and investment promotion agencies. At the time, relevant information was difficult to locate so local presence and established institutional contacts were the only viable way to secure support from these organizations. Equipped with the necessary knowledge, networks, and influence at its outset, DFI was formed and quickly attracted an initial cohort of best-in-class US-based multinational corporations seeking to accelerate emerging market growth and development.
It was not long before DFI extended its product line to make greater use of an expanding portfolio of capabilities:
Solid understanding of international finance organizations
Exceptional experience in emerging business development
Wide-ranging networks in the international development community
Extensive base of partners to expand DFI's reach, expertise and capabilities
This diversification led DFI to play more proactive and engaged roles in the development and launch of clients’ global emerging market strategies, including targeted relationship-building with international development agencies around the globe – such as the Inter-American, Asian, and African Development Banks, bilateral donors throughout the developed world, and select agencies of the United Nations agencies.
Staff at Development Finance International (DFI) have experience in