Willem in the office in pensive mood


2013-2016    UNITED NATIONS, Chief, Development Strategies and Policy/Senior Advisor for Macro-economic policy,
UN Secretariat, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), New York

Director (D1) at UN DESA responsible for key flagship publications including World Economic and Social Surveys 2013 and 2014 and Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force Report 2015; preparation of various Secretary-General reports on issues of MDG achievement and implications for sustainable development strategies. Senior Advisor on macro-economic policy working on requests of UN Member States on challenges in formulating development strategies with a focus on financing and implementation of sustainable development.

2011-2013     EU ADVISORY GROUP, Team Leader and Trade Policy Advisor,
Government of the Republic of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia

Team Leader of the EU Advisory Group (EUAG), requested by the Government of Armenia as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy, advising on EU Association Agreement negotiations, DCFTA negotiations, visa/border security agreements, circular migration, political and parliamentary cooperation, as well as capacity building through workshops and seminars.
Worked closely with the Armenian authorities on trade policy coordination (esp. Ministries of Economy, of Finance, of Agriculture), advised the country how to prepare to enter DCFTA negotiations with the EU. Supported by legal, technical and customs experts. Tasks included coordinating and supervision of key and non-key experts, representation of EUAG, liaising with senior officials, comprehensive needs analysis, recruitment of experts, quarterly reporting, and training design. Submission of Inception, Mid-term and Final reports. Strategic advice on the implementation of reform actions through institutional and legal gap analyses.

2009-2011     INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTRE, Acting Director and Lead Economist, Geneva, Switzerland

As Member of the Senior Management Committee, responsible for the implementation of the Trade-related Technical Assistance programme across Asia and Africa, focusing on market access, private sector and global trade flows. Represented ITC at the WTO General Council and Aid for Trade conferences.
Lead author for ITC 2010 Flagship Report on Market Access, Transparency and Fairness in Global Trade; directed major research on non-tariff measures, sustainability standards, the developmental impact of regional and multilateral trade agreements. Responsible for research design and management of global analytical databases.

2007-2009 DRC-Global, Director, Research and Advisory assignments, Brussels, Belgium
  • For Trade Section, EU Delegation to Thailand: study to assess the impact of greater market access in the financial services and insurance sectors.
  • Trade-Related capacity building for the EU-ESA Economic Partnership Agreement: Advisory study for the East and Southern African countries with a focus on ‘New Trade Issues’.
  • Formulation EU-Funded Project “Support to China’s Sustainable Trade and Investment System” (EUR 19 million) – a multi-year trade-related technical assistance programme for the EU Delegation in Beijing to support China’s economic, trade and investment reform and to strengthen design and implementation of policy, legislation and regulation at central and provincial levels.
  • EU-India Civil Society Initiative and EU-India Culture Fund, Identification mission across seven states in India to identify appropriate themes, focus, targets and modalities for the Euro 20 million grant scheme.
  • Sustainability Impact Assessment study (economic, social, environment) of the Europe-China Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) to provide analytical support for the PCA negotiations through extensive public consultations and examining economic, social and environmental impacts, including 7 sector case studies.
1997-2007     EUROPEAN INSTITUTE FOR ASIAN STUDIES (EIAS), Director, initially Research Director, Brussels, Belgium

Offer strategic and innovative leadership to the external relations think tank, supported by the European Commission, to facilitate economic, political and developmental relationships between the EU and Asian countries, with a particular focus on issues of trade policy and agreements, economic and political partnership and academic networks supporting EU policy decision making. Fund raising several major grants for the work on EU-Asia political and economic relations from EU-budget sources as well as research foundations (including Euro 900,000 for European Commission Partnership Agreement on EU-Asia and Euro 2.400,000 from Budget of the European Communities, 1998-2006);

2002-2004     BANGLADESH INSTITUTE FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES (BIDS), Senior Advisor on Economic Policy Reform and Trade Cooperation in South Asia, Dhaka, Bangladesh

To analyse trade performance across South Asia in the context of trade policy reforms. Included assessment of changes in comparative advantage as well as gravity modelling to determine regional economic integration. Co-editor of Economic Policy Reform and Trade Performance in South Asia, published by University Press Ltd, Dhaka, December 2004. (On leave from European Institute for Asian Studies for 5 missions during April 2002-Sept 2004).

