Don Kanak


Don’s research as a Senior Fellow at The Program on International Financial Systems has focused on climate change policy, including solutions for reducing deforestation and degradation of natural forests (REDD) and financial frameworks for achieving energy transition. He has also researched and written on capital market development with particular emphasis on emerging markets.

Don lived and worked in Asia for over 35 years. Most recently (until October 2022) Don was the Chairman of Prudential Insurance Growth Markets and  Chairman of Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential plc in Asia and Africa.

From 2008 to 2015, Don served as Chairman of Prudential Corporation Asia and from 2012 to October 2020, as Chairman of Eastspring Investments, the asset management business of Prudential plc. From 1992 to January 2006, Don held a number of senior positions at American International Group (AIG), ultimately Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of AIG. Before moving to Asia in 1986 he was a partner of an international strategic consulting firm.

Early in his career Don worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and he has maintained a strong interest in sustainability throughout his career.  A member of the global Steering Group of the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP), he also was Co-chair of the SDIP’s ASEAN Hub Steering Group 2016-22.  He was a member of the United Nations Global Environment Facility’s Technical Advisory Group on its 2014-18 climate change mitigation strategy. In 2011-12 Don chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Insurance and Asset Management and has served on several other Forum councils including Social Security, Southeast Asia/ASEAN, Development Finance and SDG Investments. Don is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Council of WWF-US and the Society of Financial Services Professionals.

Don holds a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School (1980), an M.Litt in Management Studies from University of Oxford (U.K.) (1989), and a B.A. with highest honors in economics (1975) from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He chairs the UNC Global Leadership Council.