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Sonia Ahmad
, International Development Bank, NGO
New York, United States
Water, Disaster risk and Climate change professional with 10 plus research, fundraising, and project management experience in international development agencies. Seeking challenging opportunity.
Send email Contact Sonia Ahmad
Area of Expertise:
  • Environment, Climate, Energy, Water, Sanitation
  • Fundraising, Business Development, Grants Writer
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research, Analysis
Professional Experience:
I worked as an Operations Officer in the World Bank for 10 years. As a key member of the World Bank Country Director's team, I was directly involved in overseeing Bangladesh country program which totals around $4.5 billion. I also contributed to tasks beyond my regular work program and have worked closely on two large fiscal decentralization projects in the urban and rural sectors. One of which is Local Governance Support Project, the centerpiece for a broader governmental program to strengthen accountability in local governments across Bangladesh.

Through my previous role as an Operation Officer at the World Bank, I have honed my project management abilities, while through the Phd experience, I have developed my technical and analytical skills that will allow me to effectively identify and integrate disaster risk solutions into projects for countries globally. For example, my dissertation has studied in depth into designing and implementation of a climate proofed water project which would improve a city’s resilience to water risks. I have studied how the utility and the residents responds to the project and the challenges that they have encountered.

At the same time, I have also collaborated on a four country case study that studies different types of risks as well as solutions for resilience across multiple scales and boundaries. A key output of both my research will be recommendations that include both incremental changes (e.g enhancing capacity and changing tariffs) as well as institutional changes that are needed to integrate disaster risks and adaptation activities into projects. My research will include dissemination and advocacy activities for climate/environmental entities, utility staff, policy makers and community leaders, so that they can use the recommendations.

In addition to my dissertation research, my experience in teaching has also provided me with a unique skill set which I believe will be critical for a successful career at ADB. My communication skills strengthened as I challenged myself to understand and respond to students’ questions while they tackled complex concepts. To convey material clearly to students with diverse learning styles, I developed different approaches to explain a single concept. I also embraced and supported a team culture, utilizing student feedback to improve my own performance and encouraging students to engage each other in their learning. I believe this skill will be as I work with different governments of ADB’s client countries.

Thus, overall, my previous project management at the World Bank as well as the technical, analytical and communication skills I have honed throughout my PhD work will provide a strong foundation as I transition from academic back to a career in the international development arena.
I am currently a doctorate student in City Planning at Cornell University expected to finish December 2019. I have my undergraduate degree in Economics from Grinnell College and Masters Degree in Public Policy.
Available for:
  • Consulting assignments

    Years of Experience:
    10-15 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, Bengali, learning Chinese
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