Mohua Mukherjee, Energy and Climate Finance Expert
Mohua Mukherjee is a public speaker, panelist and moderator at global international development conferences.
She has spent her entire career in development economics, nearly three decades at the World Bank in Washington DC, and about four years in the private sector at Citibank and ABN AMRO Bank in Nairobi, Kenya.
Mohua took early retirement from the World Bank after successfully serving as head of the US$1 billion India Solar Energy Program. Mohua was the architect of the pioneering Solar Rooftop Program with SBI and the Rewa Solar Parks Program in Madhya Pradesh.
Mohua is currently serving as pro-bono Program Ambassador at the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi, India.
- Mohua Mukherjee started her career at the World Bank in Washington DC in the highly competitive Young Professionals’ Program (YPP), following her graduation from Boston University with a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance.
- Mohua’s love for the exciting work of preparing investment projects and understanding the policy issues in various sectors, led to her making lateral career moves throughout most of her career. Preparing investment projects (and undertaking the required policy dialogue and background sector analysis studies), leading multi-disciplinary teams of various expertise and undertaking the appraisal assessments before recommending the loan approval, is the best job in the World Bank. Mohua used her time at the World Bank to work on project formulation and implementation support in nine different sectors.
LATIN AMERICA REGION– TRADE FINANCE AND INDUSTRY
- She spent her initial years working on a water supply and sanitation project in Colombia, followed by a Public Expenditure Review for the Philippines. Upon graduation from the YPP, she moved to the Trade, Finance and Industry department of the Latin America region and worked on a very large economic reforms program in Mexico, as well as smaller industrial promotion and financing programs in Central America, specifically Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador.
SOVEREIGN DEBT MANAGEMENT
- From there Mohua moved to a global department, which had a macroeconomic focus of sovereign debt management, and participated in the analysis and preparation of London Club debt transactions for Uruguay, Cote d’Ívoire and Bulgaria. She wrote some working papers on Debt for Development Swaps and Financing Flows to Eastern Europe.
MIDDLE EAST– SOCIAL SECTORS, HEALTH AND EDUCATION
- Following the sovereign debt swaps, Mohua was keen to work in an entirely different region of the world and on an entirely different set of development challenges, and to pursue the idea of debt swaps to fund recurrent costs in public sector clinics. The basic innovation was to seek donor agreement to divert a stream of foreign exchange debt repayment into a commitment to direct the local currency equivalent into a local currency spending commitment such as operating costs for public health clinics or schools, for example. Mohua was selected for a position in the Middle East and North Africa region, in the department that dealt with Health and Education. She was a co-team leader of the Egypt Social Fund (at that time around $600m was among the largest projects of the World Bank). At the same time, she also worked on a health project in Yemen and an education project in Jordan.
SENIOR COUNTRY OFFICER FOR YEMEN
- From here she moved to the macroeconomics department for the Middle East and North Africa, and managed the macroeconomic assistance program to Yemen which had undergone reunification a few years previously.
SABBATICAL, LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FROM THE WORLD BANK CITIBANK NAIROBI AND ABN AMRO NAIROBI
- In the mid-1990s, Mohua was approved to take a sabbatical from the World Bank, and moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where she was soon offered a senior position (Vice President rank) at Citibank, Nairobi, in the Corporate Finance department. It was a very exciting time with the opening up of Kenyan capital markets and the introduction of commercial paper and corporate bonds, as well as the very earliest corporate loans to Independent Power Producers who were just coming into the market to offer privately funded generation facilities with sale of their output to the still vertically-integrated Kenya Power and Light.
- Mohua was subsequently asked to set up the same kind of department at ABN AMRO Nairobi, which wanted to issue commercial paper on behalf of its large flower growers whose trade financing requirements were covered by the bank for their participation at the Dutch flower auctions.
- Her final professional activity in the private sector in Kenya was in the telecommunications sector, and the establishment of the Wireless Local Loop as well as other innovations in telecom at the end 1990s. After four exciting years in the private sector in Kenya, which were spent implementing the Global and Local Embedded Strategy then prevailing at Citibank, Mohua returned to the World Bank and joined the Africa region for the first time.
WORLD BANK AFRICA REGION — PRIVATE SECTOR AND FINANCIAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT
- Mohua led a number of tasks in the Africa private sector department and worked on projects in South Africa, Lesotho, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, and Tanzania.
- South Africa Industrial Competitiveness project, Lesotho Utilities Sector Reform Project and Cameroon Technical Assistance Loan as a companion to the macroeconomic reform program, were carried out under her leadership.
