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World Bank Group Visitor Center

Our Dream is a World Free of Poverty


The Visitor Center showcases the World Bank Group's efforts to end poverty and boost shared prosperity for the world’s poorest people. Open to the public, the Visitor Center invites you to explore the history of the World Bank Group and learn about the work it does throughout the world.


  • The World Bank Group Visitor Center is open virtually. Thank you for your kind understanding. Please contact us by eamil at wbgvisitorcenter@worldbank.org to book a virtual tour and learn more about our mission to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity around the globe.

    Researchers and students

    The World Bank Group A to Z




    Historical Events Timeline

    Highlighting milestones in the history of the World Bank Group.

    World Bank Group Information Research Guide

    A research guide for finding information about projects, data, publications, the archives, the organization, and more. 

    Virtual Reality Experience

    An interactive experience that transports visitors into World Bank projects through state-of-the-art technology.

    Anna’s story

    Discover Anna’s story and how investing in people contributes to economic growth.

    The Human Capital Project

    Learn how the Human Capital Agenda accelerates development around the world.

    Art Gallery 

    As part of its mission, the World Bank Group welcomes all voices in fighting extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity worldwide.  Art plays a relevant role in this dialogue, telling stories of personal and communal struggles, hopes, and objectives. Founded in 1997, the World Bank Art Program works at the intersection of global development, social justice, and contemporary art maintaining a robust schedule of monthly exhibitions, both international and domestic. These exhibitions highlight development issues such as child labor and human trafficking, celebrate countries economic achievements, and tackle sensitive global emergencies such as climate change and gender-based violence featuring work from the World Bank’s permanent collection, as well as works on loan from artists, private collectors, or other arts institutions.

    Additionally, the Art Program manages, and protects, the permanent art collection of the World Bank Group, which encompasses over 5,900 international works of art from approximately 150 different countries. 


    Holly Bynoe, Brian, detail shot, 2010. Digital collage. Artist from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Image courtesy of the World Bank Art Program.

    Now on view in the Art Gallery is the new exhibition Human Capital. Curated by the World Bank Group Art Program, this exhibition explores what it means to invest in the growth of an individual, foster childhood development, and promote quality education. Through a selection of works from Belize, Jamaica, South Africa, Cameroon, Chile, Greece and more, the exhibition sheds light on the challenge but unwavering importance of making the right investments in people through knowledge, skills, and health to further the productivity of a society, and the world at large.


  • What is the WBG on Covid 19?

    The George Washington University Group Visit

    In the first two weeks of June, the World Bank Group Visitor Center (WBGVC) welcomed over 60 graduate students from the George Washington University (GWU), as well as professors from the U.S. and Canada working in the field of social entrepreneurship.

    The groups were led by Professor Ayman El Tarabishy from the George Washington University Department of Management.  Docents from WBGVC greeted the groups and conducted tours on World Bank history and the human capital program. After the tours, the students and professors had classes with Professor El Tarabishy in the WBGVC theater.

    Professor El Tarabishy believes that social entrepreneurship is beneficial to international development and can contribute to the WBG’s mission of ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. He considers holding classes at the WBGVC a valuable opportunity to showcase the development problems of the world to students and colleagues, and to teach how innovation and social entrepreneurship can help address these issues. “The World Bank Group mission is at the heart of social entrepreneurs. We need to learn both the history and future direction of the World Bank Group to bridge knowledge with action,” said Professor El Tarabishy. The WBGVC is expecting more groups led by Professor El Tarabishy this summer.

    The WBGVC team welcomes visitors to enjoy this knowledge sharing space. We are open to the public from Monday to Friday from 10:00 am-5:30 pm. Please contact us in advance for a free tour by emailing us at wbgvisitorcenter@worldbank.org or by calling +1 202-522-5000.



