Dubai, UAE:—IFC has named Abdullah Jefri as its new senior manager for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—excluding Saudi Arabia—where he will work with public and private partners to promote investment in developing countries, help diversify GCC economies, and advance projects that tackle climate change. 

Abdullah, who started his Dubai-based position this month, is expected to focus on three key pillars: enabling high-impact investments from the GGC to emerging markets; reducing hydrocarbon dependence within the GCC; and helping to develop and scale green technologies. 

He said: “The GCC can play a pivotal role in promoting private sector growth within the region and beyond. Thanks to its focus on innovation and pioneering initiatives, it is ideally placed to export essential expertise and capital to other countries."

Abdullah was previously IFC’s regional manager for the Levant, where he oversaw a billion dollar-plus portfolio in a region including fragile and conflict-affected states such as Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. He led projects that helped boost access to healthcare, improve the pharma sector’s competitiveness, launch Jordan’s first green bond, and support sustainable infrastructure in Iraq. In addition, he spearheaded the rapid growth of IFC’s Amman office by more than doubling its staff and expanding its footprint.

“Abdullah has been instrumental in not only forging a dynamic regional hub for IFC in Amman but also in leading transformational projects across the Levant. I have no doubt he will take that same inspirational energy to GCC to further advance IFC’s mission to promote sustainable development,” said Khawaja Aftab Ahmed, IFC’s Regional Director for the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, based in Amman. 

Abdullah brings over 20 years of global experience in finance across sectors including petrochemicals, fertilizers, manufacturing, agribusiness, healthcare, and education. He was previously based in IFC’s Washington, D.C. office, where he focused on identifying investment opportunities in emerging markets, executing equity and debt transactions, and managing a portfolio of investments in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.

Prior to IFC, Abdullah was a manager in the corporate finance and investment banking unit at Samba Financial Group. He holds an MBA and an MSc in Finance from Boston College.