Quentin Wodon is a Lead Economist at the World Bank. Previously, he managed the Bank’s work on faith and development and served as Lead Poverty Specialist for Africa and Senior Economist for Latin America. His focus has been on policy analysis and dialogue in over 50 countries. Earlier, he taught at the University of Namur. He also taught at American University and Georgetown University. Trained in business engineering, he first worked in brand management for Procter & Gamble before shifting career and joining a non-profit working with the extreme poor. He has tried to remain faithful to the cause of ending extreme poverty ever since. A lifelong learner, he holds four PhDs and has more than 500 publications, a few of which have been covered by leading news media globally. Awards include the Prize of Belgium’s Secretary for Foreign Trade, a Fulbright grant, the Dudley Seers Prize, and the World Bank President’s Award for Excellence. He has served as President of two economics associations and two Rotary clubs. Married, he has two daughters. He tries to remain (barely) fit with occasional marathons and triathlons, finishing towards the end of the pack.
Christopher J. Wahoff currently works to promote social and human development in Fragility, Conflict, and Violence-affected (FCV) contexts at the World Bank Group. An international development manager with over 9 years of experience supervising multimillion-dollar public sector investment portfolios, Christopher has led regional, national, and local initiatives with top-level foreign government officials throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to promote public policy reform in conflict, post-conflict, and violence-affected contexts. Christopher served as Regional Coordinator for the Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia from 2015-2018, where he led the establishment of the first Regional Office in the department of Caquetá to monitor social conditions in FARC-controlled territories. His sectoral expertise spans public education reform, human rights, citizen security, security sector reform and emergency preparedness planning, focusing on long-term solutions to mitigate public sector access asymmetries. Christopher graduated from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management with a B.S. in Business Management and International Economics, and a Minor in Latin American Studies, and from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service with an M.A. in Latin American Studies and International Development, along with a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. He lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife, Catalina Lillo López.
Ify Bozimo is a consultant for the World Bank Group where she has worked in various capacities, including, as an attorney, representing IFC, the private sector arm of the institution in drafting and reviewing of transaction documents for infrastructure projects across emerging markets. She has represented numerous private investors and governments in project financing and has been invited as a speaker to numerous trade and investment events.
Ify holds a Master's degree in International Business and Economic Law (with Distinction) from Georgetown University Law Centre, with several years post qualification experience in law with dual jurisdiction in Nigeria and New York. She was recently appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser as Commissioner for African Affairs.
MARIA FILIPA SEARA E PEREIRA
Maria Filipa Seara e Pereira consults in the Trade Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI) at the World Bank. She works mainly on topics of international trade, and international development, particularly in modeling, trade policy, distributional effects of trade and global value chains. She participated in several World Bank publications such as “Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains” and “Western Balkans Regular Economic Report”. Before joining the World Bank, she worked for the Embassy of Portugal in the USA as economic affairs research assistant following the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement and several anti-dumping cases. She has a Master’s in International Policy and Practice – Economics and Trade from George Washington University and a Master’s in Political Science from Catholic University of Portugal. During her free time she plays guitar and enjoys the pleasure of a good book.
Program (Speakers) Chair
Kristin Panier is a Transport Economist in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Her work focuses on economic corridors, employment and accessibility analyses, decarbonization and digitalization of transport. She is a core member of a forthcoming flagship report on e-mobility. Prior to joining the Transport Global Practice in Washington DC, she worked with DIME in Rwanda on an impact evaluation of the Rural Feeder Roads Development Project and in Mali on a geography of poverty. She was a core member of the impact evaluation team for the Gender and Social Safety Net systematic review published by the Independent Evaluation Group. Trained in economics and sustainable development, she first worked for an environment and energy consulting firm in Germany and the International Organization for Migration in Vietnam.
