Helena Ribe

Helena Ribe is an international development expert. She is retired from the World Bank where she worked with policy-makers, development practitioners, academics and civil society organizations all over the world. Her 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 and has now been translated to Spanish. She holds a Masters and a PhD in Economics from Yale University.

She had several 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 program of studies, technical assistance and lending in Human Development in Southern and West Africa.

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 Founder and Board member of the Women International Study Center and chairs their program committee which organized a Symposium on Risk and Reinvention in August 2014, featuring Justice Ginsburg and thirty other prominent speakers. She is member of the Board of Directors and the Health Committee of Pro-Mujer International, of the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship, and Treasurer of the Northern New Mexico Radio Foundation, She is also in the Advisory Board of the United World College in Costa Rica. She mentors artists attending the Folk Art Market in Santa Fe and mentors Cuban artists.

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, in the PBS News Hour with Ray Suarez, in the New York Times by Tina Rosenberg, in CNN with Gabriela Frias, in NPR’s Marketplace with Jeff Tyler, and in the Latin American TV, press and radio. She is a frequent speaker in Conferences and academia (in Columbia and Harvard Universities and most recently in Princeton).

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. She loves to travel and collects folk art.