Esther Illouz

Esther Illouz

Knowledge Lead, Infrastructure Finance, PPPs and Guarantees (IPG), World Bank

Esther is an infrastructure specialist with over 15 years of technical and managerial experience with investment and development policy operations, advisory and analytics. Her sector expertise is infrastructure, water, governance, private sector participation, and climate change. 

She joined the IPG department in 2018 to lead knowledge management on Maximizing Finance for Development, and a program that aims to mainstream distributional impact evaluation of private sector interventions in infrastructure, together with the Poverty and Equity Global Practice. She has worked as team leader in the Water Global Practice, where she managed and evaluated projects, trust funds, and technical studies in the Middle East and North Africa. 

At the UN Green Climate Fund, as advisor to the Executive Director, Esther spearheaded strategic initiatives that supported the operationalization of the fund, and collaborations with key stakeholders. For the Global Partnership on Results-based Aid, she structured and implemented pro-poor PPP schemes in fragile contexts as transaction advisor, raised funds, and contributed to building the center of expertise on results-based financing. In the Eastern Africa World Bank country office, Esther worked on country engagement, programing, and corporate matters. 

Before joining the Bank, Esther worked for Suez S.A., where she helped expand its network of local partners, and she established the first field presence in Mali and Burkina Faso for the international NGO WaterAid. Esther holds a master's degree in International Policy, and a Master of Philosophy in African Studies from Paris-Sorbonne University. She has lived in France, South Korea, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the United States.