Blake Goud is the CEO of the RFI Foundation, a position he has held since the organization?s incorporation. He was the Chief Research Officer for ME Global Advisors where he focused on MENA financial sector development and the growth of the Islamic economy. He was responsible for leading ME Global Advisors' research efforts as well as advising on the content of the events organized by ME Global Advisors. His primary area of interest global Islamic banking, capital markets and opportunities to increase financial inclusion in Islamic finance through crowdfunding and microfinance. Blake has nearly a decade experience researching Islamic finance and working in the financial sector in a compliance and investment officer role for a small US-based investment advisor and broker-dealer. He was the Community Leader for the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway from 2012 to 2015. At Thomson Reuters, he conducted research and analysis on the Islamic finance and Islamic economy sectors, set discussion points for large-scale events and one-on-one sessions with leaders of the Islamic finance industry. He drafted white papers following events including the IILM roundtables in London, UK and Washington, DC and was a principal author of the GIES 2013 Review following the Global Islamic Economy Summit organized in collaboration with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre. His published research includes papers on Islamic microfinance, renewable energy microfinance and public finance using the esham structure to develop a flexible alternative for tax increment finance. He received his B.A. in Economics from Reed College in 2003.