Kemal Dervis


United Nations Development Program

Kemal Dervis started as the new head of the United Nations Development Programme, the UN's global development network, on 15 August 2005. He is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.

Prior to his appointment with UNDP, Dervis was a member of the Turkish Parliament representing Istanbul from November 2002 to June 2005. During this time, he represented the Turkish Parliament in the Constitutional Convention on the Future of Europe and was a member of the joint commission of the Turkish and European Parliaments. He was also active in the Economics and Foreign Policy Forum, a Turkish NGO working on economic and political issues.

From March 2001 to August 2002, Dervis was Minister for Economic Affairs and the Treasury without party affiliation of the Republic of Turkey, responsible for Turkey?s recovery programme after the devastating financial crisis that hit the country in February 2001. In August of 2002, after the crisis was overcome, he resigned from his Ministerial post and was elected to Parliament in November of the same year.

Dervis earned his Bachelor (first class honours) and Masters degrees (with distinction) in economics from the London School of Economics and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. From 1973 to 1977, he was member of the economics faculties of the Middle East Technical University and then Princeton University. In 1977, he joined the World Bank where he worked until he returned to Turkey in 2001.

At the World Bank he held various positions including Division Chief for Industrial and Trade Strategy and Director for the Central Europe Department after the fall of the Berlin wall, a position in which he later coordinated the World Bank and donor community's support to the peace and reconstruction process in the Balkans (Bosnia). In 1996, he became Vice-President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa Region where he was active in supporting the Middle East Peace Process. In 2000, Kemal Dervis; became Vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management where he was responsible for the World Bank's global programmes and policies to fight poverty. He was also responsible for operational coordination with other institutions, including the United Nations system, the IMF and the WTO on international institutional and policy issues.

Kemal Dervis has been an active participant in various European and international networks including the Global Progressive Forum and the Progressive Governance Network. He was a member of the International Task Force on Global Public Goods co-chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico and also a member of the Special Commission on the Balkans chaired by Giuliano Amato, former Prime Minister of Italy. He cooperated with the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford and the Center for Global Development in Washington. All these activities have had the common objective of finding ways to make globalization into a more stable and inclusive process and to further international cooperation.

Kemal Dervis has published many articles in academic journals as well as current affairs publications on topics ranging from mathematical models of growth and social mobility and quantitative models of trade, to European enlargement and transatlantic relations (in English, Turkish, French and German—he is fluent in all four languages). A book entitled "General Equilibrium Models for Development Policy" which he co-authored was published by Cambridge University Press in 1982 and became a widely used textbook in development economics in the 1980s.

Focus: Development, Finance, Governance, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Global, Middle East

Related Resources:

Selected Publications:

A Better Globalization: Legitimacy, Governance, and Reform, with Ceren Ozer (Washington, D.C.: The Center for Global Development, 2005).

Language Fluency:


Last Updated: Sep 25, 2006

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