AFRICA REGION KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND CAPACITY BUILDING
- Mohua then spent time in the front office of the Regional Director as a key member of the Knowledge Management team and contributed a large number of workshop preparatory materials for training of senior government officials.
AFRICA ENERGY SECTOR
- Following the Knowledge Management experience, Mohua joined the Energy sector department where she had prior experience through the Lesotho Utilities sector reform loan and other energy related case study materials she had prepared.
- Her signature tasks included leadership of the Sierra Leone energy program as an example of Fragile and Post-Conflict interventions, as well as the Nigeria Energy Sector Development Program which included gas sector as well as utility sector reform. She also worked on the Tanzania energy sector reform program as well as in Ghana, and she peer reviewed a number of energy projects in other African countries.
SOUTH ASIA – ENERGY SECTOR
- Mohua then moved to South Asia Energy Sector and worked first on the Bangladesh India transmission interconnector project, as well as a number of other World Bank interventions in the Bangladesh energy sector.
- Subsequently the Nepal energy program was added to Mohua’s portfolio, including a Climate Finance Grant project on Biogas with the Alternative Energy Promotion Center in Kathmandu (SREP Program).
- Mohua was also working on the large scale India Power Sector Diagnostic program as a member of the team. This was a multi-year effort and involved in-depth understanding of Indian discom finances, subsidy policies, proposed reforms and an assessment of implementation of the electricity act at its tenth anniversary year.
- Apart from this Mohua was asked to head the One Billion Dollar India Solar Program of the World Bank, and she led teams to prepare three large solar projects in the shortest possible time. These included the innovative Solar Rooftop Program, as well as the Innovative Solar Parks Program. A Solar Transmission program was also prepared but ultimately not financed by the World Bank.
- Mohua was active in coordination of various financing partners during her time as head of the World Bank’s India Solar Program. She also spoke at numerous conferences and workshops and held frequent stakeholder coordination meetings.
- In March 2017 Mohua decided to take early retirement from the World Bank, and moved to India for family reasons.
INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE—New Delhi
- In September 2017 Mohua joined the International Solar Alliance as Program Ambassador Pro Bono, and is still there, trying to arrange financing for an off-grid Solar Appliance Program.
- Indian; (permanent resident of Austria)
Academic Qualifications :
- Boston University — Bachelor’s degree in Economics
- Boston University — Master’s degree in Economics
- Boston University — Master of Business Administration (Finance)
- Harvard University — Executive Education: Public Private Partnerships
Primary Professional Experience: World Bank, Washington DC, US :
- Selected to the highly competitive Young Professionals’ Program for entry to the World Bank
- Worked for over 25 years in nine sectors and forty four countries (in Latin America, East Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and South Asia).
- Was responsible for preparing investment projects, leading teams and leading analytical work, leading policy dialogue with government counterparts in nine sectors, managing numerous consultants and large programs, leading supervision teams to monitor implementation performance, leading workshops and stakeholder events.
- Nine sectors in which I have project and policy experience include water and sanitation; public expenditure and investment; trade policy and industrial development; export finance; health; education; transport; agriculture; sovereign debt management; energy sector. Within the energy sector I am specialized in electricity distribution reform; biogas; solar energy
- Final assignment at the World Bank was as India Energy Head, in charge of leading the US$1 billion India Solar Energy Program of 2014-2016. Biggest achievements included delivery of US$625m Solar Rooftop Project with blended finance, and design and preparation of the innovative Rewa Solar Park Project, along with a solar park transmission line project.
Additional Professional Experience: Citibank and ABN AMRO Bank, Nairobi, Kenya :
- During a sabbatical from the World Bank in the late 1990s I lived in Kenya and worked at Citibank and ABN AMRO Bank, as head of Corporate Finance
- I was also a guest writer of the weekly Finance column in the Daily Nation newspaper and an invited speaker at various professional society events
Other Professional Experience (Current):
International Solar Alliance, New Delhi, India :
- I am currently working as the pro-bono Program Ambassador for the International Solar Alliance, to launch a Off-Grid Solar Accelerator Platform that will support the development of a global market for solar powered appliances to be used in off-grid and weak-grid areas
English; German; French; Spanish; Bengali; Hindi
- Book—Lessons of Private Participation in the Indian Power Sector (author) https://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/book/10.1596/978-1-4648-0339-0?chapterTab=true
- Various Articles on Power Sector Reform (author)
- Various Working Papers at the World Bank (author)
Book—Approaching Investors (editor)
Member of Women Solar Leaders 2018, by Solar Quarter, India.
PUBLICATIONS AND MEDIA