top of page

Fadia Saadah

Fadia Saadah is currently the Human Development Director for Middle East and North Africa 

Region.  She held several leadership and managerial posts at the World Bank including a Human Development Director for Europe and Central Asia Region; Director, Global Practice for Health, 

Nutrition and Population (HNP); Senior Advisor for; Manager at the Operational Policy and Country Services; and Manager for HNP for the East Asia and Pacific Region.  

She spearheaded some of the World Bank’s most significant modernization and reform efforts including the introduction and roll out of the Program-for-Results, the first new financing instrument the World Bank has introduced in over 30 years and modernization and reform the investment lending financing.  

During these roles she demonstrated strong leadership skills, strategic thinking, strong business and operational orientation, distinct client responsiveness, and the ability to manage difficult and complex relationships, foster partnerships, and to deliver results.  

Her work has had a major impact on how the World Bank works and the Program for result is now one of the three major instruments financing development programs across the globe. It has also influenced other development partners where a number of them have now adopted similar instruments.


Dr. Saadah has a long history in the health and human development at the World Bank where she worked for more than 20 years.

Her work and achievements demonstrated a strong record of development innovations and impacts across a range of client countries including IDA, Middle Income and fragile economies.

She developed strategies at regional and country levels the development of a strategy for health sector and for HIV/AIDS work in the East Asia Region.  

She also led several efforts dealing with health crisis like SARs and Avian Flu where she led the World Bank initial response.  

More recently she has revamped and energized the work on Human Development in Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank and lead World Bank efforts to support countries in the Region to respond to COVID 19 using a range of advisory and financing instruments.  

Dr Saadah experience has given her an advantage of being able at the level of projects, programs, country, regional and global levels and has a broad understanding of the challenges of development and of the ways the development community can best address them.

Saadah earned Bachelor (Environmental Health) and Master of Science degrees 

(Epidemiology) from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and Master of Health Sciences (Biostatistics) and PhD degrees (Population Studies) from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA.  

Fadia Saadah
bottom of page