J.D., Catholic University of Valparaiso; M.S., University of Wisconsin
Professor Abbott is an international consultant on Accountability, Institutional and Environmental/Social matters. He has advised a number of institutions on accountability matters including the European Investment Bank, the Inter American Development Bank, the UNDP and the World Bank as well as NGOs.
Prior to his retirement, Professor Abbott was the Executive Secretary of the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, a position he held for 12 years. He assisted in the establishment and operation of the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, an unprecedented accountability mechanism, assisted in the preparation of Panel procedures and reports, and served as liaison of the Panel with civil society, Executive Directors and World Bank Management and staff. He has lectured extensively on accountability issues and the Inspection Panel. Professor Abbott had an active role in the evaluation of all Requests for Inspection submitted to the Inspection Panel and the Investigation of about 25 projects, which required the review of a wide range of issues including environmental, social, technical, institutional, financial and economic aspects of World Bank-financed projects and programs.
For 15 years prior to his assignment with the Inspection Panel, Professor Abbott was Senior Counsel and Principal Counsel for Operational Policy for the World Bank’s Legal Department. His career in the Legal Department included a great variety of assignments in Latin America, Africa and Europe and Central Asia related to World Bank project and program financing, international law issues, co-financing and member countries’ debt reduction, procurement, disbursement issues and Bank policy and institutional matters. Professor Abbott also participated in the review, critical assessment and reformulation of Bank policies and procedures and legal practices.
Prior to his career at the World Bank, Professor Abbott worked at the U.S. Library of Congress as Legal Specialist in foreign law. In Chile, he had a very active legal practice providing legal advice to a number of trade unions, as well as to industrial and financial institutions. He was Assistant Professor at the Law School of the University of Chile in Valparaiso; Professor Abbott also served as a lecturer in the School of Social work of the Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile, from where he earlier graduated from the Law School. After leaving Chile, he pursued his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he obtained his Masters of Science Degree in Legal Institutions.