Kristin was a Fulbright and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. She enjoys exploring the outdoors (hiking, biking, traveling, camping). She frequently volunteers teaching Yoga. She has studied and practiced Yoga and mindfulness all around the world, including East Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. She aspires to inspire, empower and connect people across cultural borders. She's a certified Yoga instructor, sound meditation and Usui Reiki practitioner
Rotary Foundation Chair
Daniela Tort has ten years of experience in strategic operations in the public and international sectors, including significant experience in the design, execution and supervision of numerous international development programs. Currently she is the Technical Advisor for the Institutional Capacity Strengthening Fund at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), where she provides technical and operational oversight for the preparation of technical cooperation projects. In this role, she is also responsible for leading multisectoral and strategic initiatives focused on institutional strengthening and knowledge exchange between Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia. Prior to the IDB, Ms. Tort worked on several major global initiatives, including the Education Commission, where she supported the research and engagement with world leaders and policymakers to increase investment in education; and the Susan G. Komen Global Initiative, where she led a private sector-financed grant program to improve women’s health in the Latin American region. A native of Mexico, Ms. Tort also led public sector reforms to ensure targeted and evidence-based distribution of social and economic programs in the City of Queretaro, Mexico. She has a Master of International Development and Public Policy from Duke University and was awarded the highly-selective Rotary Peace Fellowship in 2013.
LARA BERSANO CALOT
Public Image & Communications Chair
Lara Bersano Calot is the Director of Marketing Communications and Digital Transformation of Trust for the Americas an NGO affiliated to the Organization of American States. Before joining the Trust, Lara was responsible for the communications strategy of the Infrastructure Sector of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC. During her professional career she also oversaw international public relations and communications at the University of Central Arkansas; was an advisor of the communications team of the Chief of Staff of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires in Argentina; served as Chief International Editor of ADN Magazine and Competencia Magazine in Latin America and the US; oversaw public policy and communications in public programs in Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela, and worked in senior positions in NGO´s and private corporations in Latin American institutions.
Manuela is a professional with over 15 years of experience in international organizations, public, private, and non-profit sectors, with policy expertise in energy, climate, urban and social development. A Consultant with the World Bank, Manuela has been focusing on sustainable solutions in energy/climate/urban development in developing countries. Her work covers more than 15 countries from different regions, and she has co-authored several World Bank reports.
A former journalist, Manuela had reported on political and foreign policy issues for media outlets in Romania, including the National Public Television, then she had transitioned as a communications expert for a government agency. Subsequently, Manuela joined a private consulting firm where she was responsible for corporate affairs, while in parallel she managed a non-profit organization.
Manuela holds three Master’s degrees - in Political Science, Russian & East European Studies, and National Security) - from universities in Romania, India and United States. She was a Peace Fellow at Duke-UNC Rotary Center (2009-2011)
Anna Olefir, a Senior Education Specialist in the World Bank’s Education Global Practice, where she works primarily on education programs in Ethiopia and Madagascar. Prior to work for Eastern and Southern Africa unit, she advanced education projects and programs in a number of countries of Europe and Central Asia, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine. Before joining the Bank, she worked for the Canadian International Development Agency as the coordinator of the Canada Fund in Ukraine, which supported the enhancement of economic and social life of people through grassroots democratic governance initiatives. She also served as a lead economist at Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy, Department for Multilateral Economic Cooperation. She holds a PhD in economic sciences from the Kyiv National Economic University in Ukraine and an MRes in educational and social research from the University of London in the United Kingdom. As an expert in the field of education economics, she focuses on education reforms promoting efficiency, equity, and quality of learning.
Anna Rao’s professional experience is principally with telecommunications and technology companies. She worked as a Senior Product & Project Manager among others with Sprint and Verizon. More recently, Anna has been working with a pet food start-up to rebrand their product including developing web-content and marketing campaigns. She holds a MBA and a MSc in Information Management
Loubna has been with the World Bank since 2002.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business and a graduate certificate in event management. A mother of two young ladies (16 and 14), one of her passions is to organize events, including recently a fashion show at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Women’s International Day to share the rich culture and heritage of her home country, Morocco. Apart from English, she is a native French and Arabic speaker.
Shubhra Garg is the Secretary and Treasurer on the Board of Edu-GIRLS, a non-profit supporting Girls' education in India, Nepal and Pakistan. Prior to that she spent over 25 years at the World Bank, with the last two assignments as Chief Administrative Officer in Latin America and Carribean Region, and the World Bank Institute, with responsibilities covering; Strategy and Change Management; Business Planning; Performance Management; Budgeting, Forecasting, and Monitoring; Fiduciary controls and Fiduciary Accountability; and Trust Funds Management. She took early retirement from the World Bank to explore her interest in the Education sector.