2020 Human Development Report Advisory Board Members

The 2020 HDR Advisory Board is co-chaired by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Singapore; and Michael Spence, William Berkley Professor in Economics and Business, Leonard Stern School of Business, New York University and includes government officials, academics and leading global development experts (see full list of members below or download list here.)

Tharman Shanmugaratnam (Co-Chair), Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Singapore

Tharman is currently Senior Minister, Singapore, following his nine years as Deputy Prime Minister (till 2019). He is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies and advises the Prime Minister on economic policies. He is concurrently the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator. Internationally, Tharman is Chairman of the Group of Thirty, an independent council of economic and financial leaders from the public and private sectors and academia. He led the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, which in Oct 2018 proposed reforms for a more effective system of global finance for growth, sustainability and financial stability. He also co-chairs the Global Education Forum and is on the External Advisory Group to the IMF Managing Director, and the World Economic Forum’s Board of Trustees. He was Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) from 2011-2014, the first Asian to hold the chair. Tharman has spent his working life in public service, in roles related to education and economic policies. Besides serving as Deputy Prime Minister, he was Minister for Finance for eight years (2007- 2015), and Minister for Education for five years (2003-2008). In addition to his responsibilities in the Government, he is currently Deputy Chairman of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and chairs its Investment Strategies Committee. Tharman was first elected Member of Parliament in Nov 2001 and has been re-elected three times since. After his schooling in Singapore, he studied at the London School of Economics and Cambridge University. He later studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was named a Lucius N Littauer Fellow in recognition of outstanding performance and leadership potential.

Michael Spence (Co-Chair), William Berkley Professor in Economics and Business, Leonard Stern School of Business, New York University

Nobel Laureate A. Michael Spence joined New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business as a professor of economics in September 2010. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Professor Spence, whose scholarship focuses on economic policy in emerging markets, the economics of information, and the impact of leadership on economic growth, was chairman of the independent Commission on Growth and Development (2006 - 2010), a global policy group focused on strategies for producing rapid and sustainable economic growth, and reducing poverty. He also serves as a consultant to PIMCO, a senior adviser at Oak Hill Investment Management, and board member of the Stanford Management Company. A Rhodes Scholar and the recipient of many honors and awards, Professor Spence was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association in 1981. He is the author of three books and 50 articles. Professor Spence served as Philip H. Knight Professor and dean of the Stanford Business School from 1990 to 1999. Before that, he was a professor of economics and business administration at Harvard University, Chairman of its economics department, and Dean of its Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Professor Spence earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1972, a B.A./M.A. from Oxford University in 1968 and a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Princeton University in 1966.

Olu Ajakaiye, Executive Chairman, African Centre for Shared Development Capacity Building, Nigeria

Prof. Olu Ajakaiye is a Fellow and past President of Nigerian Economic Society. He is currently Chairman, African Centre for Shared Development Capacity Building (ACSDCB), Ibadan Earlier positions he had held include: Director, Economic Development Department, NISER, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan (1999- 2004) and Director of Research, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) Nairobi; Kenya, 2004-2011). Prof. Ajakaiye was President, Nigerian Economic Society (2013-2015), Member, National Conference, 2014; Member, National Economic Management Team, 2013-2015, Vice President for Africa, Intergovernmental Council of Management of Social Transformations (MOST) of UNESCO (2000–2004); editor, Journal of Economic Management (1995–2002); Business Manager, African Journal of Economic Policy (1994–2004) and Editor, AERC Supplement of the Journal of African Economies (JAE) (2004-2011). Chairman, National Core Team for the preparation of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP) (2002) and Chairman, Economic Policy Working Group of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, Federal Ministry of Agriculture (2014). He served on National Working Committee for the Preparation of Nigeria’s Vision 2010 and 2020 as well as the Economic Recovery of Growth Plan, 2017-2020, Advisory Panel of the UN African Human Development Report, 2011, Advisory Committee of the Centre for Globalization and Development, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Technical Advisory Group of the Natural Resource Charter, University of Oxford, Advisory Board, 2016 Human Development Report, New York; Advisory Board, 2019 Human Development Report, UN, New York, among others. Prof. Ajakaiye consults for several international organizations including The World Bank, UNECA, UNDP, ECOWAS, IDRC, ACBF, JICA (UK), EU, DFID, British Council, BMGF, and numerous Nigerian government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Kaushik Basu, Professor of International Studies, Cornell University; President of the International Economic Association and former Chief Economist, World Bank

Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and the Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, and is currently serving a three- year term as President of the International Economic Association. He was Chief Economist of the World Bank from 2012 to 2016, and prior to that Professor Basu served as the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, 2009 to 2012. Earlier, he had been Director of the Center for Analytic Economics, 2006-09, and Chairman of the Department of Economics at Cornell, 2008-9. During his early career in Delhi, he founded the Centre for Development Economics, and served as the first Executive Director of the Center. Basu has published extensively in the areas of development economics, welfare economics, industrial organization, and game theory. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Republic of Beliefs: A New Approach to Law and Economics, Princeton University Press, 2018. In 2008 Kaushik Basu was conferred one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, by the President of India.

Haroon Bhorat, Professor of Economics, Director of Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Haroon Bhorat is Professor of Economics, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is also the Director of the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU). His research interests cover the areas of labour economics, poverty and income distribution. He has co-authored two books on labour market and poverty issues in South Africa and has published widely in academic journals. He has served on a number of government research advisory panels and consults regularly with international organizations such as the ILO, World Bank and the UNDP. Prof. Bhorat was the Minister of Labour’s appointee on the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC) – the country’s minimum wage setting body. He is currently a member of the
Statistics Council of South Africa. Professor Bhorat served as an economic advisor to Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, formally serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel.

Laura Chinchilla Miranda, President of Costa Rica (2010-2014) and Vice President of the World Leadership Alliance - Club de Madrid, Spain

Laura Chinchilla was president of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014. She previously served as vice president and minister of justice under Dialogue member Óscar Arias and as a member of the National Assembly from 2002 to 2006. She was the first woman to be elected to the Costa Rican presidency. Ms. Chinchilla gained her first public office in 1994, when she became vice minister of public security. She was promoted in 1996 to minister of public security, a post she held for two years. In 2002, Ms. Chinchilla won a four-year term in Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly. In 2006, she became vice president and minister of justice under newly re-elected president Óscar Arias Sánchez. In February 2010, Ms. Chinchilla won the presidential election. One of her most outstanding achievements in the exercise of the Presidency of the Republic was the steady decline in major crime rates in Costa Rica, including homicide and femicide. Mrs. Chinchilla also prompted measures on institutional reform of the Costa Rican government, on digital government, on the promotion of the rights of women, on the protection of children and on environmental sustainability. Chinchilla graduated from the University of Costa Rica and received her master’s in public policy from Georgetown University. Prior to entering politics, Ms. Chinchilla worked as an NGO consultant in Latin America and Africa, specializing in judicial reform and public security issues.

Gretchen C. Daily, Director, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University, United States

Gretchen Daily is Bing Professor of Environmental Science and co-founder and faculty director of the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University. Her work focuses on understanding the dynamics of change in the biosphere, their implications for human well-being, and the deep societal transformations needed to secure people and nature. She engages extensively with governments, multilateral development banks, businesses, communities, and NGOs. Prof. Daily co-founded the Natural Capital Project (www.naturalcapitalproject.org), a global partnership that is integrating the values of nature into policy, finance and management globally. Its tools and approaches are now used in 185 nations through the free and open-source Natural Capital Data & Software Platform. Daily has published several hundred scientific and popular articles, and a dozen books, including Green Growth that Works: Natural Capital Policy and Finance Mechanisms from Around the World (2019). Daily is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous international honors for her work.

