Dr. Bandar M. H. Hajjar

President, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group

Dr. Bandar Hajjar assumed presidency of the Islamic Development Bank Group on October 1, 2016. The Islamic Development Bank, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is a multilateral development bank that works to improve the lives of people by promoting social and economic development in its 57 member countries and Muslim communities around the world. The Bank has received the highest credit rating (AAA) from the world’s rating agencies. 

In the same year, Dr. Bandar Hajjar assumed chairmanship of the Committee for Utilization of Hady and Adahi, which is a joint committee comprising the Islamic Development Bank and the relevant government agencies overseeing the work of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Project for Utilization of Hady & Adahi, which has been managed by IsDB on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia since 1403 AH to serve the pilgrims and to facilitate the performance of their rituals

Dr. Bandar Hajjar is also the current chairperson of the MDBs Presidents Meetings for the year 2020. The MDBs Heads forum is a regional and international dialogue platform comprising the following twelve banks: the World Bank Group (WBG), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (AsDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the New Development Bank (NDB), and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

Academic Life

Doctor Bandar Hajjar was awarded a bachelor's degree with First-Class Honours in Economics and Political Sciences from King Saud University, Riyadh, and a master's degree in Economics from Indiana University, USA. In 1982, he returned to Saudi Arabia, where he worked as a lecturer for four years. In 1986, he attended Loughborough University in the United Kingdom on a scholarship, where he received a Ph.D. in Economics. In his thesis titled "Financing Small Enterprises in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" he argued that Islamic financing is appropriate for small enterprises, because they often lack collateral, administrative, and marketing expertise.

From 1994 to 1998, Dr. Hajjar occupied the posts of Deputy Dean of the College of Economy and Administration; Deputy Director of the Islamic Economics Research Center; and Head of the Committee on Curricula Taught from an Islamic Perspective. He delivered university courses on monetary issues, banks, economic development, the Islamic economic system and macroeconomics. He integrates both theory and practice into his teachings, with a focus on outlooks. He encourages his students to engage in voluntary work.

Chief Editor, Money and Markets Magazine

Dr. Hajjar believes that there is a strong connection between the economy and the media, and together they represent the pillars of community development, and that “responsible media reveals the economy’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. It contributes to the development and enhancement of the economy through the objective interpretation of events and future foresight.”

This view was the main driver behind the 1996 establishment of Money and Markets, a specialized economics magazine addressing the concerns of the Arab and Islamic worlds in line with ethical and spiritual values. The magazine provided objective insights into the events and successive developments in the international arena, highlighting their consequences for economic activities. It dedicated extensive space for Islamic economy and Islamic financing. Dr. Hajjar continued as the Chief Editor of the magazine until its discontinuation in 2006.

Member, Shura Council

In 1998, Dr. Hajjar was selected as a member of the Shura Council in its second term. He served on the Council for three consecutive terms, spanning 12 years. He was appointed Vice-Speaker of the Council, and he held that office for three years.

During his term, Dr. Hajjar chaired the Shura Council Committee on Foreign Affairs for one year. He was also a member of the Council’s Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy and the Committee on Social Affairs and Youth. He served on several specialized subcommittees, including the Committee on Integrity and Combating Corruption, the Committee on University Admission, and the Committee on Zakat. At the international level, he represented the Council in the Arab Parliamentary Union and the Inter-Parliamentary Union for two years. He was also part of the team concerned with the accession of the Shura Council to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

While serving on the Shura Council, Dr. Hajjar developed an interest in environmental protection and renewable energy; the relationship between the public, private and tertiary sectors; investment in education as the major driver of development; human development with an humanitarian dimension in addition to the economic dimension; the role of the tertiary sector in economic and social development; the importance of the middle class in achieving economic, social and political stability; and endowments.

Chairman, Coordinating Council for Monitoring Municipal Elections

Dr. Hajjar formed a coordinating council of seven NGOs under the umbrella of the National Society for Human Rights to monitor the first municipal elections held in Saudi Arabia in 2005. The Council deployed approximately 1,500 volunteer citizens to all cities in the Kingdom and issued daily statements in both Arabic and English explaining the election instructions, regulations, and outcomes.

Chairman, National Society for Human Rights

Believing that upholding human rights and dignity is paramount, Dr. Hajjar, along with 40 Saudi men and women, established a national non-governmental human rights society in 2004. 

Under his five-year Chairmanship, the Society managed to raise public awareness about the rights of citizens and residents as enshrined in Islamic Sharia, domestic laws, and international conventions, and to revise laws for alignment with international conventions. It also managed to integrate human rights into school curricula, publish a monthly newsletter, and establish an information and documentation centre. The Society released the first report on human rights in the Kingdom, which was well received nationally and internationally.

Minister of Hajj

The Ministry of Hajj is the government body mandated with caring for and serving approximately three million pilgrims and seven million Umrah performers visiting the Kingdom annually. The Ministry begins to serve the visitors once they decide to perform the rituals before leaving their own countries. 

Dr. Hajjar served as Minister of Hajj from 2011 to 2016. During his term, he introduced 25 initiatives to develop and enhance the services provided to the Hajj and Umrah performers. Some of those initiatives have either been fully implemented or in progress. The initiatives are aimed at making the Hajj journey an easier, more enjoyable, and an everlasting experience for both Hajj and Umrah performers. 

Minister of Culture and Information

Dr. Hajjar was appointed Acting Minister of Culture and Information in addition to his responsibilities as Minister of Hajj for approximately one month and a half until a new minister of culture and information was sworn in.

Chairmanship & Membership of Associations

Dr. Hajjar has served as chairman/member of several national, regional and international societies and associations:

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah Society for Community Development.
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Endowment for the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz University.
  • Vice President of Madinah International Academy (MADAC)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic University of Niger.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Center of Quality and Excellence in Education–UNESCO
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Islamic University of Islamabad–Pakistan (IIUI).
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC). 


Order of the Lion 

The Republic of Senegal awarded Dr. Hajjar the National Order of the Lion, the highest national order awarded by the Republic, in recognition of his efforts in supporting the development projects and programs carried out by the Islamic Development Bank in Senegal.

National Order of Merit 

The Republic of Tunisia awarded Dr. Hajjar the First Order of Merit on 7 March 2018.