Skip to Main Navigation

World Development Report 2021

Meet the Team

Below are the core and extended team members of the WDR2021 team.

Photo of Bob Cull

Robert Cull


Robert Cull is acting research manager and Lead Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Team of the World Bank's Development Research Group. His most recent research is on the performance of microfinance institutions, African financial development, Chinese financial development and firm performance, and the effects of the global financial crisis on foreign banks and on bank regulation and supervision in developing economies. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed academic journals including in the Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. The author or editor of multiple books, his most recent co-edited book, “Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion” was published by MIT Press January, 2013. He is also co-editor of the Interest Bearing Notes, a bi-monthly newsletter reporting on financial and private sector research. 

Photo of Vivien Foster

Vivien Foster


Vivien Foster is the Chief Economist for the Infrastructure Vice-Presidency of the World Bank.

Throughout her 20 years at the World Bank she has played a variety of leadership roles and 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), analyzing the continent’s network infrastructure challenges; Building Bridges (2009), detailing China’s growing role as infrastructure financier for Africa; The Energy Progress Report (2013-2018), a global dashboard for tracking progress towards the achievement of SDG7 goals for energy; and Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) (2016, 2018), monitoring worldwide adoption of good practice policies to support sustainable energy.

Photo of Dean Jolliffe

Dean Jolliffe


Dean Jolliffe is a co-director of the WDR and lead economist in the Development Data Group at the World Bank. He is a member of the Living Standards Measurement Study team and co-lead of the team that works on global poverty measurement (PovcalNet). Previously, he worked in the Research Group and the South Asia region of the World Bank. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a research economist with the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an assistant professor at Charles University Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education in Prague, an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, and a postdoctoral fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. Dean holds appointments as a research fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor, as a co-opted council member of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, and as a fellow of the Global Labor Organization. He received his PhD in economics from Princeton University.

Photo of Malar Veerappan

Malarvizhi Veerappan


Malar is a Senior Data Scientist and Program Manager for the Data Management & Services at the World Bank. She leads the team that manages the statistical data management and dissemination functions that supports the production of key data products such as the World Development Indicators,, and the Bank’s data catalog. She oversees data management and technology implementations for many data initiatives, represents the Bank in several inter-agency data working groups, provides technical assistance to countries and other organizations and supports the institution's Open data strategy.  She was part of the task team that launched The World Bank's Open Data Initiative in 2010. As a member of the secretariat was instrumental in setting up the Bank’s Data Council, an internal data governance body. In this capacity, she established the Development Data Hub, the Bank’s first integrated data hub, that streamlines data sharing and helps eliminate data silos by provisioning consistent tools, policies and the formation of centralized curation teams.  She is co-leading efforts to make the evidence on gender data gaps more accessible, usable and salient through compelling narratives and data visualizations. She is an engineer by education and is pursuing an advanced degree in Applied Data Sciences.

Photo of Adele Barzelay

Adele Barzelay

Governance Analyst

Adele Barzelay is a Governance Analyst within the Governance Practice’s Middle East and North Africa Unit at the World Bank. Adele is co-leading the technical regional work on data governance under the MNA Tech Initiative and has contributed to other global reports on data governance within the World Bank. She has a broad range of analytical and operational experience on issues related to public sector reform, including GovTech, regulatory governance and anti-corruption. Her professional interests include developing legal and regulatory frameworks to enable the sustainable and trustworthy digital transformation of government, geared towards leveraging existing and emerging technological opportunities while governing and protecting data and digital rights.

Prior to joining the World Bank in 2017, Adele worked in international law and human rights in London and political risk in Washington, D.C. She has published guidance advising companies on how to approach and mitigate human rights risks in their operations. She is admitted to the New York Bar, having obtained her law degree from the University of Oxford and her MA in International Economics and Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Photo of Miriam Bruhn

Miriam Bruhn

Senior Economist

Miriam Bruhn is a Senior Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Team of the Development Research Group. She joined the Bank as a Young Economist in September 2007. Her research interests include the effect of regulatory reform on entrepreneurial activity, the informal sector, micro and small enterprises, financial literacy, and the relationship between institutions and economic development. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.

Photo of Rong Chen

Rong Chen


Rong Chen is an Economist at the Development Economics Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group (WBG). Since she joined the WBG in 2012, she has primarily worked on financial sector development and digital technology advances. Currently, she is the project lead of a cross WBG initiative Digital Business Indicators which aim to assess the regulatory environment for digital businesses covering issues such as digital payment, data protection and competition. She was a principal author of the World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work, analyzing the impacts of automation on labor markets and the emergence of digital platform firms.  From 2014-2017, she led the finance team of the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project, identifying bottlenecks for agricultural finance and financial inclusion in more than 80 countries. She also worked in the Doing Business project, co-authored the Doing Business 2013-2014 reports, and the Doing Business in g7+ (fragile and conflict affected countries) report. Rong holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Cornell University and a Bachelor's degree from Renmin University of China.

