James Seward is a Senior Financial Officer in the Financial Advisory and Banking group of the World Bank Treasury. He is part of a team of financial specialists that design and implement financial solutions to help clients: (1) access financing for development by mobilizing World Bank Group financial resources and private sector financing; (2) mitigate the impact of financial, natural disaster and commodity risks by facilitating access to market-based risk management tools; and (3) strengthen the capacity of client counterparts in optimizing financing structures. Mr. Seward is leading this work for Africa and engaged across the world on a range of financial solutions.
Before coming to the Treasury in 2018, Mr. Seward was a Program Manager for strategic fundraising initiatives for the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation practice, and from 2016-2017, he was the Practice Manager for the Finance and Markets (F&M) team in the Africa Region of the World Bank. He oversaw a team of 26 staff, a lending portfolio of $1.4 billion across 12 projects, and 40 grants of $32.4 million covering the spectrum of financial sector development technical assistance and advisory programs in 20 countries in Africa. From 2014-2016, he was the Practice Manager of the F&M team in the East Asia and Pacific Region, where he managed a team of 42 staff across 10 country offices, and Mr. Seward established new World Bank knowledge hubs in Malaysia and Korea. He managed a budget of over $15 million and series of financing operations of over $700 million, which included the financing of infrastructure, such as in roads, sustainable energy, and housing, and often involved the enhancement and/or creation of new financial entities.
During the past 17 years at World Bank, he worked on a range of financial sector policy issues, including financial stability, banking reform, strengthening regulation and supervision, building financial markets and competitiveness, and expanding access to finance. Mr. Seward led numerous technical assistance, analytical, and financing operations during his tenure at the World Bank, including three major Financial Sector Assessment Programs (FSAPs) across the East Asia region.
Mr. Seward’s prior professional experience was with the United States Department of the Treasury as a regulator for economic and financial sanctions compliance and enforcement. He also served in the U.S. Department of State working on U.S. foreign policy towards Egypt and countries in North Africa. He was a consultant to different organizations, including one of the world’s largest microfinance banks and a leading research institute in international development. Mr. Seward has a graduate public policy degree with a concentration in international finance from the Kennedy School of Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in business administration and political science from James Madison University.
Financial Risk Management and Advisory