Axel van Trotsenburg, an economist and development expert with over 30 years of experience at the World Bank Group, has been appointed Vice President for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, effective February 1st. Mr. van Trotsenburg will manage Bank relations with 31 countries and a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants of about US$30 billion.
Mr. van Trotsenburg returns to a region where he previously was Country Director for Colombia and Mexico, from July 2007 to July 2009; and Country Director to Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, from 2002 to July 2007. In the beginning of his career, he also worked as Country Economist for Guatemala.
“I am pleased to work again in Latin America and the Caribbean to build even stronger partnerships with the region’s governments and civil society to promote sustainable development and opportunities for all,” Mr. van Trotsenburg said. “The World Bank is ready to continue serving the region with our expertise to address the rapidly changing challenges of our time, with the main focus of improving people’s lives.”
At a time when weaker global growth threatens the region’s economies, many countries face the challenges of protecting the social gains achieved over the last decades and satisfying people’s rising aspirations. In addition, the unprecedented massive exodus of migrants in recent years has increased pressure on the region’s economic recovery.
To address these and other challenges, the World Bank provides a comprehensive package of services, including knowledge, advisory work, technical assistance, and finance. With the recently approved capital increase, the Bank stands ready to support an ambitious agenda for the future. Going forward, the World Bank is committed to heavily invest in infrastructure, social protection, as well as in health and education to better protect and prepare the region’s most important capital: its people. Sustainable and inclusive development will remain a priority, as reflected in the Bank’s program, among others, in climate change, strengthening governance, and expanding opportunities for all.
Mr. van Trotsenburg was most recently the World Bank Vice President of Development Finance (DFi), where he oversaw the strategic mobilization of resources, including for the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), as well as a multibillion-dollar trust fund portfolio. He co-led the World Bank Group’s efforts to obtain a capital increase, which resulted in shareholders endorsing a transformative capital package in April 2018, including an increase in IBRD capital by US$60 billion. He also led the policy negotiations and replenishment process for two IDA replenishments, which together mobilized a record US$125 billion for programs in the world’s poorest countries.
Apart from his experience in managing World Bank finances, Mr. van Trotsenburg has had extensive experience in country operations and managing regional programs. Prior to his role as Vice President of DFi, he served as Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region from 2013 to 2016.
From 1996 to 2001, he was the Senior Manager of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, the largest and most comprehensive debt relief program for poor countries, which delivered debt relief packages of close to US$30 billion for 20 countries.
Mr. van Trotsenburg, a dual Dutch and Austrian citizen, holds a master’s and a doctorate degree in economics and a master’s degree in international affairs.
The previous Latin America and Caribbean Vice President, Jorge Familiar, is now Vice President for Finance and World Bank Group Controller.