Photo of Niccolo Comini

Niccolo Comini


Niccolò Comini is an Economist in the Chief Economist’s Office of the Infrastructure Vice Presidency. He focuses on competition and regulatory issues in the ICT and digital industries in emerging countries. Examples of projects include advising governments on 5G network deployment, data infrastructure and digital platforms businesses. He previously worked at the OECD in Mexico City and Paris as a competition expert. Before that he worked in the Chief Economist’s Department of the UK Financial Conduct Authority and in the Economic Consulting team of Deloitte in London. He holds a MSc in Competition and Market Regulation from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and a M.A. in Law and Economics from the University of Bologna.

Photo of Hai-Anh H. Dang

Hai-Anh H. Dang


Hai-Anh H. Dang is an Economist in the Analytics and Tools Unit, Development Data Group, World Bank. He has contributed to around 70 World Bank's projects and flagship reports covering different countries around the world. His main research is on poverty, inequality, and human development topics. He has published in various development journals, including Economic Development and Cultural ChangeJournal of Development Economics, Journal of Development Studies, World Bank Economic ReviewWorld Development, and chapters with books published by leading academic publishers. He is a Research Fellow with IZA, GLO, and Indiana University O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a non-resident Senior Research Fellow with Vietnam's Academy of Social Sciences. He also serves as a co-editor of Review of Development Economics and on the editorial boards of other journalsHe received his Ph.D. in Applied Economics from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Photo of Cem Dener

Cem Dener

Lead Governance Specialist

Cem Dener is a Lead Governance Specialist in the Governance Global Practice (GGP) of the World Bank. He made significant, original contributions to the modernization of Public Financial Management (PFM) information systems and e-Government programs in 50 countries over the past two decades. Presently, he is one of the Global Leads (GovTech Global Solutions Group) and the Chair of Digital Governance Community of Practice (DG CoP) of the World Bank. He is also the Coordinator of the Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) CoP, which was created in 2010. He has extensive system design and application development experience gained in private and public sector projects. He is the lead author of two World Bank Studies: “FMIS: 25 Years of World Bank Experience on What Works and What Doesn’t” (April 2011) and “FMIS and Open Budget Data: Do Governments Report on Where the Money Goes?” (Sep 2013). He represents the World Bank in regional and international events to share/discuss experiences and trends in transition to integrated digital solutions combining foundational and frontier (disruptive) technologies, as well as the open source software applications in public sector. He received BSME from METU, Ankara, Turkey (1982), MSc from Cranfield Institute of Technology, Bedford, U.K. (1985), and PhD from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (1992).

Photo of Samuel Fraiberger

Samuel Fraiberger

Data Scientist

Samuel Fraiberger is a Data Scientist with the World Bank’s Development Data Group. He specializes in analyzing massive datasets to tackle economic development issues. His current work focuses on using social media data to measure variations in labor market activity at high resolution, quantifying risks of food insecurity using news analytics, and understanding human resilience using smartphone location data. He has published his research in leading academic journals such as Science and presented it at prestigious conferences such as TEDx. He is also a visiting researcher at the NYU Center for Data Science and at the MIT Medialab. He holds a MS from Harvard University and a PhD from New York University. 

Photo of Craig Hammer

Craig Hammer

Program Manager

Craig Hammer is a Program Manager at the World Bank, and Secretary of the World Bank’s Development Data Council. He specializes in governance reforms, and in particular on open government and open information initiatives. His work at the World Bank has included strengthening laws, policies, and regulations focused on access to information, open government data, and data-driven decision-making for improved public service delivery to traditionally marginalized and underserved communities in more than 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, South Asia, and Central Europe. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a member of the Society for the Policy Sciences; a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science; and a member of the Council of Editors for the Journal of Law and Politics. He has published books, chapters, and refereed journal articles on topics including governance, law, and development.

Photo of Talip-Kilic

Talip Kilic

Senior Economist

Talip Kilic is a Senior Economist at the World Bank Development Data Group and a member the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team. His research focuses on poverty, agriculture, and gender in low- and middle-income countries, as well as survey methodology to improve the quality, timeliness and policy-relevance of household and farm surveys. In the latter line of work, objective measurement, including through sensor deployment; research on policy implications of non-classical measurement error in survey data; and integration with geospatial, census, administrative and mobile data are of interest to him. As an expert in complex household survey design, implementation and analysis, Talip leads the LSMS+ Initiative on improving the availability and quality of individual- and sex-disaggregated survey data; and serves in an advisory role for the LSMS-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA)-supported surveys in Malawi and Uganda as well as the USAID-financed Feed the Future Surveys that are integrated into the LSMS-ISA-supported surveys in Guatemala, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. He is originally from Istanbul, Turkey, and have a PhD in Economics from the American University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Relations from Knox College in Galesburg, IL.

