Journal Issue
Back Matter

Back Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
October 2015
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    Biographies of the Speakers

    Welcoming Remarks
    Brendan Howlin was appointed Ireland’s Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform in March 2011. In 2007, he was elected as Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann (Deputy Speaker of the Irish House of Parliament). Previously, he was Labour Party Spokesperson on European Affairs, Constitutional Matters and Law Reform, and Human Rights. From 1994 to 1997, he was Minister for the Environment, and Minister for Health from 1993 to 1994. From 1982 to 1987, he was a member of Seanad Eireann (Irish Senate).
    Session 1: Stabilizing and Healing the Banks
    Dirk Schoenmaker is a Professor of Finance, Banking and Insurance at the VU University Amsterdam and Dean of the Duisenberg School of Finance. He is also a member of the Advisory Scientific Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board in Frankfurt and Chairman of the Institute for Integrity and Reliability of Finance Professionals in Amsterdam. Mr. Schoenmaker served earlier at the Dutch Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and he is the author of Governance of International Banking: The Financial Trilemma.
    Laura Noonan is a European Banking Correspondent at Reuters, based in London, and a CFA charter holder. Prior, Ms. Noonan worked at the Irish Independent as a business reporter and as a banking correspondent. She has also been a business reporter at The Sunday Business Post, an Irish national Sunday newspaper.
    John Fell has been Deputy Director General for Macro-Prudential Policy & Financial Stability in the ECB since 2010. Prior, he was Head of the Financial Stability Division and Editor of the ECB’s Financial Stability Review. As chair of the Comprehensive Assessment Stress Test (CAST) team, he led the stress-testing work for the ECB’s “comprehensive assessment” in 2014 as well as the “join-up” of the stress test with the asset quality review. Having led ECB input into all EU-wide stress tests coordinated by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (2009) and European Banking Authority (EBA; 2010, 2011, 2014), he has been a member of the EBA’s task force on stress-testing since 2010. He has led ECB financial sector work for EU/IMF financial assistance programs, including stress-testing, and has participated in (“troika”) program negotiations in several euro-area countries (for example, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain). Mr. Fell holds postgraduate degrees in economics (1987) and in finance (1993) from University College Dublin and Dublin City University, respectively.
    Jonathan McMahon is Chief Risk Officer and a member of the executive board at St. James’s Place plc., a FTSE 100 financial services group. Between 2009 and 2012 he worked for the Central Bank of Ireland, where he was involved in the restructuring and recapitalization of the Irish banking system.
    Ann Nolan is Second Secretary General at the Department of Finance, Ireland, with responsibility as Deputy Head of Department. Ms. Nolan is currently Head of the Financial Services Directorate, with responsibility for policy and legislation in the banking and financial services areas. This also includes responsibility for financial stability/risk management and international financial institutions. She has worked in the Department of Finance for 29 years and has extensive experience in formulating policy and developing strategy in the areas of taxation, expenditure control, banking, and financial services. Ms. Nolan is currently a member of the Pensions Authority and is on the board of the recently formed state development bank, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland. She has previously served on the boards of the State Claims Agency, the Legal Aid Board, and the ACC Bank.
    Session 2: Putting the Budget on a Sound Footing
    Antonio Fatás is a professor of economics at INSEAD, where he teaches the macroeconomics core course in the MBA program and global macroeconomic environment. His research is focused on business cycles, fiscal policy, and the economics of European integration. Mr. Fatás is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in London. He has worked as a consultant for the IMF, the OECD, and the World Bank.
    Dan O’Brien is Chief Economist at the Institute for International and European Affairs, and a Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at University College Dublin’s School of Politics and International Relations. Mr. O’Brien writes regularly for independent newspapers, including the Irish Independent. Prior, he was with the European Commission and was also a senior economist and editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit.
    Gillian Edgeworth is a sovereign analyst for Wellington Management. Prior, she worked as Chief European Emerging Market Economist at Unicredit Bank, responsible for economic analysis of regional economies and developments in Ireland and Greece, and at Deutsche Bank, responsible for coverage of Greece, Ireland, and the newer EU states. Ms. Edgeworth is also a senior member of the Political Economy of Financial Markets program at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.
    Tom Healy is Director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute. Mr. Healy has previously worked in the Economic and Social Research Institute, the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the National Economic and Social Forum, and the Department of Education and Skills. He holds a Ph.D. (economics and sociology) from University College Dublin. His research interests have included the impact of education and social capital on well-being.
    István Székely is a Country Director in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs. Before joining the Commission in 2007, he worked as Mission Chief at the International Monetary Fund (1999-2007). From 1996 to 1999 he served as General Manager and Advisor to the governor of the National Bank of Hungary. Mr. Székely holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Cambridge and is honorary professor at the Corvinus University of Budapest. His research focuses on financial market and macroeconomic policy issues, and on Central and Eastern European economies. He has published various books and articles in these areas.
    Robert Watt is Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. Mr. Watt is leading a major public sector reform program in areas such as procurement, shared services, and digitalization. He is a member of the government’s Economic Management Council and is a key advisor to the government on budget, financial, and economic matters. He is an economist and has experience in both the public and private sectors. He has worked in a range of roles within the Department of Finance as well as previously working as an economic consultant.
    Keynote Speech
