Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics,
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Minister of Finance,
Former President of the National Bank of Poland,
Founder and Council Chairman of Civil Development Forum Foundation (FOR),
Doctor honoris causa of several universities, distinguished with prestigious awards and decorations, including the Medal of White Eagle.
Leszek Balcerowicz, born in 1947, graduated with distinction from Foreign Trade Faculty in Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw (CSPS), now Warsaw School of Economics (WSE), in 1970. In 1974 he gained an MBA at St. John's University in New York; in 1975 received his Ph.D. in economics at the CSPS. Among his academic distinctions are visiting fellowships at the University of Sussex (1985), the Marburg University (1988), the Stanford University (2011). Since October 1992 Leszek Balcerowicz has been a Professor at WSE and a Head of Department of International Comparative Studies.
Leszek Balcerowicz is the architect of Poland's economic reforms initiated in 1989 - he designed and executed the radical stabilization and transformation of Polish economy since the fall of communism in Poland. In September 1989 Leszek Balcerowicz became Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Minister of Finance in the first non-communist government in Poland after the Second World War. He was also President of the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers. He retained his positions in the government until December 1991. From April 1995 to December 2000 he was the president of the Freedom Union, a free market - oriented party and 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 2001-2007 he was the governor of the Central Bank of Poland.
In 1992-2000 Leszek Balcerowicz was a Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) based in Warsaw. In 2006 Leszek Balcerowicz became a member of the Group of Trustees, Institute of International Finance. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Atlantic Economic Society (IAES), a member of the Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty, a board member of Washington, D.C. think-tank the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and a board member of Bruegel – Brussels-based think tank. Leszek Balcerowicz is a Chairman and a founder of Civil Development Forum Foundation – FOR based in Warsaw. In 2011 he has been appointed a member of the Advisory Scientific Committee providing advice and assistance on issues relevant to the work of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB).
Leszek Balcerowicz has given many lectures and seminars world-wide. He was awarded doctorates from the universities in Poland and abroad: 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, UK, 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; the Gerhard Mercator University in Duisburg, Germany, the Karol Adamiecki University of Economics in Katowice, Poland; the Poznan University of Economics, Poland; the Wroclaw University of Economics, Poland; the University of Gdansk, Poland; the Cracow Economic University, Poland; Warsaw School of Economics, Poland; the University of New South Wales, Australia; Babeş-Bolyai University, Romania; Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova; Burgas Prof. Assen Zlatarov University, Bulgaria; Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Higher School of Economics, Russia, Central Connecticut State University, USA; Karazin University, Ukraine.
In 1992 he was awarded the Ludwig Erhard Prize from the Ludwig Erhard Foundation, Germany. In 1998 Leszek 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 honored him with a prize for his merits for the social market economy. In January 2004 British monthly "The Banker" recognized Leszek 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. In 2006 voted by FT.com readers one of five winners in the Pioneering Thought Leadership Project. Awarded Poland's highest decoration - Order of the White Eagle - for his contribution to the system transformation (2005). In 2008 the Leontief Center in St. Petersburg (Russia) awarded him Leontief Prize for outstanding contributions to economic theory. Polish catholic weekly “Tygodnik Powszechny” awarded him St. George’s Medal for “building good in social life” in 2008. In 2009 he was featured in documentary “It was a plan” by Andrzej Fidyk, showing his reforms securing Poland’s transition from socialism to market economy. In 2010 Polish television (TVP) honored him with its most popular achievement award “Superwiktor”. In June 2010 he received “Jan Nowak-Jeziorański” Award for his outstanding contribution to Polish transformation.
Leszek Balcerowicz is the author of more than 100 publications on economic issues in Poland and abroad. Selected publications: Socialism, Capitalism, Transformation, Central European University Press, Budapest 1995; Wolnosc i rozwoj: ekonomia wolnego rynku (Freedom and Development: the Economics of Free Market), Wydawnictwo Znak, Cracow 1995; Post-Communist Transition: Some Lessons, Institute of Economic Affairs, London 2002; Towards a Limited State, World Bank 2003. Institutional Systems and Economic Growth, in: Challenges of Globalization. Imbalances and Growth, ed. by Anders Åslund, Marek Dabrowski, Peterson Institutute for International Economics, p. 153-199, Washington, DC 2008; Zagadki wzrostu gospodarczego (Puzzles of Economic Growth), edited and co-authored by: Leszek Balcerowicz, Andrzej Rzońca, C.H. Beck Sp. z o.o., Warsaw 2010, Odkrywajac wolnosc. Przeciw zniewoleniu umyslow (Discovering Liberty. Against the Enslavement of Minds), essays selected by Leszek Balcerowicz, who is also the author of the preface to the book, ZYSK i S-KA Wydawnictwo, 2012.