Malawi has new World Bank Country Manager: Laura Kullenberg

The World Bank has appointed an American national, Laura Kullenberg, as the new Country Manager for its Malawi office.

Kullenberg’s appointment is with effective from 1st July 2013, according to the World Bank Communications Officer Zeria Banda.

She replaces Sandra Bloemenkamp, a Dutch national, who returns to the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC as Manager for Global Partnerships and Trust Funds after being at the helm of the World Bank Malawi office for three and half years.

According to Banda, Kullenberg first assumed the role of the World Bank’s Country Manager for South Sudan in March 2011 after she joined it in 1999 as Senior Evaluation officer in Independent Evaluation Group, followed by field assignments as Operations Officer in Colombia and Kosovo.

Laura Kullenberg: New World Bank boss in Malawi
Laura Kullenberg: New World Bank boss in Malawi

Before coming to the Bank, Kullenberg worked for almost two decades for the United Nations and a large NGO, focusing on emergency and post conflict programs as well as local development and decentralization operations.

“She has worked extensively in Asia, Latin America and Africa, particularly in less-developed countries and fragile states,” said Banda.

In the mid 1980s, Kullenberg ran Oxfam America’s emergency relief and rehabilitation programs in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan, based in Addis Ababa for five years.

She then joined United Nations Capital Development Fund and was responsible for the Fund’s capital investment programs in Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

She subsequently became Director of Policy and Evaluation where she focused on decentralization programs and policy.

Just after the Kosovo war in 1999, she served as a member of the UN Advance Team to launch the international system’s post-war response effort in that country.

She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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