Simona Marinescu is the Director of the UNDP Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development, the global centre dedicated to partnerships with businesses for inclusive market growth and sustainable human development.
From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Marinescu served as the UNDP Iraq Senior Economist and Programme Director for the multi-agency Private Sector Development Programme, assisting the Government of Iraq and its social partners to embark on structural reforms for market building and social inclusion in a complex post-conflict environment.
Prior to her employment with UNDP, Ms. Marinescu was USAID Economic Governance Sector Lead for Social Safety Net and Pension Reforms in Iraq designing the first means-tested, conditional support programme for around one million poor households and restructuring the public pension system. Before that, Ms. Marinescu served as World Bank Social Protection Expert in the Human Development Unit for the Middle-East North Africa Region, working in several countries, including Iraq, Jordan, Morocco and Syria.
Ms. Marinescu also served as Minister Secretary of State for Labour and Social Protection in Romania during a time of major socio-economic transformations that have preceded the country’s integration in the European Union. In December 2000, she was elected Senator and President of the Labour and Social Affairs Committee serving for a full term in the Romanian Senate (2000-2004) and authoring a series of important legislations including the new Labour Code, the Minimum Guaranteed Income, the Law for Combating Domestic Violence as well as the Law for Social Integration of Disadvantaged Youth.
In 2005, Ms. Marinescu was ranked 10th in the Top 100 most successful women of Romania of all time published by Capital Ringier, a Switzerland-based media holding.
Ms. Marinescu holds an MBA in International Relations and a PhD in Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies ASE, Bucharest. She holds a Diploma in Leadership from Harvard University and a Certificate in “Modern Labour Administration for Development” from the Mediterranean Institute of Management of Cyprus. She was the editor in chief of two national newspapers specializing in labour market and social affairs.