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April 24, 2014: Distinguished Alumni Award

The Department of Economics honored Santiago Levy as the recipient of the Department’s first Distinguished Alumni Award at the special reception on April 24, 2014. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in any area by graduates of one of the Department’s degree programs.

Santiago Levy was a natural choice for our first award both because of his accomplishments and his extensive and long-standing ties to the Department. As one of the fathers of Conditional Cash Transfers or CCT, Santiago played a crucially important role in the development of one of the leading antipoverty programs in the world. He first introduced and oversaw the implementation of PROGRESA (later renamed Oportunidades) when he was Deputy Finance Minister of Mexico. Since then, CCT programs have spread to dozens of countries around the world, including Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Jamaica, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh, Morocco, Peru, and Cambodia. Santiago is also a multiple graduate of our Department, having received a BA (1976), MA (1978), and Ph.D (1980) from us. He was a faculty member in the Department from 1983 to 1993, serving as the first Director of our Institute for Economic Development (1989-1990). He is currently a Vice President at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC., and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

November 20, 2013: Economics Alumni Lecture by Brian Formento

Alumnus Brian W. Formento, CAIA presented “Hedge Funds: Hedged Investment or Compensation Scheme?” at this Economics Alumni Lecture. Brian W. Formento is Executive Director and Senior Portfolio Strategist at UBS Private Wealth Management in New York. His career on Wall Street extends more than 30 years. Before reaching age 30, he successfully managed the propriety trading group for North America at Paribas Capital Markets. For the past decade he has held key wealth management roles at Deutsche Bank and UBS, focusing on their largest clients, typically those with assets of $50MM and more. Brian’s presentation provided insight into the world of hedge funds – what they do, how they do it and whether they deserve their elevated fees. This event was hosted by the Department of Economics and the Institute for Economic Development for Economics Master’s students and undergraduate seniors and juniors majoring in Economics.

October 30, 2013: Tsai Lecture presented by Nobu Kiyotaki

During his stay at BU as an IED Distinguished Visitor, Nobu Kiyotaki gave a special public lecture titled “Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Performance in Recent Japan.” The lecture was part of the Tsai Lecture series, made possible by a generous donation from the Tsai family. The lecture explored the causes and consequences of the Japan’s recession from 1991 to present. In particular, Professor Kiyotaki looked at the following questions: Why did Japan stop growing? What are the roles of monetary and fiscal policies for the recession and potential recovery?

October 18, 2013: Career Information Meeting

The ninth annual Career Information Meeting, hosted by the Department of Economics and the IED,  brought together thirteen MA Program alumni with current students for a panel discussion, Q & A session, and a catered reception. The panelists were John Affleck, MA ’00, International Economist – Property & Portfolio Research; Randy Cohen, BA/MA ’07, Authorized Officer – Financial Accounting and Control UBS Investment Bank; Gregory Daco, MA ’08, Lead US Economist – Oxford Economics; Shane Drangel, BA/MA ’11, Senior Analyst – Cornerstone Research; Rocio Falcones Bordallo, MA ’12, Risk Methodology Analyst – Sovereign Bank; Ray Yun Gou, MA ’12, Research Analyst –National Bureau of Economic Research; Cristina Jaramillo, BA/MA ’10, Financial Economist – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; William Koch, BA/MA ’11, Operations Associate – Weiss Asset Management; Glenn Li, MA ’11, Product Specialist – Charles River Development; Ashley Seamans, MA ’10, Senior Manager – Rapid7; Charles Tao, MA ’08, Consulting Analyst – Quintiles Consulting; Greg Weitzner, BA/MA ’12, Analyst –Barclays; and Rebecca Wildner, MA ’09, Senior Analyst – OptumInsight.

May 10, 2013: Annual Skit Party

The Department of Economics hosts an Annual Skit Party for faculty and graduate students. In addition to good food and entertainment, the Adviser of the Year award is presented and the following year’s Graduate Economics Association officers are announced.