    A three-part visual arts exhibition, Investing in People: Unleashing the Wealth of Nations

    World Bank Group Main Complex - Preston Lounge

    April 11th - October 4th, 2019

    Regular WBG business hours

    Open by appointment only – please contact artprogram@worldbank.org to arrange entry

    A selection of artworks from the WBG permanent collection, including works by French-Iranian National Geographic photographer Reza Deghati; Nicaraguan social activist Rossana Lacayo; Cameroonian photographer Angele Essamba;  Italian “reportraitist” Laura Salvinelli  + a selection of photos from the project one day I will by Senegal-based photographer Vincent Tremeau on children from some of the most vulnerable countries in Africa.

    World Bank Group Main Complex - JB3 Corridor

    April 11th - October 4th, 2019

    Regular WBG business hours

    Open by appointment only – please contact artprogram@worldbank.org to arrange entry

    A selection of 17 photographic portraits from the Non à la division (No to Division) series by Tunisian photographer Mouna Jemal Siala, from the WBG collection. Created in 2013-2014 during the moment of dramatic social change in this MNA country, Non à la division features portraits of Tunisians of all ages and social backgrounds who posed for the photographer with a vertical line painted on their faces. Although the line ruins the harmony of a human face, people agreed to be photographed this way as a sign of unity against the threat of division in a country rich in its diversity.

    World Bank Group Main Complex - Fitness Center

    April 11th - October 4th, 2019

    Regular WBG business hours

    Open by appointment only – please contact artprogram@worldbank.org to arrange entry

    A selection from the WBG permanent collection of the moving portraits of Roma children, women and families from Central and South Eastern Europe by US photographer Julie Denesha.  The Roma population --the largest minority in Europe—have been on the forefront of WBG projects in areas such as education, employment, health, and housing since the Roma Decade Initiative (2005-2015).


    Model UN Group Visit

    A Model UN high-school student group visited the center on Friday March 22, 2019.


     “I have more information on what the World Bank does and how they help developing nations because I'm representing one of those countries.

            -Veda Swaminathan

            (Student who represents Cameroon in Model UN)



    John Salchak, one of the chaperones, liked to know more about developing countries and the projects and how they are doing on improving the lives in citizens in the world. The historical timeline provided him a good understanding of the changing role of the World Bank. He felt that the World Bank does a lot more than that it seems. “Looking not just the bottom line of the dollar value and helping people's knowledge but providing people's water, foods, and electricity, etc”.

                    -John Salchak (Chaperone)


    “It's great to see our students be able to see  the timeline and history of the World Bank and understand its main goals and objectives because it's part of the international system”.

            -Ian Tiedemann (Advisor)

    “I'm a parent of two of the students on the trip at the Model UN Conference. I have a son who's junior and a son who's a freshman so I'm a chaperone.” She adds: “I like seeing the kids interact with the tour guides. we're all incredibly knowledgeable. My favorite part is probably the art pieces. It's very interesting to see how the art to pick some of the themes that the World Bank is trying to teach us about and trying to promote".

            -Kerry Meyers (Chaperone)

    Korean Youth Center Visit 


    The World Bank Group Visitor Center recently welcomed a group of high school students from Korea on an international tour with the South Korean Youth Center. The visit included welcoming remarks and introductions form Korean Bank staff, Jae Park, Security Specialist in GCS Security Operations and Min Jung Kwon, Environmental & Natural Resource Expert in the Energy Global Practice for East Africa. Jae and Min shared some stories on why they work for the World Bank and provided some background and basic overview on the role and function of the World Bank Group in international development. The students were especially attentive and engaged with the brief presentation that was given in their native language.

    The visit continued with an information session with Sri Ram Aiyer, former World Bank Group Country Director for Korea. This session, facilitated by Korean translator Davi Kim, provided an in-depth discussion on the Korean financial crisis and recovery.