Marc Fleurbaey, Professor of Economics and Humanistic Studies, Center for Human Values, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, United States

Marc Fleurbaey has been an economist at INSEE (Paris), a professor of economics at the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Pau (France), and a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. He has also been a Lachmann Fellow and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, a research associate at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics and the Institute for Public Economics (IDEP, Marseilles), and a visiting researcher at Oxford. He is a former editor of the journal Economics and Philosophy and as of 2012 is the coordinating editor of Social Choice and Welfare. He is the author of Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare (2008), a co-author of Beyond GDP (with Didier Blanchet, 2013), A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare (with François Maniquet, 2011), and the coeditor of several books, including Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls (with Maurice Salles and John Weymark, 2008). His research on normative and public economics and theories of distributive justice has focused on the analysis of equality of opportunity and responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism and on seeking solutions to famous impossibilities of social choice theory. Marc Fleurbaey has a PhD in Economics from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris.

Xiheng Jiang, Vice President, Center for International Knowledge on Development, China

Since 2017, Ms. Jiang has been the Vice President of the Center for International Knowledge on Development, where she has gained extensive experience in management and coordination of international collaborative programs. The Center aims to promote sustainable development within China and beyond and is responsible for tracking and studying the country’s progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prior to that, Ms. Jiang was Deputy Director General, Department of International Cooperation at the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council. Previously, she was Deputy Director of the Research Program at the DRC, a role she held for 15 years. Ms. Jiang earned a Master degree in Public Policy from University of Oxford and an MPA from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Ravi Kanbur, Professor of Economics and Management, Cornell University, United States

Ravi Kanbur is T. H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. Prof. Kanbur has served on the senior staff of the World Bank, including as Resident Representative in Ghana and Chief Economist
of the African Region. He has also served as Director of the World Bank's World Development Report. He is Co-Chair of the Food Economics Commission and Co-Chair of the Scientific Council of the International Panel on Social Progress. The positions he has held include: Chair of the Board of United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research, member of the OECD High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance, President of the Human Development and Capability Association, President of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, member of the High Level Advisory Council of the Climate Justice Dialogue, and member of the Core Group of the Commission on Global Poverty. His recent writings include volumes on Climate Justice, on Immiserizing Growth and on the Quality of Growth in Africa.

Jaya Krishnakumar, Professor of Economics and Econometrics, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Jaya Krishnakumar is a professor of Econometrics at the University of Geneva. Her research interests include panel data econometrics, multivariate models, and quantitative methods for multi-dimensional well-being analysis. She is both an editor and an author of chapters in Econometrics books in collections, such as Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems (Springer), Contributions to Economic Analysis (Elsevier) and Advanced Studies in Theoretical and Applied Econometrics (Kluwer Academic, Springer). She has also contributed chapters in the Handbook of the Capability Approach (Cambridge University Press, CUP), New Frontiers of the Capability Approach (CUP) and Research in Social Science and Disability (Emerald Publishing). She is a Fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association, an associate editor of the International Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. She is also a member of the Statistical Advisory Panel for HDR, the Human Development Report Advisory Panel 2017, the academic experts panel for World Bank’s Women, Business and The Law Index 2019, the International Scientific Committee of COSA (Committee on Sustainability Assessment), as well as an Advisor for the SDG Platform being developed by B-Lab along with
the UN Global Compact.

Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom

Melissa Leach is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. During 2006-2014, she co-directed the interdisciplinary, internationally collaborative ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre. As an anthropologist, she has thirty years of long-term ethnographic research experience in West Africa, focusing on eastern Sierra Leone (Mende), Guinea, Liberia and the Gambia. Her interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research links environment, agriculture, health, technology and gender, with interests in knowledge, power and the politics of science and policy processes. Prof. Leach’s recent research and publications focus on pandemic preparedness, the anthropology and ecology of zoonotic disease, the politics of green transformations, and sustainability and inequality. Amongst external roles, she was vice-chair of the Science Committee of Future Earth 2012 – 2017, lead author of the 2016 World Social Science Report on Challenging Inequalities and the UN Women’s World Survey on the Role of Women in Economic Development, 2014. She is a member of the Strategic Coherence of ODA Research (SCOR) Board and the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food). She was the lead social scientist in the UK/WHO responses to the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak and co-led the award- winning Ebola Response Anthropology Platform. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2017 for services to social science. Ms. Leach has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of London.

