My background includes developing ground-breaking country assistance strategies for fragile states, managing a complex project portfolio of over US$2 billion, leading a staff of 200, and overseeing teams preparing and supervising numerous large development, peace building and poverty alleviation projects.
My particular interests/strengths include innovation, leadership and team-work, and adaptability.
Innovation: I have a long history of developing and managing innovative programs, especially in countries in, or recovering from, conflict. For example in Nepal I led the formulation of a new country assistance strategy that moved away from the failing model of large project interventions, and towards a more adaptive and consultative approach that took much greater account both of community dynamics, and of political and governance realities. While on secondment to Bhutan’s Ministry of Finance I worked intensively to help decentralize decision-making on education and health investments, resulting in significant improvements in efficiency and greater ownership and empowerment. In Georgia I worked closely with all segments of Government and civil society to foster a transformation from an economy based mostly on heavy industrial exports to the Soviet Union, to one with a much more diverse base, including high-value agricultural exports. More recently I led a large multi-agency team to help a Government borrow an unprecedented US$850 million on the international capital markets In five Southern African countries I managed the first systematic programs to tap new sources of finance by bringing Governments together with private sector investors and guarantee agencies.
Leadership and Team Work: My HR experience includes managing large teams of staff, as well as handling difficult performance and personnel issues, many of which required both sensitivity and resolve to handle. I have always placed particular emphasis on mentoring staff and encouraging team work, as well as on diversity within teams. My experience also includes managing large administrative budgets, for example a $10 million budget for the World Bank’s program in much of Southern Africa. I have considerable exposure to working in a matrix environment, integrating the work of units covering project management, country strategy, legal services, procurement and financial management. In addition, my background includes working extensively with non-Government stakeholders, for example seeking out the views of a wide range of communities in Nepal and in Georgia on development needs and new approaches to providing sustainable services. I have also represented the World Bank at high (up to Ministerial) level policy meetings on Zimbabwe in OECD capitals.
Adaptability: I have enjoyed working in volatile and rapidly changing settings, and have actively sought out assignments managing programs in states that are (or were at the time) fragile or post-conflict, including Angola, Armenia, Georgia, Nepal, and Zimbabwe. I have found the contributions that I made in those settings especially rewarding. I have also been adaptable in geographical and sectoral focus, working with Governments and civil societies in Africa, South Asia and the former Soviet Union, and in sectors ranging from environmental management to hydropower investments.