    • The Republic of Korea has a unique position at the World Bank Group as an exceptional example of an aid recipient turned a high-income country. Now the world’s 15th largest economy, Korea is a key development partner of the WBG and an important contributor to the International Development Association (IDA), the fund established to support the world’s poorest countries.
    • The 1997 Financial Crisis led to a collapse of Korea's hitherto rapidly growing economy. Although Korea had graduated from Bank lending in 1994, in November 1997 to deal with the financial crash resulting from the crisis, it resumed borrowing from the World Bank, which provided over $7 billion through three Structural Adjustment Loans. The policy and institutional reforms recommended, and their diligent implementation led to the Korean economy's re-emergence by mid-2000 to a strong economy again, with GDP growth of over 10%.
    • Currently, the World Bank Group has a series of partnerships and joint projects with Korean partners designed to enhance financial sector management, promote investment in green infrastructure and renewable energy, share know-how in information communications technology and knowledge sharing, as well as assist fragile and conflict-affected states.

    At the conclusion of the information session the students explored the interactive virtual and augmented reality displays. With guidance from volunteer docent and recent graduate of George Mason University master’s program in International Commerce and Policy, Kevin Lin, the high schoolers were transported via virtual reality to project sites in locations around the world, including an urban regeneration project in Seoul, South Korea.

    The information packed tour continued, led by Visitor Center volunteer docents Boyang Sun, a master’s student at the Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, specializing in International Economics and Finance and Kwame Boateng, a young professional and recent George Washington University Law School graduate.

    Boyang’s analysis of the WBG timeline guided the students through the history of the institution from its formation in the 1945 Bretton Woods Conference, to a significant milestone for Korea’s own development and graduation from recipient country to donor country in 1995, up to present day.

    Kwame led the students on an engaging tour of the Uprooted art collection installation inside the Visitor Center west hall. With the help of an interpreter, the students were able to appreciate artworks by refugee artists in conflict-affected countries around the world.

    This educational, information packed visit to the WBG Visitor Center provided an opportunity for the students to learn about the World Bank Group and to form a connection with their home country’s history and development.

    To learn more about the Visitor Center or to arrange a tour, visit us online at visitorcenter.worldbank.org.

    Learn more:

    Urban Regeneration Project: https://urban-regeneration.worldbank.org/Seoul

    Korea Partnership Timeline: http://www5.worldbank.org/eap/media/world-bank-group-south-korea-history-of-partnership-timeline/

    Country Overview: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/korea/overview#4


    Blog Writing Contest

    December 2018

    At the World Bank we just launched a blog writing competition in partnership with the Financial Times. We are asking high school students around the world between the ages of 16-19 to submit a short blog post on what could help better prepare them for the future. Youth will be most affected by the changing nature of jobs and skills and we believe they will have some interesting ideas about the opportunities that technology can provide them. If you or a friend fits the criteria and have a great idea on how to reimagine education, please go ahead and apply to this competition.

    The competition will run through January 31st and we would like your help to share this with others so that they can enter the competition.

    The winning entry/entries will be published by the Financial Times and on the World Bank’s blog and we also plan to bring the winner to the World Bank’s Spring Meetings in April 2019. 

    Here is the form to apply:  https://wbft.forms.fm/blog-writing-contest/forms/5742.

    We look forward to hearing from you.



    A Development Response to Forced Displacement

    This October, the World Bank Group Visitor Center hosted an in-depth talk: A Development Response to Forced Displacement by the 1818 Society Urban and Water Thematic Group, an organization of World Bank expert alumni. This talk, led by
    Xavier Devictor, Practice Manager for Fragility, Conflict & Violence at the World Bank Group, addressed the challenges, development steps to solutions, and insights on what the World Bank is doing in response to the crisis of forced displacement.

    Globally, there are an estimated 65.6 million people who have fled their homes either as refugees, internally displaced persons, or asylum seekers as a result of conflict and persecution. Many of the displaced are the most vulnerable, women and children. This crisis is a development issue because 95% of refugees are in developing countries. Under its mandate to #EndPoverty, the World Bank Group is concerned about the welfare of the displaced as well as their host communities. Accommodating a large number of newcomers places an increased demand on host community services and infrastructure and existing development goals. The issue of displacement is unique and requires tailored strategies and solutions to address distinct challenges.

