Speaker bios are listed in alphabetical order. Please download the mobile app (iOS or Android) or visit the mobile web version of the app to view bios for workshop presenters. 


Helena Bjuremalm, Deputy Head, Sida Unit for Democracy and Human Rights

Helena Bjuremalm is the Deputy Head of Sida’s Unit for Democracy and Human Rights. Previously she was Sida’s advisor on civil society support and engagement, including shrinking civic space, and was posted as Sida’s regional advisor on democracy and human rights in East Africa (Nairobi). For five years she headed International IDEA’s Democracy and Development Team, where democratic accountability was a critical work stream. Before joining Sida, Helena Bjuremalm was a diplomat with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, a reporter and editor in chief. Helena Bjuremalm is also a member of the World Bank Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement.


Amit Dar, Director, Operations and Strategy, Human Development Practice Group

In April 2016, Amit Dar was appointed Director, Operations and Strategy of the Human Development Practice Group.  In his current role he oversees the operational and global engagement of the HD Practice Group and works on strategy development and implementation. Prior to that he was the Director of the Education Global Practice.  Before this, he was Sector Manager for Education in South Asia, where he oversaw the lending and analytical education program for the region. In this capacity, Amit worked with South Asian governments on education, skills, and labor market issues; and on strengthening education systems to deliver results through innovative and results-based approaches to financing. He has also worked on Social Protection issues in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East. Amit has published extensively on the economics of labor markets and education across the developing world, and holds a Ph. D. in Economics from Brown University.

Annette Dixon, Vice President, Human Development, World Bank

Annette Dixon is the Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group, overseeing the Global Practices for education; health, nutrition, and population; gender; and social protection and jobs. She was previously the Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia Region. In managing the World Bank’s engagement in South Asia to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, Annette led relations with eight countries, including India—the institution’s biggest client. She also oversaw lending operations and trust-funded projects worth more than $10 billion a year. Before joining the region, Annette was Director, Strategic Planning in the Budget, Performance Review and Strategic Planning Vice Presidency and Country Director to Central Asia, then South East Asia. She joined the Bank in 1999 and worked as Sector Director to Human Development in the ECA region. Annette is a long-standing champion on gender issues. In South Asia, she has set a target to deliver 100 percent gender-informed projects and interventions, going beyond the global corporate requirements. Under her leadership, the regional priority for South Asia is to support countries to improve Women’s Labor Force Participation. Prior to joining the World Bank, Annette Dixon worked for the Government of New Zealand as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Youth Affairs. She also served as General Manager, Sector Policy; Deputy Director-General in the Ministry of Health; Director of Health Policy, Department of the Prime Minister; and Manager Policy Division, Ministry of Women’s Affairs.


Simon Fowler, Master of Ceremonies & Independent Consultant

Simon is a British national and strategic leader with over 30 years of international experience in the development, investment and commercial banking arenas. Based in Washington D.C. and operating internationally, Simon now provides a unique brand of custom event design, facilitation, moderation and teambuilding services to corporate clients. He offers customized solutions in the following: Event design, planning, facilitation & Master of Ceremonies services for small to large groups (10-700+); Plenary and Panel Moderation; Teambuilding event design and implementation; Team and individual coaching; Knowledge Management & Learning strategy and program formulation and design. Simon can be reached at: www.linkedin.com/in/simonvfowler


Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer, World Bank

Kristalina Georgieva is the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank.As the CEO for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association, the World Bank’s lending arms for middle-income and poor countries, Georgieva will build support across the international community to help mobilize resources and develop more effective solutions for the poor at the scale required.

Previously, Georgieva, a Bulgarian national, helped shape the agenda of the European Union since 2010, first as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, where she managed one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid budget and established herself as a global champion for resilience.

As the European Commission Vice President for Budget and Human -Resources, Georgieva was in charge of the European Union’s €161 billion (US $175bn) budget and 33,000 staff across its institutions around the world. She tripled funding available to the refugee crisis in Europe and drove rapid progress towards achieving a target of 40 percent women in management by 2019 in order to improve the Commission’s gender balance. Before joining the European Commission, Georgieva held multiple positions at the World Bank. In her most recent role as the Vice President and Corporate Secretary (2008-2010), she was the interlocutor between the World Bank Group’s senior management, its Board of Directors and its shareholder countries. In the wake of the 2008 international financial crisis, she played a key role in the World Bank’s governance reform and accompanying capital increase.

