Cambridge, MA— The Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced today that outgoing African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr. Donald Kaberuka will join the Center for Public Leadership community as a Hauser Leader-in-Residence. His appointment will begin in September 2015 and will continue through Spring 2016. This is the first appointment for Kaberuka following his decade-long tenure with the AfDB.

A Rwandan economist with almost 40 years of experience working in banking and international trade, Kaberuka is credited for dramatically expanding the reach and impact of AfDB, now widely regarded as the premier financial institution in Africa. During his two terms as President, Kaberuka championed infrastructure development, doubled loans and grants in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, created opportunities for expanded support to small and medium-sized enterprises, and enhanced the Bank’s focus on gender.

Prior to joining the AfDB, Kaberuka served as Rwanda’s Finance Minister from 1997-2005, during which time he led the country’s successful economic reconstruction after the end of its civil war.

"Dr. Kaberuka brings a breadth of experience managing change at the highest level—navigating complex social, political, and financial challenges,” says CPL executive director Patricia Bellinger.  “We live in an increasingly connected world, and CPL has a responsibility to help our HKS students expand the breadth of their perspectives—and the African continent is an important area to understand and embrace. Dr. Kaberuka’s impressive work on the global economic stage and on African economic development in particular adds a vital and rich dimension to our programming. We’re delighted that our students will have the privilege of learning from him this year. We also look forward to collaborating with the Center for International Development, with whom Dr. Kaberuka will also collaborate this year.”    

During his tenure at CPL, Kaberuka will contribute as an active member to CPL’s community of scholarship and learning. His efforts will focus on economic studies and international development, especially in Africa. Additionally, he will contribute to lectures and leadership development programming for the entire HKS student body, as well as CPL’s community of more than 100 student fellows—HKS degree candidates with demonstrated leadership potential who receive scholarships and robust co-curricular programming through the Center’s named fellowship programs. Kaberuka will also serve as a mentor for students on campus at HKS and across the University.

“It is a true honor to join Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership this fall as a Hauser Leader-in-Residence. The opportunity to guide and educate of some of the world’s most ambitious and committed students is a meaningful next step for me in my career,” said Kaberuka.  “Leaders from all areas of public life have a responsibility to share their experiences and lessons with the next generation, and I am excited to undertake this important work with the faculty and staff of one of the preeminent institutions of leadership learning in the United States.”

About Donald Kaberuka

Donald Kaberuka is former President of the African Development Bank Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He stepped down on September 1, 2015 after ten years considered as one of the most transformational tenures at the Bank.

Born in Rwanda, Kaberuka, like many compatriots of his generation, had to flee his country of birth with his parents and siblings. He was to return to Rwanda, after 35 years of exile, as Finance Minister entrusted with the mission of leading the team responsible for laying the foundations for the economic reconstruction of the country following the genocide in 1994.

During his tenure as President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Kaberuka has bolstered its franchise value, oversaw the tripled its capital from USD 30 billion to USD 100 billion, and doubled the portfolio. Kaberuka’s leadership was particularly characterized by a "big push” on the private sector and leading from the front on infrastructure.

He has championed an inclusive growth agenda; a strong link between security, development and the environment; establishing a ring-fenced facility for conflict affected countries, appointing an International High Level Panel on fragile states led by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; naming a Special Envoy on Gender, as well as putting in place an Africa Natural Resource Center and the African Legal Support Facility to provide support to African countries better manage their natural resource wealth.

Prior to becoming Finance Minister of Rwanda, Dr. Kaberuka worked in the private sector in the commodities business, including a stint as Chief Economist of the Inter-African Coffee Organization. Dr. Kaberuka also served as Governor for Rwanda for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank from 1997 to 2005.

Dr. Kaberuka, whose private interests include classical music and wildlife conservation, currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum, the Mandela Institute (Minds) and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.  He is also a member of several international panels on finance and development.

Dr. Kaberuka is an alumnus of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies of Sussex University in England.

About the African Development Bank

Founded in 1964, The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is a multilateral development finance institution established to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries. The Bank Group achieves this objective through the mobilization and allocation of investment resources in its regional member countries, as well as the provision of technical assistance and policy advice. It is financing partner to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries. The AfDB is comprised of three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund, and is headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

About the Center for Public Leadership

Established through a generous gift from a foundation funded by Les and Abigail Wexner, the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School seeks to develop a steady flow of leaders who will serve the public good, and promote groundbreaking scholarship in areas relating to leadership. Under the direction of Executive Director Patricia Bellinger and Co-Directors Max Bazerman and David Gergen, the Center pursues its mission in three distinct ways:

  • Identifying, investing in, and supporting the rising generation’s brightest stars through robust fellowships and cutting-edge leadership development programs.
  • Extending the frontiers of knowledge through research and scholarship on leadership, public service, and decision-making.
  • Convening the world’s pre-eminent scholars and advocates for public service across fields and disciplines for game-changing engagement with students and faculty.

CPL’s programming combines the tools of strategic and financial policy analysis—academic coursework of the first order—with self-understanding and communication tools that equip its students to handle the complexities of modern leadership.


Lael Harris
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