New World Bank Country Director for China, Mongolia and Korea
BEIJING — The World Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Mara Warwick as the World Bank’s new Country Director for China and Mongolia and Director for Korea, effective today. Based in Beijing, Ms. Warwick leads a team that is managing an evolving partnership with China, a growing program of support to Mongolia, and a deepening knowledge partnership with Korea focused on innovation and technology.
Ms. Warwick has a distinguished World Bank career, serving as Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in her last post. She also has extensive experience in China, Mongolia and Korea, having worked as Portfolio and Operations Manager for these countries in 2012-2016. She has lived in China several times since 1994, including in Beijing when she was the World Bank’s Senior Urban Environment Specialist from 2006-2010.
Ms. Warwick also served in 2016-2020 as World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Previously she was Sector Coordinator for Sustainable Development in Türkiye. Trained as an environmental engineer, she has expertise in flood management, urban environmental services, and disaster risk management. Before joining the World Bank in 2003, she worked as an engineer in the private sector. Ms. Warwick received her B.E. in Civil Engineering from the University of Adelaide, Australia and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in the US.
“I am very pleased to come back to China, Mongolia, and Korea,” said Ms. Warwick. “Over the years, I have witnessed firsthand the significant developments in the region since the 1990s. I look forward to working closely with all three countries, as vital World Bank partners, to help address development challenges and strengthen knowledge sharing.”
An Australian national, Ms. Warwick succeeds Martin Raiser, who has moved to Washington, DC to take on the role of Vice President for South Asia.
Over the last forty years, the World Bank’s relationship with China has evolved from one where China was a recipient of World Bank financial and technical assistance, to one where China is now also a contributor to the World Bank. The Bank’s lending and analytical programs in China today are focused on global public goods and institutional reforms to scale up impact, with knowledge and advisory services expected to play a growing role. The lending program has focused on marine plastics, biodiversity and water pollution control in China’s largest rivers, green agriculture, green finance, and food safety. The analytical program is similarly targeting China’s green transition across sectors.
Over the last three decades, the World Bank has provided over US$1.4 billion in development financing to Mongolia. Today, the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework for Mongolia guides the Bank’s work to support Mongolia in overcoming COVID-19 and new emerging crises while working toward a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient recovery, with a strong focus on job creation and climate resilience.
The World Bank’s work in the Republic of Korea has evolved to match the country’s changing needs as it transformed from low-income to a high-income economy and a global leader in innovation and technology. Through the World Bank Group Korea Office, the World Bank hosts partnerships and joint projects with Korean partners to help developing countries enhance financial sector management, promote green growth innovation and share know-how about information and communication technology.