Philippe Le Houerou

The Team Philippe Le Houerou

Distinguished Fellow

Philippe Le Houérou is currently the chairman of the board of the Agence Française de Developpement (AFD), a « distinguished fellow » at the Emerging Markets Forum, and “chaire” of the Aid Architecture at the FERDI (France).

From March 2016 to October 2020, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) -the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. During his tenure at IFC, Mr. Le Houérou designed and implemented a new strategy aimed at creating new markets and opportunities in developing countries. This strategy sustainably shifted the organization to proactively develop private sector solutions to development challenges and work more closely with the World Bank, other development partners, and governments. To support this strategy, he introduced a new development impact measurement system; developed innovative approaches to attract more private sector investment in the poorest countries; created country private sector diagnostics and IFC country strategies; launched “upstream” work that creates bankable projects; and restructured the organization to strengthen economics, partnerships, corporate alignment between strategy, budget, and human resources. Shareholders’ strong support of this strategy and its related reforms, led to their endorsement in 2018 of an historic capital increase for IFC.

Except for one year in EBRD as Vice President for Policy and Partnerships in 2015, Mr. Le Houérou has spent much of his professional career at the World Bank Group (WBG). He joined the WBG as a Young Professional in 1987, and has held several senior leadership positions (operational and corporate), including Vice President for South Asia, where he strengthened the portfolio significantly; Vice President for Europe and Central Asia (ECA), where he helped manage the global financial crisis; Vice President of Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, with record donors’ contributions to IDA replenishments; and Acting Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Earlier in his career, he held several managerial and non- managerial positions, both in HQ and country offices, including Director of Finance and Resources Mobilization, Sector Manager for Macro-Fiscal Policy in Africa, Country Manager in Madagascar, Country Economist for Russia.

Born in Montpellier, France, Mr. Le Houérou grew up in Africa and Italy and went on to attend the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences po). He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Ph.D in Economics from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.