ISLAMABAD - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Werner Liepach as the new Director General for its Central and West Asia Department (CWRD).

As Director General, Liepach will lead ADB’s engagement with 10 countries in the region, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. He will oversee ADB’s regional portfolio, which now stands at $18.6 billion, comprising 155 projects, said a statement issued by the ADB here Thursday.

Liepach will manage seven sector divisions at ADB headquarters and 10 country offices, covering energy; environment, natural resources and agriculture; transport, public management, financial sector and trade; regional cooperation and operations coordination; social; and urban and water development.

He will also supervise ADB’s engagement with the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation program, one of the largest regional cooperation programs in Asia.

“Central and West Asia are in a time of tremendous change as countries across the region expand trade and continue to reduce poverty,” said Liepach.

“ADB will continue to work with governments and development partners across the region to ensure inclusive growth through increased connectivity and enhanced physical and social infrastructure.” Prior to his appointment as Director General, Liepach was Deputy Director General and Senior Advisor in CWRD. He was ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan from 2011 to 2017 and has been with ADB since 1992.

Liepach holds a Doctorate in Economics/International Finance from University of Konstanz, Germany and a Master’s degree in Management/Business Administration from the European School of Management Studies, France.

He replaces the outgoing Director General Sean O’Sullivan, who will retire from ADB having served in a series of progressively more senior roles since joining as a Young Professional in 1987.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.