Dr. Jennifer Isern, Practice Manager, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, Asia Region, World Bank Group, brings 27 years of experience in development in more than 65 countries. Since July 2014, Dr. Isern is Practice Manager for the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Practice of the World Bank Group working across South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific. She manages the Asia team to develop the financial sector including financial sector stability measures, financial infrastructure, expanding access to finance for households and SMEs, and development finance.
From 2009-2014, she served as Regional Manager for Access to Finance Advisory for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in South Asia. Previously, Dr. Isern worked as Lead Microfinance Specialist at CGAP from 1996 to 2009, where she served as member of the senior management team, manager for CGAP's work in Africa and China, and manager of CGAP's network of regional representatives globally. She led several CGAP global initiatives on payments, anti-money laundering, appraising, funding and capacity building for microfinance institutions, and African financial sector development. Prior to joining CGAP, Dr. Isern was the Regional Technical Adviser for economic development in West and Central Africa with CARE International, and she founded and managed MFIs while living in Niger (1990-91), and Togo (1992-1996).
From 1988-1992, Dr. Isern consulted with public and private sector clients including USAID in Costa Rica and Senegal, UNDP in New York, and AT&T’s international division. She has authored more than 50 publications on financial sector development and broader development issues. A CFA charterholder, Dr. Isern received her bachelor's degree from the University of Montana, her master’s degree in development economics from Princeton University, and her doctorate in both finance and international business from Nova Southeastern University.