2020 Annual Conference: Speakers

Development Finance in Fragile States | February 20-21, 2020
Speaker Biographies
Deborah Bräutigam is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Political Economy and Director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Her most recent books include The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (2010) and Will Africa Feed China? (2015). Before joining SAIS in 2012, she taught at Columbia University and American University. Her teaching and research focus on international development strategies, governance, and foreign aid. She has twice won a Fulbright research award as well as fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and research grants from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Centre for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR). She has consulted for Transparency International, the United Nations, the World Bank, DFID, GIZ, DANIDA, the African Development Bank, and USAID, and has provided commentary to the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Guardian, CNN, NPR, Al-Jazeera, VOA, CCTV, and MSNBC. Dr. Bräutigam was a visiting scholar at the World Bank, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and advised more than a dozen governments on China-Africa relations. Her Ph.D. is from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Maggie Chen is a Professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University. Her areas of research expertise include foreign direct investment, international trade, and regional trade agreements and her work has been published in academic journals such as American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and Journal of International Economics. She has worked as an economist in the research department of the World Bank and a consultant for various divisions of the World Bank and the International Finance Cooperation, advising issues ranging from foreign direct investment to the Belt and Road Initiative and contributing to various World Bank flagship studies and the World Development Report. She has served as Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy at George Washington University and is a co-editor of the Economic Inquiry. Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and B.A. in Economics from Beijing Normal University.
Tarek Ghani is the Chief Economist and Future of Conflict Program Director at the International Crisis Group. As Chief Economist, he leads Crisis Group’s analysis of economic issues and oversees the adoption of cutting-edge research methods. As Future of Conflict Program Director, he directs Crisis Group’s work on the Economics of Conflict, Technology & Warfare, and Climate Change & Conflict.  Tarek is an Assistant Professor of Strategy (on leave) at Washington University's Olin Business School, a Nonresident Fellow of the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution, and an affiliate of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project and the International Growth Centre. From 2006-2009, he oversaw grants on conflict prevention issues at the private foundation Humanity United. He has worked with the Center for Global Development, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United States Institute of Peace, and the World Bank. He holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and a B.S. from Stanford University.
Michela Giorcelli is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California-Los Angeles, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER. Her interests lie at the intersection between Economic History, Economics of Innovation, and Applied Economics. Her research primarily focuses on the determinants of productivity and innovation in the 20th century.
Rachel Glennerster is the Chief Economist for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) on leave from her position as Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Previously she was a member of DFID’s Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact and the International Growth Center’s academic lead for Sierra Leone. Earlier she worked on debt relief and the reform of the international monetary system at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and on financial regulation at the Harvard Institute for International Development and the UK Treasury. In the mid-1990s, she was part of the UK delegation to the IMF and World Bank. She is the coauthor of several books including Running Randomized Evaluations (2013), “Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit” in the Handbook of Development Economics (2007), and Strong Medicine: Creating Incentives for Pharmaceutical Research on Neglected Diseases (2004). Her research includes randomized evaluations of community-driven development in Sierra Leone, empowerment of adolescent girls in Bangladesh, health programs in Pakistan and India, and education and microfinance programs in India. She is a regular lecturer on J-PAL’s executive education courses and advanced training courses for academics in developing countries. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Birkbeck College, University of London.
Neil Gregory, Chief Thought Leadership Officer, International Finance Corporation

Neil Gregory, Chief Thought Leadership Officer, International Finance Corporation

