Kristalina Georgieva

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Kristalina Georgieva
Кристалина Георгиева
Kristalina Georgieva Headshot.jpg
Georgieva in 2019
Chief Executive of the World Bank Group
Assumed office
2 January 2017
PresidentJim Yong Kim
David Malpass
Preceded byPosition established
President of the World Bank Group
In office
1 February 2019 – 8 April 2019
Preceded byJim Yong Kim
Succeeded byDavid Malpass
European Commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources
In office
1 November 2014 – 31 December 2016
PresidentJean-Claude Juncker
Preceded byJacek Dominik
Succeeded byGünther Oettinger
European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
In office
9 February 2010 – 1 November 2014
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byKarel De Gucht
Succeeded byNeven Mimica
European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
In office
9 February 2010 – 1 November 2014
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byKarel De Gucht
Succeeded byChristos Stylianides
Personal details
Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva

(1953-08-13) 13 August 1953 (age 65)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Political partyCitizens for European Development
Spouse(s)Kino Kinov
EducationUniversity of National and World Economy (BA, MA, PhD)

Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova (Bulgarian: Кристалина Иванова Георгиева-Кинова; born 13 August 1953)[1] is a Bulgarian economist and the European candidate for the role of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She has also been Chief Executive of the World Bank since 2017, she served as Acting President of the World Bank Group from 1 February 2019 to 8 April 2019. She previously served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016.[2][3][4][5]

From 1993–2010, she served in a number of positions in the World Bank Group, eventually rising to become its vice president and corporate secretary in March 2008, she has also served as a member of the board of trustees[6] and associated professor in the Economics Department of the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria.[7] On 27 September 2016, the Bulgarian government nominated Kristalina Georgieva for the post of United Nations Secretary-General,[8] her short run Secretary-General at the UN ended following a vote at the UN Security Council on 5 October, where Georgieva ranked number eight out of ten candidates.[9] In the same vote, António Guterres got the support of the Security Council for the post of UN Secretary-General.[10] On 28 October, the World Bank announced that Georgieva would become the first CEO of the bank starting on 2 January 2017.[11]

Georgieva was named "European of the Year" in 2010[12] and "EU Commissioner of the Year"[13] as an acknowledgment of her work, in particular, her handling of the humanitarian disasters in Haiti and Pakistan.[citation needed]

Early life and education[edit]

Kristalina Georgieva holds a PhD in Economics and an MA in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, her thesis was on "Environmental Protection Policy and Economic Growth in the USA". She also did post-graduate research and studies in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics in the late 1980s and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,[14] she has written over 100 academic papers and has also authored a microeconomics textbook.[15]

She held a range of academic and consulting positions in Bulgaria and the US, and has lectured on development topics in universities, including the Australian National University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, Yale University, Harvard University, London School of Economics, the University of the South Pacific and others.[16]

Georgieva is fluent in Bulgarian, English, and Russian, and can also speak some French.[17]

Early work (1993–2010)[edit]

Georgieva started her career at the World Bank Group in 1993 as an environmental economist for Europe and Central Asia. Following this, she served in various positions in the bank ultimately rising to become Director of the Environment Department in charge of World Bank's environmental strategy, policies, and lending. In this role she oversaw around 60% of lending operations of the World Bank Group. From 2004–2007 she was the institution's Director and Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, based in Moscow.

She returned to Washington DC, to become director of Strategy and Operations, Sustainable Development, her final position at the World Bank, vice president and corporate secretary, conveyed lead responsibility for liaison with the members of the institution's Board of Executive Directors, representing the Bank's shareholders (the member country governments).[17] During that time, she worked on the Bank's governance reform and accompanying capital increase.[18]

In January 2010, Georgieva announced her intention to resign from this post in view of her nomination to the Commission of the European Union.[19]

Political career[edit]

European Commissioner[edit]

Nomination and confirmation

After the former Bulgarian nominee, Rumiana Jeleva, came under fire during the confirmation hearing from members of the European Parliament over both her competence for the post and allegations of gaps in her declaration of financial interests, she withdrew her bid; the Bulgarian government then proposed Kristalina Georgieva as their new candidate.[2] On 21 January 2010 the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso met with Georgieva and expressed his approval, stating that "Mrs. Georgieva has solid international experience and knowledge with which she is going to contribute significantly in her capacity as a EU Commissioner".[20]

