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René Leon Solano

Practice Leader for Human Development

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Rene Leon Solano is a Practice Leader for Human Development at the World Bank, where he oversees the education, health and social protection & jobs engagements in Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Previously, Rene was a Senior Social Protection Specialist in the Beirut office, where he led the World Bank’s US$1 billion multi-sectoral response to the Iraqi conflict and the ongoing twin crisis (COVID-19 and fall of the price of oil). Prior to Iraq, Rene was the Task Team Leader (TTL) of social protection and jobs operational and analytical tasks in Lebanon, which are part of the World Bank's response to the Syrian refugee crisis. In addition, he co-led the design of the World Bank’s human development operational re-engagement in war-stricken Syria. Beyond the Middle East, Rene was the TTL of multi-sectoral work in post-revolution Tunisia, Morocco and Mali. Before joining the World Bank, he worked for the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States, where he designed and supervised grants and technical assistance programs on youth employment in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Rene has authored various journal articles and reports on human development, with a focus on employment services, active labor market policies, mental health, technology, youth and social cohesion. Rene speaks English, Spanish, French and Portuguese fluently, and has basic understanding of Arabic. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.