Advisory Council

Introducing the Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is a group of high profile experts and representatives from the World Bank Group and partner institutions with extensive knowledge in data, climate change, development economics and programs. Advisors are critical stakeholders supporting the challenge’s focus areas and will provide guidance on the selection of the winning submissions.

  • Marianne Fay

    Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency, The World Bank

    Marianne Fay is currently the Chief Economist of the Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency at the World Bank and previously served as the Chief Economist for Climate Change. She has contributed to a number of World Development Reports, notably the World Development Report 2010 on Development and Climate Change which she co-directed, and led a number of recent World Bank reports, such as Inclusive Green growth: the Pathway to Sustainable Development and Decarbonizing Development: Three Steps to a Zero-Carbon Future. She has held positions in different regions of the World Bank (Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa), working on infrastructure, urbanization, and climate change. She is the author of a number of articles and books on these topics. Marianne Fay is a founding member of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform and holds a PhD in Economics from Columbia University.

  • Julia Bucknall

    Director, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank Group

    Julia Bucknall is Director for Environment and Natural Resources at the World Bank. She has worked in every region of the world on operations and knowledge relating to environment, water resources management, climate change and energy. She was the lead author of a flagship publication on water in the Middle East “Making the Most of Scarcity” and a core team member for the 2010 World Development Report on Climate Change. She has studied at Cambridge University and MIT, where she earned a Master in Environmental Policy and Planning.

  • Haishan Fu

    Director, Development Data Group, The World Bank

    Haishan Fu is the Director of the World Bank’s Development Data Group, overseeing its development monitoring and open data initiative, statistical capacity building and global statistical programs. As an Ex-Officio member of the WBG Data Council and Co-Chair of the Development Data Directors group, Haishan leads and coordinates the development and implementation of development data agenda at the Bank. She is an active leader in the global statistical community, serving on UNSG’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, Council of the International Statistical Institute, Executive Committee of PARIS21, and chairing various global steering committees and management groups. Prior to joining the Bank in 2014, Haishan was Director of UNESCAP’s Statistics Division, leading the strategic development of Regional Statistics Programs in Asia and the Pacific. During her time as Chief of Statistics of UNDP’s Human Development Report between 1999 and 2005, Haishan led the transformation of the Report’s statistical quality and credibility. Haishan holds a Ph.D. in Demography from Princeton University and a B.A. in Economics from Peking University.

  • William Hoffman

    Assoc. Director, World Economic Forum

    William Hoffman heads the World Economic Forum’s initiatives on Data-Driven Development and a global community of industry, civil society, government and academic leaders focused on leveraging data for sustainable development. William’s focus at the Forum addresses the need for principle-based governance, demand-based innovation and the need for a balanced, inclusive and sustainable data ecology. In particular, he leads a multi-year initiative on advancing the need for human-centered approaches which empower individuals with greater autonomy and data literacy.

    Prior to joining the World Economic Forum, William was the Director of Enterprise Marketing at AT&T. He serves as an advisor and board member to a number of start-ups which focus on innovative uses of data for the common good.

  • Robert Kirkpatrick

    Director of UN Global Pulse

    Robert Kirkpatrick is a social innovator who has spent more than 20 years in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors working at the intersection of technology, public policy, and organizational change. He is the Director of Global Pulse, an innovation initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General harnessing data science for sustainable development and humanitarian action. At Global Pulse, Robert oversees a network of data science innovation labs in Jakarta, Kampala, and New York, which partner with government, UN agencies, academia and private sector to develop data analytics solutions for monitoring, early warning and crisis response. He has been a leading voice in shaping the emerging Big Data for Development community of practice and is widely recognized as the founder and mobilizer-in-chief of the Data Philanthropy movement, in which corporations put insights from big data to work for the public good.
    Prior to joining the United Nations, Robert co-founded and led software development for two pioneering private-sector humanitarian technology teams, first at tech startup Groove Networks, and later as Lead Architect for Microsoft Humanitarian Systems. From 2007-2009 he served as CTO of the non-profit InSTEDD.
    Robert is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Data-Driven Development, the UN Global Working Group on Big Data for Official Statistics, the UN Crisis Information Management Advisory Group, and the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. He also serves on InSTEDD’s Board of Directors.

  • Beth Beck

    Open Innovation Program Manager, NASA

    Beth Beck is passionate about public service. She views innovation and collaboration as tools to challenge bureaucratic status quo. As NASA’s Open Innovation Program Manager, Beth leads the http://SpaceAppsChallenge, a two-day hackathon with over 15,000 participants in 161 cities from 61 countries, who created nearly 1300 innovative solutions using NASA data. To remedy the imbalance women to men at Space Apps, she and her team created NASA’s Women in Data focus with two new initiatives: Data Bootcamp and Datanaut Corps. Beth co-founded the award-winning program to demonstrate relevance between scarce resources on Earth and life in the extremely hostile environment of space. She received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal for innovative public outreach programs and the Aerospace Awareness Award by the Women in Aerospace and was recognized by FedScoop as one of DC’s Top Women in Tech two years in a row. Beth, a Phi Beta Kappa, received both graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in government and LBJ School of Public Affairs, and is a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech. Her dissertation topic is Innovation through Complex Collaboration. You can find Beth on social media: @bethbeck and LinkedIn:

  • Paul Zeitz

    Director, Data Revolution for Sustainable Development Team, U.S. Dept. of State

    Dr. Paul Zeitz serves as the Director of the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development Team at the U.S. Department of State. In this role, he is spearheading efforts to harness the data revolution for sustainable development. He co-coordinates an internal USG working group on the data revolution for sustainable development and he actively participates on the governing body of recently launched Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. Dr. Zeitz is co-leading the “Data Collaboratives for Local Impact” initiative supported by the MCC-PEPFAR Partnership. Zeitz is a human rights advocate with over 25 years of experience working in public health and global development in over 40 developing nations, including work to influence public policy in global health and HIV/AIDS, children’s rights, gender equality, the MDGs, the SDGs, budget and fiscal transparency, universal education, advancing mutual accountability, climate resilience, and sustainable development.