Chief Economist, Infrastructure Vice-Presidency

Vivien Foster

Former Chief Economist for the Infrastructure Vice-Presidency.

Vivien Foster was the Chief Economist for the Infrastructure Vice-Presidency of the World Bank; which covers the areas of Digital Development, Energy & Extractives, Transport and Infrastructure Finance.

During her 20 years at the World Bank she has played a variety of leadership roles, including: Global Lead for Energy Economics, Markets and Institutions (2016-18); Practice Manager of the Global Energy Anchor (2012-16); and Lead Economist for Infrastructure in the Africa Region (2006-11). Throughout, her focus has been on the intersection between network infrastructures and economic policy. She has contributed to client dialogue, as well as advisory and lending engagements, in more than 30 countries across Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Vivien has spearheaded several major policy research initiatives including: Water, Electricity and the Poor (2005), examining the distributional impact of utility subsidies; Africa’s Infrastructure (2009), a path-breaking analysis of the continent’s network infrastructure challenges; Building Bridges (2009), detailing China’s growing role as infrastructure financier for Africa; The Energy Progress Report (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018), a global dashboard for tracking progress towards the achievement of SDG7 goals for energy; Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) (2016, 2018), monitoring worldwide adoption of good practice policies to support sustainable energy; and Rethinking Power Sector Reform (2019), a knowledge program that evaluates developing country experience with the adoption of Washington Consensus policy prescriptions for the electricity sector. Furthermore, she was Co-Director of the World Development Report 2021 Data for Better Lives.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Vivien worked as a Managing Consultant of Oxford Economic Research Associates Ltd in the UK, advising private and public sector clients in the water and energy industries, both in Europe and Latin America, with focus on the economic regulation of utilities. She is a graduate of Oxford University, and also holds a Master’s from Stanford University and a Doctorate from University College London, both in Economics.