Washington, DC, September 9, 2019—Global nonprofit Accion announced today that Mayada El-Zoghbi has joined as new Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI), an action-oriented think tank that develops insights, advocates on behalf of clients, and collaborates with stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion.
“Throughout her career, Mayada has been at the forefront of the inclusive finance community,” CFI Advisory Council chair Paul Tregidgo said. “This alignment with the focus of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, and her recent work on emerging topics in financial inclusion – like the relationship between financial services and well-being, and ways to extend financial services to the most excluded like women, youth and the forcibly displaced – uniquely position her to lead the Center into the future.”
“For more than a decade, CFI has played an important role, challenging and engaging the financial services industry to better serve, protect, and empower people around the world. I am pleased that Mayada El-Zoghbi has accepted to join as the new managing director. Her extensive experience in research and advocacy position her as the right leader to build on CFI’s strong foundation of innovative, industry-shaping work,” said Accion CEO and President Michael Schlein.
Mayada has been a leader in financial inclusion for some time. She comes to CFI from CGAP, a World Bank-based think tank, where she served as Lead for Strategy, Research & Development, and previously managed CGAP’s work with the donor and investor community. From 2002 to 2009, Mayada founded and then managed a development consulting firm. She has also led numerous technical assistance, evaluation, and research assignments; served as a research director for a USAID initiative; and lectured at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She started her career working with several nonprofit organizations establishing inclusive financial institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, and the Palestinian Territories.
Mayada holds a master’s degree in international affairs from SIPA at Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Minnesota. A dual national of Egypt and the United States, she is fluent in English and Arabic.
In its first decade, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion established itself as a powerful advocate for the protection and empowerment of underserved clients. It established the world’s first global consumer protection campaign – the Smart Campaign – which has set standards for inclusive financial services that have now been adopted by 100 institutions serving over 40 million people around the world. Its other initiatives include executive leadership training opportunities like the Africa Board Fellowship Program and Harvard Business School-Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance; the Financial Inclusion Equity Council, a membership organization for equity investors in microfinance institutions; and extensive research on emerging issues related to financial inclusion.
About the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion
The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank that engages and challenges the industry to better serve, protect, and empower clients. We develop insights, advocate on behalf of clients, and collaborate with stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion. We are dedicated to enabling 3 billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector to improve their lives.