- As executive secretary, the Indian American will oversee the organization’s efforts to work with least developed countries in the world.
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has appointed investment and development banker Preeti Sinha as its executive secretary. Sinha, who began her new tenure this week, will lead UNCDF in its mandate to unlock public and private finance for the LDCs (least developed countries). The UNCDF makes public and private finance work for the poor in 47 least developed countries. Sinha succeeds Judith Karl, who retired in February after concluding her 30-year career in the United Nations.
In her new role, Sinha will oversee the organization’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,” a UNCDF press release said.
She will also lead the organization’s efforts to accelerate SDG (sustainable development goals) achievement in the LDCs during the “Decade of Action,” launched in 2020 by the United Nations with the goal of achieving the SDG agenda by 2030. She 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.”
“With the excellent team at UNCDF, my aspirations are for the ‘C’ – the Capital at UNCDF – to be highly catalytic in mobilizing 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,” said Sinha.
In a career spanning 30 years, Sinha worked in various capacities in investment and development finance. She served as CEO and president of FFD Financing for Development LLC, a specialist development finance firm in Geneva focusing on resource mobilization, donor relations, innovative capital markets, partnerships, strategy and business development, and impact investment advisory to finance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Previously, she managed the YES Global Institute, a practicing private sector think-tank for socio-economic development in New Delhi, building the impact investment ecosystem in India. She also served in senior resource mobilization roles at the African Development Bank, including managing its ADF-13 Replenishment, raising $ 7.3 billion from 27 donor countries. She has also led multicultural teams and worked in investment banking at HSBC, Rabobank, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan in London, Hong Kong, Mumbai and New York.
Sinha graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program in Public Financial Management. She also holds a Master’s 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 (SOM). She graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Science.