Thomas Piketty, Professor at the Paris School of Economics and Co-Director, World Inequality Lab, France

Thomas Piketty is a French economist and currently works as a professor at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) and at the Paris School of Economics (PSE). He is the Co-Director of the World Inequality Lab. Earlier he has worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He has a M.Sc. degree in Mathematics from the ENS, and a Ph.D. in economics from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the London School of Economics. Prof Piketty is the initiator of the recent literature on the long-run evolution of top income shares in national income. These works have led to radically question the optimistic relationship between development and inequality posited by Kuznets, and to emphasize the role of political, social and fiscal institutions in the historical evolution of income and wealth distribution. He is also the author of the international best-seller Capital in the 21st Century. He is a columnist for the French newspaper Le Monde.

Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair, International Resource Panel, United Nations Environment Programme

Janez Potočnik, co-chair of the IRP, has held many important roles and has extensive experience in the realm of environment, economics and European Affairs. He graduated with honors from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana. He continued his studies at the same university where he did his master's degree in 1989 and a Ph.D. degree in 1993. For several years (1989-1993), he worked as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research in Ljubljana. In July 1994, he was appointed Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development of the Republic of Slovenia. In April 1998, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed Dr Potočnik as Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union. On January 24, 2002, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed him for the Minister without portfolio responsible for European Affairs. Dr. Potočnik became a Member of the European Commission on 1 May 2004. During 2004-2010, he was responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 he took on a second mandate as Member of the European Commission responsible for Environment. In 2014, he was appointed for a three-year term as a member and Co-Chair of International Resource Panel hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme. In the same month, he was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council. As of 2020, he is the president of the ThinkForest. He is the recipients of many awards, including United Nations' 2013 Champions of the Earth Award for the Efforts to Promote Resource Efficiency and Reduce Food Waste in European Union.

Frances Stewart, Professor Emeritus of Development Economics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Frances Stewart is Professor Emeritus of Development Economics at the University of Oxford. Prof. Stewart was Director of Oxford University’s Department for International Development from 1993-2003, and Director of the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) at the department between 2003 and 2010. She has a DPhil from the University of Oxford and an honorary doctorate from the University of Sussex. Among other awards, she received the Leontief prize in 2013 for advancing the frontiers of economic thought from Tufts University and was given the UNDP’s Mahbub ul Haq award for her lifetime’s achievements in promoting human development in 2009. Prof. Stewart was named one of fifty outstanding technological leaders for 2003 by Scientific American. She has acted as consultant for early Human Development Reports; Chair of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy and Vice-Chair of the Board of the International Food Policy Research Institute. Among many publications, she is co-author of UNICEF’s influential study, Adjustment with a Human Face (OUP 1987); co-author of 'Advancing Human Development: Theory and Practice' (OUP 2018)” and leading author and editor of Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multi-ethnic Societies (Palgrave, 2008).

Pavan Sukhdev, President, WWF International President, CEO, Gist Advisory, Switzerland

Pavan Sukhdev is a scientist by education, an international banker by training, and an environmental economist by passion. Years of work in sustainability and the invisible economics of nature led to his appointment to head the United Nations’ “Green Economy Initiative” and to lead the G8+5 study TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity). In his book ‘Corporation 2020’, he describes four changes in micro-policy and regulation which can rapidly transform today’s corporation to deliver tomorrow’s green and equitable “economy of permanence”. As founder and CEO of GIST Advisory, his sustainability consulting firm, Pavan works with C-suite executives and senior government officials on transition techniques, with an emphasis on metrics. Pavan is a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Environment, promoting TEEB implementation and Green Economy transitions. He has served on the boards of Conservation International (CI), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), and on the TEEB Advisory Board. He is the recipient of many awards, including Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, 2013; Blue Planet Prize, 2016; Tyler Prize for
Environmental Achievement, 2020.