1995-1997     INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, Senior Economist, Geneva, Switzerland

Responsible for the academic management of a comparative study on the impact of adjustment programmes on employment and labour markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Special focus on trade liberalization, privatization and public sector reforms. Responsible for managing a team of researchers across East and Southern Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Conducted research on the determinants of real wages and trade policy regimes. Editor with Rolph van der Hoeven of the volume on Adjustment, Employment and Missing Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa (Published James Currey/Heinemann, Oxford);

1992-1995    UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, Queen Elizabeth House, Research Associate, Oxford, United Kingdom

Research and Advisory Assignments:

Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Short term Advisor, State Planning Committee, (1994 for 6 weeks).
Formulation of Vietnam’s Public Investment Programme 1995-2000 with a focus on macroeconomic and sectoral balances.

Oxford and Geneva, Trade Diversification in the Least Development Countries, undertake research for UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (1992-1993, Special Service Agreements).

Oxford and Geneva, ‘Adjustment and Social Funds: Political Panacea or Effective Poverty Reduction?’ A critical assessment of programmes to reduce poverty adopted across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa (with comparison to programmes in South Asia) in the context of structural adjustment (co-author of Prof Frances Stewart, published in Poverty and Adjustment, Routledge, 1995).

Prepared ‘A Review of Research Literature on the Impact of Structural Adjustment’ for an international conference, on the request of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Published as chapter of Structural Adjustment and Beyond Published James Currey, London, 1994.

Research on ‘Forecasting Agricultural Demand in Post-war Kuwait’ to analyse macro-economic and demographic determinants of consumer demand and imports in the post-war context for the Agricultural Development Study, sponsored by Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (several missions 1992-93).

 1991-1992    UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT, Senior Economist,  Geneva, Switzerland

Team Leader of a comparative study on ‘Trade Diversification in Least Developed Countries’ focusing on Asia (Bangladesh, Laos) on Africa (Benin, Cape Verde, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Uganda) and Haiti. To identify how national macro- and microeconomic policies affect LDCs trade expansion and diversification. Includes a discussion of international measures to support LDC trade diversification, including investment measures. Publication: Trade Diversification in the Least Developed Countries, (1997) Edward Elgar Ltd.

1987-1991 UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, Queen Elizabeth House, Senior Research Economist, Food Studies Group, Oxford, United Kingdom

Responsible for managing and executing research studies and related specialized conferences.

Research Assignments:
Food Market Liberalisation model: Design and development a multi-sectoral simulation model of South and East African cereal markets; initiated empirical implementation for Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

Financial Impact Simulation model: Econometric analysis of price-acreage responses of smallholder tobacco production and assessment of food security risks of producer price increases in Malawi. Prepared a simulation model of trading accounts of the agricultural marketing corporation to evaluate the financial impact of government’s producer and consumer price policies on the corporation.

International Conference on ‘The Management of Structural Adjustment Negotiations’. Developed programme, commisioned authors and Editor of the volume Negotiating Structural Adjustment Published James Currey, Oxford, 1994.

Convener of the FSG/University of Zimbabwe seminar in Harare on ‘Economic Models as an Aid to Agricultural Policy Formulation’ financed by NRI-ODA;

1984-1986 UNITED NATIONS (UNDTCD) Macro-Economic Planner, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Prepare an applied general equilibrium model for analysis of policy-options during the Third Five Year Plan of Bangladesh; execution of simulations and briefing of senior policy makers from the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank. Training at the Planning Commission, Dhaka, Bangladesh, in model building, econometric analysis and trade policy regimes (UN Department for Technical Cooperation and Development (DTCD), P-4 appointment).

1983-1984 CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, Tutor at the Faculty of Economics and Politics, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Classes: ‘Quantitative Methods of Economic Analysis’ for M.Phil and Diploma in Development Economics. Tripos Tutorials in Introductory Statistics.

1980-1982 INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL STUDIES, Research Officer, The Hague,  Netherlands

– Employment and Restructuring of the Dutch Economy (with Prof. Louis Emmerij)
– International Finance and Development (with Prof. Valpy FitzGerald)

1981-1982 UNIVERSITY OF LEIDEN, Lecturer in Economics (part-time), Leiden, Netherlands

Lecture series on:
– Introduction to Economic Theory
– Introduction to Development Economics.

1979 KONJUNKTUR INSTITUTET, National Institute of Economic Research, Research Assistant, Stockholm, Sweden