Published October 20, 2017

From the CEO

At the Milken Institute, we are strong believers in the power of capital markets to help solve urgent social and economic problems. But capital markets do not automatically deliver growth. They can pose risks to financial stability, and in many countries are underdeveloped and little utilized. To advance prosperity, capital markets require not only capable investors, but also policymakers who truly understand their potential.

When the Milken Institute was founded in 1991, its original focus was the interaction between education and job creation. Today, while our work spans many areas, that link is the foundation of one of our most inspiring new programs: a partnership among the Institute, the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group) and George Washington University that helps up-and-coming policymakers from developing countries gain deeper understandings of capital markets.

In August, we welcomed the latest class of IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Fellows to Washington. It was not easy for them to get there: each had to be nominated by their governments and employers as the most promising talent in their organization. The final class was selected for their passion for what they do, their eagerness to share their learning and insight, and their potential to become the next generation of capital markets leaders once they return home.

This year’s class of 21 was drawn from 15 countries, including Ghana, Mongolia, Pakistan and Gambia. As mid-career professionals, each has worked for a minimum of five years in their government’s capital markets authority, central bank or ministry of finance. Their eight-month program starts with a semester of rigorous coursework in economic policy, finance and statistics, which is supplemented by a high-profile speaker series featuring the Institute’s wide-ranging network of financial industry leaders. The fellows then undertake demanding internships that anchor their learning in practical experience and put them in the shoes of private investors. A number of fellows will cap off their time in the United States by participating in the 2018 Milken Institute Global Conference.

It was a delight to be with this group, and to hear about their hopes for their time in the program. If last year’s inaugural class is any indicator, their dynamism and zeal to put what they learned to practical use will have significant benefit back home. One of our long-term goals for the program is to create an alumni group that will work across national boundaries to facilitate more effective local capital markets. We look forward to continuing the program, and to our engagement with these policymakers, for years to come.

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Michael Klowden