OECS Media Statement
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 — The Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) elected Dr. Gene Leon to the position of President of CDB:
A national of Saint Lucia (Member State of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States – OECS), Dr. Gene Leon is an experienced economist, strategic thinker and effective communicator who has delivered macro-financial advice, academic scholarship and thought leadership in economic development. For more than 30 years, he has championed evidence-based economic policymaking in the Caribbean and has designed and delivered training and technical assistance on macroeconomic and financial issues to technical staff in Caribbean central banks.
He has directed macroeconomic and financial policy support to government authorities in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, Jamaica, and The Bahamas—diverse and challenging economies with complex socioeconomic and political circumstances. He has held senior leadership positions in multiple institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Central Bank of Barbados, and the State University of New York, managing executive-level and technical staff, setting the strategic direction for diverse teams, and leading working groups, which has laid a solid foundation for implementing institutional reform at the CDB.
Dr. Leon was selected from a field of two finalists, the other being Prof. Avinash Persaud of Barbados. Following the first round of voting, Barbados withdrew his candidacy in deference to the support expressed for the candidate of the OECS.
Chairman of the OECS Authority, Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica expressed his satisfaction at the election:
“The OECS Member States welcome the election of Dr. Leon to this position. Our support of Dr. Leon was not simply predicated on him being a national of the OECS, but more importantly his distinguished record of leadership and technical competence in the international institutions in which he has worked. His track record in making the IMF more responsive to the concerns and needs of the Member States in which he served, sends good signals of what we can expect of him in creating synergy between the borrowing and the lending Members of the CDB.”
Director-General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules also welcomed the election, stating:
“The OECS extends its congratulations to Dr. Leon and looks forward with great anticipation to the new phase of the transformation of the institution in the face of the new normal.”