Dr. Shamshad Akhtar (Pakistan) is an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and
the tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
Pacific. Currently, she serves as the Coordinator of the five United Nations Regional
Formerly the UN Secretary-General’s Senior Advisor on Economics and Finance, and
Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic
and Social Affairs, she led the UN-wide coordination of the initial work on the post-2015
development agenda, and was also the United Nations Sherpa for the G20.
Ms. Akhtar has previously served as Governor of the Central Bank of Pakistan and as Vice
President of the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank. In her capacity as
Governor, Ms. Akhtar was also the Chairperson of the Central Bank Board and its affiliates,
as well as a Governor of the IMF. She won two consecutive awards as Asia’s Best Central
Bank Governor from Emerging Markets and from the Banker’s Trust. In 2008, The WALL
STREET JOURNAL ASIA also recognized her as one of the top ten professional women of Asia.
In her assignment for the World Bank, Ms. Akhtar spearheaded the Bank’s response to the
Arab Spring, as well as the Arab regional integration strategy and its implementation. She
served in the Asian Development Bank for almost 15 years, rising through the ranks from
Senior Economist, to the highest professional positions, including Special Senior Advisor to
the President of ADB, and Director-General of the South-East Asia region.
Ms. Akhtar was a post-doctoral US Fulbright Fellow at Harvard University, holds a PhD in
Economics from Scotland’s Paisley College of Technology, as well as a Master in
Development Economics from the University of Sussex in the UK, and an MSc in
Economics from Quaid-e-Azam University, in Islamabad.