Ishrat Hussain

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Ishrat Hussain
Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan
In office
2 December 1999 – 1 December 2006
President Nawaz shareef
Preceded by Muhammad Yaqub
Succeeded by Shamshad Akhtar
Personal details
Born (1941-06-17) 17 June 1941 (age 77)
Alma mater Williams College
Boston University

Ishrat Husain is a Pakistani banker and economist, who is the Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. Dr. Ishrat was the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan's Central bank from 2 December 1999 to 1 December 2005. He also led the National Commission for Government Reforms for two years from May 2006.

Educational background

Husain holds a Master's degree in Development Economics from Williams College and a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University. He is a graduate of the Executive Development Program jointly sponsored by Harvard, Stanford and INSEAD.


Husain joined the elite Civil Service of Pakistan in 1964 and served in the field 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 as an Economist in West Africa Programs Department. He became the Bank’s Resident Representative to Nigeria in 1983 and led the Bank’s team that assisted Nigeria in formulating its first ever structural adjustment program in 1986. On his return to headquarters, he headed the Bank’s Debt and International Finance Division and contributed to the development of Bank’s strategy that led to World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) participation in the Brady Initiative for Debt Reduction. As Chief Economist for Africa between 1991–94 and later as Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific Region he guided and supervised the Bank’s analytical work on the countries in these regions. In 1997 he was named the Country Director for Central Asian Republics and managed the World Bank’s relations, programs and policies with these countries. Earlier, he was the director of Poverty and Social Policy Department. He was responsible for the Bank's policies and strategy development in such areas as Poverty Reduction, Gender Relations and Dynamics, NGOs, and Reform within the Public Sector. He was the Chairperson of the Public Sector Group.

State Bank of Pakistan

Husain became 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, which are now recognized by the World Bank and IMF to be among the best in developing countries. The main ingredients of the program were merit-based recruitment, competency-enhancing training, performance-linked promotion, technology-driven business process and induction of high-level skilled human resources. He placed great emphasis on practicing values such as integrity, trust, teamwork for the entire work force starting from the top.

Past Positions Held

Chairman, National Commission for Government Reforms (2007–2008). Governor, the State Bank of Pakistan (1999–2005). Director, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi (March 2008–Present).

Dr. Husain held the following positions during his tenure with the World Bank.

  • Director for Central Asian Republics
  • Director, Poverty and Social Policy
  • Chairperson of the World Bank's Public Sector Group
  • Chief of the Debt and International Finance Division
  • Chief Economist of the World Bank for East Asia and Pacific region
  • Chief Economist for Africa
  • Resident Representative in Nigeria

Awards and Achievements

  • Asian Banker Life Time Achievement Award 2006.
  • Central Bank Governor of the Year in Asia Award (2005) by The Banker magazine. The first Pakistani Governor of the State Bank to receive the award.
  • Jinnah Award (2005) in recognition of his outstanding and meritorious services to people as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.[1]
  • Hilal e Imtiaz - Conferred by the President of Pakistan 2003.
  • Nishan-e-Imtiaz - Conferred by the President of Pakistan for his services in the field of education, 2015.

Current Responsibilities


  1. DAWN (2006) Ishrat Hussain, late Akhtar Hameed honoured. 1 May. Retrieved on 25 April 2008.


External links

Civic offices
Preceded by
Muhammad Yaqub
Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Shamshad Akhtar