Dr. Wendy Cunningham

Dr. Wendy Cunningham

Dr. Wendy Cunningham is the World Bank’s Sector Leader for Human Development for Mexico and Colombia. In this role, Wendy oversees the education, child development, health, social protection, social assistance, and labor market programs that the World Bank has with the governments of Colombia and Mexico. Before taking on this role, Dr. Cunningham was the Coordinator of the World Bank’s program on Child and Youth Development where she led the Bank’s efforts to provide evidence-based program and policy advice on a range of child and youth development issues in developing countries, with a particular focus on early child development and youth employment. Her team’s work was a catalyst for incorporating statistical evidence and evidence based policy into the global youth development dialogue and policy.

Previously, Wendy spent several years as a senior economist in the World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean Region where she led studies and projects in social protection, labor markets, and youth development. She managed the research agenda of the Region’s Gender team for several years, focusing on labor supply decisions, informal labor markets, and household risk management.

Wendy has a PhD in labor economics from the University of Illinois at Champaign, regularly publishes in refereed journals in her areas of specialization. Among the material she has authored of co-authored are: “Youth at Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean – Understanding the Causes, Realizing the Potential”; “Youth Employment Transitions in Latin America”; “Measuring the Economic Gain of Investing in Girls: The Girl Effect Dividend”; “Caribbean Youth Development: Issues and Policy Directions”; ”Minimum Wages and Social Policy - Lessons from Developing Countries”; and “Sectoral Allocation by Gender of Latin American Workers over the Liberalization Period of the 1990s”. She has a strong publications record on labor markets, informal sector employment, gender, and youth development.