About the authors

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All of the PSD Blog authors are members of the World Bank Group. Their posts are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the World Bank Group, its Board of Directors or the governments they represent.


Blogger emeritus

Can Atacik is a private sector development consultant at the World Bank Institute working with the Business, Competitiveness & Development Program, where he is responsible for capacity development focusing on how the private sector can contribute to local development objectives. His most recent work has focused on HIV/AIDS, anti-corruption and environmental and social impact management for SMEs. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked in public sector consulting focusing on the economic development of distressed urban areas. He left his native Turkey to study philosophy and mathematics in the US, and so far has adopted three cats.

Teresa Barger is Director of Corporate Governance for the World Bank and International Finance Corporation. Previously she established the IFC's Private Equity and Investment Funds Department, which manages one of the largest portfolios of emerging markets investment funds in the world and pioneered the creation of the first benchmarks for emerging markets private equity. Teresa was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, where her youth was wasted on gymkhana riding, water skiing, freestyle diving and amateur archaeology.

Thorsten Beck is Professor of Economics and Chairman of the European Banking Center at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. He has published numerous academic papers and is co-author of the Making Finance Work for Africa Flagship report and the Policy Research Report on Access to Finance: Measurement, Impact and Policy. Despite having left the World Bank after eleven productive years, he is still involved in its activities, both in the research group, but also in the Africa and Eastern Europe & Central Asia regions. In his new position in the Netherlands, he will focus both on financial stability issues and access to finance, which especially now should not be ignored. He is now a regular contributor to the Crisis Talk blog.

Alex Burger was formerly a program manager in IFC's Private Enterprise Partnership for Africa (PEP Africa). He has worked in Chad and other parts of Africa to help ensure that the benefits from large oil and mining projects find their way to the local citizenry. Alex cut his teeth working in Calcutta with Mother Teresa and once lived on a ranch and slaughtered cattle, but now thinks better of it. He is currently plotting his next career as a film director and playwright.

Christine Bowers is an economist and private sector development associate in the joint World Bank-IFC Private Sector Development Vice-Presidency. Before joining the World Bank, she began her private sector career as a business consultant at Arthur Andersen. She then spent a couple of years in Costa Rica, working on government relations and incident management for The Coca-Cola Company. While there, she did lots of whitewater rafting and canyoning but had little luck with surfing.

Milan Brahmbhatt is a Lead Economist in the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region and editor of the twice yearly East Asia Regional Update. Milan is also the Bank's go-to expert on the economic impact of the avian flu. He joined the Bank in 1994 after nine years in the private sector in England and the U.S., as an economic forecaster and consultant for a variety of government and multinational business clients. Milan grew up in Kenya and completed high school and higher education in England. He is a voracious reader, especially of literature, history and philosophy, as well as Internet news sources of all kinds.

Richard Caines is a manager in the IFC's Environmental and Social Development Department. His team focuses on capturing the corporation’s social and environmental know-how and communicating it effectively to both internal and external audiences. They also lead the Department's monitoring and evaluation work and a program to address the IFC's 'footprint'. Richard is trained as a marine biologist and prior to joining IFC worked in the NGO sector and as an environmental management consultant.

Laurence Carter is Director of the IFC Infrastructure Department. Prior to joining IFC Laurence worked for 10 years in Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi and St Helena. He wishes he'd written those wonderful books about the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Gaborone, so has entered the blogosphere in order to tell some stories about development which - we hope - will be at least half as good as those. Laurence grew up within sight of the snows of Kilimanjaro and is sad that climate change means that they are disappearing.

Robert Cull is a senior economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Team of the Development Research Group. His most recent research is on the performance of microfinance institutions and the design and use of household surveys to measure access to financial services. He is also co-editor of the Interest Bearing Notes, a bi-monthly newsletter reporting on financial and private sector research. In his little free time, he also managed to turn his fanaticism for sports into a book - Rumors of Baseball's Demise, How the Balance of Competition Swung and the Critics Missed.

Andrea Dall'Olio is the project manager of the IFC Tajikistan Business Enabling Environment Project, which works to reduce the administrative barriers faced by businesses in Tajikistan. Prior to joining the IFC, Andrea spent several years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co., focused on SME banking and financial markets. Andrea is known in Dushanbe primarily as "Dodo's owner". Dodo is a white lab puppy who followed Andrea from his native Italy and thanks to whom Andrea socializes in the city of Dushanbe.

