ADB appoints new chief economist

By Richard High09 June 2009

Dr Jong-Wha Lee, chief economist and head, Office of Regional Economic Integration, Asian Developmen

Dr Jong-Wha Lee, chief economist and head, Office of Regional Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Dr Jong-Wha Lee as its new chief economist.

Korean national Dr. Lee is currently the head of ADB's Office of Regional Economic Integration. Since October 2008, he has also held the position of acting chief economist in the ADB's Economics and Research Department (ERD).

Dr Lee has over 20 years experience as an economist and an academic. He worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and taught at Harvard University as a Visiting Professor.

He had served as a consultant to the Harvard Institute for International Development, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the IMF, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank. He also served as a member of the National Economic Advisory Council in the Republic of Korea.

Prior to joining the ADB in 2007, Dr Lee was the director of the International Center for Korean Studies and a Professor of Economics at Korea University. He has published numerous books and reviewed journal articles in English and Korean, especially on topics relating to human capital, growth, financial crisis, and economic integration.

As chief economist, Dr Lee will be chief spokesperson for the ADB on economic forecasts and trends. ERD undertakes economics and policy research and capacity building, supports ADB operations, networks with the international research community, and produces the annual Asian Development Outlook, ADB's flagship publication forecasting economic trends in the region.

"I'm looking forward to helping ERD build on its already substantial reputation for producing robust economic data and analysis for our developing member countries," said Dr Lee. "Now more than ever Asia's evolving development landscape requires that the development community and policymakers receive the best independent, objective research and policy advice, precisely what ERD strives to provide."

Dr Lee obtained his Ph.D. and Master's degree in Economics from Harvard University, and his Master's and Bachelor degrees in Economics from Korea University in Seoul.

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