The Challenge of Driving Prosperity: Growth Diagnostics and Sustainable Development


Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 11:45am to 1:00pm


Perkins Room (R429) - Rubenstein 4th Floor

Speakers: Miguel Angel Santos, Senior Research Fellow, CID (Jordan, Panama, Venezuela, sub-national Mexico)
Douglas Barrios, Research Fellow, CID (Venezuela, sub-national Mexico)
Tim O'Brien, Research Fellow, CID (Sri Lanka, Albania, Jordan)

About the talk: This panel discussion will focus on how to overcome the implementation challenges that arise when doing growth diagnostics, make high bandwidth development policies politically viable, and combine economic growth with social and environmental sustainability. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A with the speakers. 

About the speakers: Miguel Angel Santos is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University. At CID, he has been involved in various research projects aimed at helping governments to rethink their development strategies, both at the national and sub-national levels. Since he joined CID in August 2014, he has been involved in projects at the national level in Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela, and at the sub-national level in Mexico in the states of Chiapas, Baja California, Tabasco and Campeche; and the city of Hermosillo at Sonora state. He has also performed as project manager in the projects leading to the build-up of the Mexican Atlas of Economic Complexity, and the Peruvian Atlas of Economic Complexity. Before joining the field of international development, Miguel worked for ten years in corporate finance and business development in Latin America, performing as Director of Finance for the Cisneros Group of Companies (1997-2003), Head of Corporate Finance for Mercantil Servicios Financieros (2005-2007), and Business Vice-President for Sony Pictures and Entertainment Latin America (2008-2009). At that point, he decided to switch tracks and get involved in development economics. He holds two Master of Science degrees in International Finance and Trade (2011) and Economics (2012) from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University (2014), and a Ph.D. in Economics at Universidad de Barcelona (2016). He was the head of the Macroeconomic Policy Team for presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski in the Venezuelan elections of 2012.

Douglas Barrios joined the Center for International Development's Growth Lab as a Research Fellow in 2013. Before joining CID he worked in McKinsey’s Bogotá office as a Public Sector Specialist where he served public and social sector organizations throughout Latin America in a broad set of topics ranging from ICT promotion strategies to education policy design. Other previous experience include serving as an external policy adviser for local governments as well as political campaigns in Venezuela. His research interests are focused on urban dynamics, natural resource extraction and rent management, behavioral economics and the political economics behind policy design. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the Universidad Metropolitana (Venezuela) and a Masters in Public Administration and International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School (MPA-ID 2012).

Tim O’Brien joined CID in 2015 and has worked on both Growth Lab and Building State Capability projects. He has led growth diagnostic research in Albania and Sri Lanka. Tim holds a Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University. Tim served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi from 2008-2010 and has experience working with the World Bank and in environmental engineering. Tim’s research interests center on the challenges of economic transformation and adapting to climate change in developing countries and vulnerable communities.

Sponsored by International Development Professional Interest Council, a Harvard Kennedy School student organization. 

See also: Event, Growth Lab