Lead Economist for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland,
Catriona Purfield is the World Bank's Lead Economist for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland, and in that capacity leads the bank's economic policy dialogue in South Africa and oversees the World Bank's program related to economic policy in the Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland countries. Prior to joining the World Bank in July 2013, Purfield worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where she served as an advisor in the European Department. She led the IMF’s Article IV surveillance missions over the course of the Baltic crisis to Lithuania, and then subsequently to Bulgaria. In this context, she provided extensive advice to the governments on crisis management and macroeconomic policy issues related to growth, stability, fiscal and financial sector policies as well as trade and labor markets. At the IMF, she has also worked as a senior personnel manager and an economist in the Asia Pacific region covering India and Bhutan, and in the Fiscal Affairs Department covering countries in Africa and the Middle East. Her research interests and publications cover the fields of macroeconomics, economic growth, fiscal policy, natural resource management, and unemployment and labor market issues.
Born in Ireland, Purfield received her B.A (Hons) in Economics and Geography from Trinity College Dublin, and her PhD. in Economics from the same university. She is also a graduate of the Kiel Institute of World Economics Graduate Program on International Macroeconomics.