Mr. Linn joined the World Bank in 1973. For nine years he worked in the Bank’s research wing on issues of urban development policy. Based on his research, he published various articles on urban development and urban public finance, and also two books: Cities in Developing World: Policies for Their Equitable and Efficient Growth (Oxford University Press, 1983) and (with Roy Bahl) Urban Public Finance in Developing Countries (Oxford University Press, 1992).
In 1978, Mr. Linn spent six months at the University of Munster, Germany, as a visiting researcher. Subsequently he served as country economist and economic advisor in the Bank’s East Asia Regional Staff. In 1988, he published, with Amarendra Bhattacharya, a study entitled “Trade and Industrial Policy in the Developing Countries of East Asia” (World Bank Discussion Paper No. 27).
In 1987/88, Mr. Linn was Staff Director of World Development Report 1988 which dealt principally with issues of public finance in development. Between 1988 and 1991, he served as Senior Economic Advisor in the Bank’s Development Economics Staff, as the Director of its International Economics Department and as Director of its Country Economics Department. In 1991, Mr. Linn was appointed the World Bank’s Vice President for Financial Policy and Resource Mobilization. In that capacity, he was in charge of overall financial policies and prudential management of the World Bank (IBRD and IDA) and in charge of mobilizing capital resources for IBRD and donor resources for IDA and for the Global Environment Facility (GEF). From January 1996 through September 2003, Mr. Linn held the position of the Bank’s Vice President for Europe and Central Asia (ECA). A collection of his speeches were published under the title Transition Years--Reflections on Economic Reform and Social Change in Europe and Central Asia (World Bank, 2004).
From September 2003 to June 2006, Mr. Linn was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From July 1, 2005, Mr. Linn serves as Executive Director for the Wolfensohn Center at Brookings He has been engaged in research and advisory work on global governance, on transition issues in Central and South-East Europe, the CIS and Turkey, on transatlantic relations, and on cultural heritage preservation. During 2004-5 Mr. Linn also served as Project Leader and Lead Author for the UNDP Central Asia Human Development Report (December 2005). He edited (with Colin Bradford) Global Governance Reform: Breaking the Stalemate (Brookings, 2007).