Helen Abadzi is a Greek psychologist who has spent 27 years as a Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank. She has drawn on cognitive psychology and neuroscience to improve the outcomes of educational investments. She regularly monitors the emerging research in these fields and synthesizes relevant findings to explain and predict likely outcomes from various interventions. The findings suggest that educational institutions should teach in accordance with the ways people process information so that students can learn more efficiently. Thanks to her work, early-grade reading fluency has become an international priority.
Dr. Abadzi is a polyglot who attained at least intermediate-level knowledge of 19 languages, including Arabic. She has used her linguistic ability to focus particularly on improving outcomes for marginalized students. She is the author of many publications, including the widely cited Efficient Learning for the Poor. She continues her academic activities at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is interested in studying the building blocks that lead to automatic execution of complex skills, such as math, reading, and rapid comprehension of Arabic.