Mike Klowden

Published July 26, 2021.

From the CEO

Since the pandemic upended the world some 18 months ago, many U.S. organizations have understandably looked inward, focused on the immediate challenges to our own society. The Milken Institute’s response to Covid-19 here at home has been constructive and robust, as I’ve detailed in previous letters in the Review. Yet we never let slip our long-term commitment to help to carve out better lives for those outside of America’s borders.

There are numerous examples. One is the partnership between the Institute, the International Finance Corporation and the George Washington University (GW) School of Business that is building a cadre of financial policy leaders across emerging economies.

This unique program offers four months of academic training and a four-month internship in the U.S. financial industry to participants nominated by central banks, ministries of finance and stock exchanges. After five years, the partnership has notched some impressive numbers: 150 participants — 40 percent of them women — from 45 countries (over half in Africa) and 70 government institutions have been part of the program.

The pandemic forced organizers to adapt, of course, but they did not cancel the program. The spring 2020 class was already in Washington when Covid-19 struck. The class switched to online learning to complete the academic portion of the training, and then followed up with internships online.

Meanwhile, thanks to a special exception granted by GW, the class that arrived in March 2021 was the only program allowed to access the business school in person. The participants are now completing their internships in a mix of remote and hybrid formats.

For each class, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at the welcoming receptions. It’s been a highlight of the job for me to interact with them, as well as to follow their careers when they become part of the active network of alumni. They include:

Davis Laporte, a member of the first class, has for the past two years been chief investment officer of the Seychelles Pension Fund.

Walter Pacheco of the Angola Capital Markets Commission was also in the first class. After his internship, he headed the Angolan Ministry of Finance’s Debt Management Office for several years, and was recently named CEO of the Angola Stock Exchange.

Lydia Kinyanjui from the Kenya Capital Markets Authority was valedictorian for the spring 2020 class. She’s been promoted to manager of strategy and projects at the authority.

We’re proud of each of these leaders, and of all their colleagues from the program. In the post-pandemic world, they will make an important difference.

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Michael Klowden, CEO