Amanda Ellis heads the new Gender Entrepreneurship Markets (GEM) program at the IFC. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Amanda worked for Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia as Head of Women's Markets, and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat. She was posted in Paris (to-die-for croissants), the French territories (scuba diving and trying to stop the French nuclear testing in the Pacific) and ran development programs in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Early on in her career she was fortunate to live in Hawaii on an East West Center scholarship, where she met her husband-to-be and became a hula dance teacher in her spare time.

Warren Evans is the Director of the World Bank's Environment Department where he is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Bank's Environment Strategy. This includes mainstreaming environmental objectives in lending and non-lending operations, expanding and strengthening global environmental partnerships, and serving as Bank spokesperson on carbon finance and climate change issues. Prior to joining the Bank in 2003 he was at the Asian Development Bank for six years, where his last position was Director for the Environment and Social Safeguards Division. Warren has a long career working on environmental issues in developing countries, including as an advisor to the Thai National Environment Board and as managing director of an international environmental consulting firm based in Asia.

Corinne Figueredo leads IFC's Cleaner Technologies program which targets investments in new technologies and business models that deliver environmental benefits. Sectors covered include: provision of water and wastewater treatment. Corinne is particularly interested in how the private sector can sustainably fulfill the needs of underserved populations, new technologies for industrial markets, and the role of access to finance in technology transfer. She is an MBA with over 10 years of experience in private sector investing at IFC, mostly in large infrastructure projects.

Janine Firpo is President of Sevak Solutions, a nonprofit company that she co-founded to promote inclusive systems for the delivery of financial services to the world’s 1.7 billion urban and rural poor. She is working with IFC’s regional advisory teams to accelerate the development and large-scale roll-out of mobile money solutions in East Asia and the Pacific. Janine brings over 24 years experience in technology, international development, and consortium building to her efforts. For the past six years, she has focused exclusively on the role of information and communications technologies in the extension of financial services. She is a pioneer in the implementation of branchless banking solutions and has worked on a range of related issues in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Lucie Giraud is the communications officer for IFC's Environmental and Social Development Department. After nine years spent at the World Trade Organization convincing the world that trade and economic development go hand in hand, she realized that it had to be sustainable, too, and traveled all the way down to Australia to study environmental law. While there, she sang in the Sydney Opera House. Now in DC, she is yet to make her debut on the Kennedy Center stage.

GPOBA Team is the penname for the members of the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank. GPOBA supports the design, dissemination, and subsidy funding of output-based aid (OBA) approaches -- approaches that use explicit performance-based grants to help deliver basic services to the poor. More information about the team members is available online.

Ryan Hahn is a knowledge management analyst for the joint World Bank-IFC Financial and Private Sector Development Vice Presidency and formerly managed the PSD blog. Before starting at the World Bank Group, Ryan did research on the intersection of private finance and education at the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Ryan holds a masters degree in international development from Johns Hopkins University. 

Iva Ilieva Hamel is a private sector development analyst with the joint World Bank-IFC Doing Business team. Before joining Doing Business she worked in the World Bank Institute's Investment Climate program focusing on access to finance issues. Her most recent publication is Whither SME Policies. Before joining the Bank she worked as a management consultant with Novell Inc. and taught graduate courses at Johns Hopkins University. She also played outside hitter during 3 years of professional volleyball in Bulgaria and Cyprus.

Tracy Hart is an economist with expertise in water resource management and water supply. She currently serves as a global technical advisor to transboundary water resource management projects. This includes the Global Environment Facility (GEF) international waters portfolio of 35 projects under implementation and another 35 under preparation, totaling $900 million and $2.25 billion of GEF grant funding and IDA/IBRD lending, respectively. Her areas of current focus include strengthening of monitoring & evaluation methodologies specific to global nutrient pollution reduction as well as utilization of wetlands technologies to improve water quality.

Martin Holtmann is Lead Financial Specialist at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), where he manages CGAP's cooperation with commercial banks and oversees its new technology initiative. Martin has spent over 15 years developing microfinance activities in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. He helped to create several microfinance banks and lived and worked in Russia and Uganda. An avid mountain climber, Martin's favorite tour was climbing the Montblanc on skis.

