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Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman
Actress
FINCA International Ambassador of Hope
Spokesperson for the International Year of Microcredit 2005

"Microcredit is about giving hope. When you're talking about making loans to women whose income is less than $1 a day, you can easily make the leap to see what a microloan can make possible. The women I've met in Uganda and Guatemala are so resourceful, and it's just amazing to see how, with their courage and diligence, they create small businesses with such tiny amounts of money. These women work so hard, and they manage to pay off their loans, and the first thing they do is educate and feed their kids. It's amazing that the world is not investing more in this resource."

Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel and moved to the United States when she was 3. Her big break was in 1994 when she co-starred as a protégée for a hitman in The Professional also starring Jean Reno and Gary Oldman. A year later she starred in the highly acclaimed film Heat with Al Pachino and Robert DeNiro. In 1997, Natalie hit Broadway as lead actress in the play The Diary of Anne Frank. Portman recently was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Anywhere But Here. On May 19, 1999, Natalie premiered in a high profile role in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace as Princess Leia & Luke Skywalker's biological mother, Queen Padme Naberrie Amidala of Naboo. Natalie also starred as Nina in the Central Park production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Her most current release is Garden State. She graduated from Harvard University and can speak fluent Hebrew and French.

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Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under Secretary-General

José Antonio Ocampo, Under Secretary-General
“To ensure that poor people are included in the benefits of development, it is necessary that these vast numbers have consistent access to financial services, access that can translate into a key element of economic growth and poverty alleviation: options.”
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