Transforming MDBs to Address the Climate Crisis
Thursday, 4 May 2023, 5:45 pm - 6:45 pm, Songdo Convensia, Room 113-115
The COP27 Agreement called for the reform of multilateral development banks (MDBs) to substantially increase climate finance. This session will discuss the shift required to transform MDBs to make them fit for purpose to address the climate crisis. The panel will consider opportunities to optimize our balance sheets, for new business models, expanding adaptation, and managing the risks of such a transformation.
Introduction to Keynote Speaker
Masatsugu Asakawa was elected ADB President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020. Prior to joining ADB, he served as Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and has a close-to four decades’ career at the Ministry of Finance with diverse professional experience that cuts across both domestic and international fronts. Mr. Asakawa also worked for international organizations as the Chief Advisor to the ADB President between 1989 and 1992, senior staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF (1996–2000), and Chair for the Committee on Fiscal Affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2011–2016).
Ban Ki-moon is the chair of Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future and the distinguished chair professor and honorary chairman of the Future Strategy Institute at Seoul National University. He is also president of the Assembly and chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute, as well as chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, an international organization hosted by the Netherlands.
He served as the chair of the Presidential National Council on Climate and Air Quality, Republic of Korea from 2019-2021. In 2018, Mr. Ban was elected chair of the Boao Forum for Asia. Along with former President of Austria Heinz Fischer, he was inducted co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria. He was also elected chair of IOC Ethics Committee in September 2017. Mr. Ban served as honorary chair at the Institute of Global Engagement and Empowerment at Yonsei University.
Prior to these appointments, Mr. Ban served two consecutive terms as the secretary general of the United Nations (2007-2016). At the time of his appointment at the UN, Mr. Ban was the minister of foreign affairs and trade of the Republic of Korea. His 37 years with the ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington DC, and Vienna, and responsibilities for a variety of portfolios. Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations by serving as chair of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.
Margaret L. Kuhlow
Prior to her current role, Margaret Kuhlow led the finance practice of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), providing strategic direction and thought and content leadership to WWF’s global engagement with the finance sector. Before joining WWF, Ms. Kuhlow was vice president of investment policy at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, where she led the agency’s approach to the Sustainable Development Goals. She assisted with establishing and implementing the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, leading the new agency’s approach to environmental and social assessment of major investment projects as vice president for accountability. In Ms. Kuhlow’s 25-year career, she has lived and worked extensively in developing and emerging markets and has broad sectoral experience in sustainable investment, project finance, and grant making. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Dian Lestari has held various positions in Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance since 1998, covering the areas of state investment, bilateral cooperation, and multilateral policy. Since March 2021, she has been serving as director of the Center for Climate Finance and Multilateral Policy. Prior to her appointment as the director of the Center for Regional and Bilateral Policy in 2019, she was senior advisor for the Southeast Asia Voting Group in the World Bank. She earned her bachelor’s degree in politics and her doctorate from Universitas Padjajaran and her master of arts degree from Flinders University Australia.
As Tuvalu's Minister of Finance, Seve Paeniu provides oversight for national financial management, and serves as the representative of Tuvalu on the Board of Governors of ADB. He graduated from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand with a bachelor of commerce degree in 1987. He later completed a master of arts degree in economics in 1998 at the University of Hawaii. With extensive experience in government finance, policy, and development, he has held high-level positions in Tuvalu, Nauru, Fiji, and Samoa.
Rachel Turner is director of international finance at the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, managing relationships with global financial institutions and leading on public and private sector development issues and the multilateral and bilateral development architecture. Previously the director general of economic development and international; director for economic development; and director East and Central Africa, she has over 25 years of experience developing lower middle-income countries across Africa and Eastern Europe, heading offices and overseeing African development programs.
Ahmed Saeed is the Vice-President responsible for operations in ADB’s East Asia Department, Southeast Asia Department, and Pacific Department. He was appointed on 26 February 2019.
Between 2004 and 2008, Mr. Saeed served in senior roles at the US Treasury. He was an advisor to the secretary of the Treasury and later deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for the Middle East and Africa, with responsibility for US economic diplomacy and financial engagement across 68 countries.He was deeply involved in a number of significant debt relief exercises and laid the basis for what became the Santiago Principles for sovereign wealth funds. Prior to joining ADB, Mr. Saeed worked as a managing director and head of JPMorgan’s coverage for finance ministries, central banks and sovereign wealth funds across the Middle East and North Africa. In the late 1990s he led technology-related businesses in the UK, US, and Japan, raising more than $150 million for companies in which he was a key principal. Mr. Saeed holds a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Chicago Law School and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from McGill University. He is a former White House fellow and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.