Thomas C. Barrett

Nonresident Senior Fellow – Global Economy and Development

Thomas Barrett is a nonresident senior fellow in the Global Economy Development program at the Brookings Institution. His priority areas of focus are infrastructure and development finance; and collaboration between the European Institutions, the multilateral development banks (MDBs), and the private sector.

Barrett is currently Chairman of the OECD Infrastructure Forum. Until May 2017, he was the Permanent Representative of the European Investment Bank and Minister of the European Union Delegation to the United States. In that capacity, he was co-director of the 2017 Global Infrastructure Forum organized by EIB and IDB on behalf of the World Bank; the African, Asian, and Islamic Development Banks; as well as EBRD, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and The New Development Bank which, together, through their increased collaboration in recent years, have framed the work program and guided the significant progress of the MDBs with Member State organizations including the G-7 and G-20 as well as the U.N. and the OECD,  think tanks, and the private sector.

Prior to taking up his position in Washington, Barrett had a long career at the European Investment Bank that included leading the substantial scaling up of private sector risk sharing finance for investment in economic infrastructure and innovation. He also led the establishment and chaired the European PPP Expertise Centre, the joint platform, of the EU 28 Member States for the development and implementation of Public Private Partnerships.

In recent years, Barrett was EIB Director for Risk Sharing Finance. He also led the integration of the EIB Advisory Services in which capacity he worked closely with the European Commission, Member States, public and private financial institutions, and investors to ensure the dissemination of financial and risk-sharing expertise in support of public policy objectives such as climate change, SDGs, and job creation.

Through these different positions, Barrett has had long-standing involvement in creating synergies and a greater alignment between the public and private sectors in pursuit of increased investment in infrastructure and risk-sharing innovation. Barrett has been an active representative and communicator on behalf of the European and MDB institutions in national and international fora. He completed his undergraduate studies at the National University of Ireland in Cork and his graduate education at INSEAD in France.

  • Current Positions

    • Chairman of the OECD Infrastructure Forum
  • Past Positions

    • Washington Chief Representative, European Investment Bank
    • Minister, EU Delegation of the United States
    • Founder, The Marguerite Fund for Sustainable Infrastructure Energy and Climate
    • Founder and Member of the Supervisory Board, The European Energy Efficiency Fund
  • Education

    • B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy, National University of Ireland, Cork
    • MBA, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France