Kelly Bird has been named country director for the Philippines at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Bird joined the Manila-headquartered development bank in 2006 and was most recently director of public management in the financial institutions and trade division. He has also served as principal economist for the ADB in the Philippines for 12 years.

Before joining the ADB, Bird was policy advisor to the Indonesian government for USAID and the World Bank. He replaces Richard Bolt, who is retiring.

He will oversee the ADB’s increasing role in helping to fund the Philippines infrastructure programme. It will be undertaking more project-based lending in the country, in line with Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” initiative.

“ADB has a special relationship with the Philippines, its host country,” says Bird. “I feel both privileged and excited with my appointment to the Philippines country office. We have a dedicated team and we are committed to working closely with Filipinos and the government to support the country in sustaining its impressive growth momentum and creating a caring society.”