Dr. Babatunde Omilola is an international development expert and Head of the Public Health, Security, and Human Development Division of the African Development Bank Group. He is responsible for managing the African Development Bank’s multi-billion-dollar response to the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives and livelihoods throughout Africa and to help African countries strengthen their health systems, stabilize their economies, and alleviate the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
Babatunde served as Head of Development Planning and Inclusive Growth with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York and led the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Team on the monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally. He also co-chaired the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on Global Food and Nutrition Security Technical Team. Babatunde was UNDP’s Regional Practice Leader for poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa and UNDP’s Senior Economic Advisor and Head of Policy and Strategy in South Africa. He was also the Africa-wide Coordinator with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington DC. He handled the relationship of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In 2022, Babatunde was selected as a Yale World Fellow at Yale University, USA. Babatunde is also a Fellow on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, USA. He was also appointed as a Fellow of the Comparative Research Program for preventing and eradicating poverty by the International Social Science Council from 2014 to 2018. Since 2014, he has been an inaugural member of the Committee on Science for the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He won the prestigious Ford Foundation International Fellowship in 2001 and the Graduate Research Fellowship of the International Development Research Centre in 2004 for his MPhil and Ph.D. degrees in International Development and Development Economics from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. He served as an Alumni Ambassador of his alma mater, the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.
Babatunde has visited and delivered development assistance in over 80 countries worldwide in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Babatunde has been associated with the United Nations International School, New York since 2015.