Photo of Lucas Kitzmueller, WDR 2021 team member

Lucas Kitzmüller


Lucas Kitzmüller is a Consultant for the World Development Report 2021. He previously worked for IDinsight in India, where he supported the evaluation of one of the world’s first Development Impact Bonds, advised an educational nonprofit on its data strategy, and analyzed a large-scale household survey for the Government of India. He is interested in how causal inference and machine learning can improve public policies and reduce inequalities. Lucas is currently studying towards an MPA in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

Photo of Jan Loeprick

Jan Loeprick

Senior Economist

Jan is a senior economist in the World Bank’s Fiscal Policy and Sustainable Growth Unit. He previously coordinated the International Finance Corporation’s business taxation advisory portfolio in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Jan has also worked in the international tax department at the Austrian Ministry of Finance and taught as a lecturer at Dresden University. He holds a PhD from the Vienna University of Business and Economics.

Photo of Rory Macmillan

Rory Macmillan

Macmillan Keck Attorneys & Solicitors

Rory Macmillan is a partner with the law firm Macmillan Keck Attorneys & Solicitors, and a lawyer admitted to the New York Bar with 25 years’ experience in ICT law. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on Big Data and Competition, and of the expert panel on digital platforms and competition of the Industrial Development Think Tank appointed by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) of the Government of South Africa. He regularly advises internet companies, digital financial services and telecommunications providers, governments, regulatory authorities and the World Bank on digital ID, data protection, digital financial services, telecommunications and competition law and policy. He holds his LLB with First Class Honours from the University of Edinburgh and LLM from Yale Law School where he was a Fulbright and Rotary Scholar.

Photo of Daniel-Gerszon Mahler

Daniel Gerszon Mahler

Young Professional

Daniel Gerszon Mahler is a Young Professional in the Development Data Group, where he is part of the Sustainable Development Statistics team. Previously he was with the Poverty and Equity Global Practice, where he contributed to the practice’s global agenda on measuring poverty and inequality. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Government and worked for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Daniel holds a PhD in economics from the University of Copenhagen.

Photo of David Medine

David Medine

Senior Financial Sector Specialist

David Medine is CGAP’s lead on data protection and security. He works to develop novel, consumer-oriented approaches to data protection and to encourage the creation of cyber security resource centers for developing countries.  He has more than 25 years of experience with privacy and consumer financial services. Before joining CGAP, he served as chairman of the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an attorney fellow for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a special counsel at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. From 2002 to 2012, he was a partner in the law firm WilmerHale. Before that, he served as a senior adviser to the White House National Economic Council. From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Medine was the associate director for Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where in addition to enforcing consumer financial laws, he took the lead on internet privacy. Before joining FTC, he taught at the Indiana University (Bloomington) School of Law and the George Washington University School of Law.  He has a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a Bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College.

Photo of Zia Mehrabi

Zia Mehrabi

Research Associate

Zia is a Research Associate in The School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, with expertise in food systems, climate change, data science and digital technology. He leads the development of baselines for data-driven farming at the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture and is an active member of the Global Land Programme. He has published papers and commentaries in leading journals such as Nature, Nature Climate Change, Nature Food, Nature Sustainability and Global Food Security, and is a contributing author to The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. He launched the data-driven art exhibit The Colours of Food Security,  and LiteFarm, the world’s first community-led, not-for-profit, digital platform joining farmers and scientists together for participatory assessment of social, environmental and economic outputs of farming systems. He regularly contributes to the development of open-source data sharing, analysis and decision support initiatives. Zia holds two degrees (DPhil, BA) from the University of Oxford.

Photo of Martin-Molinuevo

Martín Molinuevo

Senior Counsel

Martín Molinuevo is an expert in international economic law, with a focus on trade in services and digital trade. He is currently a Senior Counsel at the World Bank, where he assists governments of developing countries on trade and investment policy and regulation. Martín is also an Adjunct Professor at the Washington College of Law of the American University, where he lectures on International Trade Law. His main areas of expertise include trade in services, digital trade, dispute settlement, trade negotiations, and foreign investment regulation. He has worked for several international organizations, including the WTO, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Trade Institute. He received a PhD with honors in international law from the University of Bern, a master’s degree with honors from the University of Bologna, and a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He is the author of the book Protecting Investment in Services: Investor-State Arbitration versus WTO Dispute Settlement (2012), and has published numerous other academic articles, studies, and policy notes.

