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Friday, 5 May 2017

Jihad Azour: The IMF’s new man for all seasons | The National

Jihad Azour: The IMF’s new man for all seasons | The National:

"The IMF’s Jihad Azour can be fairly described as an archetypal international technocrat. He has the kind of CV you would expect for the fund’s newly appointed top man for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (Menap). The 50-year-old former Lebanese finance minister is a dual national, Lebanese and French, with an academic background that is very much in the Grandes Écoles tradition, with two advanced finance degrees, including a doctorate, from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, as well as a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. But Mr Azour shows a politician’s touch when dealing with the kind of criticisms that have often been levelled at the IMF as coldly pursuing capitalism-friendly austerity policies that do not take into account the human costs. "You have to make sure there are certain issues and groups that are protected in the mix of fiscal adjustments," says the soft-spoken economist, who started his career as a McKinsey & Co consultant. "As a fund, we have stretched our engagement in the region and now have financial commitments totalling US$24 billion across seven active programmes.""

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