Mireya Almazán and Tamara Cook
Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Mireya Almazán is a program officer for the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Mireya manages a portfolio of agent and mobile banking grants, primarily in Latin America and East Africa. Mireya is currently focused on identifying new opportunities for investment in this sector, and drawing lessons from the field to inform the foundation’s strategic priorities.


Prior to joining the Gates Foundation in 2007, Mireya did development consulting work for Khulisa Management Services in South Africa, advised Nicaraguan micro-entrepreneurs on their business planning through Agora Partnerships, and worked as an analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Mireya holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University.


Tamara Cook is a program officer with the Financial Services for the Poor team within the Global Development Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work focuses on banks and financial institutions, leveraging linkages with mobile money, and getting the economics right for small-balance accounts. She manages several grants and program-related investments in these areas.


Prior to the foundation, she spent ten years working with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) housed in the World Bank. During her year-long secondment to Equity Bank in Kenya, she worked on strengthening their credit department and reaching out to the international community. She has also conducted institutional appraisals, provided advisory services to financial institutions, facilitated trainings and workshops, monitored the investment portfolio, worked on aid effectiveness and contributed to several publications. She has an MBA from INSEAD in France and a BA in International Affairs and Development from the George Washington University.


Articles by Mireya Almazán and Tamara Cook

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