Vikram Nehru is a senior associate in the Asia Program and Bakrie Chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the Carnegie Endowment. An expert on development economics, growth, poverty reduction, debt sustainability, governance, and the performance and prospects of East Asia, his research focuses on the economic, political, and strategic issues confronting Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.
From 1981 to 2011, Nehru served in the World Bank, including in a number of senior management positions. Most recently, he was chief economist and director for poverty reduction, economic management, and private and financial sector development for East Asia and the Pacific. In this capacity, he advised the governments of developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific on economic and governance issues, including macroeconomic management, public sector and public financial management, financial and private sector development, and poverty reduction.
Previously, he directed the World Bank’s Economic Policy and Debt Department, where he was responsible for managing global programs for debt relief and for developing new tools and techniques for growth analytics, fiscal-policy analysis, subnational and regional development, and small-states development. In addition, he chaired the bank’s Economic Policy Sector Board, which provided strategic leadership for all of its country and macroeconomists.
In leading the World Bank’s Debt Department, Nehru managed the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, Debt Sustainability Framework, Debt Reduction Facility, Debt Management Facility, Debt Management Performance Assessment Program, and Medium Term Debt Strategies for Developing Countries.
His portfolio at the World Bank also included serving as lead economist on Indonesia and China as well as senior economist for Ghana. Prior to joining the World Bank, he held an administrative position with the government of India.
Nehru has written numerous journal articles and contributed to several books. His papers include: “East Asia and the Pacific Confronts the ‘New Normal’”; “The Concept of Odious Debt: Some Considerations”; “When is External Debt Sustainable?”; “Indonesia in Crisis”; and “China 2020: Development Challenges in the New Century.”