Senior Economist, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank
Sonia Plaza is a Senior Economist in the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank. She is also the co-chair of the Diaspora Thematic working group of KNOMAD (Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development). Sonia was born in Lima, Peru. Her father had a constructing firm, so some of her earliest childhood memories are of traveling with him to poor areas including Ayacucho where he was working on projects. This is how she was first exposed to development work, and it shaped her. She wrote chapter 5 of the book, “Africa’s Silk Road: China and India’s New Economic Frontier”, which covers trade facilitation, technology, and skills transfer, and regional trade agreements. She advises many universities on the transfer of skills and tapping into their diasporas. Sonia attended the University of Lima and earned a degree in Economics, after which she joined Chase Manhattan Bank, and was then invited to join the Peruvian Ministry of Trade as a manager responsible for counter trade and debt swap agreements. She also has a dual degree from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania in International Economics and Development. She was Professor of Economics (International Economics) at the Peruvian School of Foreign Service and at the University of Lima in Peru, and was adjunct faculty (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics) at The American University in Washington, DC. Her research interests include international migration, labor mobility, trade, and the future of labor. She joined the Institute for the Study of Labor as a Research Fellow in February 2010.