Hartwig Schafer

Hartwig Schafer

Former Vice President, South Asia Region

Hartwig Schafer was the World Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia Region from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.

In managing the World Bank’s engagement in South Asia to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, Schafer lead relations with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. He managed a portfolio of financial support worth more than $50 billion.

Before joining the region, Schafer served as the Vice President for Global Themes where he oversaw the World Bank Group’s engagement in corporate priority areas of Fragility, Conflict and Violence, Gender, Infrastructure, Public-Private Partnerships, Guarantees, Climate Change, and Knowledge Management.

In his previous role as Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services, Schafer was responsible for the World Bank’s business policies, practices, and procedures for lending products and knowledge services to client countries. He led several key reforms, including the rollout of the Bank’s new policies on procurement, environmental and social safeguards, and innovation of the Bank’s lending and knowledge instruments.

Previously, Schafer served as the World Bank’s Country Director for Djibouti, Egypt, and Yemen in the Middle East and North Africa Region. He was Director for Strategy and Operations in the Sustainable Development Network. Schafer has also worked as Director for Operations and Strategy in the Africa Region, Country Director for Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and Chief Administrative Officer in the Africa Region.

A German national, Schafer has held technical and managerial positions in the World Bank as well as the European Commission for over 30 years. He brings strong operational experience from several regions and sectors. His academic background is in Economics (Ph.D.) and Agricultural Economics.


  • Poverty
  • Infrastructure
  • Agriculture & Rural Development