Seasoned senior executive with broad expertise of steering inter and non-governmental (INGO), bilateral, multi-lateral, private and public sector operations. Strategic and agile thinker with an ability to conceptualize initiatives, evaluate operational effectiveness and efficiency, and enhance adaptive capacities. Over 35 years’ experience (including more than 15 years in senior leadership roles) with proven strengths in lateral communications and people management skills. Able to lead from behind, network, delegate, develop and motivate staff. A visionary leader able to deliver targets, work to strict timelines and execute projects/programs through continuous learning, de-learning and course corrections. Have held diverse and extensive senior portfolio management positions, mainly focusing on climate change, poverty alleviation and sustainable development mostly through pro-poor projects in: (i) socioeconomic development and empowerment, (ii) public-private partnership, and (iii) capacity building and institutional strengthening. Maintained thematic oversight in (a) Agriculture and Rural Development embedded in sustainable livelihoods & food security, esp. smallholders (b) Water Resources & Environment with focus on climate change, resilience and its nexus with poverty, and (c) Local Governance & Gender that promotes building local institutional capacities, community driven development, inclusiveness and equity in vulnerable and disadvantaged, especially women and their access to finance (Microfinance). Well versed with all aspects of the project/program lifecycle of international financing institutions (IFIs), including multilateral development banks, UN, bilateral and inter and non – governmental organizations (INGOs).
Joined Green Climate Fund (GCF) in June 217 as Head, Office of Portfolio Management (OPM) in its embryonic stage; within the first year, built and operationalized the portfolio management function by defining its strategic functions, bringing on board the core staff, establishing the portfolio management dashboard, developing reporting formats, establishing the procedures and processes for monitoring readiness and project preparation activities. Thereafter, continued to work towards expansion and evolution of the Portfolio Management functions by providing lead in (i) quality assurance at entry of about 100 Climate Funding and 125 Climate Readiness Proposals emanating from a $17b pipeline; (ii) adaptive management of a $5.6b climate finance portfolio of 129 approved projects; (ii) portfolio data, analytics and reporting (PPR), and (iv) policy, guideline and framework development.
From July 2008 to May 2017, I worked for the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in its Integrated Rural Development Division, initially as Senior Portfolio Manager and then as Ag. Division Manager responsible for implementation of a $2b portfolio; preparing & monitoring annual work plans/ budgets and tracking results; identifying business opportunities; overseeing quality at entry and completion; ensuring compliance with Bank’s policies and procedures. The projects were in various African and Asian countries e.g. Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Senegal, Mauritania, Chad, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Albania etc.
Prior to joining IDB in July 2008, I was the Country Head of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-an international member-based NGO) in Pakistan (2006-8). As Head of IUCN’s biggest program worldwide was responsible for more than 200+ staff, both expatriate and local and 16 project offices. Succeeded in making it the implementing agency of choice for major donors, including CIDA, RNE, UNDP, GEF, Dutch, SDC, DIFID, ADB, EU etc. Secured grant funding for developing & implementing National Conservation Strategy, National & Provincial Strategies for Sustainable Development, the National Wetlands Strategy, Education for Sustainable Development, Environmental Fiscal Reforms, Capacity Building in Biodiversity & Impact assessment, Technical Advisory Panel for Climate Change (CC) etc.
Earlier, until mid-2006, I worked for over 11 years as a Senior Program Officer (highest national position) with Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). I was responsible for grant financed interventions in poverty alleviation, agriculture & rural development, social infrastructure (basic health & education, rural access, water supply & sanitation, etc.), women economic empowerment (WID), SME and microfinance. Led the development and implementation of the Swiss NGO program. I was also responsible for internalizing the MDGs, forging effective partnerships with bilateral and multilateral donors (pioneered donor harmonization), government and NGOstakeholders, representing SDC in MOPAN, donor coordination on Aid Effectiveness, MfDR and establishing PRSP Monitoring Framework.
Before SDC for 10 years I was Program Manager USAID of a complex and a high risk $60m multi-disciplinary crop substitution & rural development portfolio with about 100 staff (professionals, finance, procurement and administrative) and two US TA Teams (DAI and PRC Checchi). I managed and ensured coverage, quality and effectiveness in implementing 1000 + projects in agriculture, rural socioeconomic infrastructure (rural roads, community infrastructure, agriculture production and productivity, markets & storage, Gadoon Industrial Estate, rural water supply, electrification, integrated water resources management, basic health units, primary schools etc.), women empowerment (Nonformal Education Centers), institutional strengthening and capacity building;
I led numerous project identification, design, appraisal, supervision and evaluation missions with bilateral like SDC, USAID, Royal Netherlands Embassy (RNE), Norway Agency for Development (NORAD), Department for International Development (DIFID), Canadian International Agency for Development (CIDA), and multilateral/MDBs like UNDP, WB, and ADB.