For Immediate Release
Oct 31, 2017

IFC, Milken Institute & GW welcome new class of leaders to strengthen capital markets and encourage investment in developing countries

2017-18 Capital Markets Program expands to include fellows from additional countries in Africa, Asia & Caribbean

Application period for 2018-19 Fellowships opens in November

WASHINGTONOct. 31, 2017 -- The Milken Institute, the International Finance Corporation (IFC, a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector), and The George Washington University's School of Business are working together to recruit, train and build a cohort of talented mid-career executives to support capital-market development and economic growth in their home countries and across borders.

Now in its second year, the IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program brought 21 fellows from 15 countries to the United States for a rigorous eight-month program. Elements include coursework leading to a certificate in capital markets from GW, and professional internship assignments across the financial industry. Internship providers range from regulatory agencies and development finance institutions to investment managers, venture capital and private equity firms. Sponsor companies include Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Prospect Capital, Vista Equity Partners and WorldQuant, among others.

Michael Milken, chairman of the Milken Institute, hosted a gathering in Washington D.C. to introduce the new class of IFC-Milken Institute fellows to high-level financial industry representatives. The fellows discussed their personal and professional experiences, sharing insights on financial market challenges and evolutions in Haiti, Liberia, Kenya, Pakistan, Zambia and the Gambia.

"Future economic and social progress in the world's developing nations depends far less on natural resources and more on entrepreneurial talent and access to capital," said Milken. "Robust capital markets combined with informed leadership are needed to create jobs, improve education and develop infrastructure for rapidly growing populations. The IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program is preparing a new generation of leaders to help assure that these societies enjoy a more prosperous and meaningful future."

Jingdong Hua, vice president and treasurer of IFC (which co-sponsors the program) highlighted the importance played by robust capital markets in enabling countries to reach their full economic potential. He remarked, "Once you have a cadre of champions of capital markets, they will have an accelerated trajectory of providing finance to the private sector, and ultimately help to fight poverty."

Vivek Choudhury, dean of The George Washington University School of Business, noted "At GWSB, we like to say that we are 'Engaging the World from the nation's Capital.' I can think of no better example than the Capital Markets Program, sponsored by the Milken Institute and IFC. The fellows are emerging leaders of their respective nations and we are proud to play a part in their professional development. This is a perfect case of an educational program that will make a difference in the world and change lives."

"The best thing I am getting out of the program is learning from such an experienced cohort – nations like Kenya and Nigeria are teaching me that it's not a one-size-fits-all solution and that it is important to tailor policy to your economy," explained Louis-Olivier Verret, an IFC-Milken Institute Fellow and senior officer at the Central Bank of Haiti. His classmate Mortima Ketter, also an IFC-Milken Institute Fellow and senior analyst at the Central Bank of Liberia, summarized his expectations for the internship, "In order for me to understand your behavior in your market, I have to work for you. That is what I will take back home so that I can effectively manage market players."

The Milken Institute and IFC have expanded the global reach of the program this year, by welcoming seven fellows from Asia and the Caribbean in addition to the fourteen from Africa. The program directors for the Milken Institute and IFC, Carole Biau and Divya Nair, noted that the proportion of women has also doubled since the program was launched, reaching nearly half the class.

The alumni network is one of the most valuable components of the program. Several alumni from the inaugural class, who graduated in April 2017, have assumed new or additional responsibilities following the IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program fellowship.

For example, Walter Pacheco has gone from heading the Market Development unit of the Angolan Capital Markets Commission to working as executive director for Angola's new Stock Exchange – and met with the current class of fellows during a work trip to Washington D.C. Immaculate Nakato and Stephen Birungi, both program alumni from Uganda, have been increasing the level of policy dialogue between their country's Central Bank and Capital Markets Authority since they graduated.

The application period for 2018-19 Fellowships opens November 1, 2017. For more information on how to participate or to nominate high caliber candidates, contact Divya Nair at . To support the program as a sponsor, speaker or internship provider, contact Carole Biau at

More details are available online at

IFC-Milken Institute Fellows: Class of 2017-18 

Cote D'Ivoire
  • Wotoumo Mélessi Fanny, Financial Specialist, Office of the Ministry of Economy and Finance
  • Nandintuya Chimedtseren, Financial Markets and Insurance Division (FMID) Officer, Mongolian Ministry of Finance
  • Undraa Nursed, Financial Policy Department Officer, Mongolian Ministry of Finance
  • Sisay Habte, Trading Operations Senior Manager, Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
  • Abdulkadir Abbas, Head of Securities and Investment Services, Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Emomotimi John Agama, Deputy Director/Head of the Exchanges Division, Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission
The Gambia
  • Halima Singateh-Jagne, Principal Bank Examiner, Central Bank of the Gambia
  • Sulayman Cham, Principal Financial Analyst, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs
  • Iftikhar Ahmed Tari, Joint Director, State Bank of Pakistan
  • Najia Ubaid, Surveillance, Supervision and Enforcement Department Joint Director, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan
  • Richard Ruttmern, Head of Finance and Capital Department, Ghanaian Securities and Exchange Commission
Sierra Leone
  • Purity Kamara, Senior Manager, Central Bank of Sierra Leone
  • Gwendoline Darguste, Junior Officer, Central Bank of Haiti
  • Louis-Olivier Verret, Senior Officer, Central Bank of Haiti
Sri Lanka
  • Dilini Udugamakorala, Senior Assistant Superintendent, Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Willyson Nyale Yanga, Financial Analysis Assistant Manager, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya
St Kitts
  • Kieran St. Omer, Senior Analyst, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
  • Wakpe Karmbor, Financial Market Analyst, Central Bank of Liberia
  • Mortima Ketter, Senior Analyst of Financial Markets, Central Bank of Liberia
  • Leah Kusensela, Accounts Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission Zambia
  • Mohamed Salem Zein El Abidine, Head of Service of Portfolio Analysis and Monitoring Agency, Central Bank of Mauritania

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it's needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

About The George Washington University School of Business

GW's School of Business is an international leader in education and research, which prides itself on training future leaders to be global problem solvers and socially responsible managers. The school leverages its prime location—in the heart of Washington—by attracting visiting scholars and leaders in the business community to work, teach and engage with students. For more information, visit

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. It conducts data-driven research, convenes action-oriented meetings and promotes meaningful policy initiatives.