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Dara Duguay  

Former Director of Citi’s Office of Financial Education

Dara Duguay, is the Executive Director of the Credit Builders Alliance. Prior to joining the Credit Builders Alliance, she ran her own consulting practice and advised clients such as TD Bank, the World Bank Group, Experian, Visa, and SunTrust Bank on their financial education efforts. Ms. Duguay was also the Director of Citi’s Office of Financial Education and oversaw a $200 million global commitment. Preceding her work at Citi, she served as the Executive Director of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, which advocates for increased financial education for youth. She started work in the field as the Director of Education for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Los Angeles.

Ms. Duguay is considered a national expert on personal finance. Her media experience includes interviews in major U.S. print publications and she has regularly appeared as a guest on many national television and radio networks. She is the author of three critically acclaimed personal finance books: The Citi Commonsense Money Guide for Real People; Please Send Money: A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on Their Own; and Don’t Spend Your Raise: And 59 Other Money Rules You Can’t Afford to Break.

An accomplished public speaker, Ms. Duguay has spoken at hundreds of major conferences, including: the G8 summit in Moscow on financial literacy; the European Commission’s summit on financial capacity; the OECD annual meeting; the National Association of State Treasurers; the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; and the American Bankers Association.

Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Duguay has received the Medal of Merit from the U.S. Treasury’s Savings Bond Volunteer Committee and was appointed to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Economics Steering Committee.

Ms. Duguay received her B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan and received her M.A. in International Relations from Schiller University in Paris, France. She currently resides in Washington, DC.

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Speech Topics


Economic Opportunity for All.

Opportunity is one of our country’s most cherished ideals and one of our most valuable national assets. However, the promise of opportunity seems like more of a broken promise to many Americans. They feel overwhelmed by barriers that are limiting them from reaching their full economic potential. In this inspiring speech, Dara Duguay talks about the many financial decisions (payday lending, rent-to-own, no retirement plan, etc.) that often trap people in a vicious cycle of debt and poverty. Thankfully, this fate is not predetermined. Duguay lays out the smart financial choices that Americans can make, regardless of their income level, in order to set them on the path to achieve Economic Opportunity for All.

Building Resilience through the Challenges of Unemployment.

Our job market continues to suffer. There are still too many job seekers and not enough jobs. The competition for these scarce jobs can take a toll on the job seeker’s self-confidence, which in turn hampers their interview performance. In this presentation, Dara Duguay draws from her own life experience after being laid-off from a senior management position at Citigroup during the height of the financial crisis. Her journey and those of her laid-off colleagues and friends taught her what it takes to succeed in today’s difficult job market. Learn the secrets of staying resilient and maintaining a positive attitude after receiving multiple rejections. Understand the changes in the hiring process that have resulted in multiple interviews, long recruitment time periods, examinations, requests for business/ marketing/ strategic plans. And the lack of closure, as non-communication becomes the new norm. These realities make it more important than ever to learn how to be “resilient” and stay in the game and not become a discouraged worker statistic.

Young Adults: Leaving the Nest… Only to Return.

Young adults are hit by a double whammy in today’s economy. College graduates are leaving school with overwhelming levels of student loan debt and are confronting a soft job market with too few good paying jobs. This phenomenon has led countless young adults to move back home, primarily for economic reasons. In this presentation Dara Duguay covers all the necessary financial strategies to help young adults through these challenging times. It gives parents and caregivers solid tips to avoid a culture of dependency but still provide the support that allows young adults to build up the discipline and skills to eventually live independently.

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