Dr. Ishrat Husain
Former Dean and Director
Institute of Business Administration (IBA),
Currently serving as Professor Emeritus and Chairman for the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, Dr. Ishrat Husain is a well-known figure in the field of finance. He had earlier served as Dean and Director, IBA, between 2008 and 2016. Until recently, Dr. Husain was the Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, and it was during this period that his book, Governing the Ungovernable, was published by the Oxford University Press.
During his term of office, he was actively engaged in the transformation of the Institute to become one of the leading global business schools. He also served as the Chairman, National Commission for Government Reforms, for two years from 2006 to 2008 as Federal Minister reporting directly to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Dr. Husain was appointed the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan in December 1999. During the next six years, he implemented a major restructuring programme for the Central Bank and steered the reforms of the banking sector. Additionally, as a member of the economic management team of the Government, he played a key role in the successful economic turnaround of Pakistan. Thus, in recognition of his commendable services, in 2003, he was conferred the prestigious award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan. In 2005, the Banker Magazine of London declared him as the Central Bank Governor of the Year for Asia. Later, in 2006, he received the Asian Banker Lifetime Achievement Award. More recently, in 2016, the President of Pakistan conferred upon him the highest civilian award of Nishan-e-Imtiaz for his outstanding public service.
Dr. Husain has had a distinguished career at the World Bank for over two decades, from 1979 to 1999. Among the key positions he held at the Bank were Resident Representative to Nigeria, Head of the Bank’s Debt and International Finance Division, Chief Economist for Africa between 1991 and 1994, and later as Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific Region that included China. He became the Bank’s Director Poverty and Social Department and in 1997 he was named the Country Director for Central Asian Republics.
Since his retirement as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, he has been actively involved in many national and international assignments. During 2005-06, he was appointed by the Board of IMF as a member of a three person panel to evaluate the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO); he was a member of the Mahathir Commission 2020 Vision for the Islamic Development Bank (IDB); he advised the IDB for creating its poverty reduction fund; he was appointed by the Board of Asian Development Bank to a two member independent panel to restructure the Accountability Mechanism; he also served on the Middle East Advisory Group of the IMF, Regional Advisory Group of UNDP; the President Advisory Council of IDB and was Chairman World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on Pakistan until June 2014.
The Government of Pakistan appointed him, during 2009-10, to chair the Pay and Pension Commission. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as an independent Director on the Board of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP); he was reappointed to the Board in 2017. He served as Convener, Economic Advisory Council, Ministry of Finance until 2017, and as Member, Advisory Council, to the Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms. He is also one of the two non-official members of the Monetary and Fiscal Coordination Board headed by the Minister of Finance.
Dr. Husain has maintained an active scholarly interest in development issues. He has authored 18 books and monographs and contributed more than three dozen articles in refereed journals and 27 chapters in books. His book, Pakistan: The Economy of the Elitist State, published by Oxford University Press, is widely read across the world. His latest research and writings are focused on CPEC and his book, CPEC and Pakistani Economy, has been published by the Centre for Excellence on CPEC in May 2018. He is regularly invited as a speaker to international conferences and seminars and has attended more than 100 such events all over the world since 2006. He is the Distinguished National Professor of Economics and Public Policy and chairs or serves on the Boards of several research institutes, philanthropic, and cultural organisations.
Dr. Husain obtained his Master’s degree in Development Economics from Williams College and Doctorate in Economics from Boston University in 1978. He is a graduate of Executive Development Programme jointly sponsored by Harvard, Stanford, and INSEAD.