Takeshi Watanabe (渡辺 武, Watanabe Takeshi, 1906 – 23 August 2010)[1] was a Japanese bureaucrat and the first President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He was in office from 24 November 1966 to 24 November 1972.[1]

Watanabe was considered to be the “father” of ADB, as it was under his leadership that many of ADB’s policies and targets were established, the first bond was issued in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1969, and in September 1972, donors agreed to set up ADB’s multilateral source of concessional lending, the Asian Development Fund. He served as President of ADB from its inception in 1966 to 1972.[2]

After resigning from ADB, Watanabe took on a number of roles including advisor to the Bank of Tokyo, President of the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCRA), and honorary chairman of Japan Silver Volunteers Inc. He was also the first Japanese chairman of the Trilateral Commission. His book of memoirs of ADB “Towards a New Asia” was published in 1973.[2]

Watanabe Takeshi died in Tokyo on Monday 23 August 2010, at the age of 104.[3]


  1. ^ a b Bob Reinalda; Kent Kille (21 August 2012). "Biographical Dictionary of Secretaries-General of International Organizations" (PDF). IO BIO Database. 
  2. ^ a b "First ADB President Takeshi Watanabe passes away aged 104". Seniors World Chronicle. 27 August 2010. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Watanabe, 104, 'father' of ADB, dies". The Japan Times. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 

Positions in intergovernmental organisations
New office President of the Asian Development Bank
Succeeded by
Shiro Inoue