Leader Profile: Laura Dorling, Counselor, Inter-American Development Bank

Each donor country of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has a representative office based in the Bank’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Some of the Offices of the Executive Directors represent single country membership while others represent multiple countries. Laura Dorling is positioned as Counselor within the Canadian Executive Director’s Office of the IDB.

The IDB is the oldest and largest of the regional development banks. Of its 46 member countries, 26 are borrowing countries and 20 are non-borrowing. Within the IDB’s diverse activities, there are significant commercial opportunities to build capacity and to implement the development projects in the region. "My position aims to assist poverty reduction and capacity building efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean by fostering policy development and the engagement of Canadian organizations in related projects", explained Laura.

Since its initiation in 1959 the IDB has handled over US$ 118 billion in loans, with a total project value of US$ 281 billion. "We provide support to organizations to enable them to better understand how the Bank works and how to become involved in the various poverty reduction activities in the region, for example, sharing information on overall development policy, priority initiatives, sector-specific or country lending strategies and procurement guidelines", Laura stated.

Laura commenced at IDB in September 2004. Prior to that she worked within the International Financing Division of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, now known as International Trade Canada. "As Team Leader / Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean, she was responsible for activities of the various multilateral development banks in the region, specifically World Bank, IDB, Caribbean Development Bank and North American Development Bank".

A graduate of the University of Ottawa’s School of Management in Canada, where she completed a Bachelor of Commerce with specialization in International Management and Marketing, Laura also studied overseas at the Ecole Supéor de Commerce de Grenoble, France. She also completed a Master’s degree in Electronic Commerce from the Guadalajara Campus of the Instituto Tecnolóo y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico.

In the future, Laura is keen to continue to apply her training in commerce and management skills within the context of international development. "Thankfully private sector development is becoming more recognized worldwide as a fundamental component of poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts. Ideally, I’ll continue to act as a catalyst to support these initiatives by engaging the private sector in capacity building and to continue to dedicate my skills and abilities to the advancement of socioeconomic conditions". She would encourage others to do so as well.

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