The World Bank's chief economist, Ms. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, on Wednesday announced she will be leaving the institution, according to a letter sent to colleagues.
Calling it a 'difficult decision, Goldberg wrote that she will step down from her post on March 1 to return to teaching at Yale University.
'This has been a rewarding experience, to work with you on the issues that we care deeply about and ensure that development economics serves to create opportunities for the poor,' she told her colleagues in the letter.
In a separate letter, the World Bank President, Mr. David Malpass, said research director Dr. Aart Kraay would take over for Ms. Goldberg until a new permanent chief economist is hired.
'I appreciated Penny's passion for building the institution's connection to state-of-the-art academic research and her commitment to drawing young talented economists to the bank, an effort that will continue beyond her departure,' Ms. Malpass wrote.
A Greek-American national, Ms. Goldberg took up her post at the end of April 2018, after the resignation of Mr. Paul Romer, following a controversy over the World Bank's statistical methods.
A graduate of University of Freiburg in Germany and Stanford University in the US, Ms. Goldberg was the first editor in chief of the American Economic Review and taught economics at Yale before joining the bank.
There, she studied global value chains, and in a report published last October showed how poor countries could transform their economies by specialising in the manufacture of a particular component rather than building entire industries from scratch.