José Antonio Ocampo, a professor of professional practice at SIPA, has been named to the board of directors of the central bank of Colombia, the Banco de la República. President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia announced the appointment on February 28.
Ocampo, who will take public-service leave from the University at the end of the current academic year, joined SIPA as professor of professional practice in 2007. He has served as director of SIPA’s concentration in Economic and Political Development since 2008, and he teaches courses including Global Economic Governance, Economic Development of Latin America, and Multidisciplinary Approaches for Development.
“Professor Ocampo is a vital member of the SIPA faculty and his service on the board of Colombia’s central bank will only add to his already extensive expertise in economic and financial policy,” said Dean Merit E. Janow of SIPA.
Ocampo is a member of Columbia University’s Committee on Global Thought and co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue. He also chairs the Committee for Development Policy for ECOSOC, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and previously held other positions at the UN.
A native of Colombia, Ocampo has been called his home country’s “best-known economist.” As finance minister from May 1996 through November 1997, he acted as the central bank’s chairman of the board. Ocampo served previously as the nation’s planning minister (August 1994-May 1996) and agriculture minister (March 1993-August 1994).
In 2013 he received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in recognition of his outstanding record of scholarly achievement and public service on the world stage. He also received an honorary doctorate from Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain's largest University, in 2014.
Among Ocampo’s many additional academic distinctions are the 2012 Jaume Vicens Vives award from the Spanish Association of Economic History—for the best book on Spanish or Latin American economic history—the 2008 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, and the 1988 Alejandro Angel Escobar National Science Award of Colombia.
Ocampo has published extensively on macroeconomic theory and policy, international financial issues, economic and social development, international trade, and Colombian and Latin American economic history. He holds a doctorate in economics from Yale University.
Eugenia (Jenny) McGill , a lecturer in international and public affairs who is currently associate director of the Economic and Political Development concentration, will serve as interim director while Ocampo is on leave.