Farewell to the World Bank: Part 1– The Job

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021 marked the end of my career at the World Bank ibrdwhen I took early retirement due to ill health. I received a traumatic brain injury after crashing out of the 2018 Tour Aotearoa which made it impossible to handle the demands of the World Bank.

A time for reflection on 17+ years which I would summarize as:

  • It was a blast
  • I had the best job in the world

This is going to be a lengthy blog post which when I’m older, and even more dottier, I can remind myself of when I had the job of my dreams, travelled to amazing places, and worked with some of the nicest and most talented people I’ve ever met. This, Part 1, is about the job and some of my experiences through a series of the ‘three most memorable …’ Part 2 is about the people. Of course there is some overlap. And, as you can see from the action photo taken below in Kiribati, it wasn’t all work!

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Farewell to the World Bank: Part 2–The People

April 8, 2021

What is the most important thing in the world? According to the Maori proverb the answer is: He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata. It is the people, the people, the people.

As Part 1 of my ‘Farewell to the World Bank’ discusses, during my 17+ years at the World Bank I worked on a wide range of projects in a variety of countries. What connected all of this work were the incredible people I worked with. Staffed by consummate professionals with an unrivalled depth and breadth of technical skills, the World Bank is a unique organization which is personally and professionally incredibly rewarding. I can never express my thanks enough to the people I worked with—I learned so much from each of you.

My manager Motoo Konishi used to rate us on five metrics: our delivery of new projects, management of existing projects, support to the global transport practice in the Bank, external activities (e.g. participating with the Transportation Research Board), and mentoring of other—especially junior—staff. The latter were particularly important and he said that irrespective of how well we did with our technical work, if we did not mentor our colleagues—in the same way we were mentored by others—we had failed. It was an important and valued reminder of the importance of people in our careers.

This is an attempt to remember some of you—and apologies for anyone I missed as the list was incredibly long! Thanks for the journey… Read the rest of this entry »