Augusto Lopez-Claros is Director of Global Indicators and Analysis at the World Bank.
He has been the Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. In this capacity he traveled widely and engaged with senior policymakers in government and the business community on the policy and institutional requirements associated with improvements in the business environment. For many years he was the editor of the Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, including the 2006-2007 edition. He is the founder of EFD – Global Consulting Network an international consultancy specialising in economic, financial and development issues.
He has a degree in mathematical statistics from Cambridge University, England, and a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University in the United States. Before joining the Forum in 2003 he was Executive Director and Senior International Economist with Lehman Brothers International in London. During his 5-year stay with Lehman he wrote extensively on a broad range of economic and financial topics, such as sovereign debt restructuring, foreign direct investment in transition economies, capital account liberalization, growth, and the role of good governance in the development process. As part of this research work and to meet with Lehman clients he traveled extensively in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia. He is a frequent commentator on economic and financial issues, having given well over 150 TV interviews during the last seven years on all the major networks. Before Lehman he worked as an economist with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, an organization he joined in the mid-1980s.
During his years of service at the Fund his assignments included being country economist for Spain; working in the Fund’s main policy making department, where he worked on Eastern Europe and did some of the early work at the Fund on good governance. From 1992 to 1995 he was Resident Representative for the IMF in the Russian Federation, where he was responsible for program implementation issues in the context of the IMF’s multi-billion dollar program of assistance to the Russian Federation. His stay in Russia was followed by a one-year sabbatical in Moscow, an opportunity he used to do research (subsequently published by the IMF) and to travel extensively throughout Russia to gain a broader perspective on the transition. Prior to his service with the IMF, he was Professor of Economics at the University of Chile, Santiago, where, in addition to his teaching duties, he also headed a research team financed by the Ministry of Health examining economic aspects of alcohol abuse in Chile.
Augusto has lectured extensively on a wide range of topics in his field, including European economic integration, the determinants of competitiveness, reform issues in transition economies, the European Monetary System, and on a broad range of financial and macroeconomic issues affecting emerging markets. He is a much sought-after speaker, having spoken in the last several years in such places as: the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow; the Writers’ Union in Sofia, Bulgaria; the Oxford Business School; Darwin and Corpus Christi Colleges at Cambridge University; the RAND Business School in California; the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, the Central Bank of Chile; Imperial College in London; the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London; the Friends’ Meeting House in Canterbury; the Shakespeare Library in Moscow, the India Economic Summit in New Delhi, the China Business Summit in Beijing, Marlborough House in London, the New York Stock Exchange, the Aspen Institute in Washington DC, the Australian Leadership Retreat, the International Leadership Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Microsoft’s 2007 Government Leaders Forums in Edinburgh and Cartagena, the European Business School in Frankfurt, the 2008 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, among many others.