Ex-President of Brazil Central Bank Appointed Head of Rio OPA

March 15, 2011

Henrique Meirelles, the former president of Brazil’s Central Bank was officially appointed to head the Olympic Public Authority yesterday, March 14, the agency set-up to coordinate preparations for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Meirelles will coordinate Government policies and public works projects for the Games for the new body, , Autoridade Pública Olímpica·(PDB), having helped to oversee Brazil’s biggest economic expansion in decades.

Meirelles accepted the nomination after meeting with President Dilma Rousseff on Monday and as head of the Olympic Public Authority, will have a staff of roughly 170 and manage a multi-billion dollar budget. 

The PDB was the idea of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and is modelled on the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) set-up by London after it won its bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The new body is set to have a budget of up to US$18bn.

Meirelles, who was part of the delegation that presented Rio’s bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Copenhagen in October 2009, stated: “My job will be to coordinate efforts of all levels of government to ensure the Olympics are the success that Brazil and the whole world expects.

“The event will be symbolic of Brazil’s capacity to fill the new space it has created for itself in the world.”

Meirelles stood down from his role with the Central Bank in December following eight year in charge, a period which coincided with the incredible economic growth of Brazil.

“This is a project that can change the world’s perception of Brazil,” he added.

“The Olympic Games have the capacity to change Rio de Janeiro.”