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Masood Ahmed is president of the Center for Global Development. He joined the Center in January 2017, capping a 35-year career driving economic development policy initiatives relating to debt, aid effectiveness, trade, and global economic prospects at major international institutions including the IMF, World Bank, and DFID.
Ahmed joined CGD from the IMF, where he served for eight years as director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, earning praise from Managing Director Christine Lagarde as a "visionary leader." In that role, he oversaw the Fund's operations in 32 countries, and managed relationships with key national and regional policy makers and stakeholders. In previous years, he also served as the IMF's director of External Relations, and deputy director of the Policy Development and Review Department.
From 2003-2006, Ahmed served as director general, Policy and International at the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID). In that role, he was responsible for advising UK ministers on development issues and overseeing the UK's relationship with international development institutions such as the World Bank.
Ahmed also worked at the World Bank from 1979-2000 in various managerial and economist positions, rising to become Vice President, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. In that role he led the HIPC (heavily indebted poor countries) debt relief initiative, which has to-date brought relief from debt burdens to 36 of the world's poorest nations.
Born and raised in Pakistan, Ahmed moved to London in 1971 to study at the LSE where he obtained a BSc Honors as well as an MSc Econ with distinction. He is a UK national.
Ahmed is a leading expert on Middle East economics, having served on the Advisory Board of the LSE Middle East Center, as well as on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Middle East and North Africa. He has also participated in CGD's Advisory Board.
He took over as CGD president from Nancy Birdsall, who served as the Center's founding president for its first 15 years from 2001 and will stay at the Center as a senior fellow.
Climate change is one of the greatest existential challenge of our times. In the 2015 Paris Agreement, 190 parties submitted climate strategies to keep the global temperature increase to 1.5-2 C. and ensure a transition to low emissions economies. A new IMF paper provides country-level guidance on the role, design and economic impact of fiscal policies for implementing these strategies, using a unique and transparent tool laying out the trade-offs among policy options. The IMF will also be releasing updated estimates of energy subsidies at the global and national level.
Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s Managing Director will be joined by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance of Nigeria and Andrew Steer, President and CEO of WRI, in a session moderated by CGD President, Masood Ahmed to discuss fiscal policy options to achieve the Paris commitments: How much carbon pricing do countries need to meet their commitments? Should an international carbon price floor be established? Or are other solutions like tax subsidies more politically palatable? Where should the revenues be spent? Are physical climate proofing investments enough for adaptation?
On the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings 2019, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Bretton Woods Committee (BWC) will co-host this expert panel to discuss the future of the World Bank under its new president, David Malpass. What should top his agenda? What are the most important and urgent issues in the development landscape and what is the role of the World Bank in addressing these challenges? Join us to hear from this panel of global thought leaders offering recommendations for the future of the multilateral system.
What's going to happen in the world of development in 2018? Will we finally understand how to deal equitably with refugees and migrants? Or how technological progress can work for developing countries? Or what the impact of year two of the Trump Administration will be? Today’s podcast, our final episode of 2017, raises these questions and many more as a multitude of CGD scholars share their insights and hopes for the year ahead.
An increasingly common justification for European development assistance to Africa is the notion that it will reduce migration from the South. While this sounds intuitive and makes for an appealing argument, the research shows that it is highly unlikely. As communities become less poor, more people gain the abilities and wherewithal to undertake an expensive journey to a better life elsewhere. Development often increases migration—at least initially.