New CDB president takes officeWednesday, May 05, 2021
Dr Hyginus “Gene'' Leon yesterday took office as the sixth president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
His appointment follows the retirement of Dr Wm Warren Smith last month after serving the regional multilateral institution as president for the last 10 years. Leon, in his new role as chief executive of the organisation, will lead a team of more than 200 employees headquartered in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Leon, who is a seasoned economist, has spent some 20 years working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and comes to the post with a wealth of knowledge and over 35 years of experience in economics, financial policy development and executive management.
Through his exposure to a range of leadership role at the IMF, Leon has considerable working knowledge of diverse and challenging economies and substantial understanding of the Caribbean's financial and economic landscape having served as senior resident representative for the IMF in Jamaica, leading teams in The Bahamas and delivering on capacity development across central banks in the region.
High on the new president's agenda in coming to office is the provision of support to the Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) of the CDB, especially at this time when they navigate recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic. He aslo seeks to advance the bank's mandate to contribute to the harmonious growth and development of these states.
“Going forward, we will need to emphasise innovation, to generate and refine new ideas and create opportunities; enhance measurement and evaluation for more effective implementation; foster effective partnerships and knowledge-sharing to promote transformation; build on our collective ingenuity and experience, and improve quality of life for our citizens,” Leon said while highlighting the strong foundation of evolution that has been laid for the regional bank by successive leaders.
In noting his vision for the organisation, he also called for shared responsibility and contributions from regional and external stakeholders in order to enable a comprehensive development approach across the region and as states work towards greater levels of cooperation and integration among each other.
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