Penelope Lewis is the World Bank’s Special Representative for Southern Europe, based in Rome. She is responsible for managing relations with the governments of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, and with the Vatican. She manages the World Bank’s partnership with the Rome-based United Nations agencies as well as with non-governmental stakeholders in Southern Europe.
Penelope joined the World Bank in 2011 to set up a new Partnerships Program to engage with philanthropy. She managed relations with foundations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Ford Foundation, banks, including Credit Suisse and JP Morgan, and private sector companies such as Mastercard and Airbnb, facilitating new initiatives to drive funding and visibility towards key priorities.
Penelope, a British national, worked for several years for the United Nations, with extended postings with both the World Food Program and UNICEF in humanitarian emergencies across sub-Saharan Africa and in the Balkans. Subsequently, she founded her own communications firm and worked with clients across philanthropy, civil society and the UN. She started her career as a reporter with the BBC.
Penelope graduated from Cambridge University with a Master’s in history.