Fotouhi, an Iranian national, has worked for 14 years at the World Bank, with a focus on small states and fragile and post-conflict countries. She has worked on Caribbean countries (1999-2005) and in the Operations and Country Services Vice-Presidency (2006-2008). Her previous field assignments were in Guyana (2006) and Timor-Leste (2008-2010). Her last assignment prior to Djibouti was Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance of Timor-Leste, in her capacity as Chair of the g7+ group of fragile and post-conflict countries.
Prior to joining the World Bank, Fotouhi worked for 10 years at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and at the United Nations in Tehran.