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Senior appointments made at LSE-based International Growth Centre

Jonathan LeapeDr Jonathan Leape (pictured) has been appointed as Executive Director of the International Growth Centre (IGC). He will start his new position on 1 September. Dr Ibrahim Stevens has been appointed as Country Programme Director and will start on 1 August.

The IGC, which is based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in partnership with the University of Oxford, provides independent and demand-led growth policy advice directly to governments based on rigorous analysis and frontier research. It is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Leape said: “I am absolutely delighted. This is a tremendous opportunity and I welcome the challenge of leading the centre through its next phase, working with our international partners to achieve the sustained economic growth that is vital to lifting millions of people out of poverty.”

Earlier this year, the UK government announced a major £51million investment in the IGC to enable it to expand its work from 12 to 15 countries.

The £51 million investment has allowed the IGC to continue operating in existing partner countries across South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, but also expand its work through a renewed focus on key growth concerns. The IGC has already helped governments in Pakistan, Rwanda, Bihar and Bangladesh to reform their tax structures in order to boost revenue collection and has assisted governments in Ghana, Zambia and Mozambique to work towards harnessing wealth from their mineral resources.

Ibrahim StevensCommenting on his appointment, Dr Stevens (pictured) said: “This is a fantastic opportunity, working on important projects, which will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of millions in the developing world.”

Dr Stevens will be representing the IGC at its South Asia Growth Conference (Twitter hashtag #SAsiaGrowth) in New Delhi this month, where Raghuram Rajan (Ministry of Finance, Government of India) and Abhijit Banerjee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) will be in attendance.

IGC Director Professor Robin Burgess said, “I am pleased to welcome Jonathan and Ibrahim to the IGC. These are two truly outstanding appointments. They will provide the leadership to take the Centre through its next phase, working with international partners to raise millions of people out of the misery of poverty.”

Notes to editors

Jonathan Leape is on the Economics faculty at the LSE, where he has been director of the highly innovative “LSE 100 The LSE Course: Understanding the Causes of Things” since 2009. He is also founding director of the Centre for Research into Economics and Finance in Southern Africa, which was established at LSE in 1990 as an initiative of the Commonwealth Heads of Government to support the democratic transition in South Africa. His research focuses on taxation and regulation, including congestion charging, and includes publications in the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Economic Perspectives. He has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University.

Ibrahim Stevens was previously a Senior Economist and Advisor at the Bank of England. He holds a PhD in Financial Economics from Durham University. His research interests are in monetary policy and financial stability and his work has been published in the Economic Journal and the International Journal of Central Banking, among others. He has strong interest in economic management in Africa and has worked as Director of Research at the Central Bank of Sierra Leone and was, most recently, a Macroeconomic Advisor in Rwanda.

Since its launch in 2008, the IGC has provided independent advice to 13 countries and managed 10 research programmes spanning topics such as agriculture, trade, infrastructure and urbanisation and state capabilities. More on the IGC can be found at www.theigc.org

Contact: LSE Press Office, 020 7955 7060, pressoffice@lse.ac.uk

18 July 2013