I recently left the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, after a three-decade career in international development and impact investing, working across different sectors and across the globe, including in fragile and conflict-affected parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Emerging Europe.
My last position at IFC was Director, Financial Institutions Group (FIG) for Asia Pacific, managing the investment, advisory and upstream business lines for 30 countries in the region. Prior to this, I held the same position for FIG Latin America. I also held key technical leadership positions, namely Chief Investment Officer and Chief Credit Officer, and led strategic assignments to create the advisory services program and establish the climate change funds practice, in addition to developing the blueprints for the digital banking and very small enterprise lending business lines.
I have been interested in international peace and human rights throughout my career, since my work has focused primarily on inclusive finance including gender financing and climate financing, in particular for vulnerable communities across the global south. Most recently, I completed a United Nations Human Rights Council Training Program to understand human rights as they apply to inclusion and climate-related challenges.
Leading Finance for Peace at a time when the number of conflicts globally has increased and funding for fragile and conflict-affected contexts has been steadily declining was greatly concerning to me. I was drawn to the role of Executive Director at Finance for Peace since it gave me the platform to influence the conversation on the economic development of fragile and conflict-affected contexts, an issue that is very close to my heart.
I am confident that I can achieve success in leading Finance for Peace in its mission to create the systemic change necessary to introduce peace-responsive goals in development finance and grow peace-positive investments in fragile and conflict affected contexts globally. I am looking forward to working closely with Interpeace in this endeavour since they have the experience and market intelligence in conflict resolution and peacebuilding in addition to a presence on the ground, all of which are important for Finance for Peace to leverage and build upon.
What motivates me?
I knew from an early age that my future was in international development – I come from a family of development professionals and spent part of my growing up years in India and Tanzania. My father was an engineer who worked on ensuring that remote rural communities had access to safe drinking water and water to irrigate their farms. My mother was an educator who believed that everyone deserved an education and did whatever she could to enable this. My sisters, two of whom are doctors, spent time serving underprivileged communities to improve health outcomes.
Finding solutions to development challenges energises me. I am motivated by the opportunity to contribute to positive change focused on unserved and underserved communities that need innovative, tailored and targeted solutions to get them out of the circle of poverty. I am also motivated by dynamic and forward-thinking teams that are able to make a credible business case for introducing dynamic new ways in which economic development can be achieved.
I am very excited to start as the first Executive Director for Finance for Peace so I can be part of the journey to create a viable and thriving peace finance market in the world.