The confirmation hearing of Georgieva took place at the European Parliament on 4 February 2010, she faced questions on her suitability for the portfolio. Georgieva identified Haiti as a priority, especially the need to provide shelter and health services and to restore the functions and service of the government, so as to start work on reconstruction and long-term development. Other key issues raised in discussions with MEPs had been improving co-ordination within the EU (and within the Commission), and between humanitarian and military players in order to meet the dual challenge posed by expanding needs and shrinking budgets; the need to improve the effectiveness of EU actions and for better response capacity had also been stressed, together with the establishment of European Voluntary Humanitarian Corps.[21]

Georgieva was given a warm response by MEPs, with Labour MEP Michael Cashman praising her "honesty and deep breadth of knowledge", she was applauded by committee members when she told British Conservative MEP Nirj Deva that she would stand up for the interests of the EU and be an independent mind.[22] Ivo Vajgl, a Liberal MEP, also praised her, saying: "let me compliment you on your peaceful manner and the confidence you are exuding today",[23] her performance at the hearing was widely publicized in Bulgaria and broadcast live on many national media, where it was seen as question of restoration of national honor following Jeleva's unsuccessful hearing.[24]

The second college of the Barroso Commission, including Georgieva, was approved by the European Parliament on 9 February 2010 by a vote of 488 to 137, with 72 abstentions,[3] and she took office the following day.[4]


During her time in office as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response, Georgieva managed one of the world's largest humanitarian aid budgets and promoted the EU as a global champion for resilience and disaster risk reduction, she strongly promoted the use of synergies between humanitarian aid and civil protection tools, which resulted in a more effective response to crises and disasters worldwide. In this role Georgieva tripled funding for the refugee crisis in Europe.[25][18] Georgieva pioneered cash-based assistance and the scaling up of cash and social protection approaches in humanitarian aid, notably for refugees and displaced persons; pushed vigorously for operations based on civil-military cooperation and became a key advocate for the respect of international humanitarian law globally.[26]

Immediately after taking office, she took responsibility for coordinating the EU response to the humanitarian consequence of the 2010 Haiti earthquake; as result of her actions, the EU became the primary humanitarian donor in the devastated country. Following this initial baptism of fire, Georgieva has ensured EU's response in a number of crises and disasters that struck the world in 2010, including the earthquake in Chile and the floods in Pakistan.

After taking office, Georgieva's presence in the field – in Haiti, Chile[27] and Pakistan[28] as a response to the natural disasters that have struck there; Sahel in relation to the ongoing food crisis threat;[29] Darfur as a way to tackle a forgotten conflict;[30] Kyrgyzstan as a reaction to a sudden onset conflict;[31] disasters within the EU such as the 2010 Romanian floods, the Hungarian industrial accident at Ajka, Hungary – along with timely and effective response to these crises, natural and man-made disasters has led to increased EU visibility.[32]

Amid the Southeast Europe floods in May 2014, Georgieva coordinated post-disaster assistance and helped prepare Serbia's request for aid of as much as 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) a year.[33]

She also has worked to ensure that longer term prevention and preparedness strategies are in place. In parallel with reacting to natural and man-made disasters, Georgieva made good progress on the three declared priorities of her mandate: building up EU's disaster response capacity by creating the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre and the European Response Coordination Centre, creating the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty, and proceeding with the mid-term review of the European Union Humanitarian Aid Consensus action plan; this work is expected to pave the way for future legislative proposals.

In May 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Georgieva and Nazrin Shah of Perak as co-chairs of the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, an initiative aimed at preparing recommendations for the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit[18] and paved the way for new development and humanitarian solutions, including through facilitating the ‘Grand Bargain’[34], an agreement between the biggest donors and aid providers, which aims to get more means into the hands of people in need.

Georgieva also spearheaded the creation of the 'EU Children of Peace' initiative which drew attention to the underfunded sector of education in emergencies and is now a top funding priority for the EU.[35]

Vice-President of the European Commission[edit]

In 2014, news media reported that the ambassadors of several Western EU countries early on indicated their countries’ support for Georgieva to be nominated for the incoming Juncker Commission, indicating that she might get the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,[36] her candidacy had been uncertain because of political infighting in Bulgaria. The collapse of the socialist government, however, cleared the path for her nomination. By August, Georgi Bliznashki, Bulgaria's interim prime minister, announced her candidacy to replace Britain's Catherine Ashton.[37]

Incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker instead assigned the post of Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources to Georgieva, she was thus the most senior technocrat in the Juncker Commission, the only one of the seven vice-presidents never to have served as a national minister.[38] In this role she was in charge of 33,000 staff and reporting on how the budget of the European Union is spent to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Court of Auditors. Within months of taking her new position and amid skepticism about the European Union and its budget of around $159 billion reaching new heights, Georgieva was able to negotiate a several-billion-dollar budget increase for 2014.[39]

World Bank[edit]

Georgieva during the MSC 2019

On 7 January 2019 it was announced that World Bank Group President Kim would be stepping down and Georgieva would assume the role of interim President of the World Bank Group on 1 February 2019.

