Leading economist works to reduce global poverty

Shanta Devarajan, one of the first people in the world to study the Diploma Programme (DP) in 1971, is the Senior Director for Development Economics at the World Bank. He previously held the role of Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region.

Shanta is currently working to end extreme poverty in some of the most deprived parts of the world, after deciding to put his fortunate education and career opportunities to good use.

Shanta joined the World Bank in 1991, after completing his undergraduate degree and Ph.D in the United States. He worked on a number of academic publications in the 1990s concerning economics, trade policy and natural resources before pursuing the issue of poverty reduction in Africa. "I felt so privileged – I’d gone to the best schools and had exciting and rewarding jobs,” Shanta says. “It was time for me to give back a bit. I decided to dedicate the rest of my career to ending poverty.” Shanta credits his IB education with preparing him well for an international career, something he credits as “the best time of my life.”

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