Deeply knowledgeable in international development and finance, Georgieva established a well-deserved reputation during her time at the Bank for her ability to build broad consensus and turn strategies into practice. She has more than 100 publications on environmental and economic policy topics, including a textbook on microeconomics.

Kristalina Georgieva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1953.  She holds a Ph.D in Economic Science and a M.A. in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, where she was an Associate Professor between 1977 and 1991.


Catherine Gicheru, Code4Kenya

Catherine Gicheru is a veteran Kenyan editor who is working with the Code for Kenya open-data initiative to promote data journalism and civic innovation as a means to strengthen storytelling and audience engagement. Prior to the fellowship, she was a Reuters Fellow at Oxford University, where she studied the challenges facing print media throughout sub-Saharan Africa. A trail-blazing journalist, Gicheru was the founding editor of the Star newspaper, now the fastest growing newspaper in Kenya. She also worked as a reporter and later served as the news editor and investigations editor for the Nairobi-based Nation Media Group. She was the first woman to hold those top positions in the history of the Kenyan print media. In 1992, she was awarded the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Award. During her Knight Fellowship, she will coordinate collaboration among journalists and technologists who will be embedded in newsrooms to harness the power of data to develop compelling stories.


Ann-Sofie Jespersen, Senior Governance Specialist

Ann-Sofie joined the World Bank in 2014 in the Egypt Country Office, and brings more than 10 years of experience working on social accountability mechanisms and citizen engagement. She previously worked in Operations Policy and Country Services on citizen engagement and external accountability. She has operational experience in the MENA and Africa regions, where she worked on a range of Bank products including CPF, IPFs, and PforRs. Before joining the World Bank she worked on social accountability with ActionAid in the Middle East, West Africa, Europe and USA. She obtained her Bachelor and Master degree in International Development and Business Studies at Roskilde University, Denmark.


Asmeen Khan, Strategy and Operations Practice Manager, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

Asmeen Khan is currently Practice Manager, Strategy and Operations, in the Governance Global Practice. Asmeen has worked for over 25 years on topics related to local governance, decentralization, social accountability, community driven development in South and East Asia, based in the Thailand, India and Indonesia Field Offices. Prior to joining the Bank, Asmeen worked for the Ford Foundation and Oxfam.


Warren Krafchik, Director of the International Budget Partnernship

Warren Krafchik is the Director of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and has been involved with the IBP for over ten years, assisting civil society organizations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia to monitor government budgets. Before joining IBP, Krafchik worked at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA), where he founded the Budget Information Service (BIS) in 1995. The BIS was one of the first institutions to pioneer independent monitoring of government budgeting, with a particular emphasis on how these budgets affect disadvantaged groups. Civil society and governments around the world have adopted these methods. Krafchik started his working life as a lecturer in macro-economics at the University of Cape Town where he received MA, awarded with distinction. He is the author of numerous publications on the role of the civil society, legislatures, and Supreme Audit Institutions in budget accountability.


Tanka Mani sharma (Dangal), Auditor General of Nepal

Mr. Tanka Mani Sharma Dangal as the Honorable Auditor General of Nepal. Mr. Sharma holds Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). His prior positions include Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministries, Ministry of General Administration and Public Procurement Monitoring Office. Likewise he had served as a Director General of Inland Revenue Department, Department of Custom and Department of Revenue Investigation. Mr. Sharma hopes to build a more transparent public administration and promote good governance in the country through a transparent and accountable public sector financial management. Moreover, he has emphasized to promote SAI Nepal’s professional integrity, build effective relationship with stakeholder and strengthen bilateral and multilateral co-operation with other SAI’s as well.


