Samir M. Suleymanov

Head, Strategic Initiatives Unit

Samir M. Suleymanov is Head of the World Bank’s new Strategic Initiatives Unit set to support the World Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in undertaking initiatives that are critical for operationalizing strategic priorities and for enhancing strategic positioning of the institution. The unit aims to support the CEO’s objective of accelerating the implementation of management decisions and promoting innovation and collaboration across units and with key strategic partners.

Previously, Mr. Suleymanov was the Director for Strategy and Operations in the Office of the Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). During this time, he coordinated the Forward Look: Vision for the World Bank Group in 2030, a shareholder-endorsed strategic corporate exercise to set the Bank’s development agenda. Under the direction of the CAO, he also put into place a number of internal reforms and initiatives to help the Bank become more efficient. Prior to his work with the CAO, Suleymanov led the policy unit that supports the work of the Board of Executive Directors. There, his responsibilities included leading corporate governance reforms, advising the Executive Directors in the conduct of the Board’s fiduciary duties, and facilitating strategic dialogues among senior management and the board, including on the Bank’s 2010 capital increase campaign.

A 21-year veteran of the World Bank Group, Mr. Suleymanov has extensive experience in operations. An Azerbaijani national, he joined the institution in 1996 as a Project Analyst in the Sustainable Development Sector Unit for Europe and Central Asia Region. Between 1996 and 2005, he managed project financing and knowledge work in natural resource and land management, environmental pollution, oil and gas, infrastructure finance, and rural and microfinance sectors in most countries of the Europe and Central Asia Region. He also helped to mainstream carbon finance into the Bank’s business line, including the region’s first “Community Carbon Fund” project.

Between 2005 and 2009, Mr. Suleymanov coordinated the Bank’s Russia program in Moscow.  There, he helped develop new financial and knowledge products to meet evolving needs of Russia as an upper middle-income country, including the creation of what has now become the widely successful Reimbursable Advisory Services. He also helped introduce a new municipal lending facility with IFC that provided financing to subnational entities and utilities without a sovereign guarantee. Mr. Suleymanov also worked on partnering with private investment banks and funds on initiatives for financing investments with development impact.

Mr. Suleymanov holds an MBA from George Washington University and a B.S. from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service.