Isabel Guerrero

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Isabel Guerrero is the co-founder of IMAGO Global Grassroots, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, and an economist with a long career in development.[1] In addition to her work with IMAGO, she teaches "Scaling Up for the Development Impact" at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and she is a Senior Lecturer in leadership at the MIT Sloan School of Management.[2] Guerrero serves on the board of the Presencing Institute at MIT and is a Council Member of the United Nations University.[3]


Guerrero was born in Santiago, Chile where her mother and father were both lawyers. Her father was one of the pioneers who created the Acuerdo de Cartagena, an agreement that gave rise to the Andean Group in 1969, which is now known as the Andean Community of Nations (1996).[4] The purpose of this agreement was to ensure a persistent improvement in the standard of living of the inhabitants of the subregion in Latin America.[4]

At the age of 12, Guerrero moved with her family to Lima, Peru where she attended Villa Maria Academy for her primary and secondary school education. In 1979, Guerrero graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru with a bachelor's degree in economics. She went on to pursue a master's degree in economics at the London School of Economics and trained as a psychoanalyst with the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and the Instituto Psicológico Peruano.[5]

Guerrero is married to Michael Walton, a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, Delhi.[6] In addition to teaching at the Kennedy School, Walton leads the research capacity at IMAGO Global Grassroots.[7]


IMAGO Global Grassroots Isabel co-founded IMAGO Global Grassroots with Zachary Green in 2014.[8] IMAGO is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with social entrepreneurs and grassroots organizations to transform poverty into dignity and material well-being.[9] The IMAGO team works with clients to discover strategic dilemmas, identify cross-cutting themes, and develops pathways to sustainable growth and attainable development. While the need to strengthen organizational capacity is a global one, IMAGO’s current work is geographically focused in South Asia and Latin America.

The World Bank Most of Guerrero’s professional career took place within the structures of the international development system at the World Bank. In 1982, she started at the bank as a macroeconomist, designing policy reforms from the World Bank adjustment operations in the Philippines, Morocco, and the Former Soviet Union.[2] Between 1997 and 2008, Guerrero served as country director in Bolivia,[10] Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru,[10] Colombia, Mexico, and India.[11][12] She designed the World Bank Country Strategy for each of these countries, covering a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, social development, environment, private sector development, rural development and livelihood programmes, the financial sector, macroeconomics, and trade policy.[11] On July 1, 2008 Guerrero was appointed the World Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia Region.[13] In this position, she managed a US$39 billion portfolio, a staff of 800, a US$150 million administrative budget and US$6 billion in Trust Funds.[14][2] Guerrero served in this position for five years, retiring from the bank in 2013.[2]

Papers and publications

As a scholar and a practitioner, Guerrero has developed a body of written work in the areas of leadership, social, sustainable and economic development.

  • with Larry Cooley,“The Broken Part in the Business Model in Taking Development Outcomes to Scale”, 2016.
  • “Lessons in Feminine Leadership”, Seminar No 619 Special edition on Women in Peace, New Delhi, India. March 2011
  • with Luis Felipe López-Calva and Michael Walton, in Santiago Levy and Michael Walton (eds) No Growth without Equity? Inequality, Interests and Competition in Mexico. Palgrave Macmillan and the World Bank, 2009.
  • “Listening to Beneficiaries to Improve Development Effectiveness”, June 30, 2002.
  • with William H. Branson, Bernhard Gunther, World Bank Institute, “Patterns of Development. 1970-1994”, 1998.
  • World Bank Country Study: "Kazakhstan: The Transition to a Market Economy", August 1993.
  • Country Assistance Strategy for Kazakhstan, Gray Cover, July 1993.
  • Country Assistance Strategy for Kyrgyzstan, Gray Cover, April 1993
  • President's Report for a Proposed Second Structural Adjustment Loan, for Morocco. May 1992. Report 5637-MOR.
  • Kingdom of Morocco: "Sustained In vestment and Growth in the Nineties" (Gray cover), Nov 15, 1990. Report 8417-MOR.
  • Royaume du Maroc: "Croissance et Investissement Soutenu au Cours des Années 90", French version of the above report. Rapport 8417-MOR.
  • Morocco: President's Report for a Debt Service Reduction Operation, Nov. 1989. Morocco: "Macroeconomic Update", Oct 13, 1989 (Yellow Cover), Report 8163-MOR.
  • with Mario Blejer, The Impact of Macroeconomic Policies on Income Distribution: An Empirical Study of the Philippines”, August 1990. Review of Economics and Statistics (vol. LXXII, N.3).
  • Burma: Country Economic Memorandum (Green Cover). February, 1989. Report 7506-BA.
  • with Ronald Findlay, "A Reform Program for the Burmese Economy", December 1988.
  • with Mario Blejer, "Stabilization Policies and Income Distribution in the Philippines: the incidence of adjustment over /980- 86", for Finance and Development, Volume 25, Number 4, December 1988.
  • Philippines: The Challenge of Poverty, Gray Cover. October 1988. Report 7144-PH.
  • "Philippines: Trade Liberalization. Policy Management. and Microeconomic Adjustment”.
  • With Mario Blejer, "The Impact of Macroeconomic Policies on Income Distribution", July 1988 (IMF working paper WP/88157).
  • Philippines: A Framework for Economic Recovery. A World Bank Country Study, The World Bank, July 1987. (Published as a red cover).
  • "Inconsistency in Macroeconomic Policy: the Case of the Philippines 1980- 83." Background paper prepared for the 1986 WDR. It was summarized in a box: "Trade and Pricing Policies in World Agriculture".
  • "Export Competitiveness. Trade Reform. and the Real Exchange Rate in the Philippines"
  • Editor and Supervisor of a Research Project on Trade Policies in the Philippines. A summary of the results was published as "Trade Liberalization in the Philippines: Assessment of Progress and Agenda for Future Reform," October 1986, East Asia and Pacific Regional Series, WB.
  • "Import Quotas and Trade Liberalization in the Philippines", Yellow Cover, 1984


  1. "Ms Isabel Guerrero Pulgar" (in en-US). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Isabel Guerrero Pulgar" (in en). 
  3. "Ms Isabel Guerrero Pulgar - United Nations University" (in en-US). 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Acuerdo de Cartagena" (in es). 
  5. "Skoll | Isabel Guerrero". 
  6. School, Harvard Kennedy. "Michael Walton" (in en). 
  7. School, Harvard Kennedy. "Michael Walton" (in en). 
  8. "About Us" (in en-US). Imago Global Grassroots. 
  9. "IMAGO Global Grassroots - GuideStar Profile" (in en). 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dumphy, Harry (22 November 1997). "World Bank to Aid El Nino Victims". The Times. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Skoll | Isabel Guerrero". 
  12. Pinglay, Prachi (7 December 2007). "India seeks World Bank rupee loan". 
  13. "WB Assures Karzai of Continued Assistance". Pajhwok Afghan News. 8 December 2009. 
  14. Guerrero, Isabel (2010-03-02). "Isabel Guerrero" (in en). 

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