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University of Bath

Mats Karlsson IPR Advisory Board member

Mr Karlsson is Former Director of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.


Mats Karlsson is former Director of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Previously Visiting Professor at Columbia University this spring, teaching a course on "Development as Freedom" at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), he has just rejoined the Swedish Foreign Ministry to review government's access to quality analysis in security, trade and development.

Mats has also previously served as World Bank Vice President of External Affairs and United Nations Affairs, and as World Bank Country Director in both Western and North Africa.

As Director of the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Mats promoted innovative policy practice cooperation at the time of the Arab Spring. As country director at the World Bank he was instrumental in the realisation of modern coordinated partnership, from supporting Ghana's development, growth and poverty reduction, to post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

As World Bank Vice President of External Affairs, Mats pursued strategic policy dialogue with the Bank's partners and stakeholders. With the UN he worked on the Millennium Development Goals and he also led the World Bank's engagement with civil society in debating globalisation, as part of new UN cooperation.

Early in his career, Mats worked at the Swedish Foreign Ministry as Chief Economist, he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson's Commission on Global Governance (1992-1994), as well as the Swedish State Secretary for international development cooperation (1994-1999). He began his career in development when he joined the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in 1983.