Wharton professor Amir Yaron tapped as next governor of Israel’s central bank


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Amir Yaron, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, has been nominated to be the next governor of the Bank of Israel.

Yaron, 54, is a dual Israeli and American citizen who has lived in the United States for the past two decades. He will succeed Karnit Flug, who became the first woman to hold the post when she took over in 2013.

Yaron’s nomination was announced Tuesday jointly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. It must receive Cabinet approval. If approved, he would take over for a five-year term in November.

“He brings academic ability that is among the highest in the world, but he also has hands-on experience in moving money from place to place as someone who has indeed dealt with practical economic problems,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Yaron’s research interests include asset pricing, econometrics, international finance and macroeconomics, according to his profile on the Wharton website.

He earned his undergraduate degree at Tel Aviv University and his doctorate at the University of Chicago, where his thesis adviser was Lars Peter Hansen, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in economics.

The Bank of Israel is the nation’s central bank, akin to the Federal Reserve in the United States. Its main objectives are to maintain price stability; to support other objectives of the government’s economic policy, especially growth, employment and reducing social gaps; and to back the stability of the financial system.

Flug will step down next month after announcing earlier this year that she would be leaving. She has had a tumultuous relationship with Kahlon after butting heads over government fiscal and housing policy.

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