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Carlos Braga

Carlos Braga

Former director, Europe | The World Bank | Class of 1984

Born, raised and educated in Brazil, Carlos Braga knew very little about the UI — or the U.S., for that matter — when he arrived in August 1980, ready to get cracking on his Ph.D. 

"I chose the U of I for my graduate studies in economics because the late Professor Werner Baer convinced me that the U of I would provide a good environment for somebody interested in developing a Ph.D. dissertation on the Brazilian steel industry," says Braga, who'd go on to serve as European director at The World Bank.

"Upon arriving in Urbana-Champaign, I immediately fell in love with the campus and the people. The memories that come to mind include the sounds and energy of the Quad in the spring, playing with my daughter and wife at the playgrounds in Orchard Downs and the games of basketball.

"But the experience that I would like to share is a very personal one: the feeling of working on my dissertation in the Stacks in the bowels of the library. This is probably a dying experience in an era of networks and electronic access to documents. Yet, the combination of the silence of the Stacks, the smells of thousands of books, and the solitude of the intellectual work in a small carrel remain vivid memories of a happy period of my life."