Since 30 June 2023, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has introduced the new operating model (NOM). NOM is enhancing the Bank-wide synergies by consolidating agriculture, food systems, natural capital, and rural development expertise into one single sector. Dr. Zhang is leading this newly established Agriculture, Food, Nature, and Rural Development (AFNR) sector office.
AFNR sector office will lead the Bank-wide efforts for food security, scale up natural capital investment, promote integrated river basin management, develop inclusive and green agricultural value chain, and pilot integration of sovereign operations and private sector investment.
Mr. Zhang is leading the Bank’s efforts to achieve $14 billion food security ambition over 2022-2025 which was announced in September 2022. This program is designed to support to ease a worsening food crisis in the Asia and Pacific region, and improve long-term food security by strengthening food systems against the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
During 2020-2023, Mr. Zhang was also serving as the Chief of Rural Development & Food Security Thematic Group and concurrently Office in Charge of Environment Thematic Group. He was leading the Bank’s initiatives in natural capital lab, ocean health action plan, air quality management, operational guidance for rural development & food security, and East Asian Australasian Flyway.
Mr. Zhang was also serving as the Director for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture in East Asia Department in the Bank (2014-2020). He successfully linked the agricultural production with natural resources management and environmental health, delivering the $2 billion Yangtze river economic belt framework program, designing $6 billion rural vitalization program in PRC, formulating multiple-phased air quality management and sustainable tourism programs in Mongolia across the various sectors. Prior to joining ADB, he was a Senior Environment Specialist at the World Bank in Washington; a Director at the State Environmental Protection Administration in Beijing; and a Research Fellow at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Mr. Zhang is a Chinese national. He holds a doctoral degree in environmental engineering from the Tsinghua University; and a master’s degree in water resources management, and a bachelor’s degree in hydrology from the Sichuan University. He was also trained at the Harvard Business School through its Executive Development Program.