He was awarded in 1984 an MSc degree in economics from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium, 1984) with a specialization in mathematical economics and general equilibrium theory. He then spent the next two years as a Lecturer in Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute in New Delhi, India working on macro-economic models to capture the impact of price liberalization on the Indian economy. He submitted at the end of his stay a PhD thesis on Non linear prices and developing countries.
Upon returning to Belgium in 1986, Mr Scholtès joined the Centre for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) where he contributed to the development of a disequilibrium macro-economic model to investigate the root causes of unemployment in the European Union and support, depending on the circumstances, radically different policy interventions such as the expansion of demand and exports, or supply-side measures to encourage investment in productive capacities.
Mr. Scholtès joined UNIDO in 1988 as a Junior Professional Officer in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. A year later he was offered a position at UNIDO HQs as an economist with the Industrial Planning Branch; during the following 14 years he developed, negotiated and executed technical assistance projects to strengthen capacities in economic analysis and policy design in over 30 countries in Africa and Asia. In 2002 he opted for field service and served as UNIDO Representative in Vietnam (January 2003 to September 2006), before moving on to New-Delhi, India as Regional Director for South Asia.
In both field assignments, Mr. Scholtès contributed to the execution of the UNIDO portfolio and led the formulation process of new country programmes in Vietnam, India, and Afghanistan.
In March 2010, Mr. Scholtès was called back to UNIDO HQs to lead the Agribusiness Development Branch. He drove In that capacity the partnership with FAO, IFAD, the African Union and the African Development Bank around the African Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development Initiative or 3ADI, now a flagship programme of UNIDO’s. A key aspect of the initiative is the alignment of development assistance with larger resources flows, in order to raise overall impact on food security and wealth creation: This involves a pro-active engagement with private enterprises—SMEs and multinationals alike—as well as, most recently, with agribusiness investment funds.
Since 2010, Mr. Scholtès is a member of the Committee for Change and Organization Renewal, and joined the Project Board in September 2012. In 2011 he spearheaded at the request of the Director-General the negotiations towards a strategic alliance with the Common Fund for Commodities.
Mr. Scholtès published several papers in refereed journals during his academic life. He is married to Kalpana Dash; they have two sons living/studying in Belgium and in the USA with family roots shared between Belgium and India.