Gilbert Thomas Brown, 85, an economist who worked for the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development, died June 27 at Avalon House in McLean of complications from progressive supranuclear palsy.
Mr. Brown spent 25 years in foreign assistance, joining USAID in 1962. As USAID’s chief economist for East Asia and then as economic adviser to the agency’s mission in Seoul from 1965 to 1968, he was closely involved in designing policies that led to what has been called the South Korean “economic miracle.” His book on the subject, “Korean Pricing Policies and Economic Development in the 1960s,” was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1973. At the World Bank from 1972 until his retirement in 1987, he worked principally on economic policy issues for Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Born in Tampa, Fla., and raised in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Brown was a graduate of Tower Hill School and Yale University.
He received his doctorate in economics from Yale in 1956 and worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and First National City Bank of New York.
After his retirement, Mr. Brown studied theology and ethics at Wesley Seminary in Washington, earning a master’s degree in theological studies in 1990. His thesis, on the ethics of the federal budget, became the basis of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s position on the U.S. budget and economic policy. Mr. Brown continued to advocate on federal budget issues, serving as economic policy adviser to the church’s Washington office and chairing the Woman’s National Democratic Club committee on budget and economic policy.
His marriage to Dorothy Davie ended in divorce. He married Carolyn Margaret “Peggy” Wood in 1956. She died in 1991.
Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Nelle Temple Brown of Falls Church and Hobe Sound, Fla.; three daughters from his second marriage, Kathryn S. Wenner of Kensington, Carol Ferlini of Westmoreland, N.H. and Christine Wohlwend of Powell, Ohio; two stepdaughters, Bliss Temple of San Francisco and Hope Temple of Toronto; five grandsons; and a great-granddaughter.