Joseph F. X. Zahra
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Joseph F.X. Zahra (born December 3, 1955) is a Maltese economist. He has held a number of directorships in both private and public companies in Malta and abroad. He is also a lecturer of economics at the University of Malta and had the appointment of “docente a contratto” at the University of Messina, Italy. He is Founding Partner and Director of SurgeAdvisory Limited, a Malta-based corporate consultancy specialising in strategic and transformation management, Human Resources advice, succession planning, and boardroom coaching. Prior to setting up SurgeAdvisory, he was Managing Director of MISCO, which he co-founded in 1983. Zahra is also a playwright and the author of a book of verse.
Zahra graduated from University of Malta with a First Class Honours Degree in Economics (1976) and a Masters Degree in Economics (1979). He is also a Chartered Marketer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, besides being a member of the Market Research Society (U.K). Zahra is a fellow member of the Salzburg Seminar on “Technology and Structural Unemployment” (1986). In 2001 he was granted Honorary Lifelong Membership in the Malta Institute of Management.
Zahra is a founding partner and managing director of SurgeAdvisory Limited. He is currently Chairman and Member of the Audit Committee of Birks Group Inc., Director/Former Chairman at Mapfre Middlesea Insurance plc, Director at FireGroup SpA, Medserv Malta plc, United Finance plc, Curmi & Partners Limited, Pendergardens Development plc, Multi Risk Insurance plc, Chasophie Group Limited, Zahra is also Chairman at Forestals Investments Limited, Multi Risk Limited, Chairman/Member of Audit Committee at United Finance plc and Pendergardens plc.
His past directorships include Corinthia Hotels International Ltd (2005-2007), Central Bank of Malta (1992-1996), MSV Insurance plc (1998-2014) and Malta Development Corporation (1995-1996).
Zahra is a former chairman of Bank of Valletta (1998-2004), Maltacom plc (2003) and he was appointed by then Prime Minister of Malta, Lawrence Gonzi, to chair the National Euro Changeover Committee to introduce the Euro currency in Malta.
Zahra was also chairman of the Malta Council for Culture and Arts (2002-2003), Mediterranean Bank Network (1999) and National Higher Education Commission (2006-2008).
Work for the Vatican
Zahra is one of five members on the International Audit Committee of the Holy See and the Vatican State. In July 2013, Pope Francis named Zahra the President of a new Pontifical Commission (the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See), chartered to investigate current accounting practices among Vatican offices and bodies and to help devise new strategies for greater fiscal responsibility and transparency. On 8 March 2014, he was named by Pope Francis to serve as one of the Lay Members of the newly established Council for Economic Affairs, which will oversee the work of the new Secretariat for the Economy, an agency which will have financial regulatory authority over all the departments of the Roman Curia.
Zahra is a board member of the Vatican-based Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation.
In 2006, the Malta Society for Manufacturers and the Arts granted Zahra the Gold Medal Award for outstanding achievement in business and the arts.
- Zahra J.F.X., Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary System, Pontificial Council for Justice and Peace DISCERN, 2012, P. 8-19.
- Zahra J.F.X., Portraying Giorgio Borg Olivier's Political and Economic Vision - Still a Modern Foresight in Today's Economic Reality Address by Joseph F.X. Zahra, PN Press, 2009.
- Zahra J.F.X., The Sustainability of Malta's Social Security System: A glimpse at Malta's Welfare State and Suggestions for a Revised Change of Policy, The Today Public Policy Institute, 2009.
- Zahra J.F.X., Lessons from the Asian crisis: Turning uncertainty into Market Advantage. Globalisation policies, strategies & partnerships, Commonwealth Business Forum, Edited Papers, Commonwealth Business Council, 2000.
- Rudolf, Uwe Jens; Berg, Warren G. (2010). Historical Dictionary of Malta. Scarecrow Press. p. 242. ISBN 9780810873902.
- Glatz, Carol (July 19, 2013). "Pope creates body to revamp Vatican's bookkeeping, fiscal responsibility". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on July 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151129/business-news/Curmi-and-Partners-appoint-Joseph-F-X-Zahra-as-director.593929 https://www.ncronline.org/person/joseph-fx-zahra http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2013-07-19/news/pope-creates-new-commission-of-inquiry-for-finance-2113961985/