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Darshak Shah

Lecturer; Former Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Strategic Finance and Risk, United Nations Development Programme

Darshak’ s professional career spans the private sector and the UN. He recently retired from UNDP on 30th June 2021. His last position at UNDP was, Senior Advisor to the Administrator of UNDP on Strategic Finance and Risk. Prior to this, he was the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Management Services and the global Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of UNDP, a $5 Billion organization with 170 offices around the world. His responsibilities as CFO included strategic resource planning, budget, financial risk management, custodian of the financial regulatory framework, including compliance with the framework, overseeing the compilation of financial statements, treasury function with an investment portfolio of $7 billion, procurement and administrative services.  In an earlier role, he was an audit manager with Ernst and Young.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) of the United Kingdom.

Darshak has been a key player in UN reform - co-chairing the High-Level Committee of Management (HLCM) /Finance and Budgetary (FB) Network. Key achievements include - streamlining of banking services at the country level for UN agencies, which greatly benefited the retired staff; the development of data bases linking SDGs with finance data (data cube); the development of UN system wide guidance on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM )and risk appetite. He also led the inter-agency team on the integrated resources plan and budget, that combined the administrative budget and progamme budget, including the Integrated Results and Resources Framework (IRRF).

Darshak also established and later expanded the finance shared service center, serving UNDP and other agencies in Kuala Lumpur, to enhance capacity, efficiency, quality, and compliance.

Darshak was part of the leadership team that steered the business process reengineering and implementation of the global ERP and ERM. He strengthened compliance through introduction of finance dashboards and other reporting mechanisms, capitalizing on data intelligence.

He also led the global IPSAS implementation for UNDP, to increase transparency and accountability, thereby increasing donor confidence. This included further reconfiguration and reengineering of business processes to achieve efficiencies and compliance with IPSAS reporting. He developed the After Service Health (ASHI) funding plan and advocated successfully for outsourcing to professional investment firms, the management of ASHI investments - increasing returns, and augmenting the funding of the ASHI liability. He professionalized the finance function within UNDP through introduction of new staff profiles, finance certification, and training programmes.

Darshak has worked s extensively with governing bodies, oversight committees and member states. He is known for sterling integrity, fine advocacy, strong listening, influencing, and consensus-building skills.

He is married and has one son.