Riad Salamé

Born on July 17, 1950 in Lebanon, son of Toufic SALAMÉ and Renée ROMANOS, Riad Salamé attended the Jesuits’ College of Notre -Dame de Jamhour and then graduated with a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut.


Riad Salamé is the Governor of Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s Central Bank, since August 1, 1993. He was reappointed for three consecutive terms in 1999, 2005 and 2011.

Governor Salamé manages all aspects of the Central Bank and is assisted in his functions by four vice-governors and the Central Council.

In this capacity, he chairs the following bodies: the BDL Central Council, the Higher Banking Commission, the AML/CFT Special Investigation Commission and the Capital Markets Authority.

Mr. Salamé is member of the Board of Governors at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).

In 2012, Governor Salamé chaired the IMF and World Bank Boards of Governors held in Tokyo.

Starting July 1, 2013, Mr. Salame co-chaired the FSB Regional Consultative Group for the Middle East and North Africa for a term of two years. He was also the chairman of the AMF Board of Governors for 2013.

Between 1973 and 1985, he acquired an extensive experience at Merrill Lynch (Beirut and Paris) that led to his designation from 1985 through 1993 as Vice-President and Financial Advisor, a position that he occupied till his appointment as BDL Governor.

The main objective of Mr. Salamé’s monetary policy has always been to safeguard the Lebanese currency, in order to ensure the basis of a continuous economic and social growth.

Awards and Decorations

– Best Central Bank Governor in the Arab world for 1996- Euromoney Award.
– Knight of the Legion of Honor- bestowed upon him by French President Jacques Chirac on May 31, 1997.
– Best Central Bank Governor for 2003 (Man of the Year)- Euromoney Award.
– Shield Award from “Bankers for a Better Future”, an international academic banking organization in Francfort-Germany, upon his selection as one of the best 20 Central Bank Governors in the world for 2004.
– Best Central Bank Governor in the Middle East for 2005- Euromoney Award for Emerging Markets.
– Best Central Bank Governor in the world for 2006- Euromoney Award.
– The 2007 Award of the Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA) to the Lebanese banking system in tribute to Governor Riad Salamé’s achievements.
– Best Central Bank Governor in the Middle-East for the year 2008-The Banker Magazine Award.
– The 2008 Banking Leadership Award from the World Union of Arab Bankers.
– The first Arab Central Bank Governor to ring the New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell- March 2009.
– Doctorate Honoris Causa in Humanities conferred upon him by the Lebanese American University of Beirut (LAU) in July 2009.
– Best Central Bank Governor in the Middle East for the year 2009- The Banker Magazine Award.
– The 2009 Arab Creativity Award in Economics, presented by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the Arab Thought Foundation.
– Officer of the Legion of Honor – bestowed upon him by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on December 31, 2009.
– Doctorate Honoris Causa conferred upon him by the Lebanese University in May 2010.
– Man of the Year Award from the International Chamber of Commerce –Lebanon, September 2010.
– Shield Award for Creativity and Sagacity, from the Lebanese International Business Council in Michigan- October 2010.
– The key of Dearborn- Detroit and status of honorary citizen – October 2010.
– Chicago Fire Department’s Medal of Honor, conferred in October 2010 by the Head of Chicago Financial Committee, owing to which Governor Salamé has become honorary member in the said Department.
– Honorary Sash and Shield Award from the Hariri Canadian University, Lebanon, in May 2011.
– One of the World’s Top 6 Central Bankers in 2011- Global Finance magazine Award.
– Participation in the opening of the London stock exchange on the occasion of Lebanon Capital Markets Day-November 2012.
– Best Central Bank Governor in the Middle East for the Year 2012- The Banker Magazine Award.
– Best Arab Central Bank Governor for the year 2012-2013- Award from the World Union of Arab Bankers.
– Doctorate Honoris Causa conferred upon him by the American University of Technology in September 2013.
– Best Central Bank Governor in the Middle East for 2013- Euromoney Award for emerging markets. October 2013.
– Shield Award of the Rotary annual congress in Lebanon and “Paul Harris” medal in honor of The Governor Salamé’s achievements. April 2014
– Gold-plated shield Award to mark the BDL’s 50th anniversary as well as his 20 years with the Bank, from the Union of Arab Banks. April 2014
– Shield Award from Al Bank Wal Mustathmer Group, for supporting and sponsoring the conference on “Current and future trends of the region’s banking system”. September 2014
– One of the Best Central Bank Governors of the world award by the Global Finance magazine in its Central Banker Report Cards 2016