Zeti Akhtar Aziz

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Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz
Malaysian Central Bank Governor Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz.jpg
7th Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia
In office
1 May 2000 – 30 April 2016
Preceded by Ali Abul Hassan bin Sulaiman
Succeeded by Muhammad bin Ibrahim
Personal details
Born Ungku Zeti Akhtar binti Ungku Abdul Aziz
(1947-08-27) August 27, 1947 (age 69)
Johor Bahru, Johor, Federation of Malaya
Nationality Malaysia
Parents Ungku Aziz
Sharifah Azah Mohamed Alsagoff
Alma mater University of Malaya
University of Pennsylvania
Profession Economist

Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Ungku Zeti Akhtar binti Ungku Abdul Aziz (known profesionally as Zeti Akhtar Aziz) was the 7th Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia's central bank. She was governor from 2000 to 2016, and was the first woman in the position.

Early life[edit]

Zeti Akhtar Aziz was born in Johor Bahru, Johor on 27 August 1947; to father Ungku Aziz, who is of Malay, Circassian[1][2] and English[3] descent, and mother Sharifah Azah Mohamed Alsagoff, who was of Hadhrami Arab and Malay descent.[4][5] Her father Ungku Aziz is an economist and former vice-chancellor for the University of Malaya from 1968 to 1988, to which he was given the title "Royal Professor".

She received her early education at the Assunta High School, Petaling Jaya in 1958. She then completed her Form 6 in St. John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur. In 1970, she received a bachelor's degree in Economics from University Malaya.

She continued her studies in the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), an Ivy League university in Philadelphia, receiving a PhD in monetary and international economics in 1978. As part of her PhD, dissertation she carried out pioneering work on capital flows and its implications for monetary policy.


Zeti began her career as an economic analyst for the South-East Asia Central Bank Training & Research Center, remaining at that post from 1979 to 1984. She was then appointed Deputy Manager of the Economics Department at Bank Negara Malaysia.

In 2009, Global Finance named her as one of the world's best central bank chiefs.[6] In 2010 during the national-level Ma'al Hijrah celebrations held that year, the Malaysian government had awarded her with the title of "Tokoh Ma'al Hijrah 1432H" ("Figure of the New Year 1432AH").[7]

On 20 May 2011, Bloomberg columnist William Pesek had picked Zeti, during her post as Bank Negara governor, as one of his top four nominees to head the prestigious International Monetary Fund after the position became vacant following the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was arrested in New York, and is presently facing sexual assault charges.[8]

In 2013, she was again accorded “Grade A” among the heads of central banks for the 10th time by the Global Finance magazine. She was awarded alongside Philippines’ central bank governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. and Taiwan’s Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan, from a list of central bank governors of more than 50 key countries.[9]

Zeti was also the Chairman of the Asian Institute of Finance.

Personal life[edit]

Zeti is married to Dato' Dr Tawfiq Ayman[who?], and they have two children namely Alif and Aziz.


  1. ^ Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas Archived January 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., MSA Library Online
  2. ^ Taking root, branching out, DZIREENA MAHADZIR, April 1, 2007, The Star (Malaysia)
  3. ^ Abid, Jaafar, pp66
  4. ^ "Finance's female face". TMCnet.com. 2005-12-29. 
  5. ^ "The world's successful diasporas". managementtoday.com. 2007-04-03. 
  6. ^ "Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz the world's best central bank chief". All Voices.com. Sep 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Tan Sri Dr Zeti named ‘Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah’". The Star. December 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Zeti one of Bloomberg columnist’s top picks to head IMF". The Malaysian Insider. May 21, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Bank Negara's Zeti awarded 'Grade A' among central bank governors". The Star. Aug 27, 2013.