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Rich Schneider
IU Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Chinese finance official to deliver lecture on exchange rate at IUPUI, receive IU honorary degree

April 3, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Chinese official who serves as deputy governor of the People's Bank of China and manages China's $2.3 trillion of foreign currency reserves will present a lecture, "China's Economy -- Path of RMB Exchange Rate Converging to Equilibrium," on Wednesday, April 18, on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

Immediately before the lecture, IU President Michael A. McRobbie will confer an honorary doctorate of humane letters upon Yi Gang, who served as assistant professor and associate professor of economics at IUPUI from 1986 to 1994. Several IU trustees and university officials will accompany McRobbie as he presents the honorary degree.

Conferral of the degree and the lecture will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the University Place Conference Center, 850 W. Michigan St. in Indianapolis. The event is open to the public.

"As China's central bank deputy governor and a leader in the formulation of China's monetary and economic policy, Dr. Yi Gang wields enormous influence in global economic affairs," McRobbie said. "We are looking forward to him sharing his thoughts and insights into China's extraordinary economic growth and development and the centrally important issue of exchange rate policy. We are also extremely pleased and honored to have the opportunity to award him an honorary degree from Indiana University in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments, both on the international economic stage and within higher education."

Smart Money magazine listed Yi among its Power 30 list of the world's most powerful and influential players in November 2009.

After teaching at IUPUI, Yi returned to China in 1994 to join Peking University as a professor and Ph.D. advisor in economics. He has had a distinguished career marked by a rapid ascendancy at the People's Bank of China, where he became deputy governor in 2007 and administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in 2009.

He began serving in the People's Bank of China as deputy secretary-general of its Monetary Policy Committee in 1997, and was secretary-general of the committee in 2002-03. Yi became director-general of PBOC's Monetary Policy Department in 2003. He took up the position of PBOC's assistant governor from 2004 to 2007.

Former IUPUI colleagues described Yi as a generous person who was a talented research economist and a gifted teacher.

According to Paul Carlin, professor and chair of the Department of Economics at IUPUI, Yi was primarily an expert in econometric theory when he arrived in 1986. By the time he left, he had converted himself into an expert on China's monetary and financial sectors. In 1994 he published a major monograph that helped to cement his reputation as one of the leading experts on China's monetary system.

"While his duties have not allowed Yi much time to visit and interact with the economics department at IUPUI, he has stayed in touch," Carlin said. "He has stopped off in Indianapolis from time to time in the midst of his travels and almost invariably mentions that his days at IUPUI were among the happiest of his life. Yi has continued to help the Department of Economics whenever possible and has made three phone calls on behalf of the department in recent years when we were trying to recruit top economics Ph.D. candidates who were originally from China."

More information about the event is available online.