Alfredo Sfeir-Younis

The Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation

  • President and Founder (2005 to present)

The World Bank Last Position

  • Senior Adviser
    Managing Directors Office
    The World Bank 

    The World Bank, Washington D.C.  USA (2003-2005)

The World Bank: Other Senior Positions (29 Years of Experience)

  • Director and Special Representative To The United Nations  
    New York and Geneva (1996-2003)
  • Director Green Team,
    Environmental Department. Principal Environmental Economist (1983- 1996)
  • Principal Economist Agriculture,
    The West Africa Region (1983-1987)
  • Principal Evaluation Officer,
    Operations Evaluations Department (1977-1983)

Major Areas of Experience

  • Human Rights and Economic Development. 
    Named the Institutional Focal Point on human rights at the World Bank.  Principal spokes-person at the UN and WTO and other international forums, including civil society organizations.  Prepared large number of papers/statements on civil and political rights, economic and social rights and the right to development.
  • Mainstreaming Sustainable Development Into Macro-Economics and Global Policy
    Led missions and tasks to design and implement sustainable development programs.  Given training on conceptual and practical aspects of sustainability, including sectoral and resource based issues (e.g., forestry, water, soil and biodiversity).  Worked in the preparation of country strategies and national environmental action plans at the macro and local levels.  Assisted developing countries in the implementing of environmental programs and in integration into macroeconomics planning, public investment and expenditure reviews, sectoral policies and programs, and regional strategies.
  • Environment, Sustainability and Poverty Eradication
    Involved in operations and evaluation of progress made with regard to poverty eradication and sustainable development.  Integrated growth, sustainability and poverty through the theory of capital accumulation and its translation into the design of forestry and land management programs.  Drafted and led implementation of policy positions in fisheries development, water conservation and management, pricing natural resources, and compensation of displaced populations.
  • Operational Experience: Project/Program Related
    Participated and led mission in agriculture, structural adjustment public expenditure reviews environmental conservation and natural resources management.  Special emphasis on forestry, irrigation development, soil conservation and land management, desertification and biodiversity.  Added emphasis on institutions, social structures, equity and long term impacts.  Written books/reports on the economic analysis of natural resources and conservation strategies.  Provided training and prepared training materials on natural resources management and environmental policies.  Given training policy makers in developing countries, including legislators and justice people, journalists, etc. Training given at the community level.
  • Evaluation and Assessment of Sustainable Development,  Environmental/Economic Impacts
    Led two major macroeconomic studies –Nepal and Bolivia–on the long-term impacts of macroeconomic policies and investment programs into natural resources management.  Included review of multilateral assistant programs during a period of 25-30 years of development interventions.  Emphasis on the role of human, cultural and institutional capital.
  • Management and Implementation
    Held many management positions, including tasks essential for development implementation.  Participated in many supervision and evaluation missions including social, environmental and economic issues and constraints.  Organized retreats, seminars, committees and task forces, and leader on International Conference on Environmentally Sustainable Development.  Organized professional staff retreats on technical, organizational and institutional dimensions linked to the environment and natural resources.
  • Spiritual Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship, Human Values  in Economics, Finance, and Sustainable Development
    Involved in developing a new paradigm based on the non-material and spiritual dimensions of economic and social development.  Assisted in the organization of a world meeting on Ethics, Moral and Spiritual values for Sustainable Development.  Given many seminars on the relationship between spiritually and economic development, including indigenous peoples knowledge.  Published several articles and made numerous public statements.  Involved also on issues of business, entrepreneurship and spirituality.  Provided elements needed to enliven the soul of businesses.

