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UC Berkeley Press Release

Business professor appointed to World Bank

– The World Bank has appointed Paul J. Gertler, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business and the School of Public Health, as chief economist in its Human Development Network, effective Monday, Aug. 23.

"I see my role as trying to move World Bank advice and assistance to developing countries to be based more on what we know works, and in those cases in which we don't have evidence, to rigorously develop the evidence base through evaluation," said Gertler.

The World Bank is a development bank that provides loans, policy advice, technical assistance and services to reduce poverty in low and middle income nations.

Gertler's research has focused on the link between health, education and poverty. He has spent recent years studying the Mexican anti-poverty program PROGRESA, a conditional cash transfer anti-poverty program that significantly reduced childhood illness, increased the health of babies and pregnant mothers among the Mexican participants, and indicated that proper health care can help end the poverty cycle among the poor.

In addition to his faculty appointment at the Haas School, Gertler is the executive director of the business school's Graduate Program in Health Services Management and professor of health services finance at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. He joined the faculty in 1996 and will be on leave during his World Bank appointment.

He previously served for the RAND Corporation as senior economist, and as an assistant professor at Harvard University and State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has experience in consulting and policy-making with international agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations and World Health Organization, as well as governments in Latin America and Asia, and private corporations.

Gertler received the Kenneth Arrow Award in Health Economics in 1996, and an Academic Career Leadership Award from the U.S. National Institutes of Health in 2000.