Emily Martinez, Director, Human Rights Initiative, Open Society Foundations

Emily leads a global team of 40 people, with an annual budget of $50 million supporting civil society to advance human rights. This role includes working directly with civil society groups to consider approaches and strategies for their work as well as issues such as organizational development and health. Emily has worked in private philanthropy for over 20 years. She started her work focused on human rights organizing in Central and Eastern Europe but has spent the last decade working with a global mandate with a focus on movement building in the human rights sector. Her work includes engagement with small, emergent organizations as well as large, well-established groups. She has worked closely with donors in both private philanthropy as well as the public sector.


George Osei-Bimpeh, Country Director, SEND-Ghana

As the Country Director of SEND-GHANA Mr. George Osei-Bimpeh is responsible for running all facets of the organisation. George has a proven executive management track record and over 12 years of experience in research and civil society activism, driving growth in the programmatic areas, funding base and policy influencing space. George was appointed the Country Director of SEND-GHANA in February 2012. He first joined SEND-GHANA in 2008 as Programmes Officer in-charge of Trade and Agricultural Policy Research and Advocacy. He was later promoted to Director of Programmes and Advocacy before assuming the highest position of Country Director. Prior to SEND GHANA, Mr. Osei-Bimpeh was the head of Social Research with the US Population Council for the implementation of the Ghana Essential Drug Medicine Initiative (GEMI) project.  He also worked with the West African Civil Society Institute and the Commonwealth Social Policy Research Institute.


Adenike (Nike) Oyeyiola, Practice Manager, Governance Global Practice, The World Bank


Adenike (Nike) Oyeyiola is Practice Manager for Governance Standards, Codes and Systems Unit in the Governance Global Practice of the World Bank. Her Unit cover issues related to corporate financial reporting (CFRR), standards and codes around transparent financial management in public and private sectors, corporate governance, SOEs, technology and integrated digital solutions for governance, and Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability. She has worked on various countries in Africa, South Asia, East and Central Asia. She led dialogues and provided strategic policy advice to government and private sector.


Juan Pablo Guerrero, Network Director, Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency - GIFT

Juan Pablo Guerrero is the Network Director of the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency, a multi-stakeholder action network to advance fiscal transparency, public participation and accountability in countries around the world. He was a founding Commissioner of the Federal Institute for Access to Information & Data Protection in Mexico (2002-2009), where he subsequently was the Secretary General (2013-14). Between 2009 and 2013, he was the manager of the Mentoring Governments for Transparency Program at the International Budget Partnership. Before 2003, he was a university professor at the CIDE (Center for Research & Teaching in Economics) in Mexico (1994-2003) specialized in public administration reform for accountability, anticorruption and fiscal transparency. He started his career as news reporter and correspondent in Washington & Paris, where he studied master and PhD programs in public policy (SAIS-Johns Hopkins University and Sciences-Po).


Suchi Pande, Scholar in Residence, Accountability Research Center


Suchi Pande is an Indian researcher and activist. She was Secretary of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information and has worked with the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (a worker and peasant collective in the state of Rajasthan). Suchi received her PhD from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She is a scholar-in-residence at the Accountability Research Center at American University in Washington D.C.  


Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI)

Ceyla Pazarbasioglu is the World Bank Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) as of October 1, 2018. In her role as EFI Vice President, she oversees the World Bank Group’s advisory engagements, operational work and policy in the following Global Practices: Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation (FCI), Governance (GOV), Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment (MTI) and Poverty and Equity (POV). Prior to her assignment as Vice President, Ms. Pazarbasioglu was Senior Director of the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, a World Bank/IFC Joint Global Practice. In this capacity, she provided leadership to the Practice in advancing the World Bank Group’s development goals, with a focus on firm capabilities and innovation, private-sector led growth, creating markets, financial sector stability, financial inclusion and long-term finance and risk management. As FCI’s Senior Director, Ms. Pazarbasioglu led and coordinated the WBG’s efforts on the Bali Fintech agenda, Disruptive Technologies, entrepreneurship and financial integrity. She joined the World Bank Group in July 2015, as Senior Adviser.


