His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa
Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority
Mr. Azzam Shawwa was appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas by a Presidential Decree on November 20, 2015 as the Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Monetary Authority.
Mr. Shawwa is a prominent, accomplished Palestinian banker and public sector figure. In 2003, he was appointed as Minister of Energy in the Palestinian National Authority, where he spent over three years of active, outstanding public service. Mr. Shawwa revealed a strong proclivity for leadership early on in his formative years, including as head of the General Union of the Palestinian Students at the U.S. university where he did his undergraduate studies.
Mr. Shawwa's banker career was marked by a number of pioneering, audacious initiatives and reforms. In 1989, he joined the Bank of Palestine as its Foreign Relations Manager; and as such, he successfully expanded the bank’s presence, role and network in Palestine and beyond. In 1994, Mr. Shawwa assumed the position of the Regional Head of the Gazan Branches of the Arab Bank (Palestine), the largest banking group in Palestine, and a member of the Arab Bank's vast regional and international banking network.
In 2007, Mr. Shawwa's banking career achieved a new high as he took over as General Manager of the Palestinian Al-Quds Bank. There, Mr. Shawwa effected a fresh start for the bank, involving embarking on a wide-ranging restructuring of its most critical departments; launching of several new or enhanced products, and services; and substantially boosting the bank's role and overall business image.
Throughout 2012, Mr. Shawwa chaired the Association of Banks in Palestine, which he substantially invigorated and enabled to render enhanced services to its members and the Palestinian banking community at large.
In March, 2013 Mr. Shawwa joined the Palestine Commercial Bank, where he succeeded to significantly expand its geographical reach, market share and customer base. In 2014, he took the crucial step of raising the bank’s capital and market share by issuing convertible bonds, an innovative, unprecedented measure (within the Palestinian banking sector), which strengthened the bank’s finances and significantly contributed to the developing and deepening of the local capital market.
Since its inception in 2002, Mr. Shawwa has been a distinguished, active member of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), Palestine's sovereign wealth and investment fund. As the state's principal developmental investment arm, PIF operates as an independent public sector corporate entity, primarily aimed at promoting sustainable economic development by mobilizing local and foreign investments; and securing and managing remunerative, long-run returns on the fund's investments, for the ultimate benefit and welfare of the Palestinian state and people's present and future generations.
Finally, Mr. Shawwa currently chairs the Boards of Directors of both the Palestine Avenir for Childhood Foundation, and the Weight Lifting Association, and sits on the Al-Quds Open University's Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Boards of several other organizations, including the Businessmen Association; the Young Presidents Organization (YPO); the Mahmoud Abbas Foundation; the Palestine Power and Generating Company; Yasser Arafat Foundation; and Palestine Education for Employment. Mr. Shawwa is also a member of the Union of Arab Bankers. Previously, Mr. Shawwa chaired the Boards of several institutions such as Reef for Microfinance, NatHealth, Gaza Sporting Club, and Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children.
Mr. Azzam Shawwa was born in Kuwait in 1963, and later on in the year, he relocated along with his family to Gaza city, Palestine. In 1988, he graduated from Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee, where he received his Bachelors of Science in Mathematics with honors. Mr. Shawwa is married to Amal Bseiso, and together they have two sons (Tamer and Nadim) and one daughter (Aida).