Jury Member

Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo

Global Disability Advisor at World Bank Group


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award

Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo

United States

Charlotte is passionate about ensuring inclusive development and amplifying the voice and agency of excluded groups and individuals. She has committed her professional career to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups. The ideals of social justice drive her.

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 on a livable planet. 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 Bank policy on disability and development. Charlotte also sits on the World Bank’s Presidential Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. More recently, she has led the work around addressing racism in international development. She is passionate about ensuring that excluded groups are included in development and that they have voice and agency.

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. Before joining the Commission, 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 numerous articles and works on various topics related to disability-inclusive development and human rights, including the right to food, disability rights, the intersectional nature of disability inclusion, and children’s rights. She is a recipient of several awards, including the Sir Henry Fang Award and the Association of University Centers on Disability, for her international work on disability-inclusive development.

Charlotte is also a TEDx speaker.