Growth Lab



Ricardo Hausmann is Director of Harvard's Center for International Development and Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the Kennedy School of Government. Previously, he served as the first Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank (1994-2000), where he created the Research Department. He has served as Minister of Planning of Venezuela (1992-1993) and as a member of the Board of the Central Bank of Venezuela. He also served as Chair of the IMF-World Bank Development Committee. He was Professor of Economics at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion (IESA) (1985-1991) in Caracas, where he founded the Center for Public Policy. His research interests include issues of growth, macroeconomic stability, international finance, and the social dimensions of development. He holds a PhD in economics from Cornell University.

Ishac Diwan is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is the Director for Africa and the Middle East at the Growth Lab of the Harvard Center for International Development.

Ishac got his PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984. He taught international finance at the New York University’s Business School before joining the World Bank in 1987.

In 1992, Ishac joined the Bank’s Middle East department, first as the country economist for the West Bank and Gaza, as an advisor to the emerging Palestinian Authority, and later, as a regional economist, where he led economic teams in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, and Yemen. He contributed to the creation of the prime network of economists in the Middle East, the Economic Research Forum, and of a regional policy forum, the Mediterranean Development Forum. In 1996, Ishac joined the World Bank Institute and led the Economic Policy group, creating the Attacking Poverty Program and contributing to the initiation of the Global Development Network.

Ishac lived in Addis Ababa and Accra, as the Bank’s Country Director for Ethiopia and Sudan, and then for Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, and Guinea. Ishac has worked on conflict prevention and on state building in Palestine, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Yemen, Guinea and has participated in the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Darfur Peace Negotiations, and the Oslo negotiations.

Eric Werker is an Associate Professor in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit and a Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School. His research explores the macroeconomics of development and of developing economies.

Professor Werker has written on fragile states, foreign aid, foreign investment, non-governmental organizations, conflict, and governance. His work has been featured in the Financial Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR, and publications across the developing world.

Outside of academia, Werker is the economic advisor to the President of Liberia. He has worked with the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation on foreign aid projects and with the NGO Conservation International on low-carbon development. He serves on the Advisory Group of the Center for Global Development, is a Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Center for International Development, and has worked with corporations and nonprofits on their decisions and activities in developing countries.

Werker earned his Ph.D. and AB in economics from Harvard University. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and travel.


Marcela Escobari is the Executive Director of Harvard's Center for International Development. Marcela has over a decade of experience in economic development, including work with industrial strategy, technology policy, and private sector development. Before joining as CID's Executive Director, Marcela led the Americas region and served on the Executive Committee of OTF Group, where she advised heads of state and private sector leaders on how to improve their countries' export competitiveness. Prior to working at OTF, she worked with indigenous communities in Bolivia for the World Bank and was a Mergers & Acquisitions investment banker with JP Morgan in New York. Marcela holds a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College and a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the Harvard Kennedy School.


Brad Cunningham is a Fellow at CID. Brad's research interests intersect the agendas of both the Growth Lab and Building State Capability – including structural transformation, growth diagnostics, and building the capacity of states to implement a growth strategy. Prior to joining CID, he applied growth diagnostic methods for the Millennium Challenge Corporation in a variety of countries including Nepal and Liberia. Brad began his career working on the Consumer Price, which developed his appreciation for effective public administration. His experience in developing countries has reinforced the importance and challenge of promoting effective bureaucracies. Brad holds a B.A. in economics from Virginia Tech and a MPA-ID from the Harvard Kennedy School.