Sir Suma Chakrabarti Leaves EBRD Presidency After Second And Final Term


By Anthony Williams

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is now an indispensable development bank, according to departing President Sir Suma Chakrabarti. He leaves the Bank today after completing two full terms as President, the maximum now permitted under the institution’s rules.

Sir Suma, a British citizen, won two competitive elections, in 2012 and 2016, the first ever in the EBRD’s history. He joined the Bank with a mandate to modernise it and that focus has enabled the EBRD to deliver record levels of transition impact and investment in its regions and to achieve greater financial sustainability.

The delivery of Green Economy Transition is among many highlights during his Presidency – almost half of the Bank’s investment last year was in the green economy, with ambitious goals still ahead. The membership of the EBRD and the number of economies where the Bank invests have also grown substantially over the past eight years.

Sir Suma says that he is leaving the Bank in good shape and the institution is crucial for the delivery of the global development agenda: “The EBRD is, in my view, an indispensable development bank. The external agenda for development has changed. We have moved to the Sustainable Development Goals. We know that those cannot be delivered without private finance and private sector delivery. That is what the EBRD does. “

We get the private sector moving in our emerging markets. So, we are more valued than ever as the agenda has changed. I am proud of the way that the EBRD has risen to the challenge.”

Sir Suma will remain engaged with international development and green issues and will be taking up a number of pro bono positions on leaving the Bank. From this autumn, Sir Suma will be Chair of the Board of Trustees of ODI, Britain’s premier international development think-tank.

Other roles will include being a Global Commissioner of the New Climate Economy Network, a member of the Clean Growth Leadership Network, and a member of the WHO European Commission on Health and Social Systems for Economic and Social Development.

Sir Suma intends to write, lecture and engage with the next generation of leaders in international development and public service, a passion of his.

And, in due course, he will advise a number of emerging market governments and private and public sector organisations on strategy, delivery, communications, and leadership capacity and capability.

From 3 July, EBRD First Vice-President, Jürgen Rigterink, who joined the Bank in 2018 to lead its banking and policy operations, will become Acting President of the EBRD.

A permanent successor to Sir Suma is expected to be elected at the Bank’s Annual Meeting, which was postponed from 13-14 May to 7-8 October 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

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