Brian Hoyt is a consultant at the joint World Bank-IFC Private Sector Development Vice-Presidency.  Before joining the Bank, he worked as a financial journalist and academic researcher. Brian has an MA in International Finance and European Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked as a professional chef in Venice, Sardinia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

David Kaplan is a labor economist who joined the Enterprise Analysis Unit in 2007. His recent areas of research include the effect of business registration procedures on business start-ups, labor-market rigidities, and empirical analyses of labor tribunals. At present he is analyzing the effects of trade on wages as well as the reasons behind inefficiencies in courts. His prior experience includes seven years at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) as an assistant professor and two years at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as a research economist. David holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.

Tom Kenyon is a political scientist with FIAS where he works on informality and the politics of investment climate reforms. He's spent the last 10 years wondering whether he should be in academia, the private sector or elsewhere - and still doesn't know. On the way he spent five years rating banks and countries for Fitch, three of them in Brazil, and another five acquiring a PhD at Columbia University. He's also taken up yoga and running (half) marathons.

Rachel Kyte was Director of the IFC Environment and Social Development Department. Previously, she was Principal Specialist in the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman for IFC and MIGA. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Rachel was a Representative and senior policy and gender advisor to the European Union for IUCN, The World Conservation Union. She has worked extensively within the environment, women's and health movements as both policy analyst and advocate, serving as an advisor, and on the boards of a number of NGOs, private philanthropic foundations, the United Nations, and government.

Chris Monasterski was a consultant for the joint World Bank-IFC Private Sector Development Vice-Presidency. Before joining the World Bank, he worked at the Office of Research and Analysis at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) helping to measure the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on business environment in the U.S. Prior to that, he was a research assistant to Francis Fukuyama. Born in Poland, he appreciates Polish jokes, though only the really good ones.

Alan Pereira is a consultant on the GEMLOC project of the Corporate Governance and Capital Markets Group at the World Bank-IFC. A trained lawyer, before joining the World Bank, he conducted legal research on corporate law. While in law school, he worked on a project with the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone. Born and raised in Brazil, he initiates his coworkers to bossa nova and routinely encourages trips to the Rio Carnaval.

Shaela Rahman was a business development analyst in the International Finance Corporation’s small and medium enterprises (SME) group. She was stationed in Aceh until May 2006 with the Program for Eastern Indonesia SME Assistance (PENSA) and would send in her Aceh Diary as often as her internet connection allowed. While in Aceh she helped set up the Private Enterprise Partnership for Aceh and Nias.

Usha Rao-Monari is a manager in the Infrastructure Department of IFC, covering the global Utilities and Public Private Partnerships practice group. She joined IFC through the Young Professionals Program. In 1998, she assumed the position of Regional Manager for Manufacturing and Services for South Asia and Country Head for India, based in IFC's New Delhi regional office. Usha assumed her current responsibility in 2001, when she returned to Washington DC. Prior to joining IFC, she was a Vice President at Prudential-Bache Capital Funding, working both in New York and London.

Suzanne Roddis is Manager of CfBT USA and EdInvest, the Education Investment Information Facility, a joint venture between the Center for British Teachers (CfBT) and the International Finance Corporation. Suzanne researches the education quality, access, needs and regulations in emerging markets. She also liaises with the education departments of the World Bank to promote public-private partnerships. Prior to joining EdInvest, Suzanne worked in the World Bank for 10 years, most recently on African rural development issues. She has also served as International Schools Liaison Office at the University of Sussex, England.

Jim Rosenberg is the Communications Officer for the Technology Program at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).  The program is a multi-year learning initiative co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to find and test promising technology solutions to improve access to finance. In previous incarnations Jim has been a Web editor at the World Bank, a satellite radio producer, and a reporter at WAMU-FM, the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate in Washington DC.  As a local reporter he contributed frequently to Marketplace, NPR's business program of record in the United States.

Suzanne Smith manages the Rapid Response Unit, a web and policy outreach team for the joint World Bank-IFC Financial and Private Sector Development Vice Presidency. She grew up on New Zealand beaches and then became a policy wonk in the heat of New Zealand's decade of economic reform from the mid-1980s. Suzanne also worked as an economics columnist and wrote speeches for central bank governors. In her (third or fourth) career, at the World Bank, she has focused on disseminating lessons from the Bank's unique experience in observing economic policy reform in action around the world.

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