Hebrew U Prof. Michel Strawczynski To Head Bank Of Israel Research Department

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Hebrew U Prof. Michel Strawczynski To Head Bank Of Israel Research DepartmentProf. Michel Strawczynski

Prof. Strawczynski will replace Prof. Nathan Sussman, who will step down after six years in the position.

Governor of the Bank of Israel Dr. Karnit Flug announced today the appointment of Prof. Michel Strawczynski as director of the Research Department at the Bank of Israel, to replace Prof. Nathan Sussman, who will be stepping down after six years in the position. Prof. Strawczynski will begin his role at the beginning of October.

Michel Strawczynski, 55, has a bachelor's degree in economics and accounting from Universite de la Republique in Uruguay, and a master's degree (magna cum laude) and a doctorate, both in economics, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT in the US.

Since 2012, Strawczynski has served as an associate professor in the Department of Economics and the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and over the years he has been an external lecturer at several academic institutions in Israel.

At the beginning of his professional career, Strawczynski worked at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructures and at an energy consulting firm. In 1993 he joined the Bank of Israel Research Department as an economist, and in 2000–11 he served as deputy director of the Research Department and then as head of the Macro and Policy Division in the Research Department. His main specialization over the years has been in various areas of the Israeli economy, including fiscal policy, taxation, transfer payments, and growth. Prof. Strawczynski was a member of several government work teams in the areas of taxation and economic statistics.

After he stepped down from his position at the Bank of Israel, Prof. Strawczynski served as academic director of the civil service cadet program, head of the Economics and Society program at the Van Leer Institute, and continued to serve as a co-editor of Israel Economic Review.

Governor of the Bank of Israel Dr. Karnit Flug said, “The Bank of Israel Research Department has its hands full with work—conducting macroeconomic analysis for making monetary policy decisions, providing economic advice to the government, formulating reforms in the financial system and maintaining its stability, and in bolstering the research and professional knowledge at the Bank of Israel. Michel has considerable knowledge, broad professional and academic experience, extensive familiarity with the Bank of Israel and the Israeli economy, and a strong desire to contribute from his abilities to the bank and to Israel’s economy. I thank Michel for his willingness to take upon himself this important role and I wish him much success".

Flug has also decided to appoint Andrew Abir as a member of the Monetary Committee, in place of Prof. Nathan Sussman, who will resign from the Bank of Israel. The appointment will become effective on October 1, 2017. Abir will continue to serve as director of the Market Operations Department.

Under the Bank of Israel Law, the Monetary Committee consists of six members—the governor (who chairs the committee), the deputy governor, an additional bank employee (currently Prof. Nathan Sussman) who is nominated by the governor, and three members from among the public. Currently, Prof. Reuben Gronau is a member from among the public, as the terms of the other two members expired and the government has not yet appointed replacements.

Andrew Abir has a BA degree in economics and politics from Oxford University, and an MBA from Hebrew University. He began his career as an economist at the Bank of Israel in 1987.

"I thank Andrew for his willingness to take on the additional responsibility of being a member of the Monetary Committee," Flug said. "Andrew has accumulated considerable experience in working with the Monetary Committee; his ability to analyze the developments in the monetary system, financial markets, and the global economy have been an important input to the committee’s work in recent years, and will serve him in his position as a committee member.”

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