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Dr Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon (Photo courtesy of Caribbean Development Bank)

Dr ‘Gene’ Leon takes up CDB president role on May 1

Dr Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon (Photo courtesy of Caribbean Development Bank)

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) yesterday announced in a news release that its board of governors elected Dr Hyginus “Gene” Leon to serve as the next president of the multilateral institution.  

“I look forward to working with all Member States and a tremendous staff with zeal and unrelenting commitment”

Dr Hyginus “Gene” Leon

According to the release, Dr Leon’s tenure will begin on May 1, 2021, as he replaces Dr William Warren Smith, who steps down from the position in April this year.

Dr Smith has led the regional financial institution for the last 10 years.

Caribbean Development Bank President Dr William Warren Smith speaking at the 50th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors. (Photo courtesy of CDB)

“I am deeply honoured by the trust that the Board of Governors has demonstrated in my experience and ability. The CDB remains an instrumental partner in regional development. I look forward to working with all Member States and a tremendous staff with zeal and unrelenting commitment,” Dr Leon said regarding his election to the post.

The new president will begin his job having over 30 years of experience in economic development and has directed macroeconomic and financial policy support to government authorities in Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and the Caribbean.  Dr Leon has worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for more than 24 years, serving as mission chief for the Gulf states of Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates; as well as The Bahamas, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.

The office of the Caribbean Development Bank in St Michaels, Barbados.
(Photo: caribank.org)

He was also the IMF’s senior resident representative in Jamaica.

Prior to his employment to the IMF, Dr Leon was an associate professor at State University of New York, Old Westbury, in the United States. He has also served as the director of research at the Central Bank of Barbados and country economist at CDB.

Dr Leon holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the University of Southampton and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of London — both from the United Kingdom.

In 2016, Dr Leon rivalled Dr Timothy Harris as another top candidate to serve as governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.