Former Dalberg CEO Yana Watson Kakar joins CDPQ as Americas head

07 June 2023 2 min. read
More news on

Yana Watson Kakar, former CEO of global development consultancy Dalberg, has joined institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) as managing director and head of Americas.

In her new role, Kakar will also lead CDPQ’s New York office (where she is based) and oversee the Mexico and Brazil offices.

She joins the institutional investor’s global management team and will work with the heads of asset classes to develop investment strategy and partnerships across the Americas region. Kakar will also be tasked with strengthening the existing portfolio of capital invested in private equity, fixed income, real estate, infrastructure, technology, and equity markets.

Kakar brings more than 20 years of experience in strategy consulting, policy, and investing. She is currently CEO of Growth for Good, a special purpose acquisition company focusing on sustainable companies critical to decarbonization.

Former Dalberg CEO Yana Watson Kakar joins CDPQ as Americas head

Kakar previously spent 12 years at Dalberg, a more than 600-person consultancy that delivers strategy and policy advice in global development to governments, foundations, international agencies, and NGOs. In 2020, Kakar completed two three-year terms as CEO, tripling revenues and growing the firm to nearly 30 offices.

Before joining Dalberg in 2008, Kakar spent three years at Boston Consulting Group, where she was a project leader. Earlier in her career, she was a business analyst at Arthur D. Little.

Kakar has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from McGill University.

She is currently a member of the board of directors at Oxfam America and previously spent three years on the advisory board of the Clinton Global Initiative.

"We are truly delighted to have Yana join the CDPQ team to lead our Americas region. Her track record as an inclusive business leader, commitment to sustainable investing, and deep experience at the intersection of the public and private sectors will enable an immediate contribution to our constructive capital approach of creating solutions to the challenges that markets and communities face," said Marc-André Blanchard, EVP and head of CDPQ Global and global head of sustainability.

CDPQ manages several public and parapublic pension plans and insurance programs in Quebec. It oversees more than $400 billion in assets and has 1,500+ employees across 11 offices in ten countries.

“As a Canadian educated in Québec – yet living in New York and working globally for over two decades – I am very happy to be joining CDPQ as Managing Director and Head of Americas, working on behalf of Quebecers alongside the highest caliber of investment professionals known for their commitment to creating better outcomes for people and the planet," Kakar said.