About Me

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

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, he guided the formulation of national development strategies, coordinated policy across the public sector, led ministerial delegations, and steered organizational change. In the aftermath of the devastating Nepal earthquake of 2015, he co-led the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and helped garner pledges (of billions of US dollars) for reconstruction.

Swarnim Waglé has worked as an international development professional for more than 25 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) The Rise of the South. From 2002 to 2007, he co-led the UNDP Asia Trade Initiative.

Dr. Waglé advises several non-profit organizations and is a past senator of Kathmandu University (2018-2023). He is an eminent member of the World Bank’s South Asia Champions Group. Having undertaken short-term assignments at the Asian Development Bank (Manila) and the International Trade Center (Geneva), he also served as the South Asia editor of Harvard Asia Quarterly in 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.