William Byrd is currently serving in the World Bank’s Headquarters in Washington, DC as Economic Adviser in the Fragile and Conflict Affected Countries Group. Previously he was Adviser in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit of the South Asia Region of the Bank. Until late 2006 he was the Bank’s Senior Economic Adviser based in Kabul, Afghanistan. There he was responsible for helping develop the World Bank’s strategy for support to Afghanistan’s reconstruction effort and established the World Bank's office in Kabul.
William Byrd has been in the World Bank for more than 20 years. He has had a number of multi-year assignments based in developing countries including India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
William Byrd's publications include six books on China. other books, and numerous articles, among them several papers on Afghanistan, as well as a number of World Bank reports. He has been responsible for reports on Afghanistan’s Economic Development, Public Finance Management, Economic Cooperation in the Wider Central Asia Region, and Afghanistan’s Drug Industry, as well as papers on responding to Afghanistan’s development challenge. More recently he co-authored a joint report of the World Bank and the UK’s Department for International Development on “Afghanistan: Economic Incentives and Development Initiatives to Reduce Opium Production”, and also a Bank report on “Fighting Corruption in Afghanistan: Summaries of Vulnerabilities to Corruption Assessments”.
William Byrd has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and an MA in East Asian Regional Studies from the same institution.