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News Release

Former IMF Economic Counsellor Simon Johnson Joins Peterson Institute as Senior Fellow

September 26, 2008

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WASHINGTONThe Peterson Institute for International Economics announced today that Simon Johnson, formerly the International Monetary Fund's Economic Counsellor (chief economist) and Director of its Research Department, has joined its staff as a Senior Fellow. Dr. Johnson will focus on the linkages between emerging markets and the global economy.

At the IMF, Dr. Johnson helped formulate innovative responses to worldwide financial turmoil and led the world economic outlook team. He was among the first to propose new forms of international engagement for sovereign wealth funds. "Simon Johnson is one of the world's leading experts on economic crises and how to escape from them," said Institute Director C. Fred Bergsten. "His insights into the governance of financial institutions are particularly relevant at this time."

For over 20 years, Dr. Johnson has helped develop practical strategies for dealing with major economic disruptions in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, East Asia, and Latin America. His current research examines how policymakers can mitigate the impact of negative shocks, manage the risks faced by their countries, and sustain growth.

Dr. Johnson's work also examines how institutions affect the ups and downs of economic development. His book, Starting Over in Eastern Europe, stressed the importance of the private sector in the East European post–communist recovery. He has written articles on the causes of crises, longer–run growth, the underground economy, the design of corporate governance institutions, the importance of property rights for private sector development, and the role of public health improvements in economic growth. A key finding of his research is that corporate governance is important not only to protect shareholders and creditors, but also because it affects the overall stability of the economy.

"The Peterson Institute has long been at the forefront of analysis regarding the global economy and where it is heading," said Johnson. "At this difficult juncture in global credit and commodity markets, I look forward to working with such an outstanding group of colleagues on practical policies to reduce the risks of both global and national crises."

In addition to his role at the Institute, Dr. Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management, a position he has held since 2004. His previous appointments include Assistant Director in the IMF's Research Department (2004–06) and visiting fellow at the Institute (2006–07).

About the Peterson Institute

The Peterson Institute for International Economics, directed by C. Fred Bergsten since its inception, is the only major research center in the United States that is primarily devoted to global economic policy issues. Founded in 1981, its staff includes more than two dozen experts who focus on macroeconomic topics, international finance and exchange rates, trade and related social issues, energy, the environment, global investment, and domestic adjustment measures. Its expertise covers all key regions of the global economy—especially Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The Institute is private and nonprofit, it is one of the few think tanks widely regarded as nonpartisan by both the press and Congress, and its scholars are cited by the quality media more than any other such institution. Support is provided by a wide range of charitable foundations, private corporations, individual donors, and from earnings on the Institute's publications and capital fund. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006 and adopted its new name at that time, having previously been the Institute for International Economics.