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Stephen P. Groff
Stephen P. Groff is Vice-President (Operations 2) of the Asian Development Bank. He is responsible for the full range of ADB’s operations in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. He is also responsible for the Central Operations Services Office. His mandate includes establishing strategic and operational priorities in his areas of responsibility, producing investment and technical assistance operations amounting to $4-5 billion annually, managing an existing portfolio of about $23 billion, and leading about 700 staff.

In addition, Mr. Groff supports ADB’s President in managing ADB’s overall operations, represents ADB in high-level multilateral fora, and contributes to managing its relationships with its 67 member country shareholders, other multilateral financial institutions, and key government, private sector, and civil society partners.

Prior to joining ADB, Mr. Groff was Deputy Director for Development Cooperation at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) where he led OECD’s work on a wide range of development-related economic and political issues. He also served as OECD's envoy to the G20 Working Group on Development and was a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council. Prior to this he was the Deputy Vice-President for Operations at the Washington-based Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), where he helped set up the agency and led MCC programs while advising the CEO on development issues, strategy and policy. Prior to MCC, Mr. Groff held several staff positions at the ADB. Before this, Mr. Groff was the deputy director and chief economist on a large USAID project designed to encourage private sector development in the southern Philippines, a Program Director for the U.S. Refugee Program, and a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.

Mr. Groff has worked across Asia, Africa and Latin America and writes regularly on development issues. He also serves on a number of advisory boards for development-related organizations.

Mr. Groff holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology from Yale University.

Entries by Stephen P. Groff

3 Ways to Serve Asia and the Pacific's 'Unbanked'

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 10:30 AM

Every time I stop and withdraw cash from an ATM or use my credit card to buy something online, I wonder how many people in Asia have access to such services. In fact, these simple transactions are beyond the reach of 45 percent of adults in East Asia...

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Indonesia: On Track for a Strong Recovery

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2014 | 12:01 AM

The recent election that brought President Joko Widodo to power has taken Indonesia's democracy to a new level. Popularly known as Jokowi, the new president is seen as a man of the people. This image, coupled with his pragmatic reform programs, has made him immensely popular in Indonesia.


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Haiyan, One Year Later: From Relief to Reconstruction

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 10:25 AM

November 8 marks one year since the terrible day Typhoon Haiyan tore through the heart of the Philippines, leaving thousands of people dead and millions more homeless and jobless. It's a day of mourning and remembrance, of concern for survivors seeking better lives, but also of hope as efforts intensify...

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Fast-Tracking Myanmar's Reform

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 5:26 PM

Over just three years, Myanmar has introduced ambitious reforms that have put it on track to become a modern economy. Against a backdrop of ongoing political challenges it remains an extraordinary and hopeful moment. But bigger challenges lie ahead. To avoid backtracking--and realize its potential--Myanmar needs to accelerate reform momentum....

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This Time We Must All Be Filipino

(4) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 7:25 PM

Just three weeks ago, millions of Filipinos felt the catastrophic strength of Super Typhoon Haiyan. What can I write in its aftermath that could help ease their agony? What can I possibly say that might lighten their load? Following my visit to Tacloban and surrounding areas, I know that there...

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East Asia Needs United Approach to Climate Change

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 6:27 PM

The need to respond effectively to climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, particularly more so in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. While no one typhoon can be directly linked to climate change, rising global temperatures and warming oceans provide the conditions that fuel these kinds...

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We Can Read, But Are We Financially Literate?

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 2:39 PM

Many consumers have access to loans, mortgages, lines of credit and credit cards. But do borrowers really understand what they're signing? Do they read and understand the small-print fees? Do they view credit cards as the gateway to easy cash, or worse, easy credit?

Some argue that a toxic mix...

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Asia's Cooperation Insufficient

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 10:49 AM

Globalization, trade liberalization, supply chains and production networks. Combined, these factors have transformed Asia over the recent decades. Breaking down barriers to doing business across borders in Asia -- economic integration -- continues to deepen on its own. The problem is that economic cooperation between governments has struggled to keep...

