Leszek Balcerowicz


Leszek Balcerowicz was born in Lipno, Poland in 1947.

In 1970 he graduated with distinction from Foreign Trade faculty in Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw (now Warsaw School of Economics). In 1974 he gained an MBA at St. John's University in New York and 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. He has given many lectures and seminars world-wide. He has numerous publications on economic issues in Poland and abroad. He is a member of Polish Association of Sociologists and Polish Association of Economists. In 1992-2000 he was a chairman of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) based in Warsaw.

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 stabilisation and transformation of Polish economy. He retained his positions in the government until December 1991.

From April 1995 to December 2000 he was the president of the Freedom Union (UW). 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, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland appointed Leszek Balcerowicz to the post of the President of the NBP.

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, and the Georg Mercator University in Duisburg, Germany.

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 Polish 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.

On 11 November 2005, President of the Republic of Poland, Aleksander Kwaƛniewski, awarded Mr. Leszek Balcerowicz with Poland's highest decoration - Order of the White Eagle, for his contribution to the system transformation.

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