Hafez Ghanem

Vice-President for Africa, The World Bank

Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national, is the Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa since March 2, 2015. He is a development expert with more than thirty years of experience in policy analysis, project formulation and supervision, and management of multinational institutions. Dr. Ghanem leads the World Bank’s engagement with 20 Middle East and North African countries through a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants worth more than US$13 billion. Eradicating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity through the creation of opportunities are core to his vision for the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Prior to his appointment as Vice President, Dr. Ghanem was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development program leading the Arab economies project, focused on the impact of political transition on Arab economic development.

Between 2007 and 2012, he served as the Assistant Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Thus, he was responsible for the Economic and Social Development Department and FAO’s analytical work on agricultural economics and food security, trade and markets, gender and equity, and statistics. In this role he and his counterpart in OECD coordinated the preparation of the International Organizations’ recommendations to the 2011 G20 meeting on how to respond the global food crisis. He also led the reforms of the Committee on World Food Security to make it more inclusive and responsive to country needs.

Dr. Ghanem returns to the World Bank where he had already 24 years’ experience (1983-2007), and has worked on Bank operations and initiatives in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia. His previous positions at the World Bank include: Country Director for Nigeria where he led a multinational team of more than 100 professionals, managing the Bank’s loan portfolio of some USD 1.5 billion; Country Director for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles; and Sector Leader for Public Economics and Trade Policy in the Europe and Central Asia Region. Dr. Ghanem joined the World Bank in 1983 as a Young Professional and worked as a research economist before moving on to senior economist roles in West Africa and South Asia.

He has many publications in professional journals and was a member of the core team that produced the World Bank’s 1995 World Development Report.

He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo and a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Davis. He is fluent in Arabic, English and French.

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