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CIMA appoints new president

Kanaka is the first Asian woman elected as CIMA president and co-chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has appointed Melanie Janine Kanaka, FCMA, CGMA, as its 89th president.

The CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants. 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).

Kanaka is the first Asian woman elected as CIMA president and co-chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. 

She will focus on reinforcing the accounting and finance profession’s commitment to being a trusted adviser for their organisations and serving the public interest and 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 said: “It is a true privilege to have been chosen by my peers to serve our members and students around the world, and represent our profession on the global stage”. 

“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.

She added: “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 whole.”

She has been an active member of CIMA for over three decades and has held several volunteer positions both in Sri Lanka, her home country, and internationally. She currently serves on the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants’ Board of Directors.

With 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 Maldives where she is responsible for finance, resource management and performance review and is part of the World Bank’s South Asia regional unit.

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