About the Authors
Ali AbuKumail joined the World Bank as a Private Sector Specialist in 2012. During his World Bank career, he has developed, led, and supported projects and activities in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya, and Jordan. His projects have focused on the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurship ecosystems, economic diversification, trail-based adventure tourism, and business environment reforms. Prior to joining the World Bank in Washington DC, he was seconded by the World Bank to work as a Private Sector Development Adviser to the Quartet Representative, Tony Blair, from 2009 to 2011. In this capacity, he led policy dialogue and provided advice on private-sector development issues in Palestine. He advised the Quartet Representative on potential interventions to support the trade, industry, banking, and infrastructure sectors. Before that, Mr AbuKumail was a Trade Development Manager at the Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) from 2004 to 2009, where he managed the development and implementation of strategies to enhance the capacity of Palestinian exporters, with a focus on the furniture and garment sectors. Between 2001 and 2004, he worked in several technical positions at DAI, focused on the development of the Palestinian furniture sector, specifically on the provision of firm-level technical assistance to SMEs. Mr AbuKumail holds a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BSc) from the Islamic University.
Faleh Alrashidi is a Financial Sector Specialist in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank. His work focuses on capital markets and investment instruments development mainly in the MENA region. Currently he is working on the issuance of sovereign Sukuk as part of diversification strategies in the MENA region. He also works on building capacity and infrastructure for some countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) in the region, and is very experienced in various types of mutual funds. Previously, he worked for the College of Business Studies in Kuwait as an Assistant Professor of Finance. He holds a PhD in Finance from Durham University, United Kingdom, and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, United States.
Khaleda Atta is a Senior Specialist with the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank. Her work currently focuses on spatial growth, value chains, and firm-level data analysis. Currently she is leading key research work for GCC countries in the MENA region and provides technical support to other regional World Bank operational teams in Africa. Prior to this, she worked in the South Asia region of the World Bank on trade facilitation and customs programs, and on private-sector development while leading lending operations for the World Bank Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice. Before joining the World Bank Group, she served for several years as Commercial Attaché to the United States for the government of Afghanistan and previous to that worked in the private sector in the United States. She holds a Master in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Master in International Policy Studies with a focus on Trade and Development from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, both in the United States.
Attilio Di Battista
Attilio Di Battista is Practice Lead on Trade and Competitiveness research at the World Economic Forum. He works on the improvement of competitiveness, trade, and digital policies in a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. He is co-author of several reports at the World Economic Forum, including The Global Competitiveness Report. Within the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, he works on the development of a number of projects aiming to improve trade facilitation through innovative practices and data analytics. Prior to joining the Forum, he worked at the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO) on export strategy, policy, and trade competitiveness analysis. He has a Bachelor’s degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences from Università degli Studi di Trieste in Gorizia, Italy, and a Master in International Economics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz
Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz is Head of the System Initiative on the Future of Economic Progress at the World Economic Forum, where she leads the work related to Competitiveness and Global Risks. In this capacity, she is lead author of The Global Competitiveness Report and The Global Risks Report, two flagship publications of the World Economic Forum. Previously she oversaw the economic modeling for some of the Forum’s scenario projects and was charged with developing the economics section of the program for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Before joining the Forum, Dr Drzeniek Hanouz worked for several years with the International Trade Centre in Geneva, where she was in charge of relations with Central and Eastern European countries. Her areas of expertise include national competitiveness, private-sector development, international trade, economics of the MENA and CIS regions, and risks and resilience. Dr Drzeniek Hanouz received a Diploma in Economics from the University of Münster and holds a PhD in International Economics from the University of Bochum, both in Germany.
Barak Hoffman is a Consultant in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank. His work focuses on the political economy of development. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was the Director of the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University. He also has worked as an Economist at the United States Agency for International Development, the United States Department of the Treasury, and the United States Federal Reserve Bank, and was a Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, United States.
Jean Michel Marchat
Jean Michel Marchat is a Lead Economist in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank. His work focuses on growth, trade, and firm data analysis. In his current capacity, he is leading key research work (investment climate reports, trade policy analytics, and country development strategies), assists World Bank teams in the design of lending operations, and provides policy advice to several countries in West Africa and the Middle East. Prior to this, he worked in the MENA and Africa regions of the World Bank on trade facilitation and export development programs, and on SME development while leading major analytical work on regional integration and the investment climate. Before joining the World Bank Group, in the early 2000s, he worked for several years in Kazakhstan as an advisor for Macroeconomics, Forecasting and Trade in the Ministry of Economy. He holds a PhD in Economics and a Master in Development Economics from CERDI in France. He also attended executive education at the Harvard Kennedy School.