Zeti Akhtar Aziz

Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz
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
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
Religion Islam

Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. 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

Zeti Akhtar Aziz was born in Johor Bahru, Johor on 27 August 1947, to father Royal Professor 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]

Zeti received early education at 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 Akhtar Aziz 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 magazine, named her as one of the world's best central bank chiefs.[6] In 2010, she was named "Tokoh Ma'al Hijrah 1432H" at the national-level Ma'al Hijrah celebration.[7]

On 20 May 2011, Bloomberg columnist William Pesek picked Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as one of his top four nominees to head the prestigious International Monetary Fund (IMF) 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, Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz 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]

Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz was the Chairman of the Asian Institute of Finance.

Personal life

Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz is married to Dato' Dr Tawfiq Ayman and they have two children: Alif & 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.
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