    Patrick Honohan is the 10th Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and was appointed in September 2009. Before his appointment, he was Professor of International Financial Economics and Development at Trinity College Dublin. Prior, he spent almost a decade at the World Bank, where he was Senior Advisor on Financial Sector Policy. He was previously a Research Professor with the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin (ESRI; 1990–98), and an economic advisor to Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald (1981–82; 1984–86). He spent several years as an economist at the Central Bank of Ireland (1976–81; 1984–86), and at the International Monetary Fund (1971–73). A graduate of University College Dublin, he received his Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1978. In recent years, his research mainly focused on monetary and financial-sector policy.
    Session 3: Ireland’s Market Access and Euro Area Policies
    Barry Eichengreen is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1987, and Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions, University of Cambridge, 2014–15. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London, England). His most recent books are Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses—and Misuses—of History; From Miracle to Maturity: The Growth of the Korean Economy with Dwight H. Perkins and Kwanho Shin (2012); and Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System (2011).
    Seán Whelan is RTÉ’s Economics Correspondent. He was appointed to the position at the start of 2010. Prior, he spent 10 years in Brussels as RTÉ’s Europe Editor, reporting on European affairs and news stories the length and breadth of the continent. Before going to Brussels, he served as Deputy Foreign Editor, reporting the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. He has also worked as a print journalist in Dublin and London with the Sunday Tribune, the Irish Independent, and Marketing magazine; he currently writes a weekly column in the Sunday Business Post.
    Alan Ahearne is Professor and Head of Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Ireland. He is also a member of the Central Bank’s Audit and Risk Committees. Prior to joining Galway in 2005, he was Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. There, he advised Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and other Fed governors on developments in the global economy. He served as Special Advisor to former Minister for Finance, the late Brian Lenihan, from March 2009 to March 2011. His research includes studies on property markets in Ireland and other industrial countries; global current account imbalances and exchange rates; and the economic performance of the euro area. He holds a B.B.S. from the University of Limerick, an M.Econ.Sc. from University College Dublin, and an M.Sc. and a Ph.D., both in economics, from Carnegie Mellon University.
    Agnès Bénassy-Quéré is a Professor of Economics at Paris School of Economics, University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, and the Chair of the French Council of Economic Analysis. She is also a member of the Commission Economique de la Nation, the French macro-prudential authority, and the Cercle des Economistes. Ms. Bénassy-Quéré has worked for the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise Lille 2, Paris-Ouest, and École Polytechnique, as well as for the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.
    Colm McCarthy is an occasional lecturer at the School of Economics at University College Dublin. He has worked as an economist with the Central Bank of Ireland and the Economic and Social Research Institute, as well as with DKM Economic Consultants in Dublin. In 2011 he authored Ireland’s European Crisis: Staying Solvent in the Eurozone. Mr. McCarthy is a regular contributor on economic affairs to Irish print media, radio, and television.
    High-Level Panel Discussion
    Wolfgang Münchau writes the European economic column of the Financial Times. His last book, The Meltdown Years: The Unfolding of The Global Economic Crisis, won the GetAbstract business book award in its original German-language version. Together with his wife, the economist Susanne Mundschenk, he co-founded, a website dedicated to providing information and debate about the economics, finance, and politics of the euro area. The Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing is widely considered to be most incisive daily information source on the euro area. He is a member of the Euro50 Group as well as the European Council on Foreign Relations. He has written three other German-language books, Kernschmelze im Finanzsystem (Meltdown in the Financial System), Das Ende der sozialen Marktwirtschaft (The End of the Social Free-Market), and Makrostrategie (Macro-Investment Strategy). Before assuming his current position, Mr. Münchau co-founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of FT Deutschland. He holds master’s degrees in mathematics and journalism.
    Michael Noonan was re-elected to Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) in 2011 and was appointed Minister for Finance in March 2011. First elected to the Dáil in 1981, Minister Noonan was Leader of Fine Gael from February 2001 until May 2002. He was appointed Fine Gael Finance Spokesperson in July 2010. He was re-elected to the Dáil Éireann in May 2002 and was on the Fine Gael Front Bench from 2004 until 2007. During this time, Minister Noonan was also the party’s spokesperson on Northern Ireland. Minister Noonan was the Fine Gael front bench spokesperson on Finance from 1997 to 2001 and was Minister for Health between 1994 and 1997. He held two different ministerial posts between 1986 and 1987, that of Minister for Industry, Commerce, and Trade and Minister for Energy, respectively. During Fine Gael’s previous term in government, Minister Noonan was Minister for Justice from 1982 to 1986.
    Benoît Cœuré is a member of the Executive Board of the ECB and the Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements’ Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures. Prior to joining the ECB, he served in various policy positions at the French Treasury. He was the CEO of the French debt management office, Agence France Trésor, then France’s Assistant Secretary for Multilateral Affairs, Trade and Development, Co-president of the Paris Club and G8 and G20 finance sous-sherpa for France, and Deputy-Director General and Chief Economist of the French Treasury. Mr. Cœuré is a graduate of École Polytechnique in Paris. He holds an advanced degree in statistics and economic policy, and a B.A. in Japanese. He has taught international economics and economic policy at École Polytechnique and at Sciences Po in Paris. He has authored articles and books on economic policy, the international monetary system, and the economics of European integration, including, most recently, Economic Policy: Theory and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2010).
    Valdis Dombrovskis is the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the euro and social dialogue. Before his election as member of the European Parliament, he served as a member of the Saeima (Parliament) of Latvia (January–June 2014). In March 2009, Mr. Dombrovskis was appointed Prime Minister of Latvia—the youngest head of government in the EU. He served as the Prime Minister until January 2014 and became the longest serving democratically elected head of government in Latvia’s history. In 2004–09, Mr. Dombrovskis was a member of European Parliament and the head of Latvian Delegation in the EPP-ED Group. Prior to that, in 2002–04, he served as Latvia’s Minister of Finance.

