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Izabela Leao

Senior Rural Development Specialist, Agriculture and Food Practice

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Izabela Leao is a Senior Rural Development Specialist in the Agriculture and Food Practice, where she works on analytical and operational tasks in the areas of jobs and poverty, conflict and fragility, rural development, food systems, and innovation and entrepreneurship. She joined the World Bank as a Young Professional in 2013 and is currently focusing her work on Bangladesh and Pakistan. She has also worked on Afghanistan, Belarus, Bhutan, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Tajikistan. Before joining the World Bank, Izabela held various positions in the United Nations working on programs in the prevention of transnational organized crime and on programs of economic reintegration in conflict-affected countries, with a focus on skills and employability. And she also co-founded a non-profit organization in Sierra Leone focused on technical and vocational education and training. Izabela holds a master’s degree in history and political science from Pittsburgh State University focusing on labor migration and social protection policy in the European Union, and a doctorate in political science from University of Milan, Italy, focusing on state collapse and youth employment in Sierra Leone.