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East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Team

The Team


Aaditya Mattoo

Chief Economist

Aaditya Mattoo is Chief Economist of the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank.  He specializes in development, trade and international cooperation, and provides policy advice to governments.  He is also Co-Director of the World Development Report 2020 on Global Value Chains.  Prior to this he was the Research Manager, Trade and Integration, at the World Bank. Before he joined the Bank, Mr. Mattoo was Economic Counsellor at the World Trade Organization and taught economics at the University of Sussex and Churchill College, Cambridge University. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Oxford. He has published on development, trade, trade in services, and international trade agreements in academic and other journals and his work has been cited in the Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, and Time Magazine.


Andrew Mason

Lead Economist

Andrew Mason is Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. Prior to joining the Chief Economist’s Office, Mr. Mason served as Manager of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice for the Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region.


During his career, Mr. Mason has worked on a range of development issues, including poverty reduction, gender equality, labor, and social protection. He is co-author of several World Bank flagship studies, including A Resurgent East Asia: Navigating a Changing World; Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific; Informality:  Exit and Exclusion, a Latin America and Caribbean regional study; and, Engendering Development – Through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources, and Voice, a World Bank Policy Research Report. Mr. Mason has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

He holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from Stanford University and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard University.


Ergys Islamaj

Senior Economist

Ergys Islamaj is a senior economist at the East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Office where he leads the biannual East Asia and Pacific Economic Update. Recent analytical works includes studies on productivity spillovers, propagation of shocks through the input-output matrix, sudden stops in financial and debt flows, and the ability of remittances to smooth consumption.


He holds a PhD from Georgetown University. Prior to joining the World Bank, Ergys was an Assistant professor at Vassar College. He has published on behavior of consumption and investment growth in emerging markets and developing economies, risk sharing, remittances, and. growth spillovers His broader research agenda on exchange rate pass-through and its implications for monetary and fiscal policy, effects of financial crises on sectoral output and employment and the link between hedge fund behavior and return (in the US and emerging markets).


Elizaveta Perova

Senior Economist

Elizaveta Perova is a Senior Economist at East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Office. She leads East Asia and Pacific Gender Innovation Lab. She is a micro-economist by training, and has worked on poverty measurement, labor and gender. She has MPP and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.


Francesca de Nicola

Senior Economist

Francesca de Nicola is a Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank where she conducts research on productivity and innovation. Francesca has been involved in various operational assignments on private sector and financial market development, since joining the World Bank as a Young Professional. She started her career at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), doing research on issues related to weather insurance.


She holds a PhD in Economics from the Johns Hopkins University and has published in top field journals such as Journal of Development Economics, Quantitative Economics and Energy Economics.


Hillary C. Johnson


Hillary C. Johnson is an Economist with the East Asia and Pacific Gender Innovation Lab in the East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Office at the World Bank. Her expertise is in applied research, including impact evaluations and survey design. She has worked on various topics, including gender, entrepreneurship, and socioemotional skills development, and her work has been published in journals including Science and the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies.


She holds a Masters degree in International Development Economics from Université Paris Dauphine.


Aneesh Mannava

Research Analyst

Aneesh Mannava is a Research Analyst at the East Asia and Pacific Gender Innovation Lab (EAPGIL) where he researches gender gaps in economic opportunities in South East Asia to better understand where gaps exist and how they can be closed. In the past he has also worked on the topics of competitiveness, firm growth and financial inclusion. Before the East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Office, he worked at the World Bank’s Competitiveness Policy Evaluation Lab, and at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and Small Enterprise Finance Center at IFMR, both in India.


He has undergraduate and master’s degrees in economics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and the London School of Economics.


Vera Kehayova

Research Analyst

Vera Kehayova joined the EAP Chief Economist Unit in July 2016 as a Research Analyst. She is working on the bi-annual WBG-IMF Spring/Annual Flagship, the EAP Economic Update, and other research projects, including on technology disruptions, jobs, skills, labor productivity and macroeconomic vulnerabilities. She has over thirteen years of international development and macroeconomic research experience gained at the IMF, UNDP and World Bank Group.


Previously, at the IMF she worked on External and Fiscal Vulnerability Assessment of Low-Income Countries, financing mechanisms for countries hit by Ebola in West Africa in 2015, food security, natural disasters and public health disasters, among many others. At the UNDP, she worked on the Human Development Report 2011 on Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Vera started her career at the Bank after college undertaking various assignments for five years on topics related to human development, fragile states, energy policy, and macroeconomic research on Africa.


She holds a BA in Political Economy from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA and a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C.; and more recently a Graduate Certificate on Data Science/Machine Learning from the George Washington University.


Cecile Wodon

Senior Executive Assistant

Cecile Wodon joined the World Bank in 1997. She spent the first half of her career working in PREM units in the Africa Region where she developed a sound understanding of operational work. She became a Sr. Executive Assistant in 2012 when she joined the office of the PREM Director in the East Asia Region. She currently works in the EAP Chief Economist office where she provides comprehensive overall executive and administrative support to the Chief Economist and his team.