Chief Economist


Deadline for applications: March 20th 2018

The World Bank Group (“the Bank”) is seeking a Chief Economist to provide intellectual leadership for the Bank’s economic research agenda. The Chief Economist reports to the President and advises him on economic issues, influencing the agenda of the Bank. The position will be a two-year term (with some flexibility according to the needs and availability of the successful candidate) and is based in Washington D.C.

Background & General Description

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of development assistance and knowledge for developing countries. It consists of five institutions that specialize in different aspects of development: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
With twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, the Bank works in more than 100 developing economies to improve living standards and to fight poverty. For each of its clients, the Bank works with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to formulate assistance strategies. A network of offices worldwide delivers the Bank’s programs in countries, liaises with government and civil society, and works to increase understanding of development issues. The World Bank is owned by 188 member countries whose views and interests are represented by a Board of Governors and a Washington, DC-based Board of Directors. More than 190 countries participate in at least one of the five World Bank Group institutions.

Opportunities & Challenges: An Overview

The World Bank Group’s mission is becoming both more diverse and more focused. To achieve the Bank’s twin goals – ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity around the world – 16,000 experts in fields such as economics, engineering, health, sanitation, governance, education, urban planning, regulation – are helping countries drive sustainable, inclusive economic growth; invest in their people; and build resilience to shocks.
As a result, the work of the Bank includes advising countries on investments that prepare them to compete in the economy of the future. It includes increasing work in states embroiled in fragility, conflict, and violence. And it means finding innovative ways to use scarce resources to make the global market system work for everyone.
The World Bank Group brings expertise to help countries along their path of economic growth. The Bank is also a global knowledge hub, where innovative financial instruments (such as the swap, which the World Bank invented), and new approaches to ending poverty are being developed.

Key Responsibilities

The World Bank Group is seeking a Chief Economist who will influence the agenda of the Bank, and support the President and Senior Management in leading the institution during this time of transformative change. To address these challenges, the Chief Economist must have credibility as well as the leadership skills to engage with the global research community in meaningful dialogue.
The Chief Economist will be expected to provide thought leadership to the internal and external development community; s/he will leverage the Bank’s research resources but will not be expected to manage the Development Economics Vice Presidency (“DEC”) or a large team, thus freeing up the individual to focus on the principal functions as described below.
The three principal functions of the World Bank Group Chief Economist are:
Intellectual leadership. Working closely with DEC and the eleven Bank Group chief economists (regional, practice-group, IFC and MIGA), the Chief Economist provides cutting-edge knowledge on policies for development. In particular, the successful candidate is expected to devise the research agenda for the Bank based on what is most important and relevant, and connect the research agenda with policy. Additionally, s/he will articulate a vision of how the Bank can achieve transformative impact around key global development challenges.
Strategic leadership. Working with the President and Senior Management Team, the Chief Economist provides the analytical foundations of the Bank Group’s strategy, including shifts in that strategy in light of new research evidence. The Chief Economist will work to enhance the quality of operational projects, by challenging them to ensure analytical rigor. And s/he will manage the budget of the Chief Economist office.
Global leadership. The Chief Economist will be an effective advocate of development. S/he will convene others from the global development community to create knowledge. The Chief Economist will engage with knowledge networks, including the research communities in the public and private sectors, government, academia and think tanks; leverage the Bank’s convening power to increase outreach of cutting edge research; and provide thought leadership to the global community of economists working on development.

Candidate Profile

The Chief Economist will be recognized through his/her scholarship in development or international economics. The candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal characteristics:
Economics Expertise: S/he will have a PhD in Economics, and minimum 15 years of relevant professional experience, including at least five years of experience in a leadership position, as a tenured professor in a leading economics department or in an institution that produces research relevant to the Bank’s development mandate. S/he will demonstrate willingness to engage in global policy debates concerning economic and social development, and to mobilize the Bank’s research resources to that end. S/he will also demonstrate the ability to link research with policy. And s/he will have a good understanding of the role of the private sector in development.
Proven Record of Academic Achievement: S/he will have numerous publications in top economics journals, and participation on editorial boards of general or development economics journals. S/he will have a talent for explaining economics to non-economists, and s/he will have effectively influenced others through analytical work.
Internal collaboration skills: S/he will demonstrate the ability to operate in a matrixed, highly collaborative and global institution.
External recognition: S/he will have achieved visibility as an internationally recognized scholar in a field of economics related to international development.
High level of cultural competency: The Bank is characterized as a multi-cultural institution. The leadership team originates from all corners of the world and has a diverse set of backgrounds, from academia and strategy consulting to government and aid organizations. The Bank is committed to building diverse leadership teams.
Integrity: S/he will demonstrate the highest levels of integrity.

Applications and nominations are to be sent to by March 20th 2018.The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.