The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Advisory Council on Gender and Development is the main external consultative body helping the WBG promote gender equality, a prerequisite to our goal of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. The Council meets twice a year to consider progress on, and constraints to, gender equality globally, and to provide feedback and advice on the World Bank’s work in this area. Members also collaborate on projects that promote gender and development, and contribute to efforts to raise awareness of gender-related issues and the benefits to societies and economies of improving opportunities for women and girls.
Since its establishment in 2011, the Council has, through its advice and guidance, helped to strengthen the WBG’s work to close gaps between men and women, and to implement recommendations in the 2012 World Development Report. In December 2015 the WBG adopted a new gender strategy as a roadmap to help increase its contribution toward key results – closing first generation gaps in education and health, getting to more, better, and inclusive jobs, closing gender gaps in ownership/control over key assets like land and finance, and enhancing women’s voice and agency, especially by preventing and responding to gender-based violence. The WBG looks to the Council for advice in implementing this strategy in the face of global and national challenges, but also in helping identify entry points and opportunities.
The Council is composed of senior government representatives from World Bank client and donor countries, leaders from the private sector and civil society institutions working on economic development and gender equality, and distinguished experts in the fields of economics and gender and development, who have been invited to serve two-year terms; renewable at the discretion of the Council Chair.
Current Members (2015-2017):
Muhamad Chatib Basri
Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Mandiri Institute and former Indonesian Minister of Finance
Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Mandiri Institute, is Indonesia's former Minister of Finance and was a Chairman of Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board. Dr. Basri teaches at the Department of Economics, University Indonesia. He was Ash Centre Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School (2015-2016), Pacific Fellow at the Centre on Global Transformation University of California San Diego (2016). He co-founded CReco Research Institute, a Jakarta-based economic consulting firm in 2010. Dr. Basri was a member of the Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Group of the IMF. He was also a member of the High Level Trade Experts Group co-chaired by Jagdish Bhagwati and Peter Sutherland. He earned his PhD in Economics from the Australian National University. He has acted as a consultant for the World Bank, the IMF, the ADB, the USAID, AUSAID, OECD and UNCTAD.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau was elected as a Member of the Canadian Parliament in October 2015, and a few weeks later, she was appointed Minister of International Development and La Francophonie by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Before entering politics, Minister Bibeau began her career at the former Canadian International Development Agency. She went on postings to Morocco and Benin. She subsequently became a successful businesswoman and was actively involved in her community.
In her capacity as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Minister Bibeau has a mandate to refocus Canada’s international assistance to help the poorest and most vulnerable people, and support fragile states. Minister Bibeau is calling for actions and programs geared to the education and empowerment of women and girls, whose rights she defends unfailingly. She places women and girls among the top of her political action priorities. The Minister currently has a seat in the High-Level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child. Minister Bibeau’s other priorities include: sexual and reproductive health and rights, linking economic growth with the fight against climate change, and humanitarian assistance.
Executive Director, Oxfam International
Prior to her appointment as Executive Director of Oxfam International, Ms. Byanyima has held roles that reinforced governance of the African Union, and she has influenced the international agenda at the United Nations and through her leadership in many coalitions of civil society organizations. She is recognized for extensive work in peace-building, budget and electoral reform, and building social coalitions. She is an authority on the gender dimension of climate change, economic policymaking, and social and economic equality.
Governor, National Bank of Moldova
Prior to his appointment as Governor of the National Bank of Moldova, April 2016, Mr. Cioclea spent nearly 20 years at BNP Paribas, holding positions covering Central and Eastern Europe and ending as a Managing Director and Head of the Corporate Finance Department for Russia and the former URSS area. During his career, Mr. Cioclea has acquired substantial experience and expertise in the economic and financial-banking sector. He has published a large number of articles and participated in various economic conferences. Mr. Cioclea holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Sciences, specialized in International Economics, University of Pantheon-Assas, France and a Post-graduate Diploma in International Economics and Development, University Of Pantheon-Assas, Paris, France.
Natasha Stott Despoja
Ambassador for Women and Girls, Australia
Since her appointment as Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls in 2013, Natasha Stott Despoja AM has been an active international advocate for the empowerment of women and girls, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region. She works closely with foreign governments, international organizations and civil society to advance women’s leadership, women’s economic empowerment and an end to violence against women and girls, and has represented Australia at multilateral and regional gender equality meetings. Ambassador Stott Despoja is also the founding Chair of Our Watch, Australia’s Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children. As a former Senator for South Australia (1995-2008) and former Leader of the Australian Democrats, she is the youngest woman ever to enter the Australian Federal Parliament. Ambassador Stott Despoja has been as an international election monitor, including in Nigeria and Cambodia. She was an Ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia, and is an Ambassador for The Orangutan Project and the HIV/AIDS anti-stigma campaign, ENUF.
