Meet Kabira Namit. Kabira originally hails from the Goldilocks island of Bombay (not too hot, not too cold, just right) but over the last few years at various points in time, he has called Skopje, London, Accra, Lilongwe, Princeton and Monrovia home. We dare you to take out a map now and see what a global citizen he is.
Kabira works for the World Bank in the Education Global Practice. His current portfolio includes fragile and post conflict countries in West Africa – though his primary focus is on Liberia. His drive to work in post conflict economies comes from his undergrad days when he did field research in Kashmir. That’s right, Kabira works on creating sustainable peace in some difficult contexts. Not a bad way to spend your life, right?
His own educational path is a successful one. He completed his undergrad education in Economics and Statistics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai – an old gothic fort converted into a liberal arts college run by Jesuits. Then, he studied Development Economics at SOAS in London. After working for the U.K. government and governments in Ghana and Malawi for nearly six years, the Woodrow Wilson School in Princeton offered him a full scholarship to study Economics and Public Policy, and Princeton became his home for a couple of years.
The reason why Kabira likes ECON+ is exactly the reason for ECON+’s creation. He enjoys reading the articles that our members produce and he loves the discussions we wish to foment. ECON+ is proud to have his talent be shared with our other members. To that point, Kabira is passionate about improving education and health outcomes in developing countries, and he sees himself working in these sectors (ideally in post conflict countries) for the foreseeable future.
Joining the night owl club of ECON+, Kabira describes himself as a night person, without any doubt. He’d stay up till 3 AM every night if there wasn’t a grown up voice inside admonishing him past midnight. Sometimes, jetlag might get in the way of sleeping given that he has to travel all the time which is a bit of a problem given that Kabira admits he is not great on planes. Perhaps, that’s why his favorite superpower to possess would be the ability to fly. No more worries about plane crashes!
Kabira doesn’t get caught up in the dogs vs cats debate. He pretty much likes any and all animals. Back home, his family runs a small animal rescue shelter, thus, he has been attached to animals since he was a kid. He does count elephants as his favourite. Problem is, he doesn’t have enough space in DC to own an elephant!
Not only is he good to animals but he also has a great display of wisdom, cinematically: His favorite movie is Robert Zemeckis’s “Back to the Future” trilogy. You can bet on a Nobel prize just based on this information. He’s also a fan of the Indiana Jones movies (not the fourth one, obviously). These movies inspired him to want to be a time travelling archeologist when he was young. Sadly, for the archeology field, that didn’t work out. If he could travel through time, he would want to grab a cup of chai with Mahatma Gandhi.
Regarding extraterrestrials life, the optimist in Kabira believes that life on other planets exists. He clings to Drake’s equation like a drowning man clings to a piece of wood. As for ghosts, he holds a pragmatic view. Kabira really wishes that ghosts exist because then we’d have proof that there’s life after death and that would be a comforting thought. So, basically, ghosts, take note – Kabira wants to make your acquaintance.
Are there any ghosts in Fiji? Buenos Aires? Dar es Salaam? Those are some of the places Kabira would like to live in. Actually, he’s been looking for World Bank placements in Dar. He would love to try the seafood there and finally learn Swahili. A place just to visit would be Antarctica, which is going to happen next year. He will probably see the icebergs while listening to his favourite songs from the 1950s and 60s.
No wonder that Kabira=adventure (don’t fact check that). His Saturday nights can involve taking a swing dancing lesson, joining a fencing class, or trying to see if he could walk from one end of Bombay to another in a day, like he did once. He admits that he has scored only two goals in his ill-fated weekend football career – one was an own goal and the other was a pass that accidentally turned into a goal. He’s in for the ECON+ football team though!
Kabira is very well positioned to have his dream job. He wants to be a TTL (Task Team Leader) for the World Bank. TTLs get to design new projects and meaningfully contribute to supporting governments in poverty reduction. He points to his parents as his constant source of inspiration with their ability of overcoming adversities and their cheerful disposition through life. Additionally, two managers and mentors at the World Bank – Deborah Mikesell and Peter Darvas – have made an impact in his life, as they are incredibly passionate about making the world a better place for children in developing countries and make Kabira want to work harder every day.