Darlene Goins takes the reins as the first Black woman to lead the Wells Fargo Foundation

BY Ben Ebuka Oji February 9, 2024 4:54 AM EDT
Darlene Goins
Darlene Goins receives the 25th Annual Madam C.J. Walker Legacy Award by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Oakland/Bay Area Chapter. Photo Credit: D. Kelly Images

Wells Fargo has appointed Darlene Goins as the head of its philanthropy and community impact arm and the president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. This significant appointment marks a milestone as Goins becomes the first Black woman to hold the position of president in the history of the foundation..

A press release from Wells Fargo states that Darlene will be responsible for guiding the direction of the company’s community and philanthropic initiatives. This will involve overseeing the development and implementation of strategies related to housing accessibility and affordability, financial well-being, and the growth and sustainability of small businesses.

Bill Daley, the Vice Chairman of Public Affairs of Wells Fargo, is confident that Darlene’s unique perspective and expertise in banking, business, and community service will contribute to the success of the Wells Fargo Foundation. With her deep understanding of consumers and communities, she will play a crucial role in elevating Wells Fargo’s philanthropic investments to new heights.

“Darlene brings a deep understanding of consumers and communities to this leadership position, which will help us take our philanthropic investments to the next level,” said Daley. “With her banking expertise and track record in creating community impact, we aim to open pathways to economic advancement and strengthen historically marginalized communities.”

Previously, Goins was the Head of Diverse Customer Segments at Wells Fargo’s Consumer, Small & Business Banking division. In this role, she utilized customer feedback, analytics, and insights to cater to the diverse needs of customers. Additionally, Goins spearheaded the Banking Inclusion Initiative, a decade-long commitment that facilitated access to affordable mainstream accounts and provided unbanked individuals with easier access to low-cost banking services and financial education.

Before this, Goins served as the Head of Financial Health Philanthropy at the Wells Fargo Foundation, where she played a crucial role in assisting underserved communities by reducing debt, promoting savings, and fostering wealth creation. She also gained valuable experience in leadership positions at FICO, a renowned data and analytics company.

“It is expensive to be unbanned and underbanked in this country, and we know there is a racial disparity in who has an open pathway to economic advancement. There are so many opportunities for us to reimagine what our society looks like as it pertains to financial inclusion,” Goins stated.

Goins lives in San Francisco and presently sits on the boards of two national nonprofits, namely, Prosperity Now and the Bank Administration Institute (BAI). Additionally, she is an active member of the Marin County Priority Setting Committee. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in Engineering-Economic Systems (now known as the Department of Management Science) from Stanford University.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a prominent financial institution with around $1.9 trillion in assets. It takes pride in catering to one-third of American households and over 10% of small businesses in the United States. Additionally, Wells Fargo holds a significant position as a provider of middle-market banking services in the country. The institution offers banking, investment, and mortgage products and services. It also specializes in consumer and commercial finance. Wells Fargo operates through four distinct segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management.

According to Pro Publica, in 2022, the Wells Fargo Foundation spent about $240 on philanthropic causes.