Deputy Governor, Administration, Bank of Zambia
Dr. Kankasa-Mabula is a lawyer by profession with a public service career in financial service regulatory institutions and academia at the Bank of Zambia, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the University of Zambia. Her accountabilities include providing strategic direction and oversight to the support functions of the Bank. As custodian of the Bank’s Gender Policy, Dr Kankasa-Mabula has been driving gender mainstreaming in the Bank and in the Zambian financial sector, and championing the financial inclusion of women. Dr. Kankasa-Mabula is the recipient of the International Bar Association 2014 Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year Award. In July 2016, she was elected Chairperson of the Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion Committee of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
President and CEO, Global Fund for Women
Musimbi Kanyoro is globally recognized for her leadership of organizations and initiatives that advance health, development, human rights, and philanthropy, specifically for women and girls. She is currently President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, one of the world’s leading public foundations focused on grant-making and a global advocacy for women’s human rights and gender equality. It operates in six regions of the world and has invested in nearly 5,000 grass-roots organizations in 175 countries. Kanyoro has a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin, and has received several recognition awards, including a leadership award from the Government of Kenya. In 2015, Forbes magazine named her one of 10 women "power brands" working for gender equality.
State Minister and Chairperson, BISP
Ms. Memon was appointed Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Program with the status of Minister of State on Feb 25, 2015. Her career began at Citibank Pakistan, where she specialized in Marketing and Quality Management. After this, she went on to launch Pakistan’s first satellite tracking fleet management company, Trakker, establishing her as an entrepreneur and the youngest woman CEO of a multinational firm at the time. Her next assignment led her to advising the President of Pakistan on Media Management. After this she advised on Investments. Ms. Memon’s political career began with her election as a Member of Parliament, for PMLQ MNA, in 2008. Between 2008 and 2011 she served on a number of parliamentary committees, including those on Environment, Information Technology, Kashmir Gilgit-Baltistan, and her groundbreaking legislation on acid crime and Pakistan’s first research institute for parliamentarians (PIPS) led her to be the subject of Pakistan’s first Oscar winning documentary. Following her resignation from PMLQ MNA in June 2011, Ms. Memon launched a movement for rights in Pakistan and galvanized rural Sindh’s villages for change. She joined the PMLN MNA in March 2012 and returned to Parliament the following year. Prior to her appointment as the Chairperson of BISP, she served as Chairperson of the National Assembly Committee for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, and as a Member of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Foreign Affairs.
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was sworn into office as Executive Director on August 19, 2013. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa. She was the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka initially became a Member of Parliament in 1994, chairing the Public Service Portfolio Committee. She was Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry (1996-1999), Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005) and briefly served as acting Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 2004.
Director, Economic and Rural Organizing, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), India
Reema Nanavaty joined SEWA in 1984. Under her leadership, SEWA has grown to become the single largest union of informal sector workers in India with 1,836,550 women members. Her focus is on women's economic empowerment by building women-owned enterprises and women-led supply chains in energy, agribusiness, food processing, waste recycling, and textiles. Ms. Nanavaty founded the SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC), now owned by 15,000 women artisans. Under her leadership, the TFC model is being replicated in all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries to build the social enterprises of home-based women workers. She also initiated SEWA’s food security programme that covers one million households. She spearheads the 'Hariyali' Green Energy and Livelihoods Initiative to provide 200,000 women access to renewable energy. Ms. Nanavaty worked to rebuild the lives and livelihoods of 60,000 earthquake-affected rural women as well as 40,000 members affected by communal riots in Gujarat. She leads rehabilitation programs in crisis-torn Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. She was awarded the Padmashri award by the Government of India in 2013.
Executive Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial Services Group
Ms. Peng has led Ant Financial Services Group as CEO since its establishment in March 2013 and is also the Chief People Officer of Alibaba Group. As one of the founders of Alibaba Group, Ms. Peng led various business units, including the marketing and services divisions. Ant Financial brands include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Yu'e Bao, Zhao Cai Bao, Ant Micro Loan, Ant Check Later, Ant Cloud, Sesame Credit and MYbank. Since Ms. Peng took office as CEO of Alipay in January 2010, she has been dedicated to driving synergies and collaboration with Alibaba Group and has worked to upgrade Alipay’s user experience with the aim of making it China's leading online and mobile payment platform. Before joining Alibaba Group she held a teaching position at Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics for five years. Ms. Peng was named among the world's 100 most powerful women for three consecutive years by Forbes since 2013, and ranks 33rd on Forbes' list of influential women around the world. She was also named the most influential woman in finance by FinanceAsia in 2015.
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Netherlands
Ms. Ploumen has been Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation since November 2012. Before that she was Chair of the Dutch Labour Party from 2007 to 2012. In 1995 she began working as a fundraising coordinator for Mama Cash, an international fund supporting women’s initiatives, and became director of the organization from 1996 to 2001. From 2001 to 2007, Ms. Ploumen worked for the development organization Cordaid, first as head of quality and strategy and later as director of international programs. She has also been a board member of feminist organisation Opzij and Women Inc. and member of the Stop AIDS Now! supervisory board.
