President's Report to the Board
OPIC Acting President & CEO David Bohigian
President's Report to the Board
As prepared for delivery
March 20, 2019
Welcome to the March meeting of the OPIC Board of Directors.
I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead an organization that has been creating a world of opportunity for almost half a century. OPIC is now in the midst of a historic transformation that will enable us to have an even greater impact going forward.
In a moment, we will hear a tribute to my predecessor Ray Washburne. Ray took this agency from an uncertain future to one of great promise. He worked tirelessly to showcase the critical role OPIC plays in advancing American foreign policy and promoting investment as a stabilizing force around the world. By raising the agency’s profile, strengthening alliances, and shepherding the passage of the BUILD Act into law, Ray laid the groundwork for the creation of a new modern agency that will have more resources and tools to invest in development.
As we move forward, I hope to get to know all of you better. I come from a family of Armenian refugees who believed in the promise of America. I have worked across countless industries in more than 60 countries, building and reorganizing companies and making investments and serving as an assistant Secretary of Commerce to promote pro-growth economic policy and American business.
I joined OPIC in 2017 with a deep appreciation of the power of investment to change lives. I see our mission as a modern day Marshall Plan, developing stable societies that advance global peace and prosperity.
Today, the world faces a host of new challenges, from transitioning to a digital economy to countering authoritarian, state-driven investment. OPIC is addressing those challenges by investing in projects to build a free and open Indo-Pacific, increase connectivity with Africa, creating opportunity throughout the Western Hemisphere, and empowering millions of women around the world.
It was one year ago this month – Women’s History Month – that OPIC launched our 2X Women’s initiative with a bold commitment to mobilize $1 billion for women in emerging markets. Today, I’m happy to share that we’ve already surpassed that ambitious target. Together with our private sector partners, we’ve catalyzed more than $1.4 billion in total capital to empower the world’s women. That’s a tremendous achievement.
The projects before you today will build critical infrastructure and expand access to energy, financial services and housing around the world.
At the same time we are building our portfolio of development projects, we are all hard at work to launch the new United States Development Finance Corporation seven months from now. We’ve listened and learned from stakeholders in business, government, development, foreign policy and impact investing. We’ve studied best practices. Members of OPIC leadership just returned from Europe, where we visited six countries in four days to meet with our counterpart development finance institutions and exchange notes on the best ways we can continue to have an impact in the world.
Thanks to the hard work of the interagency, we just submitted a report to Congress outlining the transition to the new DFC.
I’m humbled to be assuming this great responsibility. But I am also energized by the opportunity that lies ahead, and confident that OPIC’s hardworking and talented team, and our innovative partners will continue to build great projects that will empower people, strengthen communities and create stable societies around the world.