    The World Group working to address the challenges of forced displacement through financing and data driven analytics, as well as through partnerships with humanitarian-development organizations to support host communities. The World Bank Group and United Nation Refugee Agency (UNHCR) are working together to open a new Data Center toward collecting quantitative information on displacement for evidence-informed decisions that can improve the lives of affected people. Work is also being done to mitigate the crisis risks that lead to forced displacement. In 2017, the World Bank Group worked with UNICEF, the World Food Program, the International Committee of the Red Cross and others to raise $1.8 billion in funds toward the threat of famine in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and in Yemen. The Global Crisis Risk Platform aims to prevent multidimensional risks before they lead to full blown crises.  

    Learn more about what the World Bank Group is doing to address forced displacement through development approaches in the report: “Forcibly Displaced: Toward a Development Approach Supporting Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Their Hosts”.

    Close up image of installation by artist Helen Zughaib, "Oh the Places You will Go"

    In World Bank Art Exhibition, Artists Unpack Displacement Stories

    By Juliana J Biondo 

    As the World Bank Group strengthens support for refugees, internally displaced people, and their host communities, the World Bank Art Program curated a multi-dimensional art exhibition entitled, Uprooted: The Resilience of Refugees, Displaced People and Host Communities to contribute a unique perspective. This exhibition showcased the creative voices of those artists touched by the refugee crisis, or those artists who were refugees themselves.

    The Uprooted exhibition included a visual art exhibition and musical performances featuring over 30 artists from places such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Colombia, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Central African Republic, Burundi, and Guinea. The artists produced works that questioned the impact of transience in individual lives and entire communities of people.

    One capstone of the exhibition was the construction of a shed intended to evoke the shelters found in places such as the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan. For the exhibition, the shed was enhanced with murals on its sides. Each mural was done by the hand of a different artist – Suhaib Attar, an artist from Jordan and son of Palestinian refugee parents, Marina Jaber from Iraq, a country with millions internally displaced people, Diala Brisly, a refugee from Syria, and Didier Kassai from the Central African Republic, a country in which violence and war have forced hundreds of thousands into displacement.

    In bringing together the hands of these different artists, to create provocative images of a shared depth of hope, beauty, and joy, on the very structure that serves as a symbol to mass displacement - the challenge that prevents these kinds of hopes and dreams from taking root - the viewers were given a jarring juxtaposition of reality and desire, what is and what is wished for.

    The exhibition was a multidimensional expression of the myriad of stories, individuals, and experiences -  a snapshot of sorts – connected to global displacement. Understanding these stories, and the context in which they are being generated, reminds us that this crisis is about people first and foremost. Their deep resilience inspires us to think about how development can help all affected people rebuild their lives, as work continues to support refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities.

    (Excerpt from World Bank Voices. For full blog story, visit: http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/node/5635)




    The Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Washington’s Visit to the WBG Visitor Center

    The Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Washington’s (CFAW) recent visit to the World Bank Group Visitor Center marked the largest professional association tour since our opening in November of 2017. The CFAW is a leading association for investment professionals in the National Capital region, with 2,100 financial professional members in a variety of positions including portfolio managers, analysts, trust officers, and consultants, as well as pension, endowment and foundation fund executives. The society encourages professional development -  from advocating the highest ethical practices to promoting career opportunities for members. Part of the society’s mission is collectively working toward the development of financial markets and economic growth to serve the public interest. 

    The CFAW’s tour included a presentation by David King, an International Finance Corporation (IFC) retiree and a brief question and answer session with Stuart Cohen, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Senior Financial Officer in the World Bank’s Finance & Accounting Structured Finance Unit. Stuart’s background as a CFA Charter Holder provided a relevant connection with the members and his experience in the World Bank’s financial functions relating to funding and treasury offered them unique insights. Additionally, as one of the Visitor Center’s keenly knowledgeable volunteer docents, David’s background in financial markets, accounting and development with his expertise as a Portfolio Officer for the oil and gas sector, managing a half billion in assets as well as in an advisory role in the IFC Accounting and Reporting Group provided a productive knowledge sharing opportunity and thoughtful dialogue with the society members.