Chairman and CEO, Bank of Palestine
Hashim Shawa has been the Chairman and CEO of Bank of Palestine (BoP) for over a decade, maintaining the bank’s strategic direction of sustained growth and expansion through financial inclusion. Today the bank is the largest financial institution in Palestine, holding $4 billion USD in assets, with 70 branches in the West Bank and Gaza, 380 NCR ATMs, a representative office in Dubai, and USD correspondent banking relation with Citibank. After obtaining his BSc (Hons) from University College London, Mr. Shawa began his banking career at Citigroup in 1997 where he held various management positions in Corporate and Private Banking working in UK, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In 2005 he joined HSBC in Switzerland acting as a director of the group's Middle East and North Africa business, developing the company's Private Banking business in the Gulf and establishing onshore presence in Kuwait. Under Mr. Shawa’s leadership, BoP has been active in promoting the SME Finance and Micro Finance sector in Palestine, having established dedicated units to ensure wider access to financial services, while targeting women and youth. He also chairs or holds membership in a number of other boards, universities and councils in the Middle East and in the US. He was recognized as one of the 50 most influential leaders in finance and banking according the Global Finance Magazine in 2015; in addition to best CEO in the Middle East by EMEA Finance for the year 2014.
Maria Fernanda Teixeira
Former President of First Data Brazil
Ms. Teixeira has 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry. She previously served as President of First Data Brazil and Chief Operating Officer for First Data Latin America. Before that she served as President for Latin America ICT Group, a global provider of customer management and business process outsourcing solutions. She also worked at EDS for 23 years, becoming Vice President of Operations in Latin America. Ms. Teixeira is the founder and President of the Group Executive Women of São Paulo, Board Member of American Chamber of Commerce, and other boards in Brazil. She also leads Diversity Group at IBGC (Corporate Governance Institution of Brazil) and is Committee member of the 'Mulheres do Brasil' Group.
Member of Parliament, Finland
Lenita Toivakka has been a member of Parliament (National Coalition Party) since 2007, focusing on the economy, security and well-being in Finland and Europe. She is currently a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee for the Future. She is also vice member of the Employment and Equality Committee. Toivakka has served as Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade (June 2014-May 2015) and as Minister for Foreign Trade and Development (May 2015-June 2016). She has held several leadership positions in the National Coalition Party, including as Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Group (2010-2014) and Chair of the Women’s League (2012-2015). Minister Toivakka holds an MA in Economics and Business Administration from the Helsinki School of Economics. She is also a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur. From 1991-1994 she served as marketing manager of A.Toivakka Oy, from 1994-2005 as K-Citymarket retailer, CM-Toivakka Oy, and since 2005 as owner of CM-Toivakka Oy. Minister Toivakka has served on several boards and associations. She is married and has three children.
President of W20 Turkey (Women 20)
Dr. Türktan was appointed in April 2015 as the founding President of the W20, the outreach group of the G20 that supports gender-inclusive business and economic growth for all G20 countries. She is also a member of the Presidential Council of KAGIDER, the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey. During her Presidency at KAGIDER (2011-2015), she delivered outspoken speeches about public policy issues related to women and regulation in the country and added both macroeconomic and microeconomic perspectives regarding the existence of women in business. She was behind the very successful program known as FEM – an equal opportunity program at the workplace for corporations launched by KAGIDER. From 1988 to 2008, she worked as a professional executive and board member of ABB, a Swiss-Swedish engineering conglomerate. She makes speeches and writes articles on the topics of leadership and organizational improvements, as well as gender. She is also a small business owner and serves on various boards.
José Molinas Vega
Minister of Planning for Economic and Social Development, Paraguay
José Molinas Vega became Minister of Planning for Economic and Social Development in 2013. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1997). From 1998 to 2001 he was a development and macroeconomics professor, both at the college and graduate levels at the Catholic University of Asunción, where he also headed the Masters program in economics. Starting in 2002 he chaired the Development Institute (Instituto de Desarrollo) until he joined the World Bank in 2005. His research fields include social capital, rural development, political economics of social services, economy of education, poverty analysis and applied macroeconomics. He has published articles and book chapters on rural cooperatives, macroeconomics and poverty, public policy and social capital.
Executive Director, Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Georgetown University
Ambassador Verveer most recently served as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and director of the Department of State’s office on Global Women’s Issues, where she coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic, and social advancement of women around the world. Previously, she served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership and during the first Clinton Administration, as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. She is the co-author of "Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose."
Barbara McAllister Whye
Executive Director of Strategy and External Alliances, Global Diversity and Inclusion Office, Intel
Ms. Whye leads the strategy and execution of prioritized programs and investments to accelerate progress against Intel’s Diversity in Technology Initiative. She works in collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure that Intel has an integrated strategy that yields lasting impact. Ms. Whye has spent 20 years in key leadership and project engineering roles responsible for acquiring and starting up new facilities for Intel Corporation worldwide. She is a graduate of the BDA Fellows Program that resulted in a three-week global leadership exchange in the Middle East and is a recipient of the Intel Arizona Lifetime Diversity Achievement Award. She was awarded STEMConnector’s 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM, SWE Spark Award and recently honored as an Inspiring Woman of South Carolina. Ms. Whye has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA and currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Arizona State University.