Michael Tarazi

Lead, Incentivizing Inclusive Investments

Michael Tarazi leads CGAP’s newest work area focused on incentivizing investments to bring financial inclusion to scale.  Michael has over a decade of experience in development finance, having previously developed and led CGAP’s member engagement teams, launched and managed CGAP’s work in financial innovation for smallholder families, and led CGAP’s efforts in branchless banking regulation. He has worked with regulators around the world to develop regulatory frameworks and has also taught courses on regulating financial services at the Boulder Institute for Microfinance and the Fletcher Leadership Program for regulators.

Before joining CGAP, Michael was a corporate attorney in private practice and served as the European General Counsel to a U.S. company providing digital payment services to developing countries. He also served as an adviser to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Michael was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has a Law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. He speaks Arabic and French.

By Michael Tarazi


What’s a Donor to Do? The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on the Poor

Inclusive financial systems are understood to be part of the solution to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, donors are often unclear how most effectively to tailor their interventions. In this Leadership Essay, Michael Tarazi outlines a path forward.

Designing Digital Financial Services for Smallholder Families

This publication synthesizes learnings from across Zimbabwe, Senegal, Rwanda, and Cambodia, with the aim of providing financial service providers, donors, and other stakeholders with actionable insights into the ingredients for building successful, smallholder-specific digital financial services.

Smallholder Finance: Digital Solutions to Traditional Challenges?

A new CGAP focus note takes a look at the ways digital financial services can help overcome the traditional "pain points" - including higher cost and risk - of serving smallholder farmers with formal financial services.

Serving Smallholder Farmers: Recent Developments in Digital Finance

This Focus Note introduces some recent developments in digital financial services for smallholder farmers. The case studies identify traditional pain points in serving this segment, discuss how DFS are being used, and highlight some initial obstacles and successes.

Understanding Smallholder Demand for Financial Services

Smallholder families represent the largest global segment of those living on less than $2 a day, yet relatively little is known about their demand for financial services.