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Mario G. Picon

Director, The Governance Action Hub

Dr. Mario Picon is a director in the Accountability and Citizen Engagement (ACE) practice at Results for Development (R4D). He is a thought leader in governance, evidence-informed policy and international cooperation. Dr. Picon brings over 20 years of experience and a start-up approach to developing and managing initiatives that tackle complex development challenges. His experience spans multiple sectors in international development, particularly leading policy dialogue and stakeholder engagement in countries including Pakistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Peru, Brazil, Bangladesh and India. Dr. Picon has worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), 3ie, the Brookings Institution as well as in the public sector and with civil society organizations.  

At R4D, Dr. Picon leads a portfolio on governance, anticorruption, and citizen engagement. He is the Director of R4D’s Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption (LTRC) program, a global initiative of the Brookings Institution and R4D focused on knowledge brokerage and strategy-building platforms to overcome corruption risks in the extractive sector around the world. Dr. Picon has positioned LTRC to become a change hub for the governance of the energy transition and the management of mining, gas and oil revenues.  

LTRC’s achievements include contributions to a global agenda on the future of natural resources and the development of the TAP-Plus approach to identify implementation and system gaps in governance efforts and strategies to tackle them. At the country level, LTRC has co-developed such strategies with local stakeholders and is implementing them in a collaborative manner with partners in Peru, Colombia, Mongolia and Nigeria while also promoting a discussion on illicit financial flows and the energy transition in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. What these efforts have in common is that they all take an ecosystem approach to both problems and solutions while putting emphasis on building effective collective action among local stakeholders and between the local and global levels. 

Before joining R4D, Dr. Picon was a senior evaluation specialist at International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), managing their public goods line of work and the relationship of the organization with partners in Latin America, as well as managing evaluations in Ghana (DFID), Tanzania (Technoserve) and China (with different government agencies). He also led or collaborated on scoping work focused on intimate partner violence prevention, evidence for peacebuilding and youth employability. 

At the World Bank, Dr. Picon managed the South Asia Poverty and Social Impact Analysis trust fund, coordinating over 20 projects to apply poverty and social impact analysis to World Bank operations, while setting the foundations for an innovation lab for the South Asia region. He built a social accountability line of work in Pakistan in support of the country office and supported several other World Bank programs. His evaluations in India and South Sudan helped local and international organizations inform their operations and access funds.  

Dr. Picon holds a PhD in public policy with specialization in international development from the University of Maryland, as well as master’s degrees in agricultural, environmental & regional economics and demography from Penn State. He graduated as an economist from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, where interaction and exchange with sociology and anthropology students is a key feature. He also holds certifications in executive leadership, culturally-responsible management and managing for wellbeing.  

A native Spanish speaker, Dr. Picon also speaks English and Italian fluently and has basic skills in French and Portuguese. 

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