Helena Ribe is an international development economist, recently retired from the World Bank. She has worked with policy-makers, academics and civil society organizations all over the world. Her recent book (coauthored): “From Right to Reality: Incentives, Labor Markets and the Challenge of Universal Social Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean” has been widely quoted including in The Economist and in the World Development Reports published by the World Bank. She holds a Masters and a PhD in Economics from Yale University.
She had a number of senior managerial positions in the World Bank. Her last assignment was as manager of the Social Protection program in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her program’s objective was to improve social protection systems to extend coverage of health services and pensions; to improve employment, training and information services; to foster awareness of the causes and solutions to malnutrition; and to improve safety nets to protect the most vulnerable from economic shocks and natural disasters. Previously, she managed the World Bank’s programs of studies, technical assistance and financing in Human Development in Southern and West Africa.
Helena has appeared frequently in the media. She was profiled by CNN as a successful Latin American working in the United States. She appeared in a BBC documentary, on the PBS News Hour with Ray Suarez, in the New York Times by Tina Rosenberg, on CNN with Gabriela Frias, on NPR’s Marketplace with Jeff Tyler, and in the Latin American TV, press and radio. She is a frequent speaker in Conferences and academia (most recently at Columbia and Harvard Universities).
She is now a non-profit Director and economic development consultant, and is involved in community and cultural activities in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Pro-Mujer International, of the Northern New Mexico Radio Foundation, of the Women's International Study Center and of the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship. She also serves on the organizing committee of the Mentor to Market program of the Folk Art Market in Santa Fe and mentors Cuban artists.
Helena was born in Colombia and is a US citizen. She is the mother of Matthew and Isabel, lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in Bethesda, Maryland.