Asif Islam is a senior economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank Group. His research focuses on private sector development. He has published in peer-reviewed journals on several dimensions of the private sector including entrepreneurship, technology, crime, informality, and gender. He has also published on fiscal policy, environment, and agriculture. He co-authored several reports including the World Development Report (2019) - The Changing Nature of Work, What's Holding Back the Private Sector in MENA? Lessons from the Enterprise Survey, and Uncharted Waters: The New Economics of Water Scarcity and Variability. He holds a PhD in Applied Economics from the University of Maryland-College Park, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Computer Science from Macalester College.