JIS News

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has appointed its Deputy Chief in charge of the Strategy Unit, Dr. Bert van Selm, as the new Resident Representative for Jamaica, effective July 1.

The announcement was made by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, during a media briefing on Tuesday (May 21), at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston.

A native of the Netherlands, Dr. van Selm will replace outgoing Resident Representative, Dr. Gene Leon, whose three-year tenure concludes at the end of June.

Dr. van Selm has been with the IMF since 2000, and has worked as a senior economist on country teams for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Nigeria, among other nations. He also served as the IMF’s Resident Representative in Macedonia between 2006 and 2009.

Prior to joining the IMF, he lectured in international economics at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, from 1995 to 1998, and served as Coordinator for IMF Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Finance.

Dr. van Selm has published numerous articles and authored one book: ‘The Economics of Soviet Break-up’, in 1997.

In making the announcement, Dr. Phillips, conveyed the administration’s gratitude to Dr. Leon for his inputs, resulting in, among things, the successful conclusion of the US$932.3 million EFF, which was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on May 1.

“I know that Gene Leon has been well known to many of you who have sought him out and discussed with him, the issues of Jamaica’s economic policies (and) the Fund programme; and I think he has become, almost, one of the easily recognisable figures in the public space in Jamaica. I want to thank you Gene, and I want to welcome (Dr.) van Selm who will, no doubt, be more than equal to filling the role that is being vacated by Gene (Leon),” Dr. Phillips stated.

The media briefing was held to provide details on a week-long visit to Jamaica by the IMF Mission Team.

The team members, who piloted negotiations for the four-year IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF), in support of the Government’s economic reform programme, were in the island for follow-up discussions with the administration on the progress of the programme’s implementation.


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