The UN Capital Development Fund has appointed Indian-origin investment and development banker Preeti Sinha as its Executive Secretary. Their focus will be on providing micro-finance assistance to women, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises in under-served communities.
Sinha commenced her tenure as UNCDF Executive Secretary, the highest leadership rank in the institution, on Monday.
Established in 1966, the New York-headquartered organization provides micro-finance access to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with the mandate to unlock the full potential of public and private finance.
She 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.”
In a statement, Sinha 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.”
The agency said that Sinha succeeds Judith Karl, who retired in February after concluding her 30-year career in the United Nations.
Welcoming Sinha, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said: “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 .
Sinha 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, the agency said.
As Executive Secretary, Sinha will 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.
She has three decades of global experience across investment and development finance, managing institutional public and private development capital.
The UNCDF statement said Sinha served as CEO and President of FFD Financing for Development LLC, a specialist development finance firm in Geneva, focusing on resource mobilisation, donor relations, innovative capital markets, partnerships, strategy, business development, and impact investment advisory to finance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Previously, she 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, the agency said, adding that she also served in senior resource mobilisation roles at the African Development Bank.
Sinha graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program in Public Financial Management.
She 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.
She is an alumnus of Dartmouth College, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Science.
UNCDF “”makes public and private finance work for the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs) to harness their untapped growth potential.
Its programmes “help to empower women, and are designed to catalyse larger capital flows from the private sector, national Governments and development partners, for maximum impact towards the internationally agreed developments goals.