Shamshad Akhtar was appointed by the Secretary-General as Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at DESA and took office on 9 July 2012.
Ms. Akhtar has previously served as Governor of the Central Bank of Pakistan and recently also as Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank. In her capacity as Governor, Ms. Akhtar served as the Chairperson of the Central Bank Board and its affiliates and as Governor of the IMF. During her term, she was recognized for the conduct of the bank, which was restructured significantly, the introduction of an analytical framework for monetary policy, and the development of a ten-year-vision for the finance industry with a vibrant structure for the banking sector. For these accomplishments, she won two consecutive awards as Asia's Best Central Bank Governor from Emerging Markets and the Banker’s Trust. In 2008, The Asian Wall Street Journal also recognized her as one of the top ten professional women of Asia.
Ms. Akhtar has had a long standing career with the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). In her assignment for the World Bank she spearheaded the Bank’s response to the Arab Spring and the Arab regional integration strategy and its implementation. She has served the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for almost 15 years, rising from the ranks as Senior Economist, to attaining the highest professional positions including as Special Senior Advisor to the President of ADB and as the bank’s Director General of the East Asia region. During the Asian Financial crisis she also served as the ADB’s Coordinator to the APEC Finance Minister providing analytical support in a number of economic and social areas for crisis prevention and mitigation, while also leading the engagement with the Bank for International Settlement, and other standard setting bodies.
Ms. Akhtar has worked in several regions/countries dealing with fiscal and taxation policy, decentralization, poverty and inequality, financial and monetary policy, industrial and infrastructure policies and governance development. In the past few months she further served as a member of the Pakistan Economic Advisory Committee and of the Governing Council of Pakistan Statistics Bureau. In addition, Ms. Akhtar advised development agencies on the operationalization of Pakistan’s New Economic Growth Framework and worked on PPP policy frameworks and governance issues.
Ms. Akhtar has earned her post doctorate degree as a US Fullbright Fellow at the University of Harvard and prior, she obtained her PhD in Economics at the Scotland's Paisley College of Technology and a Master in Development Economics at the University of Sussex in the UK. She also has an MSc in Economics from Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.
Thomas Stelzer has been Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs at DESA since March 2008.
Previous to this appointment, Mr. Stelzer served as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Office in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Stelzer held a number of diplomatic and international posts, including Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Deputy Director of the Austrian Cultural Institute in New York and Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
He was the Austrian Delegate to the Committee for Disarmament and International Security (First Committee) of the General Assembly and Representative to the governing bodies of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Mr. Stelzer was President of the UNIDO Industrial Development Board from 2005-2006, Chair of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in 2003 and Facilitator and Chair of the Vienna Terrorism Symposiums in both 2002 and 2007.
Most recently, he served as a Vice-Chair of the Second Conference of States Parties of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which he had also co-negotiated.
His academic pursuits have included services as a lecturer on multilateralism at the Department of Political Science at Vienna University.
Since 1999, Mr. Stelzer has been serving as President of Klangforum Wien, a leading ensemble for contemporary classical music.
Mr. Stelzer obtained his doctorate in law from Vienna University, a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and a diploma in International Relations from the John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna Center.
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