Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Principal Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 7110v.foster




303Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Vivien is a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, where she lectures on the Environmental Technology MSc. She is an infrastructure economist working on the economic, financial, environmental and social dimensions of energy and transport systems in low- and middle-income countries, and the associated implications for the climate transition. Vivien serves as International Partnerships Lead for the Climate Compatible Growth Initiative, a major FCDO research program harnessing the know-how of major UK universities to support decarbonization of energy and transport systems in the developing world. She is also affiliated with ODI, where she is a Senior Research Associate.

Previously, Vivien spent over 20 years at the World Bank where she played a variety of research-oriented leadership roles, including: Chief Economist for the Infrastructure Vice-Presidency of the World Bank (2018-2023); Global Lead for Energy Economics, Markets and Institutions (2016-18); Practice Manager of the Global Energy Anchor (2012-16); and Lead Economist for Infrastructure in the Africa Region (2006-11). Throughout, she has engaged on a wide variety of analytical, advisory and operational engagements with client governments in some 40 countries across Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Vivien has spearheaded several major policy research initiatives including: World Development Report 2021 – Data for Better Lives, outlining how improved data governance can leverage the development potential of data while managing risks; Rethinking Power Sector Reform (2019), evaluating developing country experience with adoption of Washington Consensus policies; Africa’s Infrastructure (2009), providing a path-breaking analysis of the continent’s infrastructure challenges; Building Bridges (2009), detailing China’s growing role as infrastructure financier for Africa; Water, Electricity and the Poor (2005), examining the distributional impact of utility subsidies. She has also created several high-impact data products, including: The Energy Progress Report (2012 onwards) and Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) (2016 onwards); global dashboards for respectively tracking progress towards SDG7 outcomes and adoption of supportive policies.



Foster V, Mourato S, 2003, Elicitation format and sensitivity to scope - Do contingent valuation and choice experiments give the same results?, Environmental & Resource Economics, Vol:24, ISSN:0924-6460, Pages:141-160

Foster V, Mourato S, 2002, Testing for consistency in contingent ranking experiments, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol:44, ISSN:0095-0696, Pages:309-328

Mourato S, Ozdemiroglu E, Foster V, 2000, Evaluating health and environmental impacts of pesticide use: Implications for the design of ecolabels and pesticide taxes, Environmental Science & Technology, Vol:34, ISSN:0013-936X, Pages:1456-1461

Foster V, Mourato S, 2000, Valuing the multiple impacts of pesticide use in the UK: A contingent ranking approach, Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol:51, ISSN:0021-857X, Pages:1-21

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