Nuria Simo was a CIO at Airbus, Royal FrieslandCampina, and Campofrio Food Group for nine years prior to joining the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as CIO in May of 2014. It was a bit of a left turn for a career spent entirely in the private sector. With IDB, she saw an opportunity to do good while doing interesting and innovative work.
IDB was established in 1959, and it is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The IT department that Simo found when she arrived was in need of a reputation change, going from “traditional IT” to unleashing a culture of innovation to benefit the organization and its constituents. She established a TechLabto accelerate innovation and to generate new solutions for the institution’s international development projects that aim to reduce poverty and inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Now her team is experimenting with blockchain and quantum computing, among other innovative topics. She describes the transformation in this interview.