Sir Suma is Chair of the Board of Trustees of ODI and Adviser to the Presidents of Kazakstan and Uzbekistan on economic development, effective governance and international cooperation. Until July 2020, he served as the sixth President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for two four-year terms.
During his tenure at the EBRD, Sir Suma led the expansion of the institution’s geographical focus to the Middle East and placed greater stress on the less advanced countries of operation. While continuing with its private sector focused mandate, Sir Suma led the EBRD’s advocacy for market-friendly policy reform, better governance and improved investment climates, engaging personally with the political leaders of the EBRD’s countries of operation and the CEOs of private and public sector clients.
Before becoming President of the EBRD, Sir Suma had a successful career in the UK civil service as Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Development (2002-2007) and the Ministry of Justice (2007-2012).
Sir Suma’s earlier career was in international development, starting as a ODI Fellow in Botswana in the early 1980s, and encompassing a range of economic and administrative posts in the Overseas Development Administration (DFID’s predecessor) in London and in the UK office at the World Bank and IMF.
After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford, Sir Suma took a Masters in Development Economics at the University of Sussex. He is a honorary Fellow of New College, Oxford University, a honorary bencher at the Middle Temple, and also holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sussex, East Anglia, and the Bucharest University of Economic Sciences, as well as prestigious honours from Kosovo, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Sir Suma was knighted in 2006 for his work in international development.