Other Areas of Expertise

  • Macroeconomics: Monetary, Fiscal and Trade Policies
    Trained in economics with particular emphasis on macro policies.  Worked at Central Bank of Chile leading on questions of savings and interest rate policies.  Prepared a dissertation on Credit Concentration in the Private Sector.  Researched on international trade and finance, with emphasis on trade of primary commodities (non-renewable resources) and impacts on developing countries.  Prepared a paper on potential retaliation from trade practices in copper, tin and bauxite.  Trained as an agricultural economist with strong background on economic evaluation and assessment, benefit cost analysis, policy formulation and analysis and institutional development.  Emphasized institutional economics matters, including role of the public sector and civil society.
  • Innovative Forms of Financing Environmentally Sustainable Development
    Organized a world conference on innovative forms of financing for sustainable development.  Prepared and disseminated a number of proceedings on matters related to financing. 
  • Institutional, Human and Social Development
    Interested and actively sought to mainstream institutional and social dimensions of sustainable development into macro-economic planning, policy formulation and implementation.  Of particular interest: development of environmental institutions (including socio-economic research) at the national and regional levels; role of indigenous communities in sustainability and knowledge; cultural aspects of the development process; and issues related to governance.
  • Indigenous Knowledge, Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development
    Improved understanding of the role that indigenous people and their knowledge play in sustainability.  Increasingly involved in learning about the holistic views of the Mapuche, Maya, Cuna and Lakota peoples.

Summary of Work Experience

1976 – 2005 The World Bank
  • April 2003 to 2005 Senior Adviser on Human Rights to the Managing Director
  • Nov 1999 to March 2003 Special Representative to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.  Geneva Office
  • Sep 1996 – Nov 1999 Special Representative to the United Nations – New York Office
  • Mar 1993 – Sep 1996 Principal Natural Resource Economist.  Environmental department and Leader of the Green Team of the World Bank
  • Sep 1987 – Mar 1993 Principal Evaluation Officer and Director of the Annual review of Evaluations.  Operations Evaluation department
  • Jan 1983 – Sep 1987 Principal Economist of the West Africa Agricultural Division (Senegal, Mali, Niger, Burkina-Faso, Mauritania, Chad and Gambia
  • Mar 1977 – Jan 1983 Senior Natural Resource Economist and Senior Economist of The Agricultural Department.  Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Management
  • May 1976 – Mar 1977 Young Professionals Program.  First Assignment in South Asia Agriculture Development Division.  Second Assignment in the Urban and Regional Economics Department of the Development Research center
  • Oct – Dec 1990 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) – on secondment from the World Bank
  •   1974 – 1976 University of Wisconsin.  Research    Assistantship
1968 – 1972 Others
  • Central Bank of Chile.  Economist
  • University of Chile.  Assistant Professor
  • Catholic University. Visiting Professor.
  • Catholic University of Valparaiso.
  • Professor and Elected Chairman Of Budget

Management and Leadership Positions

  • Chief, United Nations Unit.  External Affairs.  The World Bank
  • Acting and Deputy Division Chief.  Many assignments.  The World Bank
  • Director.  World Conference on Environmentally Sustainable Development.  The World Bank
  • Chair in a number of committees at The World Bank
  • Vice President.  Graduate Students.  Agricultural Economics.  University of Wisconsin
  • Elected Regent.  Catholic University of Valparaiso
  • President.  School of Economics.  University of Chile
  • Class President.  High School.  Colegio San Ignacio
  • President.  Catholic Youth Association.  San Cresente.  Santiago

Formal Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
    University of Wisconsin, 1974-1976
    Major Field: Natural Resources, Environment and Economic Development
    Minor Field: International Trade and Finance
  • Master Science (M.Sc.)
    University of Wisconsin and University of Rhode Island, 1973-1974
    Major Field: Resource Economics, Agricultural Economics
  • Commercial Engineer
    University of Chile, 1965-1970
    Major Field: Macro Economics and Monetary Policy
  • Bachelor Degree (B.A.)
    University of Chile, 1965-1970
    Major Field: Economics


  • Spanish (mother tongue)
  • English
  • French (intermediate)
  • Portuguese (understand)


  • Born: Santiago de Chile, September 26, 1947
  • Family: Three children: Alfredo Alejandro, Maria Jose and Maria Francisca


  • Lifetime Ambassador of Peace (2001)
  • World Healer Award (2002)
  • The Messenger of Peace (2002)
  • Social Corporate Responsibility Award (2003)
  • The 2003 Peace, Merci and Tolerance Award (2003)
  • The Person Of The Year, World Ass. Of Retired Persons, NYC (2004)
  • Cho Tab Khen Zambuling-World Healer (2005)
  • The Diamond Peace Award 2005.  Graz, Austria
  • The Peace, Mercy and Tolerance Award, World Ass. Educators for Peace
  • Doctorate in Science, International Free University for Alternative Medicine

National Affairs

  • Candidate to the Presidency of Chile (2013)
  • Candidate to the Senate, Maule Region (2017)