Mr. Chen assumed the role of Senior Director for the Water Global Practice (GP) within the Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency at the World Bank Group in October 2016. In this position, he oversees the formulation and implementation of strategy and programs working internally with agriculture, energy, environment, urban and other GPs and regions, as well as with external clients and partners. He supports the development and delivery of knowledge and financing programs to country clients, overseeing a total portfolio of roughly $35 billion in 170 projects globally. He leads a team of over 300 specialists from 78 nationalities based in nearly 60 countries around the world.
Prior to this position, Mr. Chen served as a two-term country director for the World Bank during 2011-2016, first in Ethiopia, and then in Southern Africa covering Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, based in Pretoria. As country director, he was responsible for the development and implementation of the Bank’s lending and knowledge programs in those countries.
An economist by training, Mr. Chen has over 20 years of international experience in the field of sustainable development, infrastructure finance and management with the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank. From 2001-2011, he held various managerial positions in the Latin America and Caribbean and South Asia regions of the World Bank, including transport, water supply and sanitation, urban development and disaster risk management. Prior to this, Mr. Chen led on the preparation, implementation, and economic policy work and technical assistance activities for infrastructure projects as a task team leader, having joined the World Bank initially as a transport economist in 1997.
Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Chen worked as a project economist at the Asian Development Bank from 1992-1997.
In addition, from 2011-2013 Mr. Chen served as a member of the high-level expert group appointed by the Government of Guangdong Province, China, advising the provincial government in the implementation of its Development Vision 2020 for the Pearl River Delta Area. Moreover, Mr. Chen has frequently participated in major international conferences on infrastructure, finance and development as key note speaker over the last 15 years.
A Chinese national, Mr. Chen holds a graduate degree in Economics from Harvard University, USA, and B.A. in Economics from Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University, Guangzhou, China.