Washington- Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde has announced her intention to appoint Jihad Azour as Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department.
Azour will assume his new position on March 1, 2017, replacing Masood Ahmed who left the Fund in October.
“Azour brings a very well-rounded perspective, having held senior leadership roles both in government, as Lebanon’s Minister of Finance, and in private sector firms,” Lagarde said. “Combining analytical insight and a proven ability to bring people together collaboratively and constructively, he will help the Fund contribute effectively and pragmatically to the key issues facing the region today.”
Azour served as Lebanon’s Finance Minister from 2005-2008, during which time he coordinated the implementation of important reform initiatives at the national level and within the Finance Ministry.
He also spearheaded the Paris III International Conference for Lebanon, which was instrumental in raising international financial support for Lebanese reconstruction.
Azour chaired the G8-MENA Ministerial Group from 2006–2008, bringing together finance ministers and central bank governors from the G8 and Middle East and North Africa region.
A dual national of France and Lebanon, he has sat on the Fund’s Advisory Group for the Middle East and the World Bank’s Independent Panel of Experts. Before and since his time as finance minister, he has held a wide range of posts in the private sector, notably as vice president and senior executive advisor at Booz and Company from 2009-2013, and since then as managing partner at advisory and investment firm Inventis Partners.
Azour holds a PhD in International Finance and a post-graduate degree in International Economics and Finance, both from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. He also did research on emerging economies and their integration into the global economy as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, and holds a Master’s degree in Applied Economics and Finance from Dauphine University, Paris.