Watchen Harris Bruce

Position: President and CEO
Categories: Executive Team

Watchen has over thirty-five years of banking, development finance, small business lending, economic development, international development, affordable housing, and leadership experience. She has served numerous roles on local, national, and international levels. Before joining Baltimore Community Lending, Watchen worked as Chief of Party/Country Director of the international USAID-funded project “Investing for Business Expansion” (IBEX) project to provide access to finance and economic development in Libera. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Chief of the Party for the USAID-funded project “Liberia Agribusiness & Renewal Energy Development Activity.”


On the national level, Watchen has served as Vice President at several national banks in the U.S. including PNC Bank, Fleet Bank, and JPMorgan Chase among others. She is a graduate of Leadership Boston & Baltimore. She serves on Maryland Community Development Network and Morning Star Baptist Church Five CDC boards. She is also a board member of African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs and a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board member. She is a certified PNC Women in Business Lender & Certified Trainer & Coach with the Nehemiah Project International Ministries. Watchen has been honored as one of the 100 Top Women Leaders in Baltimore by the Daily Record.


Watchen is pursuing a doctorate in Organizational Development & Leadership through Grand Canyon University . She holds a master’s degree in Business Management from Cambridge College in Massachusetts, a BA in Community Planning & Management from the University of Massachusetts, and a BA in French from the University of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire.