Ambassador Tariq Karim

Ambassador Tariq Karim is currently Advisor to the World Bank for Regional Integration, South Asian Region. Prior to taking up this assignment, he was Bangladesh’s immediate past High Commissioner to India with the rank and status of a Minister of State, from August 20019 until October 2014.

He has played a seminal role in qualitatively improving the tone, tenor and substance of Bangladesh-India relations, dramatically reconfiguring them for the better. He also successfully initiated the process for embarking on sub-regional cooperation by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal for water management on a basin-wide basis. During his current tenure, he has successfully shepherded the initiation of power trade between Bangladesh and India, and facilitating talks between Bangladesh, Bhutan and India for working towards the setting up of energy security architecture in the South Asian sub-region and road and river connectivity.
His earlier ambassadorial assignments were in Washington, Pretoria and Tehran. He has served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing and New Delhi, and in different capacities earlier in Tehran, Bonn, Bangkok and London.

Ambassador Karim was at the University of Maryland from 1999 to 2000 as Distinguished International Executive in Residence, and subsequently from 2002 to 2004 as Consultant/Senior Adviser in the IRIS Centre of the University of Maryland (while at the same time pursuing post-graduate studies in Government & Politics). He was also adjunct faculty member teaching courses in Government & Politics, International Relations, and Business & Politics at the University of Maryland, George Washington University and Virginia International University, respectively, from 2004-2008.


Developing a Sub-regional Energy Cooperation Framework

Alaina B. Teplitz is a diplomat and United States Ambassador to Nepal. She was nominated by President Obama on March 26, 2015 and confirmed by the Senate August 5, 2015. Teplitz joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1991. Her initial assignments included ones at the State Department’s Bureau of Administration, as well as international ones in Australia, Albania, and Mongolia. She was a Program Analyst at the Centre for Administrative Innovation from 2001 to 2002, and from 2002 to 2004 she was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her next assignment was as Deputy Director of Joint Administrative Services in Belgium from 2004 to 2007. She then returned to the U.S. as Director of Management Tradecraft Training at the Foreign Service Institute, followed by an assignment with the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. She then accepted another international assignment and from 2011 to 2012 became the Management Minister Counselor at the American mission in Afghanistan.

Prashant Agarwal is currently heading the SAARC Division of Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. He has undertaken assignments building political, economic and cultural relations in India’s diplomatic Missions in Paris (2000-2003) and Port Louis (2003-2006), and in Bangkok (2009-2014), where he served as Deputy Chief of Mission and India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to UNESCAP. He was India’s Consul General to Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR (January 2014 till March 2016), implementing India’s Look East policy and driving engagement with the global financial and business hub. He has also served in various capacities in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, handling relations with the US during 2006-07 and with Nepal during 2008-09. He worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the United Service Institute of India during 2007-08, and has published his research “A comparative analysis of India and China’s approaches to Energy Security”. He also speaks French. Prashant is a graduate from IIT Kanpur. He joined the Civil Service in 1998 as the topper of Indian Foreign Service batch that year. At the LalBahadurShastri National Academy for Administration in Mussoorie, he stood first in overall academic performance. He is passionate about travelling, heritage, arts and culture, with a special interest in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. His other interests are photography, trekking, nature and wildlife.

S.Padmanabhan was formerly director of USAID/India and Program Director of the South Asia Regional Energy Initiative (SARI/E). Prior to that he served with the Asia Alternate Energy Unit (ASTAE), World Bank in Washington DC in advancing alternative energy programs, specifically energy efficiency in South and East Asia. He has specialized in the energy sector, leading large, high-visibility, and politically sensitive environment and energy sector policy reform programs with host governments in India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. Mr. Padmanaban also has significant experience in the design and implementation of power sector reforms and clean energy projects including the planning and establishment of national and regional centers of excellence in energy management and efficiency. Prior to his USAID and World Bank service, Mr. Padmanaban served as Deputy Director in the National Productivity Council of India (1976-85) as a fuel efficiency specialist, leading industrial studies covering various sectors, including paper, sugar, textiles, cement, steel and pharmaceuticals. He is the recipient of the All India Power Award, 2010 by the Council of Power Utilities for his contribution to energy development in India and the region, the Energy Professional Development award, 2008 by the Association of Energy Engineers, USA in recognition of advancing capacity development programs in energy efficiency and power distribution management in India and the World Clean Energy Award, 2007 by an international jury constituted by the Swiss based Transatlantic 21 in global recognition of his achievements in advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Dawn Yamane Hewett Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives, Commercial Law Development Program, U.S. is the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives. She joined the Department of Commerce from the Washington, DC office of Arnold & Porter LLP, where she was a member of the firm’s International Arbitration, Litigation, Global Anti-Corruption, and White Collar practice groups. Ms. Hewett’s practice included the representation of foreign sovereigns, corporate clients, and individuals in international arbitrations, US litigation, and US criminal investigations. In her global anti-corruption work, Ms. Hewett counseled companies on issues arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act, and other anti-corruption laws; helped companies develop, implement, and evaluate anti-corruption policies and procedures; and acted on an interim basis as regional compliance counsel in both the European and Asia/Pacific regions of a global Fortune 250 company.
Ms. Hewett also maintained a robust pro bono practice, including immigration, elections and voting rights, constitutional, and public international law matters and served on the firm’s Immigration Committee
Ms. Hewett obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School, Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University, Master of Philosophy in Ethnic and Racial Studies (Sociology) from Trinity College Dublin, and undergraduate degrees in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Washington. Ms. Hewett is a Harry S. Truman Scholar and George J. Mitchell Scholar, and in 2014, was recognized as one of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Best Lawyers Under 40.