Georgieva was appointed the first Chief Executive Officer for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association on 28 October 2016 and started in the role on 2 January 2017.[40]

On 21 April 2018 it was announced the World Bank shareholders endorsed an ambitious package of measures that include a $13 billion paid-in capital increase, a series of internal reforms, and a set of policy measures that greatly strengthen the global poverty fighting institution’s ability to scale up resources and deliver on its mission in areas of the world that need the most assistance.[41] Georgieva is widely recognised as playing a key role in securing this increase, the largest funding increase in the Bank’s history.[25]

Georgieva committed the bank to gender equality within its own ranks by setting the target for women to occupy 50 percent of senior management positions at the World Bank by 2020;[42] this was achieved ahead of time in October 2018.[43]

Georgieva has also been the architect of many reforms with the Bank. Georgieva looked at how each she could foster a bank that promotes collaboration across its institutions and draws in more private sector finance. Georgieva also put aside discreet resources to fund staff teams working on the development of new innovative instruments and solutions, particularly those that boost private sector engagement and mobilize commercial financing or focus on developing results and outcome-based instruments.Ultimately, she has said, reforms will aim to bolster the bank’s growing emphasis on results.[44]

Since 2019, Georgieva has been co-chairing the World Economic Forum High-Level Group on Humanitarian Investing, alongside Børge Brende and Peter Maurer.[45]

Other activities[edit]

In November 2018, Georgieva visited University of Rwanda, [51]she was introduced to engineers from across Africa and was marveled by the projects like pay-as-you-cook gas stoves that use internet-of-things technology linked to mobile money developed by Oluwatobi Oyinlola [52]


As recognition of her work and her efficient reaction to the humanitarian crises of the year, Georgieva was named Commissioner of the Year in the "Europeans of the Year 2010" awards, organized by the influential European Voice newspaper, which also named her "European of the Year";[13] the winners are chosen on the basis of online voting,[who?] which is open until 31 October of each year.[12] In 2016, Georgieva was honored with the Devex Power with Purpose award for her work in global development.[53]

In 2017, Georgieva was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 2 in the list of 100 Most Influential People in Multinational Organisations.[54]

Personal life[edit]

Kristalina Georgieva is married and has one child, her hobbies include travelling, guitar playing, dancing and cooking exotic dishes.[55]


