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Response to War in Ukraine Key Focus Area For IFC’s New Regional Director For Europe

IFC has appointed Rana Karadsheh as Regional Director for Europe. Based in Vienna, she will play a key role in leading IFC’s response to the war in Ukraine and bolstering efforts to increase private sector participation and creating jobs in Central and Eastern Europe.

Alfonso Garcia Mora, IFC’s Vice President for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “Karadsheh’s extensive knowledge and experience will be a huge asset at a time when Europe, already weakened by COVID-19, is facing multiple shocks—the war in Ukraine, energy crisis, tightening financial conditions, and others. We are confident that under her leadership, IFC will be able to accelerate its response to the private sector’s immediate needs and grow program to support green, resilient and inclusive development of the region.”

Karadsheh, an American and Jordanian national, has over 25 years of experience in international finance. She most recently served as Regional Industry Director, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services (MAS), Asia and Pacific. Prior to this, Karadsheh was Country Manager for Singapore.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in International Economics and Master of Business Administration from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

As Regional Director, Karadsheh will prioritize high-impact projects that can help the region focus on several key areas—from green growth and innovation to digital technology and financial inclusion.

Commenting on her new role, Karadsheh said: “In the face of a war leading to significant economic losses in Europe along with the lingering impacts of COVID-19, it will be key for IFC to ramp up efforts to engage with all stakeholders including the private sector, government, and partners. The goal is to help the region’s economies recover from the crises with a focus on sustainability and inclusion, protecting and creating jobs while building resilience for sustainable economic pathways.”

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She added: “IFC stands to support small businesses including women-led ones, the backbone of the region’s economy, by improving their access to finance. Climate investments, too, is a focus area to unlock short-term gains—jobs and economic growth—as well as to deliver long-term benefits, including decarbonization and resilience.”

Amid unprecedented challenges in Central and Eastern Europe, IFC supported the region’s private sector with over $1 billion in investments in fiscal year (FY) 2022, ending June 30. Climate finance represented a record-high 74 percent of IFC’s own account long-term investments in the region. IFC also provided advisory and upstream services with a portfolio of more than $128 million across 62 projects aimed at improving the investment climate and market creation in the region.

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