Vivek Ramkumar, Senior Director of Policy, International Budget Partnership

Vivek Ramkumar joined the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in 2005 and currently is Senior Director of Policy. In this capacity, he oversees IBP’s research and advocacy efforts to expand the adoption of transparent and accountable budget systems around the world. As Senior Director, Vivek stands-in for the Executive Director, as requested. Vivek is an Indian national and previously worked with the MKSS – an organization that pioneered the Right to Information movement in India. He also worked with a Mumbai-based nongovernmental organization called SPARC, which is part of the Shack/Slum Dwellers International. Vivek is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds an MA from the London School of Economics. He is a member of the Consultative Advisory Group of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.


Dena Ringold, Manager, Human Capital Project, World Bank

Dena Ringold is a Senior Economist in the Human Development Network, Office of the Chief Economist. Her research interests include governance, service delivery, and inclusion of minorities. Prior to joining the HD Network she worked in the Europe and Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean Regions.


Jeff Thindwa, Program Manager, Global Partnership for Social Accountability, World Bank

Jeff Thindwa is the Program Manager for the Global Partnership for Social Accountability in the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice (GGP). He joined the World Bank in 2000 as Sr. Social Development Specialist and held several positions in social development and external and corporate relations. He subsequently worked in the Bank’s South Asia Region’s social development department supporting operations teams and managing the “Program on Accountability”, a grant-making and capacity building facility for social accountability in Nepal. Jeff later joined the World Bank Institute as Practice Manager for Social Accountability. Thereafter he became Practice Manager for Open and Collaborative Governance in the GGP leading work on open government, parliamentary strengthening, governance of extractives and citizen engagement. Before joining the World Bank Jeff was a lawyer in the Government of Malawi and in the private sector and worked in civil society internationally for 17 years.


Marijn Verhoeven, Lead Economist and Cluster Lead, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

Marijn Verhoeven is a Lead Economist and Cluster Lead with the World Bank Group’s Governance Global Practice, where he leads work on domestic revenue mobilization and fiscal risk of state-owned enterprises and contributes to work streams on extractive industry governance, and contributes to work streams on extractive industry governance, evidence-based PFM reforms, political economy analysis, and public expenditure reviews. Before joining the World Bank, Marijn worked at the IMF where he was the Fund’s resident representative in Bangladesh and Deputy Division Chief of the Expenditure Policy Division. He was educated at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.


Jeannette Von Wolfersdorff, Executive Director, Fiscal Observatory, Chile

Jeannette von Wolfersdorff is the executive Director of the Chilean Fiscal Observatory, initiative from civil society to promote more effective and efficient public spending, and better accountability according to user´s needs. It seeks to facilitate greater citizen control of public funds through the use of open data. She is also member of the recently created Permanent Council for State Modernization, and Chairman of the Civil Society Board from the Chilean Public Procurement Institution, and as well, director of the Santiago Securities Exchange, and President of its Corporate Governance and Sustainability Committee.

Deborah Wetzel, Senior Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank          

Deborah Wetzel, a U.S. national with more than 25 years of experience in development work around the world, is the World Bank Senior Director for Governance since April 4, 2016.

Ms. Wetzel was previously Director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa Region and prior to that served as Country Director for Brazil, from March 2012 until July 2015. Ms. Wetzel was the World Bank Group’s Chief of Staff to the World Bank President from 2010 to 2012. She has also served as Director for Governance and Public Sector, directing the Bank’s work on taxation, public expenditures, decentralization, public sector reform and strengthening, governance and anti-corruption.

From 2006 to 2009, she led the World Bank’s Economic and Public Sector Programs in Brazil, based in Brasilia. During that period she developed numerous programs with state and federal governments to help improve the effectiveness of public expenditures and achieve better results.

Ms. Wetzel began her career at the World Bank in 1986 as a Consultant, joining the Young Professionals Program in 1993. She also worked at the Centre for the Study of African Economies in Oxford England in the early 1990s. During her career, she has worked in Central and Eastern Europe, Ghana, Hungary, Ukraine, Vietnam, Russia, the former Soviet Republics, West Africa and Zambia.

Ms. Wetzel has a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford and a Masters in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. Her BA is from Smith College. She is the author of publications on fiscal decentralization, public finance, governance, and sub-national affairs. University and a BA from Smith College.