Dr. Vinod Thomas is currently a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore and at the Asian Institute of Management, Manila. Previously he was director general of independent evaluation at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In this capacity, he reported to ADB’s Board of Directors on the development effectiveness of the work of the organization. This work assessed the accountability of the organization in delivering results, building evaluation capacity in countries, and providing lessons of experience to help strengthen results.
Prior to his role at the ADB, Dr. Thomas was the director-general and senior vice-president of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank Group. He was formerly country director for Brazil and Vice-President, a position that he held from October 2001 to July 2005. Before that he was vice-president of the World Bank Institute, where he led the Institute’s efforts to improve its focus, quality, and impact. He joined the World Bank in 1976 and held several positions, including chief economist for the East Asia and Pacific region, director for the World Development Report (on The Challenge of Development), chief of Trade Policy and Principal Economist for Colombia, and economist for Bangladesh.
Dr. Thomas has written numerous articles on social and environmental issues and on the intersection of economics and development. An R4D publication, Remembering Our Future, examines the role of economics in striving toward a healthier environment, greater inclusion, and improved governance. Other works include an article on multilateral development bank safeguards, published on Huffington Post, and a conversation on “demystifying” the quality of growth. His books include The Quality of Growth, Oxford University Press, 2000, and the latest (with Xubei Luo), Multilateral Banks and the Development Process and Climate Change and Natural Disasters, both from Transaction Publishers, 2012 and 2017 respectively. He has taught at Vassar College, New York and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and has addressed numerous professional and academic fora in all regions.
Dr. Thomas holds a PhD and MA in Economics from the University of Chicago and a BA from St. Stephen’s college, Delhi.