Featured Profile

Leszek Balcerowicz

Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics (WSE), former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, former President of the National Bank of Poland (NBP). He is the architect of Poland's economic reforms initiated in 1989; he has been at the center of Poland's economic and political life since the fall of communism in Poland in 1989. Author of more than 100 publications on economic issues in Poland and abroad. Recipient of numerous honours from universities and awards worldwide. Awarded with Poland's highest decoration ‐ Order of the White Eagle ‐ for his contribution to the system transformation (2005). Since 2006 Leszek Balcerowicz has belonged to the Distinguished Associates of the International Atlantic Economic Society (IAES), founded in 1973; the IAES serves as an educational and scientific forum for the global community of well‐known economists from around the world. In 2006 Leszek Balcerowicz became a member of the Group of Trustees, Institute of International Finance as well. The Group is engaged in the introduction and development of good practices concerning capital flows and debt restructuring in merging markets.

In 1970 he graduated with distinction from Foreign Trade faculty in Central School of Planning and Statistics (CSPS) in Warsaw, now Warsaw School of Economics (WSE). In 1974 he gained an MBA at St. John's University in New York; in 1975 he received his Ph.D. in economics at the CSPS. Among his academic distinctions are visiting fellowships at the University of Sussex (1985), and Marburg University (1988). Since October 1992 Leszek Balcerowicz has been a Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics (WSE), and since 1993 he has been a director of Chair of International Comparative Studies at WSE. In 1992‐2000 he was a chairman of Council of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) based in Warsaw. Since 2006, he has been a Corresponding Member of the History and Philosophy Class of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In September 1989 Leszek Balcerowicz became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the first non‐communist government in Poland after II World War. He was also President of the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers. In this vital period in Poland's transition he designed and executed the radical stabilization and transformation of Polish ecnomy. He retained his positions in the government until December 1991. From April 1995 to December 2000 he was the president of the Freedom Union, a free market ‐ oriented party. From 1997 to June 2000 he was Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and President of the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers. In January 2001, he was appointed to the post of the President of the National Bank of Poland.

Leszek Balcerowicz has given many lectures and seminars world‐wide. He received honorary doctorates from the following universities: the University of Aix‐en Provence, France, the University of Sussex, UK, De Paul University of Chicago, USA, the University of Szczecin, Poland, Staffordshire University, UK, Mikolaj Kopernik University of Torun, Poland, Dundee University in Scotland, the Economic University in Bratislava, Slovakia, Viadrina European University in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, University of the Pacific in Lima, Peru, "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University in Iasi, Romania, the Gerhard Mercator University in Duisburg, Germany, the Karol Adamiecki University of Economics in Katowice, the Poznan University of Economics, the Wroclaw University of Economics, the University of Gdansk and his Alma Mater Warsaw School of Economics.

In 1992 he was awarded the Ludwig Erhard Prize from the Ludwig Erhard Foundation, Germany. In 1998 Mr. Balcerowicz received "Finance Minister of the Year" title from the British financial monthly "Euromoney". In 1999 European Institute of Washington granted him "Transatlantic Leadership Award" for the most outstanding European personality in 1998, and he received the Central European Award for the Finance Minister of the Year 1998 in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2001 he was awarded the Friedrich von Hayek Prize, Germany; in the same year he received the Carl Bertelsmann Prize for his achievements during the process of transformation of the Polis economy. In 2002 the Fasel Foundation honoured him with a prize for his merits for the social market economy. In January 2004 British monthly "The Banker" recognized Mr. Balcerowicz as central banker of the year for Europe. In October 2004 he was granted the annual "Emerging Markets Award" for the best president of a central bank in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2006 voted by FT.com readers one of five winners in the Pioneering Thought Leadership Project.


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