New Governor of the CBI AppointedMay 2019
On 1st May the Government signed off on the
appointment of Gabriel Makhlouf, chief economic and financial adviser to the
New Zealand Government, to the position of Governor of the Central Bank of
The vacancy arises as a result of Philip Lane’s
imminent departure to the European Central Bank in June to take up his position
as Chief Economist at Frankfurt.
Mr. Makhlouf has previously worked in the UK
dealing with policy development around domestic and international tax and
welfare. He was also chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (the world’s main
tax rule-making body) at the OECD. He is a current leader of the diversity and
inclusion agenda in New Zealand’s public and private sectors.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohue commented on the
announcement that "I am delighted to nominate a person of Gabriel
Makhlouf’s international calibre for appointment as Governor of our Central
His appointment has
come as a shock to many, not only because he is coming from New Zealand but
because many feel there were more obvious candidates closer to home. One
example highlighted was Sharon Donnery, a current Deputy Governor within the
CBI with a wealth of experience. Given the CBI’s significant focus on diversity
and inclusion, if appointed Ms. Donnery would have been the first female head
of the Bank.
Varadkar was specifically questioned on this and the general surprise around
the appointment but he asserted that the logic was simple – choose the best
candidate. He said "it wasn’t restricted to Ireland, it wasn’t restricted
to any one gender or anyone who was or was not currently working in the Central
Bank so it was done really the way top jobs should be filled.
"There was an
open international advertisement, people submitted their CVs, there was a
shortlist. There were interviews, and the interview panel recommended one name
to Government and that name was accepted by Government."
Mr. Makhlouf is expected to take up the position in