Takehiko Nakao elected new ADB president

Takehiko Nakao, newly minted Asian Development Bank president. Photo by: Asian Financial Forum

Takehiko Nakao was unanimously elected president of the Asian Development Bank by its board of governors, the Manila-based institution announced on Friday.

Nakao, 57 and a former Japanese vice minister of finance for international affairs, will assume office on April 28. He succeeds current Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who resigned in March.

The new ADB president will finish the unexpired term of his predecessor, which ends on Nov. 23, 2016.

P. Chidambaram, chair of the ADB board of governors and Indian finance minister, said in a statement that the board is looking forward to Nakao’s “strong leadership of the institution.”

“His extensive experience in international finance and development and broad and deep knowledge of the Asian region will serve ADB well in pursuing its vision of an Asia-Pacific region free of poverty,” added Chidambaram.

Sole nominee

When the nomination period closed a month ago, Nakao was the only candidate for the position. Japan — which along with the United States has the largest voting power in the bank — has retained the presidency of ADB since the institution was established in 1966.

Upon his nomination on March 7, Nakao said in a statement that he will ensure ADB is backed by solid financial resources, help promote public-private partnerships and tackle climate change.

During his term as vice minister for finance, Nakao supervised the Japanese government’s biggest-ever one-day currency market intervention on Oct. 31, 2011, after the yen reached a postwar high of 75.35 per dollar.

The new ADB chief holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of the 2008 book “America’s Economic Policies” and a paper about Japan’s development policy.

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    Carlos Santamaria

    As associate editor for breaking news, Carlos Santamaria supervises Devex's Manila-based news team and the creation of our daily newsletter. Carlos joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.