Dr. Barbara Kotschwar is a Senior Director in Visa’s Global Government Relations team where she leads Visa’s engagement with development and international institutions. In that capacity she represents Visa on the World Economic Forum (WEF) expert group on trade policy and data flows and is part of the community supporting the Africa E-Commerce Agenda. Until October 2018 she was a Senior Private Sector Specialist in the Macro, Trade and Investment (MTI) Global Practice at the World Bank where she was the regional contact point for Eastern, Central and Southern Africa for the investment policy team and workstreams on international investment agreements (IIAs), regional integration, and services and supported operational projects in Africa, the Middle East, East and South Asia. From 2007 to 2015 she was Research Fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics where her research focused on trade, investment and regional integration as well as the political economy of Latin America. Before joining the Institute, she was Chief of the Foreign Trade Information System (SICE) at the Organization of American States, where she also provided technical and analytical support to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) process in the area of standards and technical barriers to trade in her capacity as senior trade specialist.
She has advised Latin American and Caribbean governments on trade-related issues and has worked with multilateral and regional development banks on a variety of trade and development projects. She has taught economics and Latin American studies at Georgetown University since 1998 and has published on a wide range of issues relating to trade, investment and political economy. Her publications include Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers (2014, with Gary Clyde Hufbauer), Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (2013, with Jeffrey J. Schott and Julia Muir), Transportation and Communication Infrastructure in Latin America: Lessons from Asia (PIIE Working Paper 12-6, 2012), Chinese Investment in Latin American Resources: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (PIIE Working Paper 12-3, 2012, with Theodore Moran and Julia Muir); "Mapping Investment Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements: Towards an International Investment Regime?" in Regional Rules in the Global Trading System, ed. Estevadeordal, Suominen, and Teh (Cambridge University Press, 2009); and "Trade and Standards: A Look at Central America," World Economy 25 (2002): 991–1018 (with Gary Hufbauer and John S. Wilson). She holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins SAIS and undergraduate degrees in economics and political science from McGill University.