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Dr. Vanya Petrova

Senior Analyst
Economic Program

PhD in Economics (Major: Finance; Minor: International Finance; Chinese-taught program), Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Vanya Petrova is a seasoned analyst with a proven track record of international achievements, a decade of experience in China, and vast expertise in bridging academia, industrial partners, and public organizations. She is focused on projects related to illicit finance, foreign influence and state capture, and Chinese economic influence. 

Before joining CSD at the beginning of 2022, Dr. Petrova was a Research Associate at Fudan University, where she dedicated herself to applied economics, law and economics, and international finance. Among the major studies she conducted are natural experiments examining the effects of: staggered legal changes in prostitution laws on sexual crime, human trafficking, and marriage/divorce rates; removal of HIV-travel restrictions in China and other control countries on the spread and transmission routes of sexually-transmitted diseases. Besides, Vanya has been actively engaged in research projects on shadow banking in developing economies; renationalization in China; fintech and welfare; financial inclusion and bank profitability. In addition, she has participated in the organization and hosting of many conferences and seminars (e.g., World Economic Forum-Fudan University; International Monetary Fund talks on fiscal policies, etc.). 

Furthermore, between 2018-2019, Dr. Petrova served at the World Economic Forum. As a member of the Global Future Council on Financial and Monetary Systems, she contributed by shaping the agenda on financial inclusion, and financial and digital literacy. Moreover, she coordinated the launch and implementation of the Financial Literacy Innovation Challenge— a global competition to encourage fintechs that enhance financial inclusion in innovative ways. Vanya is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network. 

Passionate about sharing ideas and disseminating knowledge, Dr. Petrova has a broad range of international teaching experience: from tutoring and business workshops to undergraduate (Essentials of Finance; Econometrics and Introduction to Stata; Development Economics) and graduate (Corporate Finance) classes. 

Aside from her academic career, Vanya has worked as an economics journalist and business consultant to various banks and companies in Asia, including Mitsubishi Group, and Kodak.  

Vanya has received numerous honors and awards: Outstanding Graduate Award of the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics; Shanghai Municipal Government Full Scholarship; Chinese Government Full Scholarship; Bulgarian National Bank Distinguished Student Scholarship; National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant; European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes Research Grant; Raiffeisenbank Distinguished Student Scholarship; Bonnier Business Press Merit Award and Scholarship; Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science Award; Atanas Burov Foundation Award to name a few.


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