Guest Author

Charlotte Vuyiswa McClain-Nhlapo

Global Disability Advisor – World Bank Group

Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo is the Global Disability Advisor for the World Bank Group. Her work at the Bank focuses on disability-inclusive development under its twin goals to end poverty and promote shared prosperity. As Disability Advisor, she supports operational teams across the institution to ensure that Bank policies, programs, and projects are disability-inclusive. Her responsibilities include leading the production of analytical products and analyzing and articulating the Bank’s policy on disability and development. She is also a member of the Bank’s Disability Advocacy Resource Employers Group (DARE), the World Bank African Women’s Network- AFRFEM, and the Bank’s Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  

In 2011, as a well-respected human rights lawyer in disability and child rights, she was appointed by President Obama to lead USAID’s work on disability-inclusive development, including developing policies and country strategies for technical assistance for program implementation. Prior to this, she worked as a Senior Operations Officer at the World Bank in the East Asia Pacific and Africa regions. Earlier in her career, she was appointed by President Nelson Mandela as a Commissioner to the South African Human Rights Commission. She focused on social and economic rights, disability rights, and child rights. Charlotte also represented the National Human Rights Institutions during the negotiations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and was a member of the working group that drafted the Treaty. In the late 90s, she worked as a child protection officer for UNICEF. Charlotte holds multiple Law Degrees in International Law and Administration from the University of Warsaw, Poland, and Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York. She has published various articles and works on different topics related to disability-inclusive development and human rights, including the right to food, disability rights, and children’s rights. As part of her pro bono work, Charlotte sits on several non-profit boards, including Shared Interest and the Global Health Corps, and has served as a judge for the Cartier Women’s Initiative.  

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