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Environmental economics, climate change, natural resource conservation, indicators of sustainable development and country performance, African infrastructure development, priority-setting for country aid allocation
David Wheeler worked at the Center as a senior fellow from 2006 to 2012, primarily on climate policy and information disclosure. During that time he oversaw the creation of two pioneering monitoring tools, Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA), an online database showing the locations, estimated C02 emissions, and ownership of 60,000 power plants worldwide; and Forest Monitoring for Action (FORMA) which uses satellite data to generate regularly updated online maps and alerts of tropical forest clearing. CARMA continues to be maintained by CGD, while FORMA was transferred to the World Resources Institute (WRI) to become a key component of Global Forest Watch.
Before joining CGD Wheeler worked for 13 years as lead economist in the World Bank's Development Research Group where he directed a team that worked on environmental policy and research issues in collaboration with policymakers and academics in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Ghana and other developing countries. His team focused particularly on reducing pollution through public information disclosure, in collaboration with the environment ministries of China, Indonesia and the Philippines. He also worked on priority-setting for country lending, grants and technical assistance.
After completing his PhD in 1974, Wheeler taught economics for two years at the National University of Zaire in Kinshasa. He joined the economics faculty at Boston University in 1976, and taught there until he joined the World Bank in 1990. While on the BU faculty, he was a visiting professor in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning (1978-79), a co-founder and principal of the Boston Institute for Developing Economies (1987-1990), and Jakarta field director of the Development Studies Project for BAPPENAS, Indonesia's Planning Ministry (1987-1989).
"Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," 2005, in The International Yearbook of Environmental and Resource Economics 2005/2006: A Survey of Current Issues (New Horizons in Environmental Economics), Tom Tietenberg and Henk Folmer (eds.) (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar) (with Susmita Dasgupta and Hua Wang).
"Can China Grow and Safeguard Its Environment? The Case of Industrial Pollution," 2003, in N. Hope (ed.), Policy Reform in China, (Stanford: Stanford University Press) (with Hua Wang and Susmita Dasgupta).
"Minute Particles, Major Problems: Cleaning the Air in Developing Countries," 2001, Forum For Applied Research and Public Policy, Vol. 16, No. 3, Fall (with Katherine Bolt, Susmita Dasgupta and Kiran Pandey).
CGD's online survey of views on selecting the World Bank's next president received nearly 700 responses from people representing 71 nations; all world regions; high-, middle- and low-income countries; a variety of professional affiliations; and all adult age groups. In a new working paper analyzing evidence from the survey, CGD senior fellow David Wheeler finds that despite the participants' diversity, they displayed striking uniformity in their preference for an open, competitive selection process, their weighting of selection criteria, and their assessment of potential candidates for president of the World Bank--including the U.S. nominee, Robert Zoellick.
A CGD survey of members of the international development community found overwhelming support for reforming the process of selecting the president of the World Bank. About 85 percent of the more than 700 people who responded since the survey was launched last week agreed that the bank should be headed by the best qualified candidate, regardless of nationality. Respondents also scored nine possible candidates mentioned in press reports, including Robert Zoellick, who was announced on Tuesday to be the White House nominee. LEARN MORE AND TAKE THE SURVEY
Our survey on the selection of the new World Bank president solicits views on replacement of the current selection process by one that is “open, competitive and merit-based, without regard to nationality.” These principles reflect the view expressed in an open letter signed by more than 330 people from many development-related organizations--including both of us.
The resignation of Paul Wolfowitz has sparked a global debate about the choice of the next World Bank president. To help inform this debate, CGD has launched an online survey of views on the selection process, the desired qualifications, and perceptions of the qualifications of some of the possible candidates mentioned in press reports. Learn more and take the survey!
Even as President Obama breaks new ground this week on U.S. environmental policy, an upcoming vote by country members of the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund Trust Fund Committee may perpetuate business-as-usual policies that subsidize coal-fired power plants and contribute to global warming. On Friday morning, the committee is scheduled to consider and approve investment criteria that include coal-fired power projects among “clean” technologies that are eligible for billions in MDB financing.