About Me

Swarnim Waglé is an elected Member of Federal Parliament in Nepal. He chairs the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), a South Asian policy think-tank established in Kathmandu in 1979. He is the former Chief Economic Advisor at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) in New York covering 36 countries.

Between 2014 and 2018, Dr. Waglé served the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Government of Nepal for three intermittent years, first as Member and then as Vice-Chair. As the head of the Government’s apex policy advisory body, Dr. Waglé guided the formulation of national development strategies, coordinated policy and projects across the public sector, led ministerial delegations on the international stage, and steered organizational change. In the aftermath of the devastating Nepal earthquake of 2015 and the flood of 2017, he co-led the Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNA) and helped garner pledges (of billions of US dollars) for reconstruction.

Swarnim Waglé has worked as an international development professional for more than 20 years, including as Senior Economist at The World Bank in Washington, DC and UNDP in New York, Hanoi and Colombo. Widely published, he co-edited The Great Upheaval (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and co-authored the global Human Development Report (2013) titled The Rise of the South. From 2002 to 2007, he co-led the UNDP Asia Trade Initiative.

Swarnim Waglé sits on the Senate of Kathmandu University and advises several non-profit organizations. He is an eminent member of the World Bank’s South Asia Championing and Visioning Process. Having undertaken short-term assignments at the Asian Development Bank (Manila) and the International Trade Center (Geneva), he also served as South Asia editor of Harvard Asia Quarterly in 1999-2000.  

Swarnim Waglé holds a doctorate in economics from the Australian National University, Master’s in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University, and BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

He was born in Gorkha, Nepal.