Photo of Kenneth Zaul Moreno Sermeno

Kenneth Moreno

Research Analyst

Kenneth Moreno forms part of the Strategy and Resources team in The World Bank’s Development Data Group. He has worked on initiatives such as the Development Data Council, an internal data governance body that works on framing the institution's key data priorities, including emerging areas such as big data and Geospatial data. One of the council’s key initiatives, was the establishment of the Development Data Hub, the Bank’s first integrated data hub, that streamlines data sharing and helps eliminate data silos by provisioning consistent tools, policies and the formation of centralized curation teams. He also is a member of the Open Data Technical Assistance Team offering technical assistance to various stakeholders both within and outside the Bank and leads all knowledge management efforts for the team. His research interests focus on marginalized communities and the impact of data-driven decisions on their lives.

Photo of David Newhouse

David Newhouse

Senior Economist

David Newhouse is a Senior Economist in the World Bank’s poverty and equity global practice. His work has focused on economic measurement and analysis related to poverty and jobs in developing countries. He currently co-leads the Sub-Saharan Africa team for statisitcal development and efforts to expand the Bank’s Global Monitoring Database, and is leading efforts to incorporate satellite imagery into poverty measurement. David holds a PhD in Economics from Cornell University, and has published many articles in respected field journals on labor, poverty, health, and education in developing countries.  

Photo of Sara-Nyman

Sara Nyman

Senior Economist, World Bank Group

Sara has been with the Competition Policy Team of the World Bank Group since 2014, and is based in Washington D.C. Her work focuses on providing advice to competition authorities and other government stakeholders on strengthening their antitrust frameworks and on embedding pro-competition principles in public policies. She has developed diagnostic tools that help competition authorities identify constraints to competition in key sectors - including ICT and the digital economy -  as well as providing guidance on quantifying their impact on development outcomes such as job creation and poverty reduction. She works primarily with government counterparts in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Central Asia. Before joining the World Bank Group, Sara was based in Malawi as a Fellow with the Overseas Development Institute, providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. She also has worked for the private sector in the infrastructure space for a number of years, where her experience included establishing the first private infrastructure fund in the CIS region, working with partners such as the Russian and Kazakh development banks, the IFC and EBRD. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, the University of Cambridge and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

Photo of Vinny-Ricciardi

Vinny Ricciardi

Data Scientist

Vinny Ricciardi is a data scientist at the World Bank in the Development Data Group, where he specializes in environmental issues. He curates the environmental indicators for the World Development Indicator (WDI) database and is part of the Sustainable Development Goals Atlas team. He holds a Ph.D. in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia and a M.Sc. in Geography from Pennsylvania State University. Through his work and research, Vinny uses machine learning, natural language processing, and geospatial analyses to inform global monitoring of environmental change.

Photo of David Satola

David Satola

Lead Counsel, Technology & Innovation

David provides legal advisory services on a range of technology and law related issues both internally to the World Bank and externally to its member states.  His work spans more than 85 countries and focuses on transactional and regulatory matters related to communications infrastructure, services and applications, cyber-security and cybercrime, electronic commerce and on-line authentication, digital identification, software licensing, data protection and access to information.

David has a BA and an MA from Johns Hopkins University, a JD from the University of Wisconsin, and has also studied at the London School of Economics and the Hague Academy of International Law.

Photo of Dorothe Singer

Dorothe Singer

Senior Economist

Dorothe Singer is a Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist, Europe and Central Asia Region at the World Bank. Her research focuses on access to finance, measuring financial inclusion (Global Findex database), and the role of institutions in international finance. Prior to this, she worked for the Finance and Private Sector Research Team of the Development Research Group at the World Bank. She joined the World Bank in 2009 and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

Photo of Philip Wollburg

Philip Wollburg


Philip Wollburg is an Economist in the World Bank’s Development Data Group in the Data Production and Methods Unit. His research interests include agriculture, poverty, and climate impacts in low-income countries, as well as methodological aspects of and technological innovation in the measurement of key development indicators. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and led a project aimed at delivering innovative renewable energy solutions to smallholder agricultural and fisheries communities in East Africa. He holds a post-graduate degree in development economics from the University of Oxford.

Photo of Bilal Zia

Bilal Zia

Senior Economist, Development Research Group

Bilal Zia is a Senior Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Team of the World Bank's Development Research Group. His research is focused on financial development at the household, firm, and bank levels, and his work has appeared in top academic journals in economics and finance. He uses both experimental and non-experimental methods and some of his recent work includes rigorous impact evaluations of financial literacy programs, testing innovative methods to improve financial access for households and firms, and applying insights from behavioral economics to development finance. He has previously authored a chapter in the 2015 WDR on Mind, Society, and Behavior.

WDR 2021 Concept note image

Download File

How can data contribute to development? What kind of environment is needed to support the creation and re-use of data?

WDR2021 Consultation image

WDR2021 Consultations

We are holding online consultations between May 6–June 30, 2020 to get public input on the report.

Contact us

For questions and feedback
send us and email.