Shamshad Akhtar

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Shamshad Akhtar
Shamshad Akhtar - World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2010.jpg
Akhtar at the World Economic Forum in October 2010
Caretaker Federal Minister of Finance, Revenue, Statistics, Planning, Industries, Production, Commerce and Textile, Privatisation
In office
5 June 2018 – 18 August 2018
PresidentMamnoon Hussain
Prime MinisterNasirul Mulk
Preceded byMiftah Ismail
Succeeded byAsad Umar
Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)
In office
10 December 2013 – 2018
Preceded byNoeleen Heyzer
Succeeded byArmida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs
14th Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan
In office
2 December 2006 – 1 January 2009
Prime MinisterYousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded byIshrat Hussain
Succeeded bySyed Salim Raza
Vice President of World Bank for Middle East and North Africa
In office
6 July 2009 – 1 January 2009
Prime MinisterYousaf Raza Gillani
Personal details
Hyderabad, Sindh, Dominion of Pakistan
Alma materUniversity of the West of Scotland (PhD)
University of Sussex (MA)
Quaid-i-Azam University (MSc)
University of the Punjab (BA)

Shamshad Akhtar is a Pakistani development economist, United Nations diplomat and banker who also served as the caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan.[1]

Prior to that, she served as the 14th Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, the first woman to assume this position. She also served as a senior adviser to the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon and as Vice-President of the World Bank.[1][2][3]

In December 2013, Akhtar was selected by the UN Secretary-General[2] as Under-Secretary-General and the 10th Chief Secretary of the Monetary and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Shamshad Akhtar was born in Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan.[3][4][5]

She moved to the United Kingdom on a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at the University of Sussex, receiving an M.A in development economics in 1977. She moved to the University of the West of Scotland (then Paisley College of Technology) where she was awarded a PhD in Economics in 1980.[1][3][4]


Akhtar, on far left, chairing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Akhtar started her career in 1980 with the Planning Commission in Islamabad but moved few months later to work with the World Bank's Resident Mission in Pakistan as a country economist. She left in 1986 for a year-long sabbatical to attend John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as a postdoctoral researcher under the Fulbright Program.[6][3]

In 2005, she moved back to Pakistan to serve as the 14th Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, a position she retained until January 2009.[4][1][2]

In 2009, Akhtar re-joined the Asian Development Bank as a senior advisor to Haruhiko Kuroda. She moved to Washington, D.C. to be able to work at the World Bank and served as the Vice President, World Bank Middle East and North Africa region. During this period, she spearheaded the bank's response to the Arab Spring political campaign and the Arab regional integration strategy and its implementation.[1][3][4]

In September 2011, she moved to the United Nations to serve as the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Senior Adviser on Economic Development and Finance to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.[1][7]

In December 2013, Akhtar was appointed as the 10th Executive Secretary of UNESCAP in Bangkok.[1]

In 2020, Akhtar was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to serve on the Advisory Committee for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, chaired by Inger Andersen.[8]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Biography of Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar". United Nations ESCAP website. 2 February 2014. Archived from the original on 17 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Former SBP governor appointed Executive Secretary UNESCAP". The Express Tribune (newspaper). 10 December 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Dr Shamshad named first SBP woman governor". Dawn (newspaper). 4 December 2005. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d "Profile of Shamshad Akhtar". State Bank of Pakistan website. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Shamshad Akhtar - biography and personal life". 31 August 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Dr Akhtar among top ten women in Asia". Dawn (newspaper). 11 November 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Shamshad Akhtar profile". World Bank Blogs. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  8. ^ [1] United Nations, press release of June 29, 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Succeeded by