Thea Garon
Center for Financial Services Innovation

Thea Garon is a Research Analyst, Insights and Analytics at the Center for Financial Services Innovation. In this position, Thea conducts research to monitor and analyze emerging trends and innovations in the financial services industry and works with industry partners and other constituents to develop and share CFSI’s expertise on underbanked consumers and their use of financial services.

Prior to joining CFSI, Garon interned as a policy analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the Office of Financial Empowerment, which is dedicated to expanding financial access for low-income and other economically vulnerable consumers. While there, she conducted research and wrote policy memos on asset-building initiatives, tax-time savings campaigns, and innovative credit-building schemes. Garon also worked as a research assistant at NYU’s Financial Access Initiative (FAI), a research center focused on improving the lives of low-income households in the developing world through financial services innovation. At FAI, Garon researched and evaluated microcredit, savings, mobile platforms, and asset-building initiatives, both domestically and abroad.

Garon’s interest in financial access stems from the two years she spent working at Ladder Up, a non-profit organization in Chicago dedicated to helping low-income students and families access the financial resources they need to move up the economic ladder and out of poverty. At Ladder Up, she helped local high school students apply for financial aid for college and provided free tax preparation services to low-income students and families. Through these experiences, Garon gained an appreciation for how low-income households manage their money in complex ways that are often at odds with the financial services offered by the mainstream financial sector.

Garon holds a Masters of Urban Planning from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College with a B.A. in History.

Articles by Thea Garon

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