Institutional Event

ADB’s Evolution Roadmap: Update to Strategy 2030

Friday, 3 May 2024, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm (Asia/Tbilisi)
Radisson Blu Iveria, Ballroom 3

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Panelists

Saber Hossain ChowdhuryMinister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Bangladesh

As a member of parliament, Saber Hossain Chowdhury represents the Dhaka-9 constituency (Khilgaon, Shobujbag, and Mugda) in Bangladesh. He currently serves as the government's minister of environment, forest, and climate change. In June 2023, he was appointed special envoy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for environment and climate change, playing a crucial role in global climate negotiations. He was the 28th president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union from 2014 to 2017, the only Bangladeshi to hold this position. His diverse career spans parliamentary, governmental, political, and sports administration roles. Mr. Chowdhury holds an honors degree in economics and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a diploma in law from the University of Westminster.

Bhargav DasguptaVice-President (Market Solutions), ADB

Bhargav Dasgupta has over 35 years of financial industry leadership experience across diverse economies, including Asia and the Pacific. Formerly the CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance, India’s largest private sector general insurance company, Mr. Dasgupta held pivotal roles in project finance, corporate banking, treasury, e-commerce, international banking, and insurance during his tenure at ICICI Bank. He holds a postgraduate diploma in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and a bachelor of engineering (mechanical) from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Alexia LatortueAssistant Secretary for International Trade and Development, Treasury Department, United States

Alexia Latortue has 20 years of experience in international development and financial systems. She has held roles as deputy CEO at the Millennium Challenge Corporation and managing director of corporate strategy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. At the US Treasury Department, she served as principal deputy assistant secretary for international development policy in 2013–2017. Earlier, she spent a decade with the World Bank as deputy CEO at the Consultive Group to Assist the Poor. Ms. Latortue is a graduate of Georgetown University and The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Kelly Sims GallagherDean Ad Interim and Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University 

Kelly Sims Gallagher is a leader in energy and climate policy. She directs the Climate Policy Lab and the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Fletcher. She is a board member at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She also served as a senior policy advisor in the United States White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as senior advisor for People’s Republic of China in the Special Envoy for Climate Change Office at the US State Department. A Truman Scholar, she has a master of arts in law and diplomacy degree and PhD in international affairs from The Fletcher School, and an AB from Occidental College.

Rachel ThompsonExecutive Director representing Australia; Azerbaijan; Cambodia; Georgia; Hong Kong, China; Kiribati; the Federated States of Micronesia; Nauru; Palau; Solomon Islands; and Tuvalu, ADB

Rachel Thompson assumed her current role on ADB’s Board of Directors on 1 January 2023. Prior to joining ADB, Ms. Thompson was the senior treasury representative at the Australian Embassy in Beijing (2018–2022) and concurrently served as an alternate director for Australia’s constituency on the board of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (2020–2022). She previously served as the chief of staff to the secretary of the Australian Treasury (2016–2018) and held a range of senior roles within the Treasury. She holds a juris doctor from the Australian National University and a bachelor of economics (honors) and bachelor of finance from the University of Adelaide.

Moderator

Scott MorrisVice-President (East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific), ADB

Scott Morris joined ADB in November 2023 and has over 25 years of experience in international economic policymaking and research. Prior to joining ADB, he was a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington, DC, where he led work on development finance. Mr. Morris has held senior roles in the US government, including deputy assistant secretary for development finance and debt in the US Treasury, where he oversaw US participation in multilateral development banks, including ADB, and the Paris Club. He also managed the international and monetary policy portfolio of the Committee on Financial Services, US House of Representatives.

At this seminar, panelists discussed the status of the multilateral development bank (MDB) evolution agenda, including how ADB is responding to calls for evolution. Panelists began by reflecting on the seriousness of the accelerating challenges facing our world, with some calling for a “revolution” at MDBs to provide critically needed support. Panelists recognized progress made on the MDB evolution agenda, but warned against complacency. ADB iwas recognized as a leader in the evolution space, particularly on balance sheet optimization and explicitly prioritizing climate and other public goods. Panelists also recognized that while making additional resources available was a critical first step, translating this additional headroom into a concrete pipeline of projects and programs that address climate and other development challenges is equally urgent.

Panelists identified several priority areas where additional effort is needed. Private capital mobilization emerged as an objective, in order to leverage and multiply MDBs’ own capital. Panelists noted that private sector development also needs strong policy engagement to achieve consistent, predictable regulatory frameworks that will attract investment and create jobs.

They also highlighted that strengthening how MDBs work together as a system remains an important thrust of the MDB evolution agenda and offers the potential for transformational impact. To achieve the greatest value from MDBs working as a system, panelists agreed on the importance of a client-centric country-engagement approach with the government taking the lead.

Empowering staff to deliver on the MDB evolution agenda was also identified as critically important. Some panelists reflected at its heart, the climate crisis is about people and behaviors. Likewise, people and behavioral change are critical variables in addressing climate challenges. Panelists reflected on the need to introduce the right internal incentives for more innovative, cross-cutting support, as well as ensuring that staff have access to quality knowledge based on robust evidence. These will be key factors in ADB’s ability to design and implement programs together with clients. In this context, panelists also reflected on the types of capacity development and leadership programs necessary to create an organizational culture of collaboration, innovation, and trust.