How We're Organized
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.
Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020.
In his first address to ADB staff on 5 February 2020, President Masatsugu Asakawa mapped out his vision for ADB - from being a "home doctor" to becoming a partner of choice, known for its global influence and strong country presence. President Asakawa cited extreme poverty, gender equity, climate change, quality infrastructure with private sector participation, and domestic resource mobilization as the as key issues he wants to address during his tenure. See Flickr photos, and watch a video of the town hall meeting.
President Asakawa concluded his 4-day mission to Davos by joining a high-level symposium hosted by the World Wide Fund for Nature with the theme “A New Deal for Nature and People”. In the high-level panel discussion on 23 January, President Asakawa reiterated ADB’s ambitious targets in tackling climate change, presented the value of quality infrastructure for environmental protection and disaster prevention, and called for collective action by international organizations, businesses, and civil society. Download photo
President Masatsugu Asakawa reaffirmed ADB’s continued support to Pakistan at a bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on 22 January 2020 at the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos. President Asakawa congratulated Prime Minister Khan for his leadership and emphasized that ADB stands ready to provide further support in such areas as infrastructure development, institutional reform and social protection. Download photo.
President Masatsugu Asakawa at the 50th World Economic Forum from 20-24 January 2020 in Davos met with world leaders including Mr. Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister who spoke on the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity; Mr. Raymund Furrer, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs' Delegate of the Swiss Government for Trade Agreements and ADB Governor; Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director; and Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Indian Prime Minister’s G20 Sherpa. Download photo
On his first day in office on 17 January, President Asakawa shared his vision for ADB with the members of the Board of Directors, Vice Presidents, and Director Advisors in tackling the region's development challenges, including poverty and income disparities, gender inequality, climate change, and infrastructure gaps. Download photo
Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020. In August 2021, he was reelected for a 5-year term starting on 24 November 2021.
Under Mr. Asakawa’s leadership, ADB made significant contributions to the region’s COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery planning with a $20 billion comprehensive response package and $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility. He also played a key role in rolling out a series of new and innovative financing initiatives—including an Energy Transition Mechanism — to spur the region’s low-carbon development and elevated ADB’s 2030 cumulative climate financing ambition to $100 billion as ADB continues to focus on the battle against climate change.
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.
In the immediate aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, Mr. Asakawa, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to Prime Minister Taro Aso, took part in the first G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in November 2008. He was instrumental in orchestrating a globally coordinated financial package to abate the financial crisis, including a $100 billion loan from Japan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Then in 2016, in his capacity as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, he took on a leading role for the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Sendai under the Japanese presidency, where a sustainable and inclusive development agenda was extensively discussed.
Most recently, he served as Finance Deputy for the G20 meetings under the Japanese presidency, playing a pivotal role for the success of the G20 Osaka Summit as well as the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Fukuoka. Some of his outstanding achievements in Osaka include the endorsement by the G20 Leaders of the “G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment” and the “G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries”. Before these, he had occupied various prominent positions within the Finance Ministry, including director positions in charge of development policy issues, foreign exchange markets, and international tax policy.
Mr. Asakawa’s professional experience extends beyond the realms of the Japanese government. Most notably, he served as Chief Advisor to ADB President Kimimasa Tarumizu between 1989 and 1992, during which time he spearheaded the creation of a new office focused on strategic planning. Also, he had frequent engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in such positions as Chair for Committee on Fiscal Affairs (2011–2016). Furthermore, he was a senior staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF (1996–2000). In the meantime, he gave lectures as Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Economic Science, Saitama University (2006–2009), and at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo (2012–2015).
Mr. Asakawa obtained his BA from University of Tokyo (Economics Faculty) in 1981, and MPA from Princeton University, USA, in 1985.