MANILA, PHILIPPINES (18 July 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Ma. Carmela Locsin as the new Director General for its Pacific Department (PARD). Ms. Locsin, who assumed office today, is the first woman to head the department.
Ms. Locsin will lead the implementation of the Pacific Approach 2016-2020 which serves as ADB’s overall country partnership strategy for the Cook Islands, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. ADB has individual partnership strategies for the three larger Pacific developing member countries — Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste.
The Pacific Approach prioritizes ADB assistance to the Pacific through a three-pronged approach to help reduce the cost of doing business, manage risks of climate change and economic shocks, and create a more enabling environment for the private sector.
“During ADB’s 50 years of partnership with the Pacific, we have learned that the region faces many development challenges due to the countries’ remoteness, fragility, and high exposure to natural disasters,” said Ms. Locsin. “I look forward to serving the Pacific region and working closely with government counterparts, development partners, and the private sector to help our 14 Pacific developing member countries meet these challenges.”
ADB’s operations in the Pacific focus on transport, information and communication technology, and renewable energy to get goods to and from markets, create opportunities for electronic delivery of health and other services, and improve access to power supplies. ADB is also helping the Pacific region address climate change risks and reduce the costs of doing business by modernizing tax systems, boosting access to credit, and reforming state-owned enterprises.
Prior to Ms. Locsin’s appointment to PARD, she was the Director General for ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC); Head of the Office of Cofinancing Operations; Deputy Director General of the South Asia Department; and Deputy Director General for the Regional and Sustainable Development Department (now known as SDCC).
Before joining ADB in 1997, Ms. Locsin worked at the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank. She has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines.
Ms. Locsin replaces the outgoing Director General Xianbin Yao, who served the Pacific Department since 2012 and is currently a Special Senior Advisor to ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
ADB’s Pacific portfolio is composed of 65 active projects valued at more than $2.5 billion.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.