Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, was honoured by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, during a swearing-in ceremony held at the UN headquarters in New York.
Ms Akhtar of Pakistan was appointed as the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific on December 10, 2013.
She previously served as Governor of the Central Bank of Pakistan (2006-2009), holding the rank of Federal Minister. In her capacity as Governor, Ms. Akhtar served as the Chairperson of the Central Bank Board and its affiliates and as Governor of the IMF. During her term, she was recognized for the conduct of the bank, which was restructured significantly, the introduction of an analytical framework for monetary policy and the development of a 10-year vision for the finance industry with a vibrant structure for the banking sector. For these accomplishments, she won two consecutive awards as Asia’s Best Central Bank Governor from Emerging Markets and the Banker’s Trust. In 2008, The Asian Wall Street Journalalso recognized her as one of the top ten professional women of Asia.
In the multinational arena, Ms. Akhtar served at the World Bank as Vice-President for the Middle East and North Africa (2009-2011) and the Asian Development Bank as Special Senior Adviser to the President (2009), Director and Deputy Director General, South-East Asia (2002-2005), as well as Director, Governance, Finance and Trade Division, concurrently heading the secretariat of APEC (1998-2002).
Ms. Akhtar has worked in several regions and countries dealing with fiscal and taxation policy, decentralization, poverty and inequality, financial and monetary policy, industrial and infrastructure policies and governance development. Additionally, she most recently served as a member of the Pakistan Economic Advisory Committee and of the Governing Council of Pakistan Statistics Bureau. In addition, Ms. Akhtar has advised development agencies on the operationalization of Pakistan’s New Economic Growth Framework, and has also worked on Private-Public Partnership (PPP) policy frameworks and governance issues. She is also a member of the “New Economic Thinking” Governing Council of the World Economic Forum.
Ms. Akhtar earned her post doctorate degree as a US Fulbright Fellow at the University of Harvard; a PhD in Economics from Scotland’s Paisley University; and a Master in Development Economics at the University of Sussex, UK. She further holds a Master of Science in Economics from Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.
Ms. Akhtar, a national of Pakistan, is the tenth Executive Secretary to head ESCAP. She was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 10 December, 2013. She leads the organization at the level of Under-Secretary-General.