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Deborah Wetzel, New World Bank Director for Brazil

March 8, 2012

First woman at the helm of such key position

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2012 – Deborah Wetzel, a U.S. national with more than 25 years of experience in development work around the world, will become the new World Bank Director for Brazil on April 2nd, , the World Bank announced today.

Mrs. Wetzel is currently the World Bank Group’s Chief of Staff in Washington. Previously, she served as Director for Governance and Public Sector in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network, directing the Bank's work on taxation, public expenditures, decentralization, public sector reform and strengthening, governance and anti-corruption.

“Debbie’s broad experience will be a significant asset as she becomes director of one of the most dynamic, innovative, and fastest growing economies in our region and the world with a growing influence in global affairs ,” said Hasan Tuluy, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. “I am particularly happy to welcome her back to a region she is already familiar with.”

From 2006 to 2009, she was Lead Economist and PREM Sector Leader for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, based in Brasilia. During that period she developed numerous programs with state and federal governments to help improve the effectiveness of public expenditures and achieve better results.

“Brazil is going through a tremendously exciting phase, with remarkable development achievements in poverty reduction, inequality, fiscal stability and environmental sustainability but also with lingering challenges,” said Wetzel. “I hope to continue to strengthen the Bank’s great partnership with the country, both learning from Brazil and helping its efforts to reach the next level for its people. I couldn’t think of a better time to be back.”

Mrs. Wetzel will be the first woman to lead the World Bank’s program in Brazil. Makhtar Diop, her predecessor, is leaving Brazil to become Vice President for the Africa region.

Mrs. Wetzel began her career at the World Bank in 1986 as a Consultant, joining the Young Professionals Program in 1993. During her career, she has also worked in Central and Eastern Europe, Ghana, Hungary, Ukraine, Vietnam, Russia, the former Soviet Republics, West Africa and Zambia.

Mrs. Wetzel has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oxford and  a Masters in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. She is the author of publications on fiscal decentralization, public finance, governance, and sub-national affairs.

Media Contacts
In Brasília
Mauro Azeredo
Tel : (+55 61) 3329-1059
In Washington
Marcela Sanchez-Bender
Tel : (+1 202) 473-5863