  1. ^ "Who is Kristalina Georgieva?". FOCUS News Agency. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.)
  2. ^ a b "Under-fire EU Commission nominee stands down". AFP. 19 January 2010. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b Miller, John W. (9 February 2010). "EU Approves New Commission". The Wall Street Journal/Associated Press. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b Toby Vogel (11 February 2010). "New team takes office". European Voice. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  5. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Statement on the Decision of Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva to become Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank and to resign from the European Commission". Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  6. ^ "УНСС : Структура : Съвет на настоятелите" (in Bulgarian). UNWE. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  7. ^ "УНСС : Общоикономически факултет : Катедра Икономикс : Състав" (in Bulgarian). UNWE. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Bulgaria announces new candidate Georgieva for U.N. leadership race". Reuters. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  9. ^ Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the UN official Twitter account
  10. ^ "Security Council Backs António Guterres to Be Next U.N. Secretary General". New York Times. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Kristalina Georgieva Appointed Chief Executive Officer of IBRD/IDA". The World Bank. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  12. ^ a b Georgieva named European of the Year,, 30 November 2010
  13. ^ a b Bulgaria's Georgieva Wins 'EU Commissioner of the Year' Award by EV[dead link],, 1 December 2010
  14. ^ Lilov 2013, pp. 276-277.
  15. ^ VLADISLAV VELEV, "Kristalina Georgieva – Globetrotting economist",, March 11, 2010.
  16. ^ "The World Bank - News - Kristalina Georgieva". The World Bank Group. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  17. ^ a b "Kristalina Georgieva CV" (PDF). European Union.
  18. ^ a b c Secretary-General Appoints High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing United Nations Secretary-General, press release of 21 May 2015.
  19. ^ "World Bank appoints Kristalina Georgieva as vice president". AFX News Limited. 22 February 2008. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  20. ^ "Barroso Welcomes New Bulgarian EU Commissioner-Designate Georgieva". Novinite. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  21. ^ "MEPs quiz new Bulgarian candidate Kristalina Georgieva". European Parliament. 3 February 2010. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  22. ^ "Democracy Live – European Parliament". BBC. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  23. ^ Joshua Chaffin (4 February 2010). "Bulgaria's nominee well-received by MEPs". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  24. ^ "Коментари за изслушването на Кристалина Георгиева като кандидат-комисар - Портал ЕВРОПА". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  25. ^ a b Xin En Lee, "Meet the first CEO of the World Bank: She’s made the bank the strongest it’s ever been financially",, July 13, 2018.
  26. ^ "Cash transfers and vouchers",,.
  27. ^ "EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Visit of Commissioner Georgieva to Chile". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  28. ^ Reuters. "EU aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva visits flood-hit Pakistan - Bulgaria abroad". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  29. ^ "Fighting Hunger in Sahel (Article by EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva*) - - Sofia News Agency". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  30. ^ Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Thomson Reuters Foundation | News, Information and Connections for Action". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  31. ^ "EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva to meet with Kyrgyz authorities and beneficiaries of EU humanitarian assistance". European Union. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  32. ^ "Hungary accident: European team of five experts to start working on the ground on Monday". European Union. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  33. ^ Gordana Filipovic (20 May 2014), Serbia Appeals for Worldwide Assistance After Deadly Floods Bloomberg Business.
  34. ^ "European Union helps reshape international assistance at the World Humanitarian Summit",, May 20, 2016.
  35. ^ "Commissioner Georgieva annoucing EU Children of Peace projects",, March 17, 2015.
  36. ^ EU heavyweights advise Bulgaria to nominate Georgieva for Ashton's job EurActiv, 26 June 2014.
  37. ^ Christian Oliver (6 August 2014), Bulgarian commissioner nominated for EU foreign policy post Financial Times.
  38. ^ Toby Vogel (2 October 2014), Georgieva catches committee mood European Observer.
  39. ^ Benjamin Oreskes (4 November 2015), Georgieva's UN job mission Politico Europe.
  40. ^ Press Release from the World Bank on new appointment for Mrs. Georgieva
  41. ^ "World Bank Group Shareholders Endorse Transformative Capital Package",,April 21, 2018.
  42. ^ "Speech by World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva at World Assembly for Women",, November 1, 2017.
  43. ^ "A Conversation on Financial Inclusion With World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva",, December 12, 2018.
  44. ^ Sophie Edwards, "The World Bank's new CEO Kristalina Georgieva lays out her vision for an agile bank",, April 17, 2017.
  45. ^ World Economic Forum 2019 Annual Meeting launching a new Humanitarian Investing Initiative World Economic Forum, press release of January 18, 2019.
  46. ^ "The Global Commission on Adaptation seeks to accelerate adaptation action and support. We believe that for all the challenges, greater resilience is achievable and in all of our interests.",
  47. ^ World leaders unite under new initiative to provide quality education and training for young people Generation Unlimited, press release of 21 September 2018.
  48. ^ Appointment of the Members of the Appointment Advisory Committee European Investment Bank (EIB), press release of February 6, 2017.
  49. ^ Members of the Council European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
  50. ^ a b c d Kristalina Georgieva: Declaration of interests European Commission.
  51. ^ "The future drivers of growth in Rwanda". World Bank. KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  52. ^ "Pay-as-you-cook technology to boost use of affordable LPG in Rwanda". Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  53. ^ "Power With Purpose". Power With Purpose. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  54. ^ "Top 100 Leaders from Multilateral Organisations: From Christine Lagarde to António Guterres, These Are the Most Influential People in the NGO Sphere". Richtopia. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  55. ^ Lilov 2013, p. 276.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Meglena Kuneva
Bulgarian European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Mariya Gabriel
Preceded by
Karel De Gucht
as European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
Succeeded by
Neven Mimica
as European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
Succeeded by
Christos Stylianides
as European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
Preceded by
Jacek Dominik
as European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget
European Commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources
Succeeded by
Günther Oettinger
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jim Yong Kim
President of the World Bank Group

Succeeded by
David Malpass