Gayle Martin is the new Country Manager for Sierra Leone (AFRVP). Martin, a South African national, joined the Bank in 1997 as a Human Development Economist. Among her many qualifications, she holds a doctoral degree in microeconomics from Harvard University.
Martin has served in the Bank in a variety of ways: as a task team leader in lending operations in the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice in low- and middle-income countries, and in a non-lending capacity -- notably managing the Bank’s Service Delivery Indicators Program. She has been based in the Bank’s headquarters, has lived in three of the Bank’s six regions, and has worked on a wide array of countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region, the South Asia Region, the Africa Region, including fragile contexts such as Afghanistan, Burundi, Eritrea and Somalia. She also spent four years in the Bank’s Intendent Evaluation Group, which has been instrumental in her asking tough questions about the Bank’s relevance and effectiveness, something that has become even more important with record levels of IDA resources being mobilized.
Martin’s most recent role was as a Program Leader covering the Human Development Global Practices and the Agriculture Global Practice, as well as three Cross-Cutting Solution Areas: Jobs; Gender; and Fragility, Conflict and Violence. The countries covered in her former role were Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia.
She brings more than 25 years of experience as an impatient development optimist. In her new position Martin’s top three priorities will be to: (i) Lead and oversee the day-to-day dialogue with the Government of Sierra Leone and key partners and stakeholders; (ii) Manage the Country Office, provide leadership and mentoring to the staff, as well as ensuring a stimulating work environment; and (iii) Continue efforts to improve the development impact of the Bank’s portfolio in the country.