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Chris Mahony

Lawyer and political economist

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Chris Mahony is a lawyer and a political scientist.

He is co-founder and CEO of Peloria, a public benefit company that uses social science-informed data science methods to forecast, explain, and advise on change in social phenomena. He is also a consultant to multiple World Bank practices, including Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation; Social Sustainability and Inclusion; Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment; and Poverty and Equity, advising on the utility for development policy and operations of emergent data sources and methods.

During his 20-year career, he has worked in the World Bank's Finance Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice on social risk finance, developing the world's first human displacement risk financing mechanism. He also evaluated country engagement strategy, development policy operations practice, and governance projects in the Independent Evaluation Group and worked on criminal justice and citizen security policy in the Governance Global Practice.

Dr. Mahony also worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Strategic Policy and Rule of Law, including as Global Focal Point on Transitional Justice and as faculty and founding Deputy Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights at Auckland University Law School. He has taught Law and International Relations at Peking University, Oxford University, and Auckland University. In 2008, he directed the design of Sierra Leone’s domestic witness protection program.

He was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand bar in 2006, where he appeared for the Crown in criminal and refugee matters. In 2003, he worked in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where, among other work, he drafted the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations on governance and corruption and its ‘Historical antecedents to the conflict’ chapter. Dr. Mahony holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the University of Otago, as well as a Master’s in African Studies (M.Sc.) and a D.Phil. in Political Science from the University of Oxford. While studying, he played rugby professionally in New Zealand and the UK, including for the Auckland NPC side (winning the 2007 NPC). He won four rugby Blues for Oxford University.