Ilona Szabó de Carvalho, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Igarape Institute, Brazil

Ilona Szabó de Carvalho is a globally recognized thought leader on issues of drug policy and violence prevention and reduction. Ilona has extensive experience leading global networks. Between 2011 and 2016 she was the executive coordinator of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a network of former presidents, entrepreneurs and public intellectuals. She earned a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Uppsala in Sweden, a specialist degree in International Development, from the Oslo University and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. Since 2015, she has been a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and a Responsible Leader at the BMW Foundation. She is the co-founder of the AGORA movement and has launched a number of expert networks, including Think Free (Pense Livre) and Public Transformation. Ms. Szabo is a columnist at Folha de S. Paulo. Also, she serves on the board of the Drug Policy Alliance, on the advisory board of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, The Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI), on the editorial board of the Americas Quarterly magazine and presides the Public Security Board of the Rio de Janeiro State Industry Federation (FIRJAN).In the mid-2000s while working for Viva Rio, she coordinated one of the world’s largest disarmament campaigns and helped shape a national referendum to ban the sale of handguns to Brazilian citizens. Between 2008 and 2011, Ms. Szabo was the civil society liaise for the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.

Krushil Watene (Ngāti Manu, Te Hikutu, Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, Tonga), Associate Professor in Philosophy, Massey University, New Zealand

Prof. Watene's research addresses fundamental questions in moral and political philosophy, particularly those related to well-being, development, and justice. Her primary areas of expertise include mainstream theories of well-being and justice, obligations to future generations, and Indigenous Philosophies. Much of her work is written from the perspective of the 'capability approach' - improving people's lives by expanding their real opportunities to live the kinds of lives they value and have reason to value - and centers Māori Philosophy. Prof. Watene's work is applied and engaged - encompassing a range of justice and ethical issues, in such areas as health policy, environmental sustainability, and a variety of development considerations, as they feature within communities. Her research contributes to high-level discussions of indigenous concepts in global justice theorizing, grounded in research that demonstrates the central role of local indigenous communities. Prof Watene holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St. Andrews. She was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship in 2018 for research on intergenerational justice.

Helga Weisz, Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Humboldt-University Berlin, Head of Social Metabolism and Impacts, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Helga Weisz is full professor of Industrial Ecology and Climate Change at Humboldt-University Berlin and head of the FutureLab Social Metabolism and Impacts at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany. Previous positions include assistant and associate professor at the Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna, guest professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, University St. Gallen, and Yale University. Her academic background is in Molecular Biology, Cultural Studies and Social Ecology. Her research focuses on the socially organized extraction of raw materials and energy, its transformation into goods and services, its use and final disposal to the environment as waste, emissions and heat, which, collectively, define the social metabolism. Transforming the industrial metabolism to reduce its environmental and resource impacts, while maintaining its function for human well-being, is a crucial challenge for sustainability. Prof. Weisz investigates socio-metabolic transitions and patterns at global, national, local, and sectoral scales and their implications for wellbeing, inequality and power relations. She has published in high ranking general and specialized journals such as PNAS, Science Advances, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, Environmental Research Letters, Earth System Dynamics, Journal of Industrial Ecology, or Ecological Economics among others. Among many other science community services, Prof. Weisz is a member of the governing board of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), located in Laxenburg, Austria, of the steering committee of the Swiss National Science Foundation's National Research Program "Sustainable Economy" (NRP 73), of UNEP’s International Resource Panel and editor–in-chief of the transdisciplinary sustainability journal GAIA.