HE Mr. Azzam Shawwa
HE Mr. Azzam Shawwa was the Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Monetary Authority, for five years from 20/11/2015 to 3/1/2021. During that period he also was the Chairman of the National Palestinian Anti Money Laundering Committee, the chairman of the Palestine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), and chairman of the Banking institute.
He maintained the stability of the Palestinian banking system and the development of regulations and legislation to ensure its soundness and safety. He enhanced the Palestine Monetary Authority's position and readiness for the transition to Palestine Central Bank through the completion of the final version of the Palestine Central Bank law.
On 29 April 2018, the Union of Arab Banks awarded him with the "Golden Union Medal of achievement", to be the first Governor of the Monetary Authority to receive the award in recognition of his efforts in support of the Palestinian banking sector despite all the challenges surrounding it.
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'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.
In 2007, Mr. Shawwa's banking career achieved a new high as he took over as General Manager of the 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, and succeeded to substantially 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 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 fund and government’s investment arm.
It operates as an independent investment institution that aims to contribute effectively to sustainable economic development by directing most of its investments inward, attracting foreign investment, and maximizing long-term investment returns for the fund and the Palestinian people in general.
Mr. Shawwa is also chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Avenir for Childhood Foundation. He is also an active member of the boards of several local and international organizations and institutions, the most important of which are: the Businessmen Association, the Young Presidents Organization YPO, the Palestine Power and Generating Company, the Taawon Welfare Association, the Mahmoud Abbas Foundation and the Yasser Arafat Foundation. Mr. Shawwa is also a member of the Arab Banking Union.
Mr. Shawwa has previously chaired the board of directors of several institutions, including Reef Lending, NatHealth, The Gaza Sports Club, Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, the Palestinian Weightlifting Federation, and the Board of Trustees of al-Quds Open University and Education for Employment.
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. Mr. Shawwa is married to Amal Bseiso, and together they have two sons and one daughter (Tamer, Nadim and Aida).