    He graduated with a degree in physics from the University of Latvia and received a degree in economics from Riga University of Technology. Before pursuing politics, he worked as a senior economist and chief economist at the Bank of Latvia (1998–2002). He co-authored a book with Anders Aslund, How Latvia Came through the Financial Crisis (2011). In November 2014, he was awarded by the Order of the Three Stars (Triju Zvaigžņu ordenis), the highest state decoration of the Republic of Latvia.
    Christine Lagarde has been the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2011, the first woman to hold that position. She graduated from law school at University Paris X, and she obtained a master’s degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix-en-Provence.

    Ms. Lagarde joined the French government in June 2005 as Minister for Foreign Trade. After a brief stint as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, she became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G7 country in June 2007. From July to December 2008, she also chaired the ECOFIN Council, which brings together economics and finance ministers of the European Union. As a member of the G20, Ms. Lagarde was involved in the group’s management of the financial crisis, helping to foster international policies related to financial supervision and regulation, and to strengthen global economic governance. As Chairperson of the G20 when France took over its presidency for the year 2011, she launched a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system.

    Before joining the French government, Ms. Lagarde was an associate at the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie. A member of the Executive Committee of the firm in 1995, Ms. Lagarde became the Chairperson of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie in 1999 and, subsequently, Chairperson of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004.
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