Ian Walker is the Manager of the World Bank’s Jobs Group, a post he has held since 2018. Previously (from 2015-18) he was a Lead Economist in the same Unit. His recent work is focused on the analysis of the economic returns to better jobs and on the design of programs for improving jobs outcomes for low income households by improving market linkages in Mozambique, Nepal and Central America.
From 2011-15 Mr Walker was the Representative of the Interamerican Development Bank in Honduras, where he led the development of a new country strategy, with a strong emphasis on improving the macroeconomic climate and tackling factors that undermine competitiveness and job creation – especially, the high level of criminality and governance challenges.
Mr Walker joined the World Bank in 2005. From 2005-2011, he was a Lead Economist in the Social Protection Department of the World Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean Region, where he worked on improving the accountability of service providers for outcomes in education, nutrition and health; and co-authored regional studies on the future of social protection and on the changing pattern of demand for skills in LAC.
From 2001-2005 he was Chief Economic Advisor to the Maduro government in Honduras, where he worked on the HIPC debt relief process and the design of the Millennium Challenge Corporation program to support infrastructure development and promote jobs transformations through small scale commercial agriculture.
In the 1980s and 1990s, he taught on the Central America Economics Postgraduate program at the Honduran National University; was the Director of ESA Consultores, a Honduras-based development consultancy; and acted as correspondent for the Economist Intelligence Unit in Central America.
Before moving to Central America, Mr Walker was Head of Research at the London Housing Unit; and a researcher at the Brent Local Economy Unit in West London. Between 1988 and 1983 he held positions as lecturer in economics at St Peter’s College (Oxford); as lecturer in politics at Balliol College (Oxford); and lecturer in economics at Kingston University (London).
Mr Walker has published widely on social protection and labor, education and skill development, health, nutrition, violence prevention, governance / accountability mechanisms, infrastructure services and private sector development. He is a British citizen and holds a Master’s degree in modern history and economics from Oxford University, UK.