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Dr. Ishrat Husain

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Director, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

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Ishrat Husain took over the charge of the office of the Dean and Director, IBA, Karachi – the oldest graduate business school in March 2008 and is engaged in the transformation of the Institute to become one of the ranking Global Business schools. Just before that, he served as the Chairman, National Commission for Government Reforms for two years from 2006 to 2008 with the status of Federal Minister reporting directly to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Commission produced a two volume report on governance reforms in Pakistan. He was appointed the Governor of Pakistan’s Central Bank in December 1999. During the next six years, he implemented a major program of restructuring of the Central Bank and steered the reforms of the banking sector. As a member of the economic management team of the Government, he played a key role in the impressive economic turnaround of Pakistan. In recognition of his meritorious services he was conferred the prestigious award of “Hilal-e-Imtiaz” by the President of Pakistan in 2003. The Banker Magazine of London declared him as the Central Bank Governor of the year for Asia in 2005. He received the Asian Banker Lifetime achievement award in 2006.

 Dr. Husain had a distinguished career at the World Bank for over two decades 1979-1999. He became the Bank’s Director Poverty and Social Department and In 1997 he was named the Country Director for Central Asian Republics.

 He started his professional career by joining the elite Civil Service of Pakistan in 1964 and served in the field in Sindh and then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) . He held mid-level policy making positions in the Finance, Planning and Development Departments before moving to Washington in 1979 .

During 2005-06 he was appointed by the Board of IMF as a member of a three person panel to evaluate the IEO . He was a member of the Mahathir Commission 2020 vision for the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). He is currently a member of Middle East Advisory Group of the IMF , the Regional Advisory Group of the UNDP, and  was Chairman World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on Pakistan until 2014.

 During 2009-10 he was appointed by the Government of Pakistan to chair the Pay and Pension Commission. Between  2011 to 2014 he served  as an independent Director on the Board of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP)-- the largest Social safety net and conditional cash transfer program targeted at the poor households of Pakistan. He is currently Convener, Economic Advisory Council , Ministry of Finance and Member, Advisory Council to the Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms.

 Mr. Husain has maintained an active scholarly interest in development issues. He has authored 18 books and monographs and contributed more than three dozen articles in refereed journals and 27 chapters in books. His book “Pakistan: The Economy of the Elitist State” published by Oxford University Press is widely read in Pakistan and outside. Ishrat Husain obtained Master’s degree in Development Economics from Williams College and Doctorate in Economics from Boston University in 1978. He is a graduate of Executive Development program jointly sponsored by Harvard, Stanford and INSEAD.

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