September 3, 2014

Media contact: Marcus Tonti, 212-851-1818, mat2120@columbia.edu

Internationally recognized economist Takatoshi Ito, former dean of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) and former senior official in the Japanese government, will join Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as a professor of international and public affairs in January 2015. Ito also will serve as associate director for research at Columbia Business School‘s Center on Japanese Economy and Business.

Ito, an expert on international finance, macroeconomics, and the Japanese economy, served from 2006 to 2008 as a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy. He also held senior positions in the Japanese Ministry of Finance and at the International Monetary Fund. Currently a professor at Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) and at GraSPP, Ito’s research has examined capital flows and currency crises, microstructures of foreign exchange rates, and inflation targeting.

“I am enormously pleased that Professor Ito will be joining the SIPA faculty and the Columbia community,” said Merit E. Janow, Dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. “As a premier school of global policy, SIPA has a deep commitment to attracting leading scholars from around the world. Professor Ito is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Japanese economy and international finance. Remarkably, his career has also spanned senior governmental and advisory positions in the Japanese government and international organizations. His insider’s view of the Japanese economy will complement our expertise in Latin America, the U.S., and other regions. In addition, Professor Ito can share both high-level policy making experience and scholarship with our students. I know he will be a valuable member of our community of economists, political scientists, and practitioners.”

A native of Sapporo, Japan, Ito earned a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1979. He was a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota and then Hitotsubashi University. He also has held visiting positions at Columbia Business School, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and other universities, banks, and scholarly institutions in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Japan. In 2002 he joined the University of Tokyo, where he served as dean of GraSPP from April 2012 to March 2014.

“I am delighted to join Dean Janow and the world-renowned faculty at SIPA,” Ito said. “SIPA is known as a training ground for future leaders in central banks, ministries of finance, and international organizations, and I am pleased to join the School’s community of scholars and practitioners.”

View full biography

About the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA): For more than 60 years, SIPA has been educating professionals who work in public, private and nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the world.  Through rigorous social science research and hands-on practice, SIPA’s graduates and faculty strive to improve social services, advocate for human rights, strengthen markets, protect the environment, and secure peace, in their home communities and around the world.  Based in New York City, with a student body that is 50 percent international and educational partners in cities around the world, SIPA is the most global of public policy schools. For more information, please visit sipa.columbia.edu.

About Columbia University: A leading academic and research university, Columbia continually seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and addressing the complex global issues of our time. Columbia’s extensive public service initiatives, cultural collaborations, and community partnerships help define the University’s underlying values and mission to educate students to be both leading scholars and informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.