    The World Bank Group is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries. Established in 1944, its mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism, for lasting results.

    The World Bank Group consists of five distinct yet complementary organizations:

    • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
    • International Development Association (IDA)
    • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
    • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
    • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). 

    Financial analysis is one of the services provided by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, which focuses exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. The IFC applies financial resources, technical expertise, global experience, and innovative thinking to help clients and partners overcome financial, operational, and other challenges. 

    Click here to learn more about the IFC.




    On the occasion of the Spring Meetings, the World Bank Group (WBG) presents a multi-dimensional art exhibition curated by the World Bank Art Program titled, Uprooted: The Resilience of Refugees and Internally Displaced People and Host Communities. This exhibition raises awareness of the plight of refugees, displaced people and host communities while highlighting the work being done under one of four WBG priorities for FY18-19: Resilience Against Instability (FCV). The exhibition features multimedia pieces, sculptures, live painting by international visual artists, musical performances, and large-scale murals from those countries impacted.

    On the occasion of this exhibition, there are three opportunities for specialized viewing of the exhibition.

    OPENING EVENT: The World Bank Group invites you to join us for an evening of celebration and art with the multi-dimensional exhibition on April 23rd from 5-8pm. RSVP required for this event. Please send your first and last name, and affiliation to artprogram@worldbank.org and you will receive a confirmation with more instructions on how to enter for the event.

    TOURS: Preview tours of the exhibition will be offered on April 18, 19 and 20 at 10am and noon.  To reserve a spot for a preview tour, please email artprogram@worldbank.org

    ARTISTS IN ACTION: Live action painting by Burundian artist Delphin Starr Niyonkuru  can be seen on the following dates and times:

    • Wednesday April 18, 2018 at 10am; 4pm
    • Thursday April 19, 2018 at 3pm
    • Friday April 20, 2018 at 10.30am



    Collaboration in Practice

    The Visitor Center aims to be the primary learning environment for the World Bank Group, providing guests the opportunity to connect with the Bank’s work in sustainable development. 

    The Visitor Center’s main goals are to promote knowledge sharing, build collaborative partnerships with stakeholders, the public, educators, and experts in international development and finance, while supporting innovation and inclusion. The Visitor Center has a diverse and highly motivated team of staff and volunteers from around the world. Many of the volunteers are students earning degrees in relevant fields as well as World Bank Group retirees who offer their expertise and insight gained through years of service in international development and finance. There is unique value in intergenerational exchange and collaboration.

    The Visitor Center regularly hosts planned student groups from high schools and universities around the world.  By taking part in face to face sessions with professionals and experts in their fields of interest, these young students not only learn about who we are and what we do at the World Bank Group, they make personal connections and gain better understanding of the subject matter. Knowledge sharing between old and young, experienced and novice has the potential to motivate the next generation of passionate professionals who will end extreme poverty in their lifetime.

    If you or your organization are interested in arranging a tour or group visit please contact the Visitor Center team by email at wbgvisitorcenter@worldbank.org or by phone at (202)522-5000.




    Thomas Jefferson Middle School- IB Program, Arlington, VA.

    The World Bank Group Visitor Center welcomed an energetic group of 100 young students from Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Virginia. This group of students were members of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) which focuses on understanding connections across subjects and to the world. The IBMYP molds critically thinking and internationally minded students with a curriculum that explores real-world issues. The exhibitions and interactive content inside the World Bank Group Visitor Center complemented their course work and provided an opportunity to explore case studies of successes in international development.

    The students were given a map and outline of the displays and kiosks inside of the visitor center and a short quiz for each stop on the tour. The quiz exercise ensured that the group had a clear objective and paid close attention to the information they encountered. This exercise was challenging, however the students accepted the challenge head-on, having fun while learning about international development and World Bank Group projects!

