Press Releases

    SG/A/917
    BIO/3653
    DEV/2508
    26 April 2005

    Biographical Note

    Secretary-General Nominates Kemal Derviş of Turkey as New Administrator of United Nations Development Programme

    NEW YORK, 26 April (UN Headquarters) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan today sent a letter to the President of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Executive Board conveying his intention to request the General Assembly to confirm Kemal Derviş of Turkey as the new Administrator of the UNDP for a term of four years.

    Mr. Derviş has outstanding qualifications and numerous accomplishments in the area of economics and global economic governance. The Secretary-General chose him from an outstanding array of global candidates. He combines a proven practical and intellectual track record in the fields of development and international finance, a passionate commitment to addressing the scourge of poverty and established skills as a manager. The Secretary-General has every confidence Mr. Derviş will be able to build on the successful reform effort implemented by Mark Malloch Brown over the past six years and consolidate UNDP’s critical role in helping address global development priorities from the Millennium Development Goals to crisis prevention and recovery.

    Mr. Derviş is a Member of the Turkish Parliament from the Republic People’s Party representing Istanbul. He is also active in the Economics and Foreign Policy Forum, a Turkish non-governmental organization working on economic and political issues with special emphasis on European Parliaments.  He participates in various European and international networks, including the Global Progressive Forum and the Progressive Governance Network. He is a member of the Task Force on Global Public Goods co-chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico, and Tidjane Thiam of Aviva International, and is also a member of the Special Commission on the Balkans chaired by Giuliano Amato, former Prime Minister of Italy.  He cooperates with the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford and the Center for Global Development in Washington. All these activities have the common objective of finding ways to make globalization into a more stable and inclusive process and to further international cooperation.

    From March 2001 to August 2002, Kemal Derviş was Minister for Economic Affairs and the Treasury without party affiliation of the Republic of Turkey, responsible for Turkey’s recovery programme after the devastating financial crisis that hit the country in February 2001. In August 2002, after the crisis was overcome, he resigned from his ministerial post and joined the Republican People’s Party, getting elected to Parliament in November of 2002.  From December 2002 to July 2003, he represented his Party and the Turkish Parliament in the Convention on the Future of Europe, charged with drafting a European constitution.

    Kemal Derviş earned his bachelor (first class honours) and master’s degrees (with distinction) in economics from the London School of Economics and his PhD from Princeton University. From 1973 to 1977, he was member of the economics faculties of the Middle East Technical University and then Princeton University. In 1977, he joined the World Bank where he worked until he returned to Turkey in 2001. At the World Bank, he held various positions, including Division Chief for Industrial and Trade Strategy and Director for the Central Europe Department after the fall of the Berlin wall.  In 1996, he became Vice-President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa Region, and in 2000, Vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. In the first position, Kemal Derviş coordinated the World Bank’s support to the peace and reconstruction process in the Balkans (Bosnia) and the Middle East. In the second position, he was responsible for the World Bank’s global programmes and policies to fight poverty and the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) initiative that had just been launched.  He was also responsible for the operational coordination with other institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations institutions, on international institutional and policy issues.

    Kemal Derviş has published many articles in academic journals, as well as the current affairs press on topics ranging from mathematical models of growth and social mobility or quantitative models of trade to European enlargement and transatlantic relations (in English, Turkish, French and German -- he is fluent in all four languages). A book entitled “General Equilibrium Models for Development Policy” which he co-authored with Jaime de Melo and Sherman Robinson was published by Cambridge University Press. He has just published a new book entitled “A Better Globalization” dealing with global development issues and international institutional reform (Center for Global Development, Washington, D.C., March 2005).

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