1964 B.Sc. (First Class Honors) Cairo University
1968 M.R.P. (With Distinction) Harvard University
1972 Ph.D. Harvard University

Honorary degrees

1996 Doctor of Sociology, University of Bucharest, Romania
1996 Doctor of Agricultural Science, University of Melbourne, Australia
1997 Doctor of Science, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India
1998 Doctor of International Affairs, American University, Washington, DC, USA
1998 Doctor of Science, Punjab Agricultural University, India
1998 Doctor of Science, Tamil Nadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences Univ., India
1998 Doctor of Natural Resources Management, Ohio State Univ., USA
1999 Doctor of Science, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India
1999 Doctor of Science, ANGRAU, Hyderabad, India
1999 Doctor of Economics and Management, CNAM, Paris, France
1999 Doctor of Science, Egerton University, Kenya
1999 Doctor of Agricultural Science, University of Tuscia, Italy
2000 Doctor of Humane Letters, American University in Cairo, Egypt
2002 Doctor of Science, SNHU, Manchester NH, USA
2003 Doctor of Science, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
2004 Doctor of Letters, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
2004 Doctor of Letters, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
2005 Doctor of Laws degree, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA


Director, Library of Alexandria.
Distinguished University Professor, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Also serves as chair and member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions and civil society efforts.

Previous appointments

  • Chairman, Youth Employment Summit (YES) Campaign (1998-2002)
  • Special Advisor, The World Bank
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, American University in Cairo (AUC) (2000/2001)
  • Advisor to the Egyptian Government on the New Library of Alexandria
  • Vice President of the World Bank till July 2000, (for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, from October 1992 to March 1998, and for Special Programs from March 1998 to July 2000)
  • Chairman, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR, 1994-2000)
  • Chairman, Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP), a microfinance program (1995-2000)
  • Chairman of the Global Water Partnership (GWP, 1996-2000)
  • Chairman, World Commission for Water in the 21st Century (August 1998-March 2000)

Worked in a number of capacities at the World Bank since joining in 1972. Economist in education and human resources (1972-76); Division Chief for Technical Assistance and Special Studies (1977-80), and for Urban Projects in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (1980-83); Director for Programs in West Africa (1984-87), Country Director for Central and Occidental Africa (1987-89), Technical Director for all Sub-Saharan Africa (1990-92), and Vice-President for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (1993-98). In addition, he was active in promoting NGO-Bank relations, and served as Co-Chairman of the NGO-Bank Committee (1997-99). Prior to joining the World Bank, worked as a consultant in city and regional planning, and taught at Cairo University and Harvard University.

Professional Memberships

  • Supreme Council for Culture, Egypt
  • Institut d’Egypte (Egyptian Academy of Science)
  • National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India
  • European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Austria
  • Bangladesh Academy of Science, Dhaka
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)
  • Third World Academy of Sciences, Italy
  • World Academy of Arts and Sciences, USA
  • Academia Bibliotheca Alexandrinae (ABA)

Publications & Speeches

Over 50 books and monographs (edited or authored) and 200 articles, book chapters, and technical papers on various topics, including: Nurturing Development (1995), Sustainability and the Wealth of Nations (1996), Architecture of Empowerment (1997), Rural Well-Being: From Vision to Action (1997, with David Steeds), The Modernity of Shakespeare (1998), Biotechnology and Biosafety (1999, with Wanda Collins), Very Special Places (1999) and Promethean Science (2000, with G. Persley).


Ismail Serageldin is an Egyptian national, born in Guiza in 1944. He is married with one son. He is tri-lingual: Arabic, French and English.