World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick Monday announced the appointment of Justin Yifu Lin, a Chinese national, as the new chief economist and senior vice president for development economics at the World Bank.
Lin, currently professor and founding director of the China Center for Economic Research at China's prestigious Peking University, was selected after a global search, according to a statement released by the bank.
Expected to take up his position on May 31, Lin will succeed Francois Bourguignon, who retired from the Bank Group last year to become director of the Paris School of Economics.
"As our first chief economist from a developing country, and an expert on economic development and particularly agriculture, Justin Lin brings a unique set of skills and experience to the World Bank Group," said Zoellick in the statement.
"I look forward to working closely with him on a number of areas, including growth and investment in Africa, opportunities for South-South learning and bank instruments to better support countries hit by high energy and agriculture prices," he said.
Well known for his work on fiscal decentralization, enterprise reform, urban and rural modernization and agricultural innovation and reform, Lin has taught at several eminent universities in the world, including Peking University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Duke University of the United States, the Australian National University and the University of California at Los Angles.
A professor at Peking University since 1993, Lin has twice been awarded the Sun Yefang award, China's highest economic honor.
Lin is also vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and vice chairman of the Committee of Economy of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultation Conference.
He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, a MA in political economy from Peking University and a MBA from the National Chengchi University.
Lin has served on several national and international committees including the United Nations Millennium Task Force on Hunger, the Eminent Persons Group of the Asian Development Bank, the Working Group on the future of the OECD, the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee and the World Bank Chief Economist's Advisory Council.
(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)