Alfred Watkins, Executive Chairman, Global Innovation Summit


Alfred Watkins is currently the Executive Chairman of the Global Innovation Summit sponsored by T2VC ( which will convene in Silicon Valley on July 16-18, 2012 and an STI policy advisor to a number of international organizations and emerging market governments.  

Prior to assuming these positions on September 1, 2011, he worked for more than 23 years in various positions at the World Bank and served for more than six years as the World Bank’s Science and Technology Program Coordinator and head of the World Bank’s Science, Technology and Innovation Global Expert Team.  In those capacities he was responsible for designing, developing and helping to implement the World Bank’s global STI capacity building programs and for helping to maintain the World Bank’s STI capacity building dialogue with G-8 governments, bilateral donors, foundations, NGOs, and various multilateral and UN agencies. 

Under his leadership, in December 2009 the World Bank convened a Global Forum on STI Capacity Building Partnerships for Sustainable Development and subsequently prepared an Action Plan (available at that discussed how the ideas discussed at the Forum could be converted into specific policies and programs that could be financed and implemented by the World Bank, in collaboration with other development partners. In February 2007, he organized the World Bank’s first Global Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity Building for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction.  (Presentations from both Global Forums as well as Proceedings from the February 2007 Global Forum are available online at In February 2005, he organized a High Level Expert Seminar in Moscow, Russia that was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Russia and the President of the World Bank. 

In addition to these broader corporate functions, Mr. Watkins helped to design and organize World Bank STI capacity building programs in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Mr. Watkins also led the World Bank team that designed and implemented an innovative World Bank non-commercial risk guarantee package for the Sea Launch Commercial Space Launch project in Russia and Ukraine.  

Prior to joining the Bank, Dr. Watkins was an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and served as an economic advisor to several Members of Congress.  

His recent Science and Technology publications include:

Moving Up the Value Chain in Malaysia’s Medical Device and Solar Industries (with Philip Schellekens, Travis Bradford and Mario Gobo). Technical Assistance report prepared for the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office. (July 2011).

Global Forum Action Plan: STI Capacity Building Partnerships for Sustainable Development (with Joshua Mandell).  (World Bank, 2010) (available at

Science, Technology and Innovation:  Capacity Building for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction (with Michael Ehst).  Procedings of the World Bank Global Forum on STI Capacity Building (World Bank, 2008) (available at  HYPERLINK "" )

Building Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity in Rwanda:  Developing Practical Solutions to Practical Problems (with Anubha Verma).  (World Bank, 2008) (available at

Creating a 21st Century National Innovation System for a 21st Century Latvian Economy (with Natalia Agapitova), Policy Research Working Paper No. 3457, November 2004 

From Knowledge to Wealth: Transforming Russian Science and Technology for a Modern Knowlege Economy, Policy Research Working Paper No. 2974, February 2003