Dafna Tapiero has been leading the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) global Strategic Community Investment practice, applying business approaches, developing financial models and strengthening environmental and social management systems in order to simultaneously increase benefits to communities and mitigate local level risks for clients. Spanning sectors from extractive industry to power to agro-forestry, and regions from Latin America to Africa to East Asia, Tapiero has built a practice that targets the incentive structure within companies to value sustainability and community perceptions. Under her leadership, IFC partnered with Rio Tinto, Deloitte and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to financially quantify the return to companies of investing in communities. This process and model has been hailed as a revolutionary tool that helps companies make strategic decisions about what to fund, why, when, for whom and how much it should cost. In short, by creating the business case for “soft” social, environmental, and governance (ESG) initiatives, everyone in a company can communicate their deliverables in one language: dollars and cents.
Previously, Tapiero founded the IFC’s Oil, Gas and Mining Sustainable Community Development Fund (CommDev), which continues to raise the bar on how extractive industry manages risk, increases local procurement, delivers on corporate responsibility (CR), and finds win-win-win solutions for companies, communities and governments. She also founded and managed the World Bank’s Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening (FIRST) initiative, a $66 million global fund established to provide direct support to countries in reforming and developing their financial systems. Ms. Tapiero developed FIRST, from conception to raising capital for the effort, in order to respond to weaknesses in legal, regulatory and supervisory frameworks for areas ranging from anti-money laundering to securities markets in developing countries. She also built FIRST Forum, a working group of developing and transition country officials, the private sector, bilateral agencies, and international organization to focus on the implementation of financial system reform.
Until 1999, Tapiero worked at the IFC in Washington, D.C and Moscow, leading the organization’s largest privatization effort in the world. Tapiero managed 250 experts in Russia implementing the historic, government-endorsed program for privatizing Russia’s state and collective farms, developed new privatization services, and negotiated with officials to adopt legislation and regulation governing industries ranging from electric power to financial services to agriculture.
Tapiero came to the IFC following her experience with the International Executive Service Corps, where she set up operations for converting military technologies for civilian purposes in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Belarus. She prepared a strategy for establishing a presence for the organization in the Former Soviet Union, set up a constellation of eight offices across the region, and developed trade assistance services to respond to the needs of U.S. and Russian businesses.
She serves on Synergos’ board of directors and is chair of its audit committee.
Tapiero received her Masters Degree in International Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she was awarded the William C. Foster Prize for Scholarship, Leadership and Service and the Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship. She accelerated into SAIS graduate studies following her junior year at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, from which she received her B.A. in International Relations and Russian Studies.