Sonia Plaza is currently a Senior Economist in the Development Economics Prospects Group of the World Bank. She has worked on Science and Technology projects in Latin American and co-authored a major analytical survey of migration and development for the Africa region. She was a core member of the Africa's Silk Road: China and India's New Economic Frontier and wrote Chapter 5 that includes sections on market information through Ethnic Networks and Migration, and Skills Transfer through the Migration of Professionals and Diaspora, regional trade agreements and bilateral agreements dealing with labor mobility. She works on international mobility of students and the impact of the Bologna process and the Lisbon Agenda in developing countries. She advises many universities on transfer of skills and tapping to their diaspora. Sonia attended the University of Lima and earned a degree in Economics, after which she joined Chase Manhattan Bank, and was then invited to join the Peruvian Ministry of Trade as a manager responsible for counter trade and debt swap agreements. She negotiated Peruvian external debt and trade agreements. She was professor of economics (International Economics) at the Foreign Service Peruvian School and at the University of Lima in Peru. She was also adjunct faculty (Microeconomics, Macroeconomics) at the American University, Washington D.C. She also has a dual degree from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania in International Economics and Development. Her research interests include international migration, labor mobility, trade and the future of labor.

She joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2010.