Founded in 2011 at the George Washington University School of Business, the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), formerly known as the Global Center for Financial Literacy (GCFL), has positioned itself to be the world’s leading center for financial literacy research and policy. Through rigorous scholarship and research, wide-reaching education, and global policy and services, the Center works with partners in Washington, DC, throughout the United States, and across the globe to raise the level of financial knowledge. GFLEC builds on more than ten years of academic research by Professor Annamaria Lusardi, an early contributor to financial literacy as a field of study. By virtue of its location in the heart of Washington, DC, the Center is positioned to directly influence policy makers.

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Mission and Vision

Through its research and expertise, the Center seeks to inform policy as well as develop and promote financial literacy programs around the world. GFLEC focuses on groundbreaking research, with particular emphasis on financial education in schools, in the workplace, and in the community. It also is engaged in research that looks at financial literacy among women and the young. At GFLEC, we seek to make research findings more accessible to policymakers and practitioners in order to help shape national and international dialogue around financial literacy.

Our mission is driven by the awareness that financial literacy levels around the world have reached a crisis point. People are increasingly expected to take responsibility for their own financial security, yet they are unequipped to do so. The consequences of their decisions have far-reaching implications not only for the individuals involved but also for society.


Meet the Leadership Team

Annamaria Lanna biopic1usardi, Director

Annamaria Lusardi is the Denit Trust Chair of Economics and Accountancy at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). Moreover, she is the founder and academic director of GWSB’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC). Previously, she was the Joel Z. and Susan Hyatt Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, where she taught for twenty years. She has also taught at Princeton University, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Columbia Business School. From January to June 2008, she was a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University and a BA in Economics from Bocconi University.

Dr. Lusardi has won numerous research awards. Among them is a research fellowship from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, a faculty fellowship from the John M. Olin Foundation, and a junior and senior faculty fellowship from Dartmouth College. She was also awarded the 2015 Financial Literacy Award from the International Federation of Finance Museums, the 2014 William A. Forbes Public Awareness Award from the Council for Economic Education, the 2013 William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award from the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, and the National Numeracy Network’s inaugural 2012 Steen Award. Moreover, she is the recipient of the 2007 Fidelity Pyramid Prize, an award to authors of published applied research that best helps address the goal of improving lifelong financial well-being for Americans.

She has published more than sixty academic articles and edited two books: Overcoming the Saving Slump: How to Increase the Effectiveness of Financial Education and Saving Programs published by the University of Chicago Press in 2008, and Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace, joint with Olivia Mitchell, published by Oxford University Press in 2011. Dr. Lusardi chairs the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)’s Financial Literacy Expert Group. She also chairs the OECD/International Network on Financial Education’s Research Committee. In 2009, she served as a faculty advisor for the Office of Financial Education of the U.S. Treasury.

Curriculum Vitae
Curriculum Vitae (short version)


Kristen Bio PicKristen Burnell, Executive Director

Kristen Burnell is the Executive Director at the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) at the George Washington University School of Business. Burnell oversees the general management of the center, leads information dissemination and marketing efforts, and works with external partners and collaborators on various projects. Previously, she spent seven years teaching high school social studies in New York City and Connecticut. Prior to teaching, she worked in development at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Burnell earned a B.A. in History from the University of California, San Diego and an M.A. in Social Studies Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


Photo Bio de BassaCarlo de Bassa Scheresberg, Senior Research Associate

Carlo de Bassa Scheresberg is the senior research associate at the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. At the Center, Carlo is responsible for the design, development, and delivery of research projects in financial literacy and financial capability for major stakeholders, such as government organizations, regulatory agencies, and financial corporations. Prior to his work at the Center, Carlo worked in research and consultancy at Jesa Investment & Management in Shanghai, China. He holds an MS in economics from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.