Lesley Palmer
Managing Director, Community Relations

Years in the industry: 25 years
Area of focus: Corporate philanthropy, CRA compliance, employee volunteerism, corporate social responsibility
School: Cornell and Columbia University


What do you do at Mizuho?
I head the Community Relations team, which oversees corporate social responsibility programs and relationships. We manage the Mizuho USA Foundation, Inc., our charitable foundation in the US, which funds community development programs in NYC, and administer our employee volunteerism programs. My responsibilities also include ensuring Mizuho Bank (USA)’s compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, which encompasses community development lending, investments, grants and services.

What are Mizuho's culture and people like?
My colleagues are supportive and friendly and are a pleasure to work with. Even our busiest bankers regularly make time to mentor and help others. What’s more, I am constantly getting to know a wide array of remarkable people with varied interests and points of view.

What’s a particularly proud moment you’ve had here?
We launched Mizuho's Global Day of Service program in the US to unify our employees in a common purpose of helping others. The program’s success was recognized throughout Mizuho and as a result has been incorporated into community relations programs in numerous country offices, becoming a truly global initiative with thousands of Mizuho participants around the world

How motivates you at Mizuho?
The Mizuho USA Foundation focuses its grantmaking on community development and has supported an extraordinary array of nonprofits over the years. I’m constantly inspired and challenged by the commitment to bring together stakeholders to both generate solutions and take action in response to community needs.  

What do you do for fun?
I set a personal goal of visiting a different museum every month for a year—taking advantage of NYC’s extraordinary range of arts institutions and of other cities' museums when I travel.