Chief Economist

World Bank, Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st August, 2020

Job Description


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank consists of two entities – the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). It is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, the World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, and coordinates responses to regional and global challenges. 

The World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region seeks to promote peace and stability in the region through social and economic inclusion. The strategy has four pillars: (i) Renewing the social contract: Helping MENA countries move to a system where governments promote private-sector job growth, accountable delivery of public services, and public policies that give citizens voice and choice; (ii) Regional cooperation, especially in trade, investment, energy and water, to capture not just the economic benefits from cooperation in these areas, but also the possibility that cooperation will lead to greater trust among countries and thereby contribute to peace and stability in the region; (iii) Refugees and resilience: Mobilize the international community to help refugees and host communities lead lives of dignity by promoting jobs, livelihoods, education and health in the affected countries of the region; and (iv) Recovery and reconstruction: Prepare for the recovery and reconstruction of the conflict-affected parts of the region, including possible interventions before the end of conflict. To meet the growing aspirations of the MNA Region, the regional strategy is utilizing a blended approach of (1) supporting human capital, (2) mobilizing private capital, and (3) fostering MNAs digital transformation.

The Chief Economist of the MENA Region, the principal economic advisor to the Vice-President and the Regional Leadership Team, is responsible for the quality and relevance of regional economic and analytical and advisory services including economic aspects of implementing the strategy. In addition, s/he is a member of MNA Regional Leadership Team (RLT), and also represents the MNA Region in the World Bank’s Chief Economist Council. Working with a dedicated team of about five economists, as well as with staff and managers working on the MENA region, the Chief Economist undertakes a range of principal tasks:

Knowledge: Bring the best possible knowledge, from inside and outside the World Bank, to bear on the development problems of the MENA region.

Community: Foster a community of economists inside the Bank and in the MENA region to promote high-quality research, analysis, and dialogue on issues relevant to MENA.

Strategy: Contribute to formulating the regional strategy, and support country teams in the development of their country strategies, including their analytical underpinnings, such as the Systematic Country Diagnostic.

Quality: Contribute to uphold the quality of economic work in the region, including Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) and the economics of lending operations.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Chief Economist will:

Provide intellectual leadership to and ensure the quality and relevance of economic and sector non-lending services working closely with the relevant Global Practices;Guide the development and completion of the MNA’s regional flagship publications as a contribution to the 2021 Marrakesh Annual Meetings;Develop, guide and disseminate regional economic work;In partnership with country and regional management, ensure that the Region’s Analytical and Advisory (ASA) portfolio is strategically focused and the work program reflects latest cutting-edge economic research findings from inside and outside the Bank;Provide strategic guidance to Regional Managers and advice to the RVP on Country Partnership Frameworks, country policy dialogue and sectoral strategies;Provide or facilitate regional analytical inputs, as requested, to high-profile and strategic corporate and global analytical products; provide inputs, as needed, to the MNA regional strategy and regional strategy updates that are presented to the Bank’s Board; Act as principal regional spokesperson on strategic and economic issues for both internal and external audiences;Interact with the academic and policy communities in client countries and internationally;Keep the Region's economists abreast of current developments and analysis, including through workshops and seminars, working closely with the Regional Director;Liaise with the economic units of other international and bilateral agencies working with the region;Support the RVP and Country Directors on country policy dialogue at their request;Undertake due diligence review and provide regional comments on key corporate products, such as World Development Reports, the Global Economic Prospects reports, Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCDs), and Country Partnership Frameworks (CPFs) as well as for selected, high-profile regional and EAP country products; support the Bank’s Chief Economist with respect to the research agenda of DEC;Represent the Bank Group in such external functions as Regional Management may request;Actively participate and contribute to the Region’s decision-making process as part of the Regional Leadership Team; In consultation with the Regional Leadership Team (RLT), commission and provide guidance on regional studies to help set and/or inform forward-looking agendas for analysis and policy dialogue in the region; lead or oversee the MNA regional studies program and regional contributions to the 2021 Annual Meetings in Marrakesh;Collaborate closely with the Director of Strategy and Operations on regional tasks.

Selection Criteria

Ph.D. in economics or closely related disciplineMinimum of 15 years’ experience as a professional economistSubstantial track-record of publications in scholarly journals and/or flagship reports that demonstrate creativity, and an ability to undertake rigorous analytical work as well as synthesize and distill research and analysis from different perspectivesInternationally recognized in academia and/or among senior leaders in development institutions as a thought leaderAbility to write and express complex economic ideas to different audiences, including the general publicExcellent written and oral English and French, Arabic would be desiredFamiliarity with the MNA Region, and established contacts with regional institutions and think tanksTact and diplomacy to effectively represent the Bank at high-level foraConfidence and courage of convictions


Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Internationally recognized as a leading authority in high level policy and/or research work related to development economics, impacting operational strategy, policy and program development. Strong and broadly recognized publications record in development economics and development policy; track record of research on MNA economies is an added advantage; Macroeconomic Skills and Country Economics Experience – Extensive experience in macroeconomic country dialogue, actively shaping policy formulation for economic work in a development institution; familiarity with World Bank operational work and IMF programs;Policy Dialogue Skills - Sustained record of leading sensitive consultations and negotiations at the highest policy levels, notably demonstrating an ability to work with senior government officials to resolve complex economic problems and provide policy advice at the national level; Integrative Skills - Respected by peers and the larger international community for grasp of cross-sector issues and their implications; Ability to connect economic developments into a coherent conceptual framework and compelling narrative;Written and verbal communication- Ability to clearly articulate and communicate shape debates on global or regional issues; Teamwork- Ability to work as part of a regional team and contribute to corporate and regional tasks;Leadership- Ability to effectively manage a small team of researchers.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.


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