Prof. Amir Yaron has been appointed the next governor of the Bank of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanya- hu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced Tuesday.
Yaron, a professor of banking and finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, will succeed incumbent Governor Dr. Karnit Flug on November 12 when she completes her five-year term at the helm of the bank.
The 54-year-old American-Israeli professor is a graduate of economics from Tel Aviv University and completed his PhD at the University of Chicago in 1994. Yaron has held his current position since July 2009, and specializes in asset pricing, investments, risk-return strategies, macroeconomics and finance.
“I am happy to inform you that we have decided that Prof. Amir Yaron of Wharton School is the most suitable for the role of governor of the Bank of Israel,” Netanyahu told reporters.
“I am sure that under his leadership, the bank will continue to succeed to stand before financial challenges and enable the continuation of the growth of this wonderful economic period in the State of Israel,” Netanyahu added.
“Our job is to look forward,” said Kahlon. “We haven’t chosen a governor who will solve the 2008 financial crisis, rather one that will successfully solve the 2024 crisis should one break out. Prof. Yaron will play a part, together with us, in continuing to lead increased growth, decreased unemployment and advancing the economy.”
Netanyahu and Kahlon interviewed three other candidates for the bank’s top position: Prof. Ben-Zion Zilberfarb of Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Efraim Sadka of Tel Aviv University, and Prof. Mario Blejer, a former governor of the Central Bank of Argentina.
Kahlon will likely be hoping for an easier relationship with Yaron than his predecessor, especially after the two publicly clashed in March over Flug’s criticism of Kahlon’s affordable housing plan, “Mehir L’mishtaken.” Amid the blowup, there was little doubt that Flug’s first term as governor would be her last.
Flug, Israel’s only female governor to date, informed Netanyahu in July that she would not be standing as a candidate for an additional five-year term in office.
“I was privileged to head an organization of the highest quality, which works with professionalism, dedication and loyalty,” said Flug in a statement. “On a daily basis, the bank lives up to the vision it set for itself – to be among the most advanced central banks and to contribute to the prosper- ity of Israel and the welfare of its citizens.”
Flug spoke with Yaron and congratulated him on his appointment on Tuesday afternoon, and offered to assist him in any way necessary as he takes up the position.
When she steps down, Flug will conclude almost an entire career at the Bank of Israel, only spending three years away from the organization since 1988. After two years as deputy governor, she succeeded Stanley Fischer in July 2013.
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