Neil Gregory is Chief Thought Leadership Officer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group. Neil leads IFC’s outreach to impact investors and led the development of the Operating Principles for Impact Management. He has held a range of senior strategy and management roles at IFC, including research, business planning, investment and advisory functions. He was previously Adviser to the UK Executive Director of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and an Economic Adviser to the UK Government. He has extensive work experience in South Asia, China, Africa and the Caribbean. A British national, Neil has MA and MSc degrees in Economics from Cambridge and Oxford and an MBA from Georgetown.
Odette Lienau is a Professor of Law at Cornell University, where she also co-directs the International Law/International Relations Colloquium and is a Faculty Member in the Graduate Field of Government. Her research and teaching interests include international economic law, international law and international relations, bankruptcy and debtor-creditor relations, and political and legal theory. Her scholarship seeks to understand the broader norms and principles that underpin international market rules and that impact expectations about appropriate behavior for businesses, governments, and other actors. Her book, Rethinking Sovereign Debt: Politics, Reputation, and Legitimacy in Modern Finance (2014), won a Book Award from the American Society of International Law and challenges the conventional wisdom that all states, including those emerging from a major regime change, must repay debt or suffer reputational consequences. She contends that this practice is not essential for functioning capital markets, and locates the twentieth-century consolidation of the repayment rule in contingent actions taken by government officials, international financial institutions, and private market actors. Her articles and chapter contributions have been published or are forthcoming with the Harvard International Law Journal, the Yale Journal of International Law, the Hastings Law Journal, and Oxford University Press, among others. She has consulted for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on the establishment of a sovereign debt workout mechanism, and is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She practiced with the Financial Restructuring and Insolvency group at Shearman & Sterling in New York City prior to joining Cornell Law School, and has been Nomura Visiting Professor of International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School. She holds an B.A. from Harvard College, a J.D. from NYU School of Law, and a Ph.D. in political science at Harvard University.
Nicola Limodio is an Assistant Professor of Finance at Bocconi University. Nicola’s research focuses on corporate finance, development economics and political economy. He is particularly interested in researching the role of financial institutions in emerging markets, their relations with regulation, credit and development. He has held visiting professor positions at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics.
Christopher Marks

Christopher Marks *96, Managing Director, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

