Stephen Rasmussen heads CGAP’s work that focuses on the components required to build the digital rails for a ubiquitous, efficient, and sustainable digital financial services ecosystem, particularly distribution networks, connected market solutions (including biometric identity data bases and interoperability), and open APIs that enable business innovation.
Stephen has 30 years of development and financial inclusion experience. In 2014–2015, he established and was the first CEO of Karandaaz Pakistan, a start-up company focused on small business finance for job creation, digital financial inclusion, and innovation in the financial sector. Before joining CGAP, he was the World Bank’s microfinance focal point for South Asia. From 2001 to 2008 he was CEO of the Pakistan Microfinance Network, and from 1994 to 2003 he was CEO of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, a large rural development program in northern Pakistan, where he also helped establish First MicroFinanceBank, the first microfinance bank in Pakistan.