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winter 2018
Banking on battling poverty

Banking on battling poverty

Economics career leads Curry to the World Bank

Curry ’89 is a senior consultant for the World Bank, a Washington, D.C.-based international financial institution with goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity in a sustainable way. Among other activities, the bank provides financing and technical assistance to low- and middle-income countries as a means to address development challenges in many areas and sectors.

“If you take what the World Bank and other multilateral development banks offer, it’s minimal,” he says. “It’s nowhere near what is needed, so it is important that we look for ways to leverage the efforts of development partners, civil society, private sector, national and sub-national governments.”

Part of Curry’s job is linking strategy to operations. He managed the $250 million Africa Catalytic Growth Fund and the $33 million Plan Africa Fund. These two funds finance operations in 19 countries to address obstacles to growth and strengthen the position of vulnerable populations, including those in states that have endured conflicts.

“You have to look at institutions, communities, the financing,” he says. “How do you provide continuity? It’s a huge job.”
Curry, whose three brothers and sister also graduated from Wofford, majored in economics and Spanish. He says Wofford gave him an excellent foundation to launch an economics career that eventually led him to the World Bank after work in the private sector.

“There was a sense of stoking curiosity here,” he says. “The tools were provided to develop one’s perspective. Even though you studied art, religion, philosophy, there was still the opportunity to refine a lens. It was a balanced approach and one that’s important in terms of the complexity of the human endeavor.

“When I first started at Wofford, I was introduced to the thought of trying to understand a problem from different vantage points and truly developing a full awareness of the context, the factors, the conditions. I believe that Wofford’s approach to education is very important.”


by Mike Hembree