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Panel Bids Farewell to Executive Secretary Dilek Barlas

Dilek Farewell

Inspection Panel Executive Secretary Dilek Barlas is retiring after nearly three decades with the World Bank.

Ms. Barlas joined the Bank in 1992 and served as counsel and senior counsel in the World Bank Legal Vice Presidency for the Europe and Central Asia region. She came to the Panel in 2007 as deputy executive secretary and became executive secretary in 2014. Ms. Barlas has participated in more than 100 Panel cases, worked with a dozen Panel members, and been heavily involved in the updating of the Panel’s operating procedures in 2014, the adoption of its anti-reprisal guidelines in 2016, the launch of the Panel’s Emerging Lessons report series and, most recently, in the Board’s review of the Panel that led to additional tools for the Panel and the establishment of the World Bank Accountability Mechanism.

At a January 14 virtual farewell for Ms. Barlas attended by nearly 30 colleagues past and present who joined from eight countries, Panel Chair Imrana Jalal said: “Dilek’s greatest attribute besides her high intelligence, her strategic wisdom, her attention to detail, her meticulousness and her dedication to accountability for development, is that she has a big, big, big heart. The communities that have benefited from the Inspection Panel’s oversight owe much to these qualities. She will leave a gargantuan legacy at the Panel, as its strength and its respected profile is in no small part due to her.”

Other speakers at the event included former Panel Chairs Edith Brown Weiss, Werner Kiene, Roberto Lenton and Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, former Panel Member Zeinab El Bakri, former Panel Executive Secretary Eduardo Abbott and former Panel Senior Operations Officers Tatiana Tassoni and Reinett Erkan.

Speaker after speaker referred to Ms. Barlas’s “dedication,” “professionalism,” “compassion,” “empathy and “integrity.”

“It was a privilege to work with her,” Ms. Tassoni said. “She has become a respected voice of the Panel inside and outside of the Bank.”

Responding to her colleagues, Ms. Barlas said she found her career “meaningful, fulfilling and challenging,” adding, “When I look back, I feel like I am among the lucky few because I really loved what I did.”

Ms. Barlas recently reflected on her career at the World Bank and the Panel. Her comments can be found here