Lucie Phillips

IBI International (Sustaining Member)

Dr. Lucie Phillips is the Owner and Chairman of IBI International. During a career in international development that spans some 30 years, Dr. Phillips has contributed innovative methodologies, produced consistently solid results, and authored numerous scholarly publications. Dr. Phillips’ early work reflected innovative foresight, contributing to what later became major trends. In the 1970s, when the development community had not yet recognized that the problems it was facing were structural, she pointed it out on project after project. In the 1980s, when investment promotion focused exclusively on foreign investment, she initiated one of the first Doing Business studies, that examined factors affecting local as well as international investors. When poverty studies were still in their infancy, she developed indicators such as the low-income household consumer price index (CPI) basket, that could be tracked through prices instead of repeated surveys. In the 1990s, when business persons' networks brought in only token women-owned firms, she helped West African business women organize a network of their own. When artisanal mining boomed in the 1990s and observers bemoaned its effect on the poor workers, she listened to mine workers and everyone else throughout the value chain. It eventually became clear and was documented that the mine workers could earn six to ten times what they earned in agriculture. Posing the question, “Would you give up the opportunity to multiply your income by ten?” she demonstrated that the maintenance of an extraordinary number of middle-income jobs justified developing policies and programs to meet new realities. Since then, she has worked on improving the regulations, conditions and impacts of mining — small and large — to preserve those jobs, reduce rural poverty and multiply rural investments.

She holds a Ph.D. in Economic History and African Studies from Columbia University in New York and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College. Dr. Phillips is fluent in French, and has studied Wolof, Hausa, Arabic, Spanish, German and Kiswahili.



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