Augusto López-Claros is Director of Global Indicators and Analysis with the World Bank Group, the department responsible for the Doing Business Report, in addition to a number of other benchmarking studies, such as Investing Across Borders and Women, Business and the Law. Earlier in his career he was the Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. In this capacity he traveled extensively and engaged with some of the senior policymakers in government and the business community on the policy and institutional requirements that are associated with improvements in the business environment. For many years he was the editor of the Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
He has a degree in mathematical statistics from Cambridge University, England, and he got a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University in the United States. Before joining the Forum in 2003 he was the Executive Director and Senior International Economist with Lehman Brothers International in London. During his 5-year stay with Lehman he wrote extensively on a broad range of financial and economic topics. As part of this research work and to meet with Lehman clients he traveled extensively in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia. He is a frequent commentator on economic and financial issues, having given well over 150 TV interviews during the past decade on all the major networks.
During his years of service at the Fund his assignments included being country economist for Spain; working in the Fund’s main policy making department, where he begun to work on Eastern Europe and did some of the early work at the Fund on good governance. In the period 1992 to 1995 he was the IMF Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, where he was responsible for program implementation issues in the context of the IMF’s multibillion dollar program of assistance to the Russian Federation. His stay in Russia was followed by a one-year sabbatical in Moscow, an opportunity he used to do research (subsequently published by the IMF) and to travel extensively throughout Russia to gain a broader perspective on the transition. Prior to his service with the IMF, he was Professor of Economics at the University of Chile, Santiago, where, in addition to his teaching duties, he also headed a research team financed by the Ministry of Health which examined economic aspects of alcohol abuse in Chile.
Dr. Lopez-Claros has written and lectured extensively on a wide range of topics in his field, including European economic integration, reform issues in transition economies, the European Monetary System, the determinants of competitiveness, and on a broad range of financial and macroeconomic issues which are affecting emerging markets. He is a much sought-after international speaker, having lectured in the last several years at: the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow; the Oxford Business School; Darwin and Corpus Christi Colleges at Cambridge University; the New York Stock Exchange; the Aspen Institute in Washington DC; the Australian Leadership Retreat; the International Leadership Forum in Kuala Lumpur; the European Business School in Frankfurt; the 2008 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York; The Economist’s Emerging Markets Summit; the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford, as well as keynote presentations for Microsoft in the United States, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, among many others.
In 2007 he was co-editor of The International Monetary System, the IMF, and the G-20: A Great Transformation in the Making? and also The Humanitarian Response Index: Measuring Commitment to Best Practice, both of which were published by Palgrave. He is the editor of The Innovation for Development Report 2009-2010: Strengthening Innovation for the Prosperity of Nations, published by Palgrave in November of 2009 and The Innovation for Development Report 2010-2011: Innovation as a Driver of Productivity and Economic Growth, published by Palgrave in late 2010. In 2009 he was appointed honorary professor at the European Business School in Frankfurt.