TBILISI, GEORGIA (21 September 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Lesley Bearman Lahm as its new Country Director for Georgia. She joined the Georgia Resident Mission today to officially begin her role.

As country director, Ms. Lahm will lead ADB operations in the Caucasus nation, managing the bank’s relationship with the government, development partners, and other stakeholders. Among her top priorities will be the supervision of the preparation of ADB’s new country partnership strategy for Georgia, 2024–2028, which will continue to help the country to advance inclusive, resilient, and environmentally sustainable growth.

“It’s an honor to assume my new position as ADB’s Country Director for Georgia and build upon the bank’s strong and enduring partnership with the country,” said Ms. Lahm. “ADB will continue to support transformative investments in a range of sectors and priority reforms to advance Georgia’s ambitious development agenda.”

Regional cooperation and integration initiatives under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program remain an integral part of ADB operations in Georgia.  

Ms. Lahm, a United States national, has more than 30 years’ professional experience, including about 2 decades with ADB. She joined ADB in 2002 and has since served in a range of senior positions across the bank. Ms. Lahm was most recently ADB’s Representative for North America where she helped mobilize support for ADB’s developing member countries. 

Previously, Ms. Lahm also led the bank’s strategy and policy development coordination for key strategic and institutional considerations relating to nonsovereign operations, public–private partnerships, and engagement with state-owned enterprises. She has also led ADB’s participation in G20 activities and chaired ADB’s Blended Finance Committee.

Ms. Lahm holds a juris doctor degree from Tulane University in the United States, and a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. She replaces Shane Rosenthal who was appointed Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office. 

Since Georgia joined ADB in 2007, ADB has become one of the country’s largest multilateral development partners with sovereign and private sector loans totaling about $3.9 billion. The bank’s key development priorities in Georgia include fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reducing poverty, enhancing regional connectivity, and improving public service delivery.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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