Viridiana Garcia (Grad. Year ’10) – UNDP

Viridiana Garcia

1. Where do you come from? Could you tell us about your education and, in particular, about the track in which you were at the Paris School of Economics?

I am of French and Chilean origin. I hold a graduate degree in Public Affairs from Sciences Po Paris, and a Master of Science in Population and Development from the London School of Economics. After some work experience, I studied in the Public Policy and Development (PPD) Master program at PSE.

2. Since your graduation at PSE, what kind of job have you had? According to you, what is the main value added that your education at PSE gave you?

Prior to studying at PSE, I worked for the French Ministry of Finance, and as a Public Sector Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. During my training at PSE I also participated in Policy Evaluation Programmes for the Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and notably worked on the project “La Malette des Parents” commissioned by the Ministry of Education and supervised by Eric Maurin and Marc Gurgand, who teach at PSE. After my graduation from PSE, I joined the United Nation Development Program in New York City.

More precisely, I am now a Junior Professional Officer and work as an Analyst within the Executive Office of Ms Helen Clark, the Head of UNDP.

My team provides policy advice to Ms. Clark on a large set of economic topics and human development issues. For instance, we are currently undertaking research on commodities in developing countries with the aim of identifying instruments to help them increase their resilience to shocks and use the revenues from natural resources to reduce poverty and provide economic opportunities for a larger share of the population. I think my experience at PSE, and more specifically in the PPD programme, really enabled me to build bridges between quantitative techniques and policy approaches.

3. In your current position, what are the day-to-day challenges that your are facing ?

The challenge for a team of economists in an organization such as UNDP is to keep abreast of the debate in development economics and to use such inputs to contribute to shape the policies of the organization on the ground. Managing to apply the very late research in development economics, and being able to question or qualify your previous “believes” in that field is surely the main challenge.