    Mike Goldberg, the Lead Operations Officer for the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice in the World Bank, gave an informative presentation for the students and answered questions about the work and mission of the World Bank Group. The Visitor Center, as the public face of the World Bank Group, provides a collaborative, knowledge sharing space for experts, stakeholders, and beneficiaries with a priority on inclusion and innovation. Mike’s collaboration with the Visitor Center on tours and events like these help us to promote the Bank’s mission, as he brings his expertise and enthusiasm to engage with visitors.




    Horizon Program Student Delegation Visit

    On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the World Bank Group Visitor Center welcomed a delegation of 32 students from the Horizon Program, a Chinese association of undergraduate and graduate level students, many from Tsinghua University visiting Washington, DC. The Horizon Program delegation was hosted by the World Bank Chinese Staff Association and board member Faye Hu led an introduction in Mandarin inside of the Visitor Center to begin the students’ tour. Two of our Mandarin speaking volunteers, Shoulei and Mason – who are both international students at George Washington University, guided the students on a tour of the Visitor Center.

    This is the 3rd delegation of Chinese university students that the Visitor Center has received since opening in November 2017. Engagement with visiting student groups from around the world is supported by our diverse staff, volunteers and, expert guest speakers within the Bank. The Visitor Center external website is available in six languages, including English, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian, in addition to the printed materials available for visitors during their visit.




    Handong University Students Tour

    On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, the World Bank Group Visitor Center welcomed a group of 15 economics and management students from Handong University in Korea. Mike Goldberg, Lead Operations Officer for the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, led the tour and provided an informative presentation. He engaged the students through a quiz  that increased their knowledge of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Bank's history. Students had the opportunity to learn more about the work, impact, and goals of the World Bank Group through the various exhibits such as the Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality Table and the Timeline. Mike sees the WBG Visitor Center as a way to share his passion about economic and social development with the next generation of thinkers and practitioners.

    The WBG Visitor Center continues its outreach efforts since opening in late 2017. Group tours with university and high school students are a chance to expand a young person’s world view while sharing stories of the World Bank’s impact globally. If you would like to get involved, collaborate, and/or share your knowledge in a presentation for student tours please email wbgvisitorcenter@worldbank.org or call Nadia Merdassi at 202-522-5000.


  • Q: Is the World Bank Group Visitor Center appropriate for children?

    A: Children are welcome to tour the World Bank Group Visitor Center; however, the exhibits are geared more toward students ages 12-years and older.

    Q: Can I see the World Bank Group offices when joining a tour?

    A: Offices are private and are not accessible during the tour. 

    Q: Is there a security screening?

    A: Yes, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour time in order to pass through security, walk to the exhibition, and check in for your tour. The Visitor Center shop is accessible without having to go through security.

    Q: Is photography permitted?

    A: Still photography is permitted, no video recording.

    Q: What is the refund policy for the World Bank Group store?

    A: All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.

    Q: Where is the drop off location for buses?

    A: We encourage our visitors to arrive by public transportation, as there is no on-site parking and drop-off options are very limited. The nearest metro station is Farragut West. For more information on public transportation, please visit WMATA – Metro/Bus/Train and Service Near Me

    If you arrive by bus, ask your bus driver to drop you and your students on I Street and take the short walk to the Visitor Center. 

  • Image
    World Bank Group Visitor Center Store

    Selected World Bank Group publications, branded souvenirs, and gifts are available for purchase in the World Bank Group Store located inside the Visitor Center.

    World Bank Group best sellers:




    World Development Report 2019 : The Changing Nature of Work

    Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2018: From World Development Indicators

    The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future

    The Analysis of Household Surveys (Reissue Edition with a New Preface): A Microeconometric Approach to Development Policy





The World Bank Group Visitor Center is temporarily closed. Thank you for your kind understanding, and please visit www.worldbank.org to learn more about our mission to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity around the globe.


Image Gallery

World Bank Group Visiter Center (DC)

INVESTING IN PEOPLE: Unleashing the Wealth of Nations


A multidimensional exhibition curated by the WBG’s Art Program & Visitor Center focusing on Human Capital April through October 2019

Visual Art and Informational Exhibitions on view: Thursday, April 11th, 2019 – October 2019