Dr. Reza Baqir was appointed as the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan by the President of Pakistan on May 4, 2019, for a period of 3 years from the day he assumes the office of the Governor. He assumed his responsibilities on May 5, 2019.
In addition to his regular responsibilities overseeing financial and monetary stability in the country and promoting sustainable economic growth, Governor Baqir has led several key new initiatives at the State Bank since assuming office. These include an aggressive, targeted, and timely economic support package in response to COVID-19; creation of the Roshan Digital Account initiative to digitally onboard Pakistan’s diaspora into Pakistan’s banking system and provide incentives to use formal channels to remit and invest in Pakistan; launch and implementation of the National Payments Strategy to promote the digitization of financial services in Pakistan including a faster payment system Raast; creation of a comprehensive program to promote construction and housing finance especially for low income segments of society; development of a dedicated policy to reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion called Banking on Equality, as well as several other initiatives.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Baqir had eighteen years of experience with the IMF and two years of experience with the World Bank. He was the Head of the IMF's Office in Egypt and Senior Resident Representative since August 2017. He has also held positions as IMF’s Mission Chief for Romania and Bulgaria, Division Chief of the IMF's Debt Policy Division, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, overseeing IMF’s work on debt relief and sovereign debt restructuring, head of the IMF delegation to the Paris Club for four years, and Deputy Division Chief of the Emerging Markets Division overseeing IMF’s loans and policies in emerging markets, amongst other roles.
Dr. Baqir is an ex-officio member of several international organizations. He represents the State Bank of Pakistan on the Board of Directors of the Asian Clearing Union, the Board of Governors of the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade and Development Bank, the Council of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the Financial Stability Regional Consultative Group for Asia, and the IMF’s Board of Governors. He has been appointed as Chairman of the General Assembly of the prestigious Islamic Financial Services Board for 2022. Dr. Baqir’s views on global and national economic issues have been aired frequently by in international media outlets including CNN, Bloomberg, and CNBC.
Dr. Baqir's academic research has been published in top journals of the economics profession, including the Journal of Political Economy and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Dr. Baqir holds a Ph.Dd in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and an A.B. (Magna cum Laude) in Economics from Harvard University.