Kemal Derviş – Wikipedia

Turkish economist and politician

Kemal Derviş (Turkish pronunciation: [keˈmal deɾviʃ]; born 10 January 1949) is a Turkish economist and politician, and former head of the United Nations Development Programme. He was honored by the government of Japan for having “contributed to mainstreaming Japan’s development assistance policy through the United Nations”.[1] In 2005, he was ranked 67th in the Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll conducted by Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines.[2][3] He is Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution and part-time professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.[4]

In March 2015, Derviş agreed to become the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey responsible for the economy in a cabinet led by Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu should his party form the government after the general election to be held in June. He declined to become a Member of Parliament however, stating that he would prefer to participate in the cabinet from outside the Parliament.[5]

Early life[edit]

Kemal Derviş was born on 10 January 1949 in Istanbul, Turkey, to a Turkish father and a German mother. From his father’s side, he is a descendant of Ottoman Grand Vizier Halil Hamid Pasha (1736–1785); and of Ottoman military physician Asaf Derviş Pasha (1868–1928) who is regarded as the founder of modern gynaecology in Turkey.[citation needed]

Derviş took office as Minister of State for Economic Affairs in Turkey on 13 March 2001, when Bülent Ecevit was Prime Minister.[6] Derviş was the architect of Turkey’s successful three-year economic recovery program launched in that year. Before being named to head the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),[7] he was a member of the Turkish parliament, and a member of the joint commission of the Turkish and European Parliaments. He used to be a member of the Convention on the Future of Europe.

A member of the Advisory Group at the Center for Global Development,[8] member the Task Force on Global Public Goods and the Special Commission on the Balkans and associated with the Economics and Foreign Policy Forum in Istanbul, Derviş was instrumental in strengthening Turkey’s prospects of starting membership negotiations with the European Union.

Strobe Talbott announced that Derviş joined the Brookings Institution on 30 March 2009 as vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program.[9]

Derviş is married to his second wife, Catherine Derviş, an American citizen. He is the author of Recovery from the Crisis and Contemporary Social Democracy, which was published in 2006.

On June 10, 2020, he published a Project Syndicate article titled “Less Globalization, More Multilateralism.”[10] Derviş is also a regular contributor to Project Syndicate since 2003.

Studies and World Bank career[edit]

Kemal Derviş completed his early education in Institut Le Rosey. He later earned his bachelor (1968) and master’s degrees (1970) in economics from the London School of Economics. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 1973 after completing a doctoral dissertation titled “Substitution, employment and intertemporal equilibrium in a non-linear multi-sector planning model for Turkey.”[11] From 1973 to 1976, he was member of the economics faculty of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and served also as an advisor to Bülent Ecevit during and after his Prime Ministerial duties. From 1976 to 1978, he was member of the faculty, Department of Economics at the 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. In 1996, he became Vice-President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa Region, and in 2000, Vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. In the first position, Kemal Derviş coordinated the World Bank’s support to the peace and reconstruction process in the Balkans (Bosnia) and the Middle East. In the second position, he was responsible for the World Bank’s global programmes and policies to fight poverty and the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) initiative that had just been launched. He was also responsible for the operational coordination with other institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations institutions, on international institutional and policy issues.

Ministry of Economic Affairs[edit]

When Derviş became Turkey’s minister of economic affairs in March 2001, after a 22-year career at the World Bank, the country was facing its worst economic crisis in modern history and prospects for success were uncertain. Derviş used his independence from domestic vested interests and support of domestic reformers and civil society to push through a tough stabilization program with far-reaching structural changes and sweeping bank reforms that protected state banks from political use. Derviş also strengthened the independence of the central bank and pushed through deep structural reforms in agriculture, energy and the budget process. These reforms, and his reputation and top-level contacts in the U.S. and Europe, helped him to mobilize $20 billion in new loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Rapid economic growth resumed in 2002 and inflation came down from an average of nearly 70 percent in the 1990s to 12 percent in 2003; interest rates fell and the exchange rate for the Turkish lira stabilized.

Derviş resigned from his ministerial position on 10 August 2002 and was elected to parliament on 3 November of that year as a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party.

United Nations Development Program[edit]

On 5 May 2005, the United Nations General Assembly, representing 191 countries, unanimously confirmed Kemal Derviş as the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, which is also the chairperson of the United Nations Development Group. Derviş started his four-year term on 15 August 2005. The UNDP Administrator is the third-highest-ranking official in the United Nations, after the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General.

In 2006, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Derviş to a High-level Panel on United Nations Systemwide Coherence, which was set up to explore how the United Nations system could work more coherently and effectively across the world in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment.[12]

In 2009, Derviş decided not to seek a second term as Administrator of UNDP.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Kemal Derviş speaks Turkish, German, English and French fluently.[14] He is married to Catherine Derviş, an American citizen.[15]

According to press reports, when he was still single and working at the World Bank, Derviş had an affair with a married female subordinate (her identity is not revealed) who reportedly later started working at the IMF.[14] This was speculated by the media as the possible reason why Derviş, despite being seen by many as the right person for the job, decided not to become a candidate to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the next Managing Director of the IMF, a position which was eventually taken by Christine Lagarde.[14]

Selected works[edit]

  1. ^ a b Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “2009 Autumn Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals,” p. 1.
  2. ^ The top 100 intellectuals
  3. ^ The Prospect/FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals
  4. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ “CHP iktidarının başbakan yardımcısı Kemal Derviş”.
  6. ^ Kutlay, Mustafa (30 December 2001). “Derviş’in 2001 bilançosu” [Derviş’s 2001 balance sheet]. Hürriyet. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  7. ^ Kemal Derviş to head the UN Development Programme. BBC.
  8. ^ “Advisory Group”.
  9. ^ Kemal Derviş Named Vice President and Director of Global Economy and Development at Brookings. Brookings Institution.
  10. ^ Dervis, Kemal (10 June 2020), Less Globalization, More Multilateralism, Project Syndicate, retrieved 10 June 2020
  11. ^ Dervis, Kemal (1973). Substitution, employment and intertemporal equilibrium in a non-linear multi-sector planning model for Turkey.
  12. ^ High-level panel on UN System-wide Coherence – panel composition United Nations.
  13. ^ Dervis thanks staff, outlines development challenges ahead. Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine UNDP.
  14. ^ a b c Landon Thomas (19 May 2011). “A Cloud Over Turkish Candidate’s Chances to Lead I.M.F.” The New York Times. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  15. ^ “Media closely monitors Catherine Dervis”. Turkish Daily News. 23 May 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  16. ^ Ministry of FA, Dervis Civil Merit Archived 18 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine


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