Sri Lankan, Melanie Janine Kanaka, FCMA, CGMA, has been elected the 89th President of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the world’s largest professional body of management accountants becoming the first-ever Asian woman to be elected President.
She will also serve as Co-Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), which represents the combined membership of CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).
During her year in office, Kanaka will focus on reinforcing the accounting and finance profession’s commitment to being a trusted adviser for their organisations and serving the public interest. In addition, she will champion the profession’s need to continuously upskill and reskill to meet ever-evolving market demands.
Kanaka will also put a strong emphasis on inspiring younger generations to join the dynamic profession, advancing the profession’s digital skills and capabilities, and the importance of fostering diversity, equity and inclusion.
Kanaka will work closely with Anoop Natwar Mehta, CPA, CGMA, who will serve as AICPA Chair and Chair of the Association, to represent the world’s largest public and management accounting bodies (AICPA and CIMA) to meet the demands of a constantly changing, disruptive world.
“Over the past few years, the profession provided vital support and guidance to organisations to help them, not only survive, but also adapt and thrive in a world that has irremediably changed. As the world continues to undergo radical, disruptive changes at an accelerating speed, we must as professionals offer bold leadership,” Kanaka said.
“Now is the time for the profession to lean in and take the next step forward. We must make sure that we continue to deliver innovative solutions to create value, build trust, seize new opportunities and help deliver prosperity for individuals, organisations, economies and society as a whole.”
Kanaka has extensive experience in corporate finance and development banking across the USA, Germany and South Asia. She currently leads the finance and administration function for the World Bank in Sri Lanka and the Maldives where she is responsible for finance, resource management and performance review and is part of the World Bank’s South Asia regional unit.