Chief Economist and Managing Director
John Underwood is the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of the Economic Analysis Division. He is responsible for the quality of MCC’s economic work and manages the group responsible for identifying critical constraints to growth in MCC compact countries, economic analysis of policy reform and cost-benefit analysis of MCC-supported projects, focusing on the cost-effectiveness of MCC investments.
Mr. Underwood came to MCC with more than 25 years of economic research, analysis and policy experience at the World Bank, including six years as director of the Country Services Department. That department comprised the Bank’s Results Unit, Country Economics Unit, Fragile States Unit, and Aid Effectiveness Unit and coordinated the preparation of the Bank’s country partnership strategies. Prior to that, he was program coordinator for the Bank’s economic work on Latin America and the Caribbean, lead economist in the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Vice Presidency, and principle economist for the Bank’s Debt and International Finance Division. Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Underwood was chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s International Development Section. He has worked in many corners of the globe, including as a member of the Peace Corps in Swaziland and as a research fellow at the Bank of Thailand.
Mr. Underwood holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota. He has published on a variety of economic development and development finance issues. He speaks French and Spanish.