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Hollis Burnley Chenery was born January 6, 1918 in Richmond, Virginia. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1950.
From 1949 - 1950, he worked at the U. S. Economic Cooperation Administration in Paris, and from 1950 - 1952, he was chief of the Program Division at the U.S. Mutual Security Agency in Rome. He returned to U. S. government service in 1961, serving at the United States Agency for International Development until 1965.
From 1952 to 1961, Hollis Chenery was a professor of economics at Stanford University. From 1965 to 1970 and again in 1983, he was a professor of economics at Harvard University.
Chenery served as The Economic Advisor to the President of the World Bank from September 1970 to September 1972. In October 1972, he became Vice President, Development Policy (VPD) following the Bank's Reorganization in 1972. In May 1982, he became the Vice President of the Economics and Research Staff (VPERS). He resigned from that position in September 1982 and remained on the Bank staff as a Senior Adviser until February 1, 1983.
Hollis Chenery died September 1, 1994.