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WATCHEN HARRIS BRUCE,
PRESIDENT & CEO

Governing Board Member and Advisory Board Chair


While growing up in Liberia, Watchen stood out among her peers through her compassion for better education, housing, finances, economics and healthcare in distressed African communities. Her motto is: ‘It’s not about me.” This belief has led to her successful 30-year career in the U.S. advocating for affordable lending to help re-energize low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. Now, Watchen is leading Baltimore Community Lending as we support real estate projects and small businesses that revitalize Baltimore neighborhoods. Because it’s about the community!


  • 30 plus years of banking, finance, economic/business development, affordable housing & management & leadership experience;
  • CEO for Africa New Frontier, Inc., an Entrepreneurship & Financial Inclusion Company;
  • Served as Chief of Party & Country Managing Director of the USAID Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) Project; An Access to Finance & Business Development project in Liberia;
  • Served as Vice President of Community Development & Business Banker with leading U.S. Commercial banks, including PNC Bank, J P Morgan Chase, and Fleet Bank, now Bank of America;
  • Served as Sr. Financial Management Consultant for Affordable Housing @ NeighborWorks America;
  • Served as Senior Financial & Affordable Housing Manager @ Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston;
  • Served as Senior Project & Finance Manager for Affordable Housing @ the City of Boston, Department of Neighborhood Development
  • Provides technical direction, capacity building, and management consulting & oversight for all aspects of project implementation & delivery;
  • Serves as the primary point of contact with government agencies, banks, key investors, and other stakeholders;
  • Grant Reviewer for US Department of Treasury CDFI Fund Financial & Technical Assistance & New Market Tax Credits
  • Organizational Development & Leadership, Grand Canyon University, Currently Enrolled
  • Ed.D., Organizational Development & Leadership, Grand Canyon University, Currently Enrolled
  • M.Ed., Business Management, Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA
  • BA., Community Planning and Management, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
  • Certified as a Women Business Banker & Advisor at PNC Bank
  • Honored as a 100 Top Women Leader in Baltimore, MD (The Daily Record)
  • Graduate of Leadership Boston, Massachusetts