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Jean Nahrae Lee


Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region


Jean Lee is a Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region.  She previously served as a Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for the South Asia Region. 

In her current role, her work program centers on the private sector, firms, and jobs in Africa, with additional interests in the role of technology and innovation and gender.  During the COVID pandemic, she played a key role in the proposal and development of significant financing for COVID vaccines, based on her research, advising the World Bank Group as well as the United States government. 

Her work has been published in Science, the American Economic Review, the American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings issue, the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, the American Law and Economics Review,  the Journal of Public Economics, Health Economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, and the Review of Development Economics. She has work and research experience in Kenya, Zambia, Bangladesh, Uganda, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malawi and Burkina Faso and has conducted field work in India and Pakistan.

She received a doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 2010 and a bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University in 2003.