Lead Environmental Economist
Maria was born in Lebanon and studied environmental economics at University College London, where she met many of her Bank colleagues. Joining the Bank in 1997 one of her line of work in the Middle East and North Africa region was to estimate the cost of environmental degradation. One excel sheet, turned into an ESW, which turned into many publications and a Book in 2009. Putting a monetary value to environmental degradation has helped push the environmental agenda in many countries she says. In the South Asia region she worked on building resilience to climate change in the coastal area of Bangladesh. Investing in environmental protection and climate resilience is the only way to ensure long term economic growth.