I am the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
Before joining the European Commission in February 2010, I have held various positions at the World Bank. I started working there in 1993, initially as Environmental Economist, then Senior Environmental Economist. I continued as Sector Manager on Environment for the East Asia and Pacific Region, and later became the Director in charge of World Bank environmental strategy, policies and lending.
In 2004 my work took me to Moscow, where I was World Bank Director for the Russian Federation, responsible for a large portfolio of World Bank projects in tax administration, customs, education, health, environment and regional development.
In 2007-2008 I held the position of Director for Sustainable Development and, finally I was appointed Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank Group. At this post, I acted as the interlocutor between the World Bank’s senior management, its Board of Directors and the 186 countries that make up the World Bank Group shareholders.
I have obtained my M. A. in Political Economy and Sociology at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria. My PhD in Economic Science was granted by the same university, for my dissertation on Environmental Policy. Between 1977 and 1993, I worked as Associate Professor at the University of National and World Economy.
During this period I was also a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, and spent one year as Visiting Professor at Fiji’s University of the South Pacific and the Australian National University. In 1991 I went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I did post-graduate research in environmental policy, co-led a course on economies in transition, and consulted on environmental policy in Eastern Europe.
I have served as a board member of several educational and environmental organizations. I am currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria. I have more than 100 publications on environmental and economic policy topics, including a textbook on microeconomics.
I was born in Sofia in 1953. I am married, and have one child. In addition to my native Bulgarian, I am fluent in English and Russian, and I am learning French.