Thukten Choeda is currently the head of the projects implementation division of the Druk Holding and Investments Limited (DHI), a premier holding company with around 20 portfolio companies either fully or partially owned state enterprises in Bhutan. He worked as general manager for the State Mining Corporation Limited (also under DHI) for 2 years. Before that, he served as project management advisor to Dungsam Cement Corporation Limited (1.36 million metric ton cement plant under DHI). He served as nominee director on the board of several DHI portfolio companies and currently the DHI’s nominee director on the board of Woodcraft Centre Limited.

Before he joined corporate entities in early 2012, he worked in several departments of the royal government of Bhutan at various capacities starting from assistant engineer/ project coordinator to deputy chief urban development planner. He also worked as counterpart staff officer to several donor agencies like World Bank, UNDP (local) and Asian Development Bank during his 12 years of dedicated service for the government. Besides core professions, he possesses adequate skills in leadership, project/corporate management, and procurement management.

He has undertaken a lot of short training including general management program from IIM-Ahmedabad, project & procurement management from Asian Institute of Technology (Manila), corporate financing, etc. He is a PRINCE2 project manager certified from Association of Project Manager’s Group (AGMP) based in the United Kingdom. He holds a bachelor degree in engineering (civil) from the University of Madras (India) and masters in urban and regional planning from University of South Australia (Australia). His interest is in the area of environmentalism and rendering community based social services.

Himesh Dhungel is the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Country Team Lead for Nepal in the Department of Compact Operations at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where he works on both compact implementation and compact development. He is responsible for implementing agriculture infrastructure and energy sector projects in MCC partner countries around the world.

Harmonizing Electricity Grids throughout the Sub-region

Gyanendra Lal Pradhan GyanendraLalPradhan, hydropower specialist and entrepreneur, is an electrical engineer by training. He is Executive Chairman at Hydro Solutions, Chairman of the Energy Committee at the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), SAARC CCI Council on Climate Change, Energy and Water Resources, and CACCI Asian Council on Water, Energy, and Environment.
He is also Executive Member of the Canada-Nepal Business Chamber, Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and various other chambers of commerce and industry (Nepal-Russia, Nepal-German, Nepal-China, Nepal-Britain, and SAARC-Nepal); and Special Member of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
As an Energy andHydropower Expert, he advised the Economic Advisory Council of then Prime Minister of Nepal Dr BaburamBhattarai in 2012, and was a member of the Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission.
Mr Pradhan received several awards and recognition for his contributions to the field of hydropower and clean energy including ‘Manager of the Year Award’ from the Management Association of Nepal, ‘HYDRO Nepal Excellence Award in Energy (Hydropower)’, and ‘Best Entrepreneur Award’ conferred by the Engineers’ Association of Nepal.

Peter Malnak is currently the Mission Director of USAID/NEPAL. During his four year tenure in Kigali, he led the redevelopment of USAID strategies and programs to reduce chronic malnutrition, decrease rural poverty, expand high quality basic education, and improve governance. While in Rwanda, Mr. Malnak served as Charge d’Affaires and Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at various times. Prior to this, Mr. Malnak held the position of Middle East Affairs Office Director in Washington, DC during the 2011 Arab Spring. In this role, he engaged extensively on inter-agency coordination for twelve affected countries. Between 2008 and 2010 he served as the USAID Principal Officer in Juba, While in Juba, he also served extensively as Acting Consul General. Previous assignments during his career included Office Director for Democracy, Education and Health in Amman, Jordan from 2003-2008, Democracy Office Director and Program Officer in the West Bank and Gaza from 1996 to 2003, and Private Sector Officer in Cairo, Egypt from 1994 – 1996.

Mr. Malnak joined the Foreign Service in 1992, and is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service in the class of Minister Counselor. He has received multiple USAID honor awards, and is a distinguished graduate of the National Defense University’s National War College.

