July 18, 2023 | Press Release

Unbound President and CEO Announces Retirement After 25 Years of Service

Ashley Hufft, chief strategy officer and general counsel, will lead the organization as interim president and CEO.

Scott Wasserman, president and CEO of Unbound, announced his retirement effective July 31. He will support Unbound as CEO emeritus to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.

Wasserman became president and CEO of Unbound in 2013 after serving on the governing board of the organization for 15 years, the last 14 of which he served as board chair. During his tenure, Wasserman led the organization through times of immense change, including the passing of co-founder Bob Hentzen and the pandemic. Under his leadership, the organization adopted a governance model that supported good stewardship and transparency, which led to top rankings by third-party charity evaluators. The organization also reached significant milestones during his leadership, including $2 billion in funds distributed for programs that help families overcome the challenges of poverty.

“Unbound has been an important part of my life, and my family’s lives, since my wife and I sponsored our first child right after we married in 1988,” Wasserman said. “I’m grateful to have led this great organization and am proud of the extraordinary staff who will continue the journey to help families build their paths out of poverty. I am confident about what’s next for Unbound.”

The Unbound Governing Board has named Ashley Hufft interim president and CEO.

With an impressive background in international development, Hufft joined the organization in May 2022 as chief strategy officer and general counsel. Prior to joining Unbound, she lived and worked in Africa as general counsel and senior strategic adviser at The SDG Center for Africa, working on the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals. She previously served as managing director and general counsel of the Millennium Promise (MP), the operational arm of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), a collaboration working across sub-Saharan Africa to simultaneously address the challenges of extreme poverty in many overlapping areas: agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, gender equality and business development. At MP, Hufft oversaw functional support across the finance, legal, administration, operational and development functions of the MVP.

Hufft received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, in anthropology from Harvard College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to attending law school, Hufft taught first grade in Louisiana as a corps member of Teach for America.

“I am humbled to be asked to step in as the interim president and CEO and do so with a strong commitment to the organization and the families we serve,” Hufft said. “I look forward to working with our board and staff to help the organization move forward during this period of transition.”

As part of its responsibility, the board will initiate a search to name a permanent CEO.

“The board is immensely grateful for Scott’s leadership and all he has done for Unbound over the last 25 years, especially his 10 years as president and CEO,” said Emma Miller, chief governing officer. “We are thrilled Ashley has agreed to serve in this important role. Unbound's board and leadership team have worked closely with Ashley in several strategic planning efforts over the last year, and we are confident she and her team will provide the leadership that is necessary during this transition.”

Scott Wasserman, retiring president and CEO of Unbound, will continue to support Unbound as CEO emeritus to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.

Scott Wasserman, right, and his wife, Anabella, visit their sponsored elder friend Cirila, left, in Guatemala. They’ve sponsored her since 2018. In his role as president and CEO, Scott often traveled to Unbound programs around the world, learning from families and bringing back stories and insights to share with the Unbound community.

With an extensive background in international development, Ashley Hufft joined Unbound in May 2022 as chief strategy officer and general counsel. She will serve as interim president and CEO.

On a 2022 staff formation trip to El Salvador, Ashley Hufft met 8-year-old sponsored child Jazmin. A seasoned international traveler, Ashley enjoyed meeting families in the program and seeing firsthand how Unbound works in the field.