Diana Alarcón is the Chief of the Development Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit of the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). She leads the writing team for the World Economic and Social Survey and has contributed to several reports by the Secretary-General on issues related to the United Nations development agenda. Diana co-led the creation of the MDG Gap Task Force in 2008 and the subsequent publication of the MDG Gap Report. She had a leading role in the creation of the UN Task Team for the Post 2015 Development Agenda and in the preparation of the initial analytical inputs from the United Nations system to the inter-governmental processes that defined the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Before joining UN/DESA, Diana worked 10 years in the Inter-American Development Bank and has experience working at UNDP and the ILO. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Riverside and has taught in several Universities both in Mexico and the United States.
Helena Afonso is an Associate Economic Affairs Officer in the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). She joined the United Nations in 2015 as part of the UN Young Professionals Programme. Previously, she worked at the African Development Bank, the Council of Europe and the Portuguese Central Bank. She also provided research assistance in economic research studies at her university. Helena holds a Master of Science in Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Nova School of Business and Economics.
Hoi Wai (Jackie) Cheng
Hoi Wai (Jackie) Cheng is an Associate Economic Affairs Officer at the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). Prior to assuming his current position at the World Economic and Social Survey team, he was a core team member of the World Economic Situation and Prospects, acting as the regional monitor for East and Southeast Asia. Before joining UN/DESA, as the National Economist, he led the economic research portfolio of the United Nations Development Programme China office, where he worked for four years. He also previously worked as a research assistant at the Environmental Change Institute – University of Oxford. His primary research interest includes inequality, fiscal policy, climate change, and applied econometrics. Jackie received his Master of Philosophy in Economics degree from the University of Oxford (specialization in advanced econometrics and development economics) and a Bachelor of Science degree (double major in Economics and Accounting, minor in Mathematics) from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.
Nicole Hunt is a Senior Statistics Assistant in the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). She has spent most of her career at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago and at the UN Secretariat Headquarters in New York. Nicole has over twenty years’ experience in the research process; providing statistical support in the areas of social and economic development; building statistical capacity at national statistical offices; and was instrumental in designing the CARIBTRADE Trade & Transport Database for which she was the Caribbean focal point for maintenance, quality control and end-user support. She also worked as Monitoring and Evaluation Programme Officer providing technical assistance to National HIV/AIDS Programmes and as a Consultant in the field of Health Research Systems Assessment. Nicole holds a B.Sc. in Sociology from The University of the West Indies, postgraduate studies in Statistics from Sheffield Hallam University and is in the process of completing her MBA specialization from Heriot-Watt University.
S. Nazrul Islam
Nazrul Islam joined the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) in 2006 as Senior Economic Affairs Officer and has served as a key contributor to all World Economic and Social Survey issues since 2007. He earned his MA and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and his Master of Science in Economics from Moscow State University. He also studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh. Before joining the United Nations, Nazrul taught economics at Dhaka University, Harvard University, Emory University, and Kyushu University. He is well known for his research on economic growth, development, transition, political economy and environmental economics.
Kenneth Iversen is an Economic Affairs Officer in the Development Policy Analysis Division (DPAD) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). Kenneth started working for the United Nations in 2010, and before joining DPAD, he worked in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). He has a Master of Science in Economics and International Financial Economics from University of Warwick and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from University of Toulouse.
Alex Julca has a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research and is currently Economic Affairs Officer in the Development Policy Analysis Division (DPAD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). Having previously worked in the private and public sector in Lima, Peru, Alex taught at the City University of New York and worked as an economic researcher at Columbia University. He has made substantive contributions to the World Economic and Social Survey on issues associated with international migration, ageing, innovative finance, economic insecurity, adaptation to climate change, international aid and sustainable cities. He has published extensively in peer review journals in the areas of economics, international migration, remittances, natural disasters and climate change.
Hiroshi Kawamura joined the United Nations in 1992 and has since worked in the areas of transnational corporations, labour and technology and global economic development. At present, Hiroshi is an Economic Affairs Officer providing substantive support to the Committee for Development Policy, a subsidiary organ of the Economic and Social Council, whose main functions are to provide independent advice to the Council on emerging cross-sectoral development issues and to review the status of least developed countries. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a Master in Public Administration from International Christian University in Tokyo, and a BA in Economics from Saitama University.
Marcelo LaFleur is an Economic Affairs Officer in the Development Policy Analysis Division (DPAD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). He joined the United Nations in 2007 and has since worked in the areas of poverty and sustainable development, preparing publications and leading and conducting capacity development projects in developing countries. As part of the World Economic and Social Survey team, Marcelo works on the issues of poverty, inequality, and adaptation to climate change. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics, as well as a Masters in International Political Economy and Development, from Fordham University, and a BA in Economics from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Sérgio P. Vieira
Sérgio Pires Vieira is an Economic Affairs Officer in the Development Policy Analysis Division (DPAD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). He joined the United Nations in 2005 and has since worked in the areas of inequality, poverty, labour markets, social integration, economic growth, and sustainable development, contributing to several publications such as the Report on the World Social Situation, the World Economic Situation and Prospects, and the World Economic and Social Survey. He earned a Ph.D. and Masters in Development Economics, from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris.
Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, Jayati Ghosh, John Loxley, José Antonio Ocampo, John Quiggin, Barbara Stallings, Rob Vos and Samuel Wangwe.
Comments and inputs
Members of the Editorial Board at UN/DESA and colleagues from other Divisions within UN/DESA. The following Expert Group Meeting participants provided valuable comments: Peride Blind, Matthias Bruckner, Maria Luisa De Jesus, Charlotte French, Navid Hanif, Ivo Havinga, Barry Herman, Dawn Holland, Robert Johnston, Richard Jolly, Seok-Ran Kim, Lisa Morrison, Eric Olson, Cristian Ossa, Mariangela Parra-Lancourt, Ingo Pitterle, Elida Reci, Marco Sánchez-Cantillo, Herman Smith, Frances Stewart and Jan Vandemoortele.
Document and administrative support
Ramona Kohrs, Israel Machado and Maricela Martinez facilitated access to reference documents. Administrative support was provided by Gerard F. Reyes.
Editorial and design input
Michael Brodsky, Leah Kennedy, Gabe Scelta, Nancy Settecasi and the Graphics Design Unit in the Department of Public Information.