Philippe Le Houérou

Chairman of the Board of Directors of AFD
Directeur de la Chaire Ferdi sur l'architecture internationale du financement du développement.


    Philippe Le Houérou is the Director of the FERDI Chair in International Architecture of Development Finance.

    Philippe Le Houérou is the chairman of the board of the Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) since January 2022. He is also a « distinguished fellow » at the Emerging Markets Forum (Washington DC), Chair of the Aid Architecture group at the FERDI (Clermont Ferrand), and a “distinguished fellow” at the Finance for Development Lab (Paris). From March 2016 to October 2020, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) -the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. During his tenure at IFC, Philippe Le Houérou designed and implemented a new strategy aimed at creating new markets and creating opportunities in developing countries. This strategy sustainably shifted the organization to proactively develop private sector solutions to development challenges and work more closely with the World Bank, other development partners, and governments. To support this strategy, he introduced a new development impact measurement system; developed innovative approaches to attract more private sector investment in the poorest countries; created country private sector diagnostics and IFC country strategies; launched “upstream” work that creates bankable projects; and restructured the organization to strengthen economics, partnerships, corporate alignment between strategy, budget, and human resources. Shareholders’ strong support of this strategy and its related reforms, led to their endorsement in 2018 of an historic capital increase for IFC.

    Except for one year in EBRD as Vice President for Policy and Partnerships in 2015, Philippe Le Houérou has spent much of his professional career at the World Bank Group (WBG). He joined the WBG as a Young Professional in 1987, and has held several senior leadership positions (operational and corporate), including Regional Vice President for South Asia, where he strengthened the portfolio significantly; Regional Vice President for Europe and Central Asia (ECA), where he helped manage the global financial crisis; Vice President of Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, with record donors’ contributions to IDA replenishments; and Acting Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Earlier in his career, he held several managerial and non-managerial positions, both in HQ and country offices, including Director of Finance and Resources Mobilization, Sector Manager for Macro-Fiscal Policy in Africa, Country Manager in Madagascar, Country Economist for Russia.

    Born in Montpellier, France, Mr. Le Houérou grew up in Africa and Italy and went on to attend the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Ph.D in Economics from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.

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