JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Sunday 8 September 2013
Last update 8 September 2013 4:20 am
Khalid Alsweilem, former chief counselor and director general of investment at Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), has been appointed a non-resident fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
At the Belfer Center, Alsweilem will focus on the study of sovereign wealth funds, with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia’s reserve sovereign funds and their linkages to the real economy.
Belfer Center Executive Director for Research Gary Samore said Alsweilem would bring to the center a wealth of experience and insight into emerging markets, sovereign funds investments and economic policy, and important issues relating to oil and energy.
“We are very pleased that Khalid is joining us,” said Samore. “We are looking forward to learning from his research on sovereign wealth funds and to his participation in discussions and events with students and faculty around his areas of interest and expertise.”
Alsweilem served in a number of leadership capacities at SAMA before becoming chief counselor and director general of investment. These included directing the investment management department as chief investment officer and serving as director general of the investment department.
Alsweilem led the investment department at SAMA during its considerable growth in assets. The investment department was able to manage risk effectively, he says, “through prudent investment and efficient diversification among global currencies and instruments, with performance exceeding most sovereign funds, successfully overcoming both the 1998 Asian crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis, to become by the end of 2012 the third largest holder of reserves after Japan and China, and the largest among all sovereign funds in the world.”
He was also responsible for SAMA’s monetary policy operations and government debt issuance, and he was the chief coordinator for Saudi Arabia’s successful efforts to obtain high sovereign ratings from major international sovereign rating agencies.
Alsweilem received a BS in industrial engineering from the University of Arizona, an MA in economics from Boston University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
He completed a two-year post doctoral fellowship in economics and finance at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1991, sponsored by Prince Bander bin Sultan, then the Saudi ambassador to the United States, focusing his work on the application of portfolio theory to government finance in Saudi Arabia, uncertainty in export earnings, and producer-consumer cooperation in the global oil market.
Alsweilem's bio is included in the experts listing on the Belfer Center website.