About IFC  Leadership

Ethiopis Tafara, General Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Risk and Sustainability

Ethiopis Tafara is a Vice President for Corporate Risk and Sustainability and the General Counsel. In this capacity, he is responsible for IFC’s legal and financial recovery operations. He also oversees the organization’s comprehensive approach to risk management and provides leadership for IFC’s environmental, social, and governance standards.

Mr. Tafara is a recognized leader in developing and promoting regulatory and governance standards to support global securities markets. He has advised developing countries on the reforms needed to grow capital markets and has led in the formulation of standards for regulators, oversight bodies, and securities markets' participants around the world.

He joined IFC in April 2013 from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served as the Director of the Office of International Affairs. During his tenure, the SEC significantly expanded its capacity-building programs for regulators and oversight bodies across emerging markets. Mr. Tafara has also been recognized for his leadership in facilitating cross-border investor access by promoting mutual recognition of comparable regulations across markets. The adoption of this approach has promoted adherence to higher-quality standards across securities markets.

Mr. Tafara has held leadership positions in a number of international bodies, working to advance global standards for securities regulation and codes of conduct by market participants. He has served as the Vice Chairman of the Board of the International Organizations for Securities Commissions, the Chairman of the Public Interest Oversight Board Monitoring Group, the SEC Deputy to the Financial Stability Board and the IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board, and led IOSCO task forces to set higher standards and codes of conduct for rating agencies and accounting firms following the financial scandals in the 2000s.

Mr. Tafara teaches a course on Regulation of International Securities Markets at the Georgetown University Law Center and has published a number of articles in leading journals, including the Harvard International Law Journal and the Georgetown Journal of International Law.

In 2015, Mr. Tafara was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the International Valuation Standards Council, the global standard setter for valuation practice for various traded classes of assets and liabilities.

Before joining the SEC, he worked at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as Counsel to the Chairman, and in the Chief Counsel’s Office of the Division of Enforcement. He started his legal career in the Brussels office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton.

Mr. Tafara holds a JD from Georgetown University Law Center and an AB from Princeton University. Mr. Tafara is a US national. He was born and grew up in Ethiopia and speaks Amharic, French, Italian, and Spanish, in addition to English. He is married and has two sons.