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Vinod Thomas

Vinod Thomas
Vinod Thomas 2.jpg
Independent Evaluation
Asian Development Bank
Assumed office
August 2011
Personal details
Alma mater St. Stephen's College, Delhi
Western Michigan University
University of Chicago

Vinod Thomas (born in Thiruvananthapuram, India) is Director General of Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He reports to ADB’s Board of Directors through the Development Effectiveness Committee. His work aims to assess ADB’s development effectiveness while providing lessons to help inform ADB’s actions going forward. He is responsible for evaluating policies, programs, projects and technical assistance, as well as thematic issues at the regional, country, and sector levels. Taken together, the evaluations address the effectiveness of ADB’s strategies, policies, practices, and procedures. He also heads the review and selective validation of project and program completion reports from operational departments. He is in charge of tracking the response to evaluation recommendations, as well as supporting evaluation capacity development in member countries.

Prior to this, Thomas was the Director-General and Senior Vice-President of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank Group. He was formerly Country Director for Brazil and Vice-President, a position that he held from October 2001 to July 2005. Prior to that, he was Vice-President of the World Bank Institute, where he led the Institute’s efforts to improve its focus, quality, and impact. He joined the World Bank in 1976 and held several positions, including Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region, Director for the World Development Report, Chief of Trade Policy and Principal Economist for Colombia, and Economist for Bangladesh.

After completing his Bachelor's degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, Vinod went on to acquire a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago and authored numerous books, articles, and reports. He has taught at Vassar College, New York and the University of São Paulo, Brazil, has addressed professional and academic fora in all regions, and is a member of the Cosmos Club.

  • Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Transforming Economies and Policies for a Sustainable Future. Transaction Publishers. 2017.
  • Remembering our Future Results for Development. April 2015.
  • Evaluation for Better Results. 10 Year of Independent Evaluation at Asian Development Bank, with others. Asian Development Bank: Manila. September 2014.
  • Multilateral Banks and the Development Process: Vital Links in the Results Chain, with Xubei Luo. Transaction Publishers. 2012.
  • From Inside Brazil: Development in a Land of Contrasts, Stanford University Press, 2006 (English and Portuguese).
  • The Quality of Growth, with Yan Wang, Nalin Kishor, Dani Kaufmann, Ramon Lopez and Ashok Dhareshwar. Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • The Lessons of East Asia: An Overview of Country Experience, with Danny Leipziger, A World Bank publication, 1993.
  • Sustaining Rapid Development in East Asia and the Pacific, with R. Agarwala. A World Bank publication, 1993.
  • The Challenge of Development, World Development Report 1991, with others, Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Best Practices in Trade Policy Reform, with J. Nash, Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Restructuring Countries in Distress, ed. with others, Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Adjustment Lending: How It Has Worked, How It Can Be Improved, ed. with A. Chhibber, The World Bank, 1989.
  • The Economics of Urbanization and Urban Policies in Developing Countries, ed. with G.S. Tolley, World Bank publication, 1987.
  • Linking Macroeconomic and Agricultural Policies for Adjustment with Growth: The Colombian Experience, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. Spanish version published by the Central Bank of Colombia.
  • Agricultural Price Policies and the Developing Countries, with G.S. Tolley and C.M. Wong, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.
  • Global Increase in Climate-Related Disasters with R. Lopez (November 2015, Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 466)
  • Contributors to the Frequency of Intense Climate Disasters in Asia-Pacific Countries, with J.R. Albert and C. Hepburn, Climatic Change, Springer. 2014.
  • Climate-Related Disasters in Asia and the Pacific with J.R. Albert and R. Perez (July 2013, Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 358)
  • Development Imperatives for the Asian Century with P. Petri (July 2013, Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 360)
  • "Evaluation Systems, Ethics, and Development Evaluation" American Journal of Evaluation, vol 31, number 4, December 2010.
  • "Evaluation for Better Development Results" with Jiro Tominaga, Journal of Development Effectiveness. October, 2010.
  • "Development Evaluation in an Age of Turbulence" with Jiro Tominaga, Forthcoming
  • "O Brasil e os paises do BRICC em um novo mundo", in A crise global e o novo papel munidal dos BRICS, Forum Nacional, Brasil, 2009, pp. 43–73.
  • "Income Disparity." Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies 2009, 1:63.
  • Measuring Education Inequality: Gini Coefficients of Education with Y. Wang, X. Fan (January 2001, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2525)
  • Education, Trade Reform and Investment Returns with Y. Wang (January 2001, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper)
  • "Revisiting the Challenge of Development." in Frontiers of Development Economics: The Future in Perspective, (eds. G. M. Meier and J. E. Stiglitz), Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 149–182.
  • "From The Economist – CON and PRO: Quantity and Quality and Why Quality Matters." Development Outreach, World Bank Institute, Vol. 3, No. 1, Winter 2001.
  • "Why quality matters." The Economist, Economics Focus, 7 October 2000.
  • World Bank Green Award, 2004
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Western Michigan University, 2004
  • Global Award 2002, Kerala, Kala Kendram
  • Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Mar Ivanios College, Kerala, 2004
  • Awarded Distinguished Malayalee by the Chief Minister, Kerala, 2001
  • Award for Excellence, World Bank, 1995
  • National Foundation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1973–75
  • Ford Foundation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1971–73
  • Research and Teaching Assistantships, The University of Chicago and W. Michigan University
  • W. Michigan University Award for Best Student
  • Selected for exchange scholarship from St Stephen’s college to W. Michigan University
  • Honors from W. Michigan University and Delhi University
  • National and State Merit Scholarships, India
  • Member American Economic Association
  • Member, Cosmos Club, Washington DC
  • Thomas, Vinod and Xubei Luo (2012). "Multilateral Banks and the Development Process: Vital Links in the Results Chain", Transaction Publishers. 2012.
  • Thomas, Vinod (2006). "From Inside Brazil: Development in a Land of Contrasts", Stanford University Press.
  • Thomas, Vinod with Yan Wang, Nalin Kishor, Dani Kaufmann, Ramon Lopez and Ashok Dhareshwar (2000). "The Quality of Growth", Oxford University Press.
  • Thomas, Vinod and Danny Leipziger (1993), "The Lessons of East Asia: An Overview of Country Experience", World Bank.
  • Thomas, Vinod and R. Agarawala (1993), "Sustaining Rapid Development in East Asia and the Pacific", World Bank.
  • Thomas, Vinod, et. al, (1991), "The Challenge of Development", World Development Report 1991 Oxford University Press.
  • Thomas, Vinod and J. Nash (1991), "Best Practices in Trade Policy Reform", Oxford University Press.
  • Thomas, Vinod (1991), "Restructuring Countries in Distress", Oxford University Press.


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