Sameh Wahba, an Egyptian national, is the Regional Director for Sustainable Development at the Europe and Central Asia region in the World Bank. In this capacity, he oversees the formulation of the Bank’s strategy and engagements, and all Bank lending, technical assistance, partnerships, and policy advisory work in sustainable development the region. This includes agriculture and food, climate change, environment, natural resources and the blue economy, social inclusion and sustainability, water, urban, disaster risk management, resilience, and land. He oversees a portfolio of close to $10bn in lending commitments and a team of 200 sustainable development staff, based in DC and 23 regional offices. He has over 25 years’ experience in urban development, land and housing, infrastructure, and sustainable development.
Prior to this, he served as the Global Director of Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, which also covered territorial development, geospatial, and results-based-financing and included an overall team of 450 professionals. He held several director and manager level positions at the global level and in Africa and worked as Sustainable Development Sector Leader for Brazil, based in Brasilia, and as an urban specialist in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the Middle East and North Africa Regions where he led operations and policy dialogue on housing, land, local economic development, municipal management and service delivery. Prior to joining the Bank in 2004, he worked at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam and at the Harvard Center for Urban Development Studies.
Mr. Wahba holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in urban planning from Harvard University, and a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University. He speaks Arabic, French, English, and Portuguese. He (co-)authored numerous book chapters, articles in peer reviewed journals, and op-eds. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Cities Council, and sits on the boards for Cities Alliance, Resilient Cities Network and the WRI Ross Center for Cities.