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Warwick Economics graduate to head International Finance Corporation

Makhtar Diop, a graduate of the University of Warwick’s Department of Economics, has been appointed as the Managing Director and Executive Vice President to head the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank Group.

Makhtar Diop

The IFC advances economic development and improves the lives of people by encouraging growth of the private sector in developing countries.

Diop studied for an MSc in Quantitative Development Economics at the University of Warwick and graduated in 1995. He is a recognised opinion leader in development, and has been named one of the 100 most influential Africans in the world.

A Senegalese national and former Minister of Economy and Finance, Makhtar Diop previously served as the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure, where he led the Bank’s global efforts to build effective infrastructure in developing and emerging markets that supports inclusive and sustainable growth. In this role, Diop oversaw the Bank’s critical work across energy and transport sectors, digital development, and our efforts to bring more quality infrastructure services to communities through public-private partnerships.

Prior to this, Diop served for six years as the World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region, where he oversaw a major expansion of our work in Africa and the delivery of a record-breaking $70 billion in commitments. A passionate advocate for Africa and sustainable development globally, Diop led efforts aimed at increasing access to affordable and sustainable energy and promoting an enabling environment for innovation and technology adoption.

Diop served twice as a World Bank Country Director -- for Brazil and for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia. He has a strong grasp of the public/private sector interface, started his career in the banking sector, and has first-hand experience in leading structural reforms in support of the private sector, including in his position as the Minister of Economy and Finance of Senegal. Diop worked as an economist in the International Monetary Fund. And he served as the World Bank Director for Finance, Private Sector & Infrastructure in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Professor Jeremy Smith, Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, said:

“Makhtar is remembered as one of the brightest students on the MSc Quantitative Development Economics who was passionate about development economics and wished to pursue it further in his professional career. He kept in close touch with his MSc course tutors (Tony Addison and Alan Roe) who visited Makhtar at the World Bank in 2018 when he was the World Bank’s President for Infrastructure. As one of the most distinguished graduates from Warwick Economics in recent decades, I’d like to congratulate Makhtar on this achievement and wish him success in a new and important role.”

Jeff Round, who was the MSc Quantitative Development Economics Director at the time, commented:

“I recall that Makhtar Diop came to us in 1993 with very strong recommendations. To further his career development, Makhtar wanted to gain rigorous training in economics and quantitative methods, which Warwick was able to offer. But he also benefited by studying alongside a strong cohort of fellow students. He fulfilled all our expectations and it is not the slightest surprise to me that he has done so well in his chosen career at the World Bank.”

The University of Warwick is pleased to welcome over 400 students from Africa each year, studying from foundation programmes to our research degrees.

See World Bank press release here.

Image: Makhtar Diop, credit the World Bank

4 March 2021

For further information, contact:

Luke Walton, International Press Manager

+44 (0) 7823 362 150