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Myanmar: Cautionary Tales for a Country on the Move

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 12:01 PM

Can a nation once intentionally isolated from the world be rebuilt from the outside in?
After decades of isolation, Myanmar has an extraordinary amount of work to do on every imaginable front. The country needs access to billions of dollars to bring modern irrigation systems to rural farmers,...

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Pacific Islands: Renaissance in Long-Overlooked Region?

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 3:10 PM

Reflecting on this year's successful Pacific Forum Leaders' Summit in the idyllic island paradise of the Cook Islands, one might ask if we are witnessing a renaissance in this long-overlooked region.

The presence of leaders from Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Pacific Islands and senior officials from...

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Myanmar: Asia's Next Growth Story?

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 11:48 AM

Just last month I made my first visit to Myanmar, a place Rudyard Kipling referred to as "quite unlike any land you know about." While decades of isolation have helped this century-old observation hold true, on arrival in July I was immediately struck by the vibrancy and a...

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Myanmar: Potential To Prosper

(1) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 11:44 AM

Myanmar's prolonged isolation and economic stagnation left a mark on almost every sector the country needs to prosper -- from energy and transport to agriculture, education and health. So where to begin?

Assessments currently being carried out on the ground by the Asian Development Bank show there is much to...

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Asia's New Social Focus

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 4:52 PM

Asia's rapid rise, considered by many to be the most successful story of economic development in recent history, has seen national economies expand at an unprecedented pace and human conditions dramatically improve.

Years before the Millennium Development Goal deadline of 2015, the region has already achieved targets for reducing...

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Confronting Asia's Energy Challenge

(4) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 6:41 PM

Over the past decade the Asia-Pacific region has made incredible progress towards achieving universal or near universal energy access for vast numbers of people. China, Thailand, Viet Nam, Malaysia, and Bhutan are but a few examples.

Yet despite this progress, about 700 million people in the region still have...

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Timor-Leste: Escaping Fragility

(1) Comments | Posted June 1, 2012 | 2:57 PM

Asia's newest nation celebrated its 10th birthday this month: May 20 in Timor-Leste was a celebration of freedom that also deserved to be a celebration of development. After centuries of foreign rule, Timor-Leste has readied itself to be a full partner in what is shaping up as Asia's century.


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Myanmar: First Steps

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2012 | 6:36 PM

The international community is coming together to help Myanmar improve the lives of its 60 million citizens -- one-third of whom are mired in poverty. The challenges are daunting. And with Myanmar's strategic location at the crossroads of trade between India, the People's Republic of China and Southeast Asian nations,...

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How America Can Profit From the 'Asian Century'

(3) Comments | Posted February 2, 2012 | 12:43 PM

Many have dubbed this the 'Asian Century' with Asia's robust economies leading us to believe that all is well in a region that has generated some of the fastest growth and poverty reduction in history.

"Factory Asia's" growth has been underpinned in great part by its exports to Europe...

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More Than Good Intentions: Making Development Assistance Work

(1) Comments | Posted November 28, 2011 | 1:04 PM

As Europe and America continue to reel in the wake of the global economic downturn, questions are increasingly being raised about the need for -- and value of -- foreign aid. US presidential hopefuls and other skeptics are asking: Is aid worth it? Does it make a positive difference in...

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Al-Shabaab's Withdrawal Offers an Opportunity Not to Be Missed

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 1:40 PM

Last month, al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab militants withdrew from Mogadishu. While al-Shabaab claims the retreat was merely tactical, many hope that it represents a critical setback for an insurgency that has held the country hostage for four years.

The withdrawal provides momentum for the much-criticized peacekeeping efforts in the country and, despite...

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Aid for Trade: $100 Billion and Counting

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 5:15 PM

In a time of fiscal consolidation and threats of serious cuts to aid budgets, it is critical that we pay careful attention to what we know works in development cooperation. Evidence from a numerous countries, including Korea, Brazil and China, shows that openness to trade is a key ingredient for...

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