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October 13, 2016

Georgetown Students Attend World Bank Annual Meeting

Georgetown Students Attend World Bank Annual Meeting

From October 7 to 9, a delegation of Georgetown students attended the 2016 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. While the students represented a wide variety of class years, majors, and schools, all of them had a strong interest in international development. Most of them are currently enrolled in the India Innovation Studio: Designing for Droughts, a studio-based class that works to design policy solutions to some of India's most pressing challenges by examining them through an interdisciplinary lens. 

While at the meetings, the students had the opportunity to attend public events and panel discussions on topics including financial inclusion, fragility and conflict, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At these events, they heard from practitioners including Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The delegation also had several one-on-one meetings with some of the World Bank's most senior staff. They met with Stephanie von Friedeburg, chief information officer and vice president of information and technology solutions, and they learned about the Bank's 2017 World Development Report on governance and law from Yongmei Zhou, practice manager for fragility, conflict, and violence. They also spoke with Deborah Wetzel, senior director for the Governance Global Practice, and met with the country managers for China, Brazil, and Bolivia.

The meetings left a lasting impression with the Georgetown students, who are already applying the lessons they learned at the World Bank to their studies on campus. Meredith Peng (SFS'17) reflected on the importance of inclusion in development work. She said that "having the opportunity to see and hear from World Bank officials, development experts, and country leaders was an amazing experience that gave us a unique perspective on international development politics. Two things resonated with me: that mobilizing refugees into productive jobs is a vital step towards addressing fragility and development, and that we need more women and people of non-western backgrounds in higher-level positions at the World Bank and IMF."

Additionally, Patrick Drown (SFS'17) commented on the diversity of World Bank projects, and how this inspired him to think broadly about potential career options in the future. He stated: "As a student who is interested in working in the development sector, being able to interact with professionals who work at the World Bank really illuminated for me the different kinds of projects and topics that employees at the World Bank work on and the various career paths that exist within the development sector. I often read about the projects that the World Bank pursues, and it was exciting and informative to be able to talk to people who work on these projects."

After meeting with so many influential and innovative practitioners, the Georgetown students were inspired to apply what they learned to their studies and work experiences in the development sector.