Past ADB Presidents
Takehiko Nakao joined ADB on 28 April 2013 and served as ADB President for almost 7 years until 16 January 2020.
Under his leadership, ADB expanded its operations through an increase in new lending and grant from $14 billion in 2013 to $22 billion in 2018 while incorporating more advanced technologies into projects, Ordinary Capital Resources and concessional lending operation of the Asian Development Fund (ADF) were merged, which enabled the expansion of operations thanks to much larger combined equity and leverage for concessional lending, and Strategy 2030 was launched.
Other key achievements include important knowledge works including ADB’s 50 years history book, visits to many member countries, cooperation with development partners, institutional reforms to make ADB “stronger, better and faster”, proactive human resource management, and improving financial sustainability of the staff pension system by introducing defined contribution plan for new hires.
Haruhiko Kuroda joined ADB on 1 February 2005 and served as ADB President for more than 8 years until 18 March 2013.
Under his leadership, ADB tripled its operations from $7.4 billion in 2005 to $21.57 billion in 2012 including cofinancing, formulated its long-term plans as set out in Strategy 2020, and carried out many internal reforms. To meet the region’s growing demand for development finance, Mr. Kuroda led ADB’s first general capital increase in 14 years, which tripled its capital base to $165 billion, and two replenishments of the Asian Development Fund, raising over $23 billion to help meet the needs of ADB’s poorest member countries.
Mr. Kuroda’s tenure covered a period of significant growth in the region, but also one of tremendous challenges. During the 2008 global financial crisis, which affected many of ADB’s developing member countries, ADB provided much-needed assistance through the establishment of a $3 billion Countercyclical Support Facility to meet urgent needs. ADB also expanded its Trade Finance Program, which supported $2 billion in trade, bolstered small and medium-sized enterprises, and protected jobs and industries in the most challenging markets.
Other key achievements include the establishment of the ADB-administered ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, which will help meet the needs for infrastructure connectivity in Southeast Asia, and ADB’s resumption of operations in Myanmar after more than 20 years.
Tadao Chino, ADB's seventh President, took office during a challenging period. Several developing member countries (DMCs) were still suffering after the 1997-1998 financial crisis and needed help recovering.
Under Mr. Chino's leadership, several important ADB policies and strategies were approved. These include Poverty Reduction Strategy, Private Sector Development, ADB reorganization, and Resident Mission Policy. ADB also adopted its long-term strategic framework, which set ADB’s strategic direction and laid the basis of its assistance to DMCs in their effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
ADB took a proactive role in post-conflict reconstruction in several Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste. Finally, in early 2004, donor countries agreed to a $7 billion replenishment for the Asia Development Fund (ADF) IX period 2005-2008.
Tadao Chino passed away on 17 July 2008 in Japan at the age of 74.
Mitsuo Sato, ADB's sixth President, oversaw a wide-ranging slate of reforms to strengthen the ability of ADB to respond to the needs of its developing member countries.
Under Mr. Sato, ADB underwent a re-organization to shift to a closer country-focus approach. ADB also instituted a process to ensure project quality and committed itself to pursuing social development objectives.
Mitsuo Sato passed away on 20 October 2002 in Japan at the age of 69.
Kimimasa Tarumizu, ADB's fifth President, oversaw the inauguration of ADB’s new headquarters in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. The transfer took place after ADB had been located on Roxas Boulevard for 19 years. The move allowed ADB to centralize its operations, which had spread to several locations in Metro Manila over the years. Under Mr. Tarumizu, ADB's annual lending commitments rose to almost $5 billion. By 1991, cumulative total lending reached $37.6 billion for 1,039 projects.
On the borrowing front, ADB entered new markets with the launch in 1991 of a $300 million "Dragon bond" issue which was offered simultaneously in the capital markets of Hong Kong, China; Singapore; and Taipei,China.
Kimimasa Tarumizu passed away on 21 February 2009 in Japan at the age of 78.
Masao Fujioka was a man in a hurry when he took over in 1981 as fourth ADB’s President. Upon his arrival at the airport, he sent his bags home and was driven straight to the office. Mr. Fujioka was instrumental in promoting greater coordination of ADB operations, increased cofinancing, and equity investments to private enterprise.
In 1986, the People's Republic of China joined ADB, and a first loan was approved for India—a $100 million lending facility to the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India for onlending to private sector enterprises.
Under Mr. Fujioka, additional replenishments were made to ADF, and the Japan Special Fund was created. In 1983, Mr. Fujioka also presided over a third general capital increase (GCI III), which raised ADB's capital by 105 percent.
Taroichi Yoshida, appointed in 1976 as third ADB President, was concerned from the outset with economy and husbandry. During his administration, additional strategies were developed to reduce poverty in the Asia-Pacific region, and operations were restructured to take a more country-focused view.
Multiproject loans, a cost-effective means of funding projects too small for ADB’s involvement, were introduced. A first multiproject loan to Tonga was made.
In 1978, donors agreed to a second replenishment to ADF (ADF III) in the amount of $2.15 billion to cover the period from 1979-1982. In 1980, ADB initiated sector lending. This new approach entails a single loan that is used to finance a cluster of subprojects with a specific sector or subsector. The first sector loans were provided to Indonesia for water supply and Thailand for highway construction.
Taroichi Yoshida passed away on 14 March 2014 in Japan at the age of 94.
In 1972, Shiro Inoue was appointed as ADB's second President. Under Inoue, lending commitments rose steadily from $316 million in 1972 to $776 million in 1976. In response to the economic dislocation of the first oil crisis on the region's developing countries, ADB supported the development of indigenous energy resources and dam projects for electricity generation.
Membership also continued to grow. Bangladesh and Myanmar joined ADB in 1973, followed by a number of newly independent Pacific island countries. In 1974, the Asian Development Fund was established to streamline ADB's means for financing concessional loans.
Shiro Inoue passed away on 11 July 2010 in Japan at the age of 95.
Takeshi Watanabe, the first President of ADB, combined idealism with practicality and toughness with compassion. Mr. Watanabe once likened ADB to "a family doctor" who tries to learn about the health of his many patients so he can help in their hour of need. Policies and targets were formulated, and regional surveys were undertaken to develop a fuller understanding of the social and economic conditions of ADB's developing member countries.
ADB approved its first loan—a $5 million to the Industrial Finance Corporation of Thailand for onlending to industrial enterprises—on 23 January 1968, just a little more than a year after it had started business.
Takeshi Watanabe passed away in Japan on 23 August 2010 at the age of 104.