Katherine Foster

World Bank Group

Katherine Foster is an advisor to the World Bank, engaged in building out the blockchain and carbon markets framework and pilots. As a former Canadian Diplomat, she focused on International Trade, Climate Change and Human Security for nearly a decade before turning to teaching, researching and building innovation for social impact out of Switzerland. She led activities for Swiss Universities and Research Institutions, WWF, WMO, ASHOKA, NESTA UK, and the Global Humanitarian Forum. Katherine was part of the team that established the first microfinance bank in Namibia as well as the Swiss Capacity Building Facility, a non-profit established in 2011 by FIDES, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Zurich Insurance Company, Credit Suisse and additional partners, to assist financial institutions in significantly scaling up their outreach to BOP in developing countries.

Later, as Development Lead for the European Union’s innovation program Climate-KIC, which has, to date, accelerated 900 startups including 13 nominees for Forbes 30 Under 30, Katherine spearheaded partnerships, calls and programs focusing on climate innovation, particularly on sustainable land use as well as related investment and financial mechanisms. She also served as an advisor to numerous external programs and startups, becoming Executive Director of BLOC (Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration) and FinTech4Good, before undertaking her current role at the World Bank in March 2018.

Katherine has served on the advisory board of the UNDP Accelerate 2030 entrepreneurship program since 2016, and is a member of the Climate Chain Coalition and the Blockchain For Social Impact Coalition. Swiss-Canadian, Katherine is a geographer three times over with degrees in Environmental and Development Geography, GIS and Natural Resource Management from McGill, Western and the University of Edinburg.