The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has appointed Indian-origin investment and development banker Preeti Sinha as its Executive Secretary. She assumed the role of the highest leadership rank in the institution on Monday.
Under this role, Preeti will be focussing on providing micro-finance assistance to women, youth, and small and medium-sized enterprises in under-served communities.
Established in 1966, the New York City-headquartered organisation provides micro-finance access to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with the mandate to unlock the full potential of public and private finance.
According to PTI, Preeti will oversee the organisation's efforts to deliver scalable impact in order to make the international financial architecture work for the world's frontier and pre-frontier markets; with a specific emphasis on supporting sustainable development for women, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises, smallholder farmers, and other traditionally underserved communities.
Judith Karl, UNCDF’s previous Executive Secretary, retired in February after concluding her 30-year career at the United Nations.
Preeti will lead UNCDF’s work to harness the untapped growth potential of the LDCs, to enable and empower communities, local governments, and small businesses to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, while building more resilient and inclusive economies.
In a statement to the media, she said her goal would be to make 'C' in UNCDF (capital) to be "highly catalytic in mobilising manifold the public and private finance for the LDCs it serves, and in developing a new era of engagement with capital markets in 2021 and onwards."
As the executive secretary, Preeti will also oversee UNCDF’s ‘last-mile’ finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
“UNCDF’s support for the world’s Least Developed Countries is critical, and I look forward to continuing the strong partnership between our organisations into the future,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner told the media in a welcome note.
Preeti has three decades of global experience across investment and development finance, during which, she managed institutional public and private development capital.
She has previously served as the CEO and President of FFD Financing for Development LLC — a specialist development finance firm in Geneva, Switzerland, and managed the YES Global Institute, a practising private sector think-tank for socio-economic development in New Delhi, building the impact investment ecosystem in India.
A post-graduate in Global Leadership from the World Economic Forum and a Master's in Public and Private Management (MPPM)/MBA from the Yale School of Management, Preeti has also served in senior resource mobilisation roles at the African Development Bank.
(Edited by Suman Singh)