Leader Profile: Karl Voltaire, Director of the Cabinet, AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is the primary multi-lateral lending agency in Africa. On 1 January 2004 Karl Voltaire was appointed as Director of the Cabinet of the President of the African Development Bank Group.

The ADB Cabinet plays an important role in supporting the work of the Office of the President, in approving project loans and ensuring the AfDB is responsible in its lending. Following project preparation, the final details of each loan are decided by the borrowing country and the AfDB, and approval given by the Bank’s Board of Directors, formed from representatives from each of the nations that are shareholders in the AfDB. They produce a report known as Report and Recommendation to the President which forms the final approval stage of the project.

Karl’s career began at the National Institute of Mining Resources in Port au Prince, Haiti, where he worked for 2 years in the mid-1970s before joining the World Bank in 1981 as part of the Young Professional Program. He then went on to serve as a financial analyst for the Bank between 1982 and 1984, before moving to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 1985. There he served in numerous positions including Senior Investment Officer for Africa, Division Manager for Africa, Director of the Agribusiness Department, Director for Latin America and the and Director of the Global Financial Markets Department. He was appointed to his current post by the current AfDB President, Omar Kabbaj.

A French national, Karl graduated in Engineering from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris. He also holds an MBA and a PhD in Business Economics and Finance at the University of Chicago in the USA.

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