Junaid Ahmad has taken over as the World Bank's country director for India. He replaced the former director Onno Ruhl, who completed his four-year term. Ahmad, a Bangladeshi national, was formerly the Chief of Staff to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
He led the Bank's Water and Sanitation Program for South Asia before being appointed to head its social development portfolio. Following this, he steered the Bank's broader urban development program in India and South Asia.
Ahmad worked in vast areas of infrastructure finance, dealing with the challenges of urbanization and city management, delivering services in federal systems, as well as on issues concerning local government reforms.
In making the appointment, Kim said, "I'm very pleased to announce Junaid Ahmad as World Bank's new Country Director for India. India's recent growth and development has been one of the most significant achievements of our time.”
“With historic changes unfolding and new opportunities emerging, Junaid will bring to this key position strategic leadership along with considerable experience of working in both India and South Asia to support this transformation," added Kim.
Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice-President for South Asia said, "Junaid's strong experience in the critical areas of water, urbanization, and social development will ensure that the Bank's future strategy for India is formulated and implemented in line with the country's own development goals."
An economist by training, Ahmad brings with him broad development experience. After joining the World Bank in 1991 as a Young Professional, he worked on infrastructure development in Africa and Eastern Europe.
He has held several management positions, leading the Bank's program in diverse regions including Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in India and South Asia. Based in New Delhi between 2000 and 2005, Ahmad played a leading role across a number of sectors, in India.