Practice Manager, World Bank
Dr. Robin Mearns is a Practice Manager for Social Sustainability and Inclusion (SSI) in the South Asia region at the World Bank. He was trained as a geographer specializing in rural livelihoods and community-based approaches to the management of land, natural resources, and risk in Africa and Asia. In his career at the World Bank to date, he has served as team leader for operations, analytical and policy advisory activities in East Asia and Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Asia regions, primarily in community-driven development, natural resource management, land policy, and climate change, and in Africa Region as Sustainable Development Sector/Program Leader, and most recently Practice Manager for Social Development in East, Horn and Central Africa. In this capacity, he was closely involved with operationalizing GBV response and prevention activities and supporting the rollout of the GBV Action Plan following the Uganda Inspection Panel case. Prior to joining the Bank, Dr. Mearns spent a decade in policy research and teaching at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and the International Institute of Environment and Development, London. He holds a Ph.D. and MA degrees in Geography (University of Cambridge), an MPhil in Development Studies (University of Sussex), and has published extensively on environment and sustainable development.
Diana J. Arango
Senior Gender Specialist, World Bank
Diana J. Arango is the Sr. Gender-Based Violence and Development Specialist in the Gender Group of the World Bank. She has dedicated her career to working on gender-based violence in humanitarian and development contexts. During her career, she has worked at the Global Women’s Institute at George Washington University, UNFPA, the Pan-American Health Organization, and UNHCR. She has an MSc from the London School of Economics in Anthropology and Development and has on-the-ground experience in several countries in every region of the globe, including her home country of Colombia.
Operations Officer, World Bank
Shabnam Hameed is the Global Lead, Workplace Responses to Gender-Based Violence for International Finance Corporation. Through thought leadership and development and delivery of tools to address gender-based violence as a workplace issue, she supports the private sector to address GBV risks, improve employee and community well-being, and create a safe and resilient workplace. Prior to working for IFC, Shabnam was instrumental in establishing domestic and family violence as a workplace issue in relevant Australian legislation; and developing, implementing, and evaluating workplace responses to GBV.
Education Specialist, World Bank
Kumar Vivek works with the World Bank's Education Global Practice and is also an Education Technology Fellow for the South Asia Region. He leads several analytical and lending activities on school education, teacher education, and skill development. Kumar’s current research projects focus on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in the governance of education systems. Prior to joining the World Bank, Kumar worked with the Prime Minister's advisory office of the Government of India, and with a management consulting firm in the United States and Mexico. Kumar holds engineering and management degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Dhanbad and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kozhikode respectively.
Bushra Binte Alam
Senior Health Specialist, World Bank
Dr. Bushra Alam leads the WB HNP program in Bangladesh and supports projects in Sri Lanka. She has 25 years of experience working with Government and partners, including UNFPA and DFID. Dr. Alam co-led the design of two HNP sector programs in Bangladesh. She also led the design of the Health and Gender Support Project (HGSP) in Cox’s Bazar district, hosting around 1 million Rohingya from Myanmar. The HGSP seeks to improve district HNP services, particularly the health sector’s integrated response to gender-based violence. Dr. Alam designed the UN-MNH (Maternal and Neonatal Health) program in Bangladesh, implemented jointly by 3 UN agencies, and supported the finalization of the “Joint-UN MNH Program” in the Philippines. Dr. Alam is qualified as a medical doctor with an MSc from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and an M. Phil in Preventive and Social Medicine. She has spoken at national and international conferences including the International Conference on Urban Poverty and is actively involved in policy dialogue on health and social issues.
Senior Operations Officer, IFC
Amy manages gender programs, engages private sector clients, and advises colleagues on gender and inclusion issues across East Asia Pacific at the International Financial Corporation (IFC). Amy’s work, and that of the team she leads, is aimed at improving business outcomes through investing in workplace gender equality; including women in agribusiness value chains; facilitating access to finance and access to markets for women entrepreneurs; reaching female consumers as a distinct market segment; and addressing gender-based violence. Previously, Ms. Luinstra managed the Better Work program for IFC, a partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and over 70 leading clothing brands that has improved the working conditions of over 3 million garment workers worldwide. Ms. Luinstra has worked at the ILO in Geneva and as a social protection and labor policy specialist at the World Bank.
Senior Social Development Specialist, World Bank
Leora Ward is a Senior Social Development Specialist and GBV Coordinator for South Asia at the World Bank with more than 15 years of experience working on violence against women and girls issues in humanitarian contexts. She most recently served as a Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of State- Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration where she was responsible for overseeing gender equality policy and programs in refugee and mixed migration crises. Before that, she was Senior Technical Advisor at the International Rescue Committee, where she provided strategic direction, thought leadership, and technical support to women’s protection and empowerment programs in countries experiencing conflict and displacement around the world. Leora has a Master's degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University and in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently teaches women’s rights and gender-based violence in emergencies as an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University.