Atiur Rahman is a Bangladeshi economist, writer and banker. He served as the 10th Governor of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh. He has also been called “the banker of the poor” for his contribution in developing the Bangladeshi economy. He also established a development NGO named UnnayanSamannay. Dr.Rahman was awarded “Central Banker of the Year 2015” from the Asia-Pacific region for stimulating growth and stabilizing economy of Bangladesh, by the London-based Financial Times owned magazine, He earned BSS and MSS degrees in economics from the University of Dhaka. With a Commonwealth scholarship, he went to School of Oriental and African Studies to complete his Ph.D. in 1977.

Govinda Sharma Pokharel is Vice Chair, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation and Former Director of the Nepal Electric Authority

S.Kishore is Principal Secretary, Department of Power, Government of West Bengal

Developing a BBIN Regional Power Market

Md. Lutfar Rahman General Manager, Production and Marketing Division, Petrobanlga has been working for the gas energy sector of Bangladesh for over last 28 years. He has extensive experience in the energy sector of his countryfrom the operational activities to the policy formulations. He has long been associated with the energy and power sectorplanning, and policy formulation including natural gas, liquid fuel, LPG in Bangladesh. He worked for the SAARC Energy Centre for three years as a research fellow (technology transfer), and acquired knowledge about the regional energy sector covering both conventional and renewable energy. He has several publications in natural gas and renewable energy, and authored a book titled ‘Improved Cooking Stoves in South Asia’. Mr. Rahmanobtained his bachelor degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 1987 in CivilEngineering, and did his M. Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from the same university in 2006.

Michael Satin joined the USAID Foreign Service in early 2005. He is trained as an ecologist (B.S. – San Francisco State University) and applied economist (M.Sc. – University of West Virginia). He has worked in international affairs and development for 22 years, in both short and long-term assignments in Senegal, Mali, Benin, Chad, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, China, Southeast Asia (Thailand and ASEAN), Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India.
Michael has extensive professional experience in economic and community development, complex emergency environments, food security and livelihoods development. In several of his professional roles he has worked in conflict resolution, rule of law and economic governance. He has substantial experience in regional economic integration and trade capacity building and has worked extensively with multinational bodies, including ECOWAS, SAARC, ASEAN and APEC.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he was a technical advisor for agriculture in the USAID Africa Bureau, Office of Sustainable Development where he supported the marketing of agricultural commodities under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), including cotton and sustainable tree crops and the Presidential Initiative to End Hunger in Africa, IEHA. As a part of the Presidential Feed the Future Initiative during his tenure with the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA), Michael was a leader of the first regional approach to addressing food insecurity and resiliency in Asia.
Before coming to USAID Michael worked as a consultant, technical advisor and manager. In the 1990s, Michael was a part of humanitarian and post conflict efforts with Food for the Hungry International in the DR Congo following the Rwandan genocide and during the Congolese civil war and Catholic Relief Services in Madagascar.
Michael was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and is married to Marietou Satin, a USAID Foreign Service Officer and public health professional with USAID/India. Michael and Marietou have a son, Zachary and a yellow Labrador Retriever, Aesop. Michael speaks French, Spanish, Kiswahili and Thai.

Tanvir A. Siddiqui currently working as Vice President at Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), largest infrastructure financing company in Bangladesh and looks after the power & energy portfolio of IDCOL. He was involved in structuring &financing of many large projects (in sectors like power, telecom, ports, steel, airlines, etc.), many of these were first of its kind in Bangladesh and vital for the national development.
Mr. Siddiqui has worked in various roles with the leading project financing arrangers in Bangladesh, IDLC Finance Limited and IIDFC Limited. He has also worked with the Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus for setting up GrameenDanone Foods Ltd. (a JV nutritious yogurt manufacturing social business enterprise promoted by four Grameen Family Companies and GroupeDanone, France) and Remittances & Payments Challenge Fund of DFID & Bangladesh Bank for improving inward remittance delivery channels from abroad to Bangladesh. He was also involved in designing of multiple corporate bonds and preference shares, including the only publicly traded convertible zero coupon bond in Bangladesh.

Bill Pegues Mr. Pegues lead major energy and infrastructure debt financing in frontier and emerging markets. He manages deal teams; evaluate technologies and business plans; and structure and negotiate loans. He also excels at business development, working with senior government ministers and stakeholders in challenging environments and disparate cultures, and cultivating relationships around the world.

He is a Chicago Booth finance MBA and former Exxon engineer with more than 20 years of international experience in the power, oil and gas industries. He lived and worked in Europe, Asia and Canada for 10 years. He possesses a unique perspective having worked as both a lender and equity investor. His expertise ranges across corporate and project finance at multinationals and start-ups; large-scale energy projects; and investment management. He has comprehensive understanding of energy technologies and markets.

Specialities: Project finance; corporate finance; the power, oil and gas industries; startups; business development; leadership; team-building; cultural awareness; new venture evaluation; energy technology; valuation; investments.