Christopher Marks has worked in the financial markets and financial sector advisory, across the public and private sector, for more than 25 years. He is Managing Director, Head of Emerging Markets EMEA, MUFG Bank. Prior to his current role, Christopher served as Senior Advisor at the African Development Bank, resident in Abidjan and reporting to the Group Chief Risk Officer and the Acting VP for Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration / Director of Financial Sector Development. He also consulted as Expert - Capital Markets/Sovereign Debt Management for the International Monetary Fund.  Dr. Marks was previously Global Head of Debt Capital Markets at BNP Paribas in London and a member of BNP Paribas’ Global Fixed Income Business Committee, having spent 15 years at the bank. Prior to his career as an investment banker, he was an intergovernmental finance specialist, having worked for the World Bank, OECD, and as a three-year resident US Government Advisor to the Ministry of Finance, Republic of Poland. M.A. Johns Hopkins SAIS; D.E.A. Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris; Ph.D. Princeton University.
Scott Morris is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, director of the center’s US Development Policy program, and co-director of the Sustainable Development Finance program. His research addresses development finance issues, debt policy, governance issues at international financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF, and Chinese development finance. From 2008-2012 he served as deputy assistant secretary for development finance and debt at the US Treasury, leading engagement with the multilateral development banks as well as US participation in the Paris Club of official creditors. He represented the Treasury on the board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the US in the G-20’s Development Working Group and also served as a senior staff member on the Financial Services Committee in the US House of Representatives, where he was responsible for the Committee’s international policy issues. He currently co-chairs the International Financial Institutions working group, a diverse coalition of US-based organizations seeking to promote effective US participation in multilateral institutions. He also serves on the international advisory panel for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the group of independent advisors for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and on the executive committee of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network.
Raghuram Rajan is the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at Chicago Booth. He was the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between September 2013 and September 2016. Between 2003 and 2006, Dr. Rajan was the Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund. Dr. Rajan’s research interests are in banking, corporate finance, and economic development, especially the role finance plays in it. The books he has written include The Third Pillar: How the State and Markets are leaving Communities Behind (2019), I Do What I Do: On Reform, Rhetoric, and Resolve (2017), Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists (2003), and Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy (2010), which was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010. Dr. Rajan is a member of the Group of Thirty and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the President of the American Finance Association (AFA) in 2011 and, in 2003, the AFA awarded him the inaugural Fischer Black Prize for the best finance researcher under the age of 40. Among other accolades he holds the Infosys prize for the Economic Sciences (2012), the Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics (2013), the Euromoney Central Banker Governor of the Year award (2014), and the Banker Magazine (FT Group) Central Bank Governor of the Year award (2016).
Jesse Schreger is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Division at Columbia Business School. His research is primarily on international finance and macroeconomics, focusing on capital flows, sovereign debt, and exchange rates. He is a principal investigator of the Global Capital Allocation Project and faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to joining Columbia, he was an assistant professor at Harvard Business School and a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Economics at Princeton University. Schreger received his Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. His undergraduate degree in economics and international relations is from the University of Pennsylvania.
Brad W. Setser is the Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. His expertise includes macroeconomics, global capital flows, financial vulnerability analysis, sovereign debt restructuring, and the management of financial crises. Setser served as the deputy assistant secretary for international economic analysis in the U.S. Treasury from 2011 to 2015, where he worked on Europe’s financial crisis, currency policy, financial sanctions and Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. He previously was the director for international economics, serving jointly on the staff of the National Economic Council and the National Security Council. He, along with Nouriel Roubini, is the author of Bailouts or Bailins: Responding to Financial Crises in Emerging Economies.
Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante is Senior Manager, Blended Finance New Business and Portfolio, in IFC’s Blended Finance Department. Since 2013, she has managed IFC’s blended finance facilities for climate, with more than $1 billion in bilateral and multilateral donor-contributions for climate-smart co-investments in IFC projects. During this period, IFC’s blended climate finance portfolio doubled in volume and helped IFC enter riskier markets. She also manages the Blended Finance Facility of the IDA Private Sector Window, created in 2017 to support private sector development, growth, and job creation in some of the world’s least developed countries. Prior to her current position, she headed the Blended Finance unit, a governance unit performing credit review, quality assurance and knowledge-sharing functions and served as IFC’s Global Lead Counsel for Climate and Blended Finance at IFC. Before joining IFC in 2003, Kruskaia was at Chadbourne & Parke, LLP, working primarily in project finance in the power sector. Kruskaia holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs, with a concentration in Economics and Public Policy, from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.
Mark Thomas leads a team responsible for rating all World Bank sovereign credits, managing country exposure, monitoring portfolio credit quality, modeling portfolio risk, developing and applying capital adequacy and provisioning frameworks, and designing and evaluating structured finance proposals. He is also Chair of the Bank’s Credit Committee and Co-Chair of the New Business Committee. Mark is a seasoned economist and sovereign debt specialist with operational experience in Africa, Latin America, Europe, South Asia, and Central Asia, including assignments based in Brazil and Turkey. Prior to his current position, he was Practice Manager, Macroeconomics, responsible for the Bank’s financial operations and advisory services in southern and western Africa, as well as for global engagements on sovereign debt. He has published articles and book chapters covering sovereign debt, economic growth, economic crises, labor markets, and regional policy. Before joining the World Bank, Mark helped build a Paris-based start-up management consultancy, and he has held lecturing and research positions at Georgetown, Princeton, and the University of Montreal. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton, a Master’s in Economics from McGill, and a BA in Mathematics from Oxford. Mark is also a Freeman of the town of Llantrisant in Wales.
Chris Walker works to scale up innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to development challenges and advises on various innovative finance initiatives at Mercy Corps. He also works with Mercy Corps’ Social Venture Fund, which invests in and accelerates impact-oriented, for-profit businesses. In addition, Chris is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he teaches a graduate course on impact investing and innovative finance. Previously, Chris was the head of the Innovative Finance Program at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, where he developed initiatives that attracted investment capital to address malnutrition and led the creation of the Access to Nutrition Index. Chris was also a Fellow with Acumen Fund in Mumbai, India and worked as a development economist at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the U.S. State Department. He has an MPA from Princeton University and a B.A. from Williams College.