Former President - Guyana
CO- VICE CHAIR - Eminent Persons Group
Bharrat Jagdeo was President of Guyana for more than decade from 1999 to 2011. He became on the world’s youngest heads of state at the age of 35, when he was appointment at the retirement of former President Janet Jagan. He was freely elected as President in 2001 and again in 2006.
During his presidency, President Jagdeo led his country through unprecedented social and economic reforms, including improved access to education; health care reform; water and sanitation system expansion; and large-scale development of road, river and air transport networks. He has also become a leading world icon for sustainable development, environment and climate change issues, for which he was named one of Time magazine’s Heroes of the Environment in 2008 for his dedication to the conservation of Guyana’s forests and tackling climate change.
President Jagdeo served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group from September 2005 until September 2006. He has been awarded the Pushkin Medal by the Government of Russia and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India.
An economist by profession, President Jagdeo first entered public service in Guyana’s State Planning Secretariat in 1990. He was appointed Junior Finance Minister in 1993 and promoted to Senior Minister of Finance in 1995. In this position, he led the production of Guyana’s National Development Strategy with the support of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s Carter Center. Jagdeo and the Carter Center went on to collaborate with African leaders, drawing on Guyana’s experience with its National Development Strategy to apply lessons for other countries.