The CAREC Institute met with its key funding partners the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China (PRC MoF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to brief on the change in leadership at the institute. Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah will be completing his term as the Director of the CAREC Institute on November 10, 2022, and Mr. Kabir Jurazoda will join the institute as the new Director.
Dr. Jingjing Huang, Deputy Director One of the CAREC Institute, opened the meeting by informing the participants about the change in leadership in accordance with the CAREC Institute’s management rotation procedure, in which member countries alternate in the position of director in alphabetical order. The director is recommended by the government of the respective member country and appointed by the Governing Council of the institute for a term of two years. She thanked Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah for his great energy and commitment to leading the CAREC Institute during the unprecedented time of global crises and welcomed Mr. Kabir Jurazoda as the new Director and wished him well in further enhancing the effectiveness of the institute.
Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah thanked ADB and PRC MoF for the guidance and support provided to the CAREC Institute over the past three years that helped the institute expand its knowledge production and knowledge sharing activities. Despite multiple challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions, and economic crises, the CAREC Institute was able not only to adapt its activities to new realities, but also to conduct important policy research in support of CAREC member countries with new knowledge products and important policy recommendations. The CAREC Institute has introduced an e-learning platform that has, in a sense, turned the pandemic crisis into an opportunity in terms of deploying a very effective tool to improve learning outcomes. “I would like to especially thank all staff of the CAREC Institute for their hard work. They worked tirelessly to achieve the strategic goals of the institute. And I am confident that the new Director Kabir Jurazoda will be able to continue to use the skills of our colleagues to ensure further institutional growth,” said Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah.
The new Director, Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, noted the achievements of Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah, and the tremendous progress made by the CAREC institute in delivering various knowledge outputs over the past three years under his leadership. “I have a strong faith in the institute’s cohesive team with whom we will jointly ensure the implementation of the new strategy of the CAREC Institute until 2025 and achieve its goals and objectives within the five operational clusters of the CAREC Program,” said Mr. Kabir Jurazoda. He assured that given the new set of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, financial instability, and economic transformation, the CAREC Institute, as the region’s leading knowledge hub, will continue to produce new knowledge to help its member countries overcome these challenges through tailored policy advice, peer learning and effective operation.
Mr. Eugene Zhukov, Director General of ADB Central and West Asia Department, welcomed Mr. Kabir Jurazoda as the new Director representing the Republic of Tajikistan and expressed his gratitude to Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah for leadership in leading the CAREC Institute during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah’s effective leadership in developing the new institutional strategy of the CAREC Institute to accommodate necessary approaches to address the newly emerging social economic challenges in the region by effectively utilizing the institute’s financial and human resources. Several new programs, such as Visiting Fellows Research Program, Research Conference, experts’ dialogues, and Chai meeting events, have further promoted the CAREC Institute as a discussion platform for policy advice. During the years of the pandemic, the institute published several research papers which have proven timely as an informative source of knowledge for developing policies to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic. These efforts have received special recognition from an international think tank rating agency. Mr. Eugene Zhukov expressed his hope that the experience and knowledge of Mr. Kabir Jurazoda will help the institute not only maintain the results achieved, but also lead this world-famous institution to new achievements, new heights, and continued cooperation with ADB for the benefit of the people of the CAREC region.
Mr. Lu Jin, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation of PRC MoF, expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah for his outstanding work as the Director of the CAREC Institute in making a great contribution to the development of the institute. The CAREC Institute not only managed the transformation of its operational model, but also improved human resources, produced more knowledge outputs, and introduced modern management and institutional governance, demonstrating the institute’s great ability and potential to support the CAREC countries with knowledge for regional prosperous development. Mr. Lu Jin welcomed Mr. Kabir Jurazoda on board, noting his strong educational background and extensive professional experience in public service and knowledge management. He expressed confidence that, under Mr. Jurazoda’ s leadership, the CAREC Institute will continue to develop and further contribute to economic cooperation and integration of the CAREC region.
Mr. Lu Jin shared additional thoughts on how to improve the institutional effectiveness of the CAREC Institute. First, the CAREC Institute should continue to use a demand-driven approach to support member countries and further strengthen engagement and cooperation with member countries, and provide them with tailored knowledge support, including high-quality policy advice. Second, the CAREC Institute should continue to collaborate with academia and development institutions to build regional and interdisciplinary research networks which are crucial for strategic research and knowledge sharing. Third, the CAREC Institute should further strengthen institutional governance and capacity by conducting an organizational review and reforms. Fourth, the CAREC Institute should continue to expand its funding sources and strengthen its financial sustainability. In his closing remarks, Mr. Lu Jin said, “as the host country of the CAREC Institute, China will continue to provide strong support to its development. We hope that the CAREC Institute becomes stronger and plays a bigger role in regional cooperation and integration of the CAREC region.”
Representatives of the ADB – Mr. Safdar Parvez, Advisor, East Asia Department, and Ms. Lyaziza Sabyrova, Director of the Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division in Central and West Asia Department, as well as representatives of the CAREC Institute – Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev, Deputy Director Two, and Dr. Hans Holzhacker, Chief Economist, highlighted in details the professional achievements of Mr. Syed Shakeel Shah during his tenure as the Director of the CAREC Institute and his leadership qualities, and welcomed Mr. Kabir Jurazoda as the new Director.