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Wharton Prof. Amir Yaron Named as Next Governor Of Bank of Israel



Professor Amir Yaron, a professor of finance at the Wharton Business School, was named Tuesday as the next governor of the Bank of Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced the appointment at a joint press conference at the Prime Minister Office.

“It is our duty to always seek out the greatest talents in the field, and I was happy that Prof. Yaron accepted my request and that of the Minister of Finance to come to Israel,” Netanyahu said.

“A person with great ability and independence must lead the Bank of Israel. Yaron meets these criteria,” the prime minister added.

Netanyahu thanked the outgoing governor Karnit Flug for her “dedicated and excellent service.”

Kahlon added Yaron was chosen between excellent candidates to “ meet the future economic challenges,” and that was sure Yaron is the “right person for the mission.”

Yaron, 54 years old, holds Israeli and American citizenship and has lived in the United States for the last 20 years where he is a finance professor at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a research associate at the US National Bureau of Economic Research.

He grew up in Ramat Hasharon, a suburb of Tel Aviv and after he graduated with an MA from Tel Aviv University he completed his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, specializing in asset pricing, investments, risk-return strategies, macroeconomics, and finance.

The appointment will be first presented to the Goldberg Committee, which vets senior public service appointments, and then will have to be approved by the government.

Yaron will replace Karnit Flug, who has been in office since 2013 and announced in July that she would not seek a second term following a dispute with Kahlon over government fiscal and housing policy.

“I will be happy to be at his disposal and assist him in entering into the position as required,” Flug said in a statement shortly after the appointment was announced. She also added that Yaron will find a professional and dedicated team of management and employees at the Bank of Israel that “will help him to continue to conduct a successful policy in favor of the Israeli economy.”

Other candidates for the position included Bar Ilan University professor Ben-Zion Zilberfarb, Tel Aviv University professor Efraim Sadka and Mario Blejer a former head of Argentina’s central bank.

By: Mara Vigevani

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