Dr Jo Beall and Professor Martha Chen join the WIDER Board

Dr Jo Beall and Professor Martha Chen have joined the WIDER Board as new members to serve a four-year term until 31 December 2020.

The Board of the Institute — comprised of economists, policy makers, and social scientists from different regions of the world — seeks to ensure the highest level of intellectual and scientific excellence, advising on UNU-WIDER’s research programme and activities. The advisory Board is entrusted by the UNU Council.

Jo Beall is Director of Education and Society and on the Executive Board of the British Council. She was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) with responsibility for academic affairs and internationalization; before joining UCT she was at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she was Professor of Development Studies and director of the Development Studies Institute. She has conducted research in Africa and Asia, specializing on gender and social exclusion and urban poverty and urban governance, with a recent focus on cities in situations of conflict and state fragility. Since taking up her role at the British Council Jo has begun writing on international higher education. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Open University. She has held honorary professorships at Universidad Externado in Colombia, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town, and University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and is currently a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.

Martha Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, an Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and International Coordinator of the global research–policy–action network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialization are employment, gender and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. Before joining Harvard in 1987, she had two decades of resident experience in Bangladesh, working with BRAC, and in India, where she served as field representative of Oxfam America. Dr Chen received a PhD in South Asia Regional Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded a high civilian award, the Padma Shri, by the Government of India in April 2011; and a Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War award by the Government of Bangladesh in December 2012.

We warmly welcome Joe Beall and Martha Chen to the UNU-WIDER family.

The current WIDER Board consists of Dr Jo Beall, Professor Haroon Bhorat, Professor Martha Chen, Professor Ravi Kanbur (Chair), Dr Kristiina Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos, Professor Miguel Urquiola, Dr Ling Zhu, and Dr David M. Malone (ex officio), Professor Finn Tarp (ex officio).

Photo: WIDER Board, including outgoing members Professors Anne Case and Elisabeth Sadoulet, with staff in November 2016.