ACEF Speaker

Cleo Kawawaki

Head, OMDP,
Asian Development Bank

Ms. Kawawaki is the Head of the Office of Public-Private Partnership (OPPP) at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), having assumed the role in January 2022. The OPPP was established to enhance ADB's support and enable governments of its developing member countries to secure greater private investment and foster economic growth in the region. The office provides transaction advisory services to develop bankable PPP projects and coordinates PPP-related activities within ADB. Before this role, Ms. Kawawaki served as Deputy Director General for the Southeast Asia and Central West Asia Regional Departments. The Southeast Asia Regional Department (SERD) covers ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste, managing a portfolio of over $20 billion in loans and grant assistance. The Central and West Asia Regional Department (CWRD) includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the Caucasus countries. ADB has been a partner to developing member countries for over 56 years, supporting projects from large road and infrastructure to education and rural development. ADB is currently assisting countries with immediate medical, social, and economic needs and formulating innovative green recovery strategies. Ms. Kawawaki oversaw $20 billion in financing for COVID-19 support and also chairs the Digital Committee for ADB. Prior to her current position, Ms. Kawawaki was the Director of the Energy Division in the Central and West Asia Department. She was responsible for business development and the implementation of a $7 billion portfolio in Central and West Asian countries and led the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program’s Energy Sector Committee. She has been with ADB since 2000. Ms. Kawawaki started her career at ADB as a Commercial Cofinancing Officer, implementing a bond (JPY 61.7 billion) guaranteed by ADB in December 2002 for the Power Sector Asset Liabilities Management Corp (PSALM) of the Philippines and establishing the ASEAN+3 Asian Bond Market Initiative. As a Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, she worked on improving the enabling environment and increasing private sector investment in Indonesia and the Philippines. In Central West Asia, she was responsible for the Energy Sector’s $1.2 billion portfolio, policy dialogue, business development, portfolio oversight, and leading milestone innovative projects totaling $3.6 billion. Before joining ADB, Ms. Kawawaki spent over a decade at Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. in Japan and Hong Kong. She worked as an underwriter (equity and financial structuring of bonds and syndication manager), leading documentation for the UK electricity privatization, acting as a transaction advisor for state-owned enterprises, and managing equity and bond sales syndications. Immediately before joining ADB, she structured transactions for the Miyazawa Initiative debt guarantees to support ASEAN countries.


  • Energy Finance Day: Structuring and Financing Pathfinder Climate Projects in New Sectors
  • Pre-Forum Event: CCS and the Trans ASEAN Grid – Key Parts of the Asia Region’s Response to Net Zero Hosted by IPFA