Spotlight on CDIA’s Newest Team Member, Ivan Fuentetaja

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Hailing from Cantimpalos, Spain where only 1,500 people call it home, Ivan Fuentetaja never imagined pursuing an urban development career in Manila, Philippines where at least 14 million people live, making it among the world’s largest metropolitan cities. 

In March 2023, Ivan travelled 12,000 kilometers to join the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support its work on livable cities. Under the Urban Sector Group (USG), he will be involved in the project management and outreach of CDIA and perform tasks related to knowledge, resource management, and other operational aspects to enhance the quality of ADB’s urban assistance to developing member countries.  

“ADB offers the opportunity to work effectively as a team and in collaboration with partners to achieve common goals,” said Ivan. “It will also allow me to plan, organize, and execute complex projects, which involve multiple stakeholders and promote international best practices, smart solutions, and technological advances,” he added. 

Ivan came through ADB’s secondment agreement with ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones (ICEX), which is under Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Secondment is an assignment of qualified professionals who come to serve a specific role in ADB for a fixed-term period, in Ivan’s case, one year.  

In December 2022, CDIA received a €5 million funding support from the Spanish Government. In line with this, Ivan’s engagement with CDIA will help improve the visibility of the Spanish Government’s support in the development of inclusive, climate-resilient, and sustainable infrastructure projects in Asia and the Pacific.  

“To be able to contribute to CDIA’s goal of making cities livable is an exciting challenge in which I am delighted to participate,” said Ivan. “I would like to help strengthen its partnership with various stakeholders such as the Spanish Government, expand its outreach to more cities, and encourage the use of new technologies and approaches toward more sustainable projects,” he added. 

Ivan is an economist with extensive experience in commercial and trade activities. Prior to his secondment to ADB, he served as an international trade and investment advisor in the Spanish Embassy to the Philippines, from where he learned about ADB’s key role in promoting sustainable development in the region and facilitated the contribution of Spanish companies’ expertise and technologies in a few of ADB’s flagship projects. 

“What I expect from this great opportunity is to acquire new skills and knowledge to continue growing and developing as a person and as a professional,” said Ivan as he looks forward to spending his time with colleagues in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment. “I believe that this experience at ADB can be a powerful tool to face future challenges. After all, learning is a lifelong journey,” he added. 

Join us in welcoming Ivan into the team! 

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