Abdallah El Maaroufi
Abdallah El Maaroufi, 66, a senior World Bank economist who was Moroccan ambassador to the United States from 2000 to 2002, died Jan. 8 of a neurological disorder at his home in Chevy Chase.
Mr. El Maaroufi started at the World Bank in 1969 and focused on economic development issues in Africa and the Middle East. In one of his overseas assignments to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, he coordinated the World Bank’s campaign against river blindness. He was also assigned to Islamabad and Riyadh.
In the 1990s, during the Bosnian war, Mr. El Maaroufi coordinated humanitarian aid efforts in the Balkans for the World Bank.
He directed the World Bank’s European office from 1995 to 1998 and then left to run a large bank in Morocco.
After serving as Morocco’s ambassador to the United States, Mr. El Maaroufi was an independent consultant on African and Middle Eastern economic development.
Abdallah bin Jilali, a Chevy Chase resident, was born in Casablanca, Morocco. His brother later adopted the tribal name El Maaroufi as the family name.
He was among the first foreign students accepted to the private St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. According to a 1958 Time magazine article, he said his dream was to become an ambassador because he was “weak in mathematics.”
He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University in 1967 and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University in 1969.
Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Kathleen McKim El Maaroufi of Chevy Chase; and two sons, Karim El Maaroufi of Washington and Omar El Maaroufi of Lugano, Switzerland.