Dean and Director
Institute of Business Administration (IBA)

Ishrat Husain joined the elite Civil Service of Pakistan in 1964 and served in the field in Sindh and then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and also held mid-level policy making positions in the Finance, Planning and Development Departments before moving to Washington in 1979 to join the World Bank. He became the Bank’s Resident Representative to Nigeria in 1983. On his return to headquarters, he headed the Bank’s Debt and International Finance Division. He was promoted as Chief Economist for Africa between 1991-94 and later as Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific Region. He became the Bank’s Director Poverty and Social Department and In 1997 he was named the Country Director for Central Asian Republics.

Ishrat Husain was appointed the Governor of Pakistan’s Central Bank in December 1999. During the next six years, he implemented a major program of restructuring of the Central Bank and steered the reforms of the banking sector. As a member of the economic management team of the Government, he played a key role in the impressive economic turnaround of Pakistan. In recognition of his meritorious services he was conferred the prestigious award of “Hilal-e-Imtiaz” by the President of Pakistan in 2003. The Banker Magazine of London declared him as the Central Bank Governor of the year for Asia in 2005. He received the Asian Banker Lifetime achievement award in 2006.

He was appointed the Chairman, National Commission for Government Reforms in May, 2006 with the status of Federal Minister and held that position for two years reporting directly to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Commission produced a two volume report on governance reforms in Pakistan. In March 2008, he took over the charge of the office of the Dean and Director, IBA, Karachi – the oldest graduate business school in Asia. During 2005-06 he was appointed by the Board of IMF as a member of a three person panel to evaluate the IEO and was also a member of the Mahathir Commission 2020 vision for the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). He also advised the IDB for creating its poverty reduction fund. He is currently a member of Middle East Advisory Group of the IMF and the Regional Advisory Group of the UNDP. He is currently the Chairman World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on Pakistan.

During 2009-10 he was appointed by the Government of Pakistan to chair the Pay and Pension Commission and in that capacity he submitted a report on the Compensation and benefits reform for public servants. Since 2011 he is serving as an independent Director on the Board of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP)-- the largest Social safety net and conditional cash transfer program targeted at the poor households of Pakistan.

Mr. 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 in 1999 is widely read in Pakistan and outside. 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 his retirement as the Governor. He is the Distinguished National Professor of Economics and Public Policy and serves on the Boards of several research institutes, philanthropic and cultural organizations.

Ishrat Husain obtained 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 program jointly sponsored by Harvard, Stanford and INSEAD..


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