Trevor DaCosta; Economist

Trevor DaCosta had worked at the World Bank.
Trevor DaCosta had worked at the World Bank. (Family Photo - Family Photo)
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trevor DaCosta, 78, an economist and diplomat who retired from the World Bank in 1997, died June 2 of complications after a stroke at Washington Hospital Center. He had been a resident of Washington for 46 years.

Mr. DaCosta was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and graduated from McGill University in Montreal. He received a diploma from the National College of Food Technology in London and a postgraduate diploma in economics from Oxford University.

He worked in his father's food processing business in Kingston until joining the British civil service in 1956. His first overseas assignment was to the British Embassy in Mexico City.

Upon Jamaica's independence from Great Britain, he was part of the team that opened the first Jamaican Embassy in Washington in 1962. Four years later, he joined the World Bank. Mr. DaCosta was a loan officer for Oman, Egypt and various countries in Central America.

He returned to Jamaica in 1972 to work with the first Michael Manley administration as director of the economics division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1975, he was appointed Jamaican ambassador to Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica. Part of his responsibility was to develop a joint venture project that would link Mexican and Venezuelan oil with Jamaican bauxite to produce aluminum for world markets.

Returning his focus to economic development in 1978, Mr. DaCosta was appointed representative for the Caribbean on the board of the Inter-American Development Bank. He served first as an alternate and then as executive director.

In 1982, he moved to the bank's Office of Review and Evaluation, where he was acting director from 1992 until he retired in 1994.

He then went to the World Bank as a staff economist. After retiring from the World Bank in 1997, Mr. DaCosta tutored adults seeking their GEDs at the Academy of Hope in Washington.

Mr. DaCosta had an interest in a variety of topics, including history, architecture and languages.

His first wife, Esme Sophia DaCosta, whom he married in 1958, died in 1994.

Survivors include his wife, Hazel Denton of Washington, whom he married in 1996; a son from his first marriage, Roland Oliver DaCosta of New York; and two grandsons.

-- Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb

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