Issam Abousleiman will become the new World Bank Manager for Colombia beginning March 25th, 2013.
He joined the World Bank in 1989 at the Loan Department for the Africa region. Abousleiman has held various positions. Most recently as Director of the Financial Products and Services Department at the World Bank Treasury, where he developed new products and provided innovative financial solutions for governments in diverse emerging markets and subnational entities.
He also led the World Bank teams that designed and implemented financial innovations, among them stand-by loans, disaster risk and climate change financing, climate derivatives and other financial solutions tailored to each country’s needs to finance and manage currency, commodity and interest rate risks.
“Abousleiman will be responsible for continuing the excellent relationship between the Bank and Colombian authorities; coordinating the implementation of the Country Partnership Strategy with the objective of fulfilling its goals and guaranteeing the quality and the packaging of the Bank’s financial, knowledge and convening services to respond to the specific needs of such an important partner as Colombia,” said Gloria M. Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia.
Previously, he worked in several areas, including financial management, private sector development, business process re-engineering, and system development at the World Bank. His regional experience includes Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Since 1996 Abousleiman has worked with Colombia on several occasions, visiting various cities such as Bogota, Cartagena, Medellin and Pasto. He supported the Bank’s work in reconstructing the Coffee Growing Region after the 1999 earthquake. As Chief of the Financial Products Unit, he coordinated the first loan denominated in Colombian pesos granted by a multilateral bank, considered an example in terms of financial product innovation because the country and its beneficiaries avoid exchange rate risks.
Abousleiman, born in Lebanon, has an MBA in Financing and Investment from George Washington University and another from the American University in Beirut. He is a Certified Financial Analyst by the CFA Institute.
Issam Abousleiman is replacing Geoffrey Bergen, who is retiring.