Economist, Global Development Expert Hector Sierra Elected to CFI Board of Directors

January 10, 2014

It is with great enthusiasm that the Center for Inquiry announces the election of economist Dr. Hector F. Sierra to its Board of Directors. 

Recently retired from the World Bank, Dr. Sierra worked to develop new financial tools to help poorer countries overcome obstacles to growth and prosperity, where he has seen first-hand the importance of promoting critical thinking and skepticism. 

Hector Sierra“The most precious resource a country has is not its visible infrastructure and wealth but what is inside people’s minds,” wrote Dr. Sierra in an article last year for CFI’s Free Inquiry magazine. “Just as there are dysfunctional policies, there are dysfunctional beliefs and traditions that can be costly to a country.” 

As he has strived to help lift underdeveloped countries from poverty and volatility, he has come to understand and appreciate the complex dynamics of the economic, social, and political forces that are interwoven into detrimental and false beliefs.

“Dr. Sierra is a man who has put both critical thinking and humanistic values into significant, impactful action with his work to bring beneficial economic tools to the developing world,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, CFI’s president and CEO. “CFI’s mission to promote science, reason, and secularism is a global cause. As someone whose work has exemplified that mission on an international scale, Dr. Sierra’s perspective and guidance on the Board of Directors will surely be invaluable.”

Until his retirement in October 2013, Hector Sierra headed the group responsible for the risk management of the investment portfolios of the World Bank Treasury, and for providing advisory and training in financial risk management to 41 Treasury clients around the world. After he joined the World Bank Capital Markets department in 1998, Dr. Sierra collaborated in the design of innovative financial products that made catastrophic insurance and hedging of pension risk accessible to developing countries. Prior to joining Treasury, Dr. Sierra worked for 5 years as a Country Economist in the Africa Region of the World Bank. He has had articles published by the World Bank and in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, and The Journal of Performance Measurement.  

Dr. Sierra holds a PhD in Operations Research, and a MS in Mathematics from Stanford University.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM) charter holder. 

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is