April 24, 2013: Excel Training Session presented by John Affleck (MA ’00)

Alumni Leadership Council member John Affleck (MA ’00) presented the second annual Excel Training Session for Master’s Students. The agenda for the session included spreadsheet theory and design for the professional analyst; keyboard efficiencies; basic lookups, and how to make them better; the power of array formulas; INDIRECT:  the best function most users have never heard of; and econometrics in excel, followed by a Q&A session.

March 19, 2013: Global Development Program Lecture by Michael Kremer

BU Global Development is an Interdisciplinary Program offering the Global Development Economics and the Global Development Policy MA degrees. Michael Kremer presented “Randomized Evaluations of Health in Developing Countries” as part of the program’s lecture series. The lecture summarized evidence from the growing body of randomized evaluations on health in developing countries. Across a variety of contexts, consumer use of cost-effective products for prevention and non-acute care is highly sensitive to price and convenience, creating many opportunities for improving health substantially at low cost. The challenge of improving the quality of health services for treatment of disease is much harder. Health care delivery in many developing countries is very poor, with weak incentives for public-sector health workers. Reforms that strengthen incentives show promise but institutional details matter.

December 1, 2012: MA Alumni Leadership Council Dinner

The Economics Department and Institute for Economic Development honored the contributions of the MA Alumni Leadership Council at a dinner on December 1, 2012 at The Elephant Walk. The Alumni Leadership Council has proved an invaluable resource for the MA students, generously donating their time and expertise to assist students in their job searches. Michael Kheyfets (BA/MA ’07), Joseph Kung (BA/MA ’04), Michelle Meyer (BA/MA ’04), Charles Tao (MA ’08), Ashley Seamans (MA ’10,), Rebecca Wildner (MA ’09) were in attendance. John Affleck (MA ’00), Greg Brown (BA/MA ’05), Jessica Nicholson (MA ’03), and Fei Rong (MA/EP ’08) were also honored.

October 12, 2012: Career Information Meeting

The eighth annual Career Information Meeting, hosted by the Department of Economics and the IED,  brought together sixteen MA Program alumni with current students for a panel discussion, Q & A session, and a catered reception. The panelists were John Affleck, MA ’00, International Economist – Property & Portfolio Research; Greg Brown, BA/MA ’05, Examiner – US Securities and Exchange Commission; Chanrithea Bun, MA ’11, Project Manager – Commercial Credit Analytics; Eric Cheung, MA ’07, Associate – Cross Asset Marketing team at J.P. Morgan; Brian Herr, BA ’99, Portfolio Manager – Candlewood Structured Credit Hedge Fund; Nicolai Jakobsen, MA ’11, Manager – Energy Intelligence, Power Advocate; Kristina Kelly, BA/MA ’08, Energy Consultant – DNV KEMA; Lily Li, MA ’10, Research Analyst—Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Darren M. Lowe, MA ’10, Analyst – Nyes Ledge Capital Management, LLC; Emma Lynch, MA ’12, Catastrophe Modeling Analyst – Allstate; Vivek Mani, MA 2005, Manager – Cornerstone Research;  Jessica R. Nicholson, MA ’03, Chief – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Division of International Technical Cooperation; Faina Rozental, BA/MA ’11, Sales and Training Officer– OECD; Gina Sverdlov, MA ’07, Consumer Insights Analyst – Forrester;Charles Tao, MA ’08, Consulting Analyst – Quintiles Consulting; and Rebecca Wildner, MA ’09, Analyst – Abt Associates, Environment and Resources Division.

April 20, 2012: Graduate Alumni Night in Washington, D.C.

The Economics Department and the Institute for Economic Development hosted a second alumni reunion in Washington, DC at the Beacon Hotel. Alumni and faculty enjoyed an evening with old friends, lively conversation and new contacts.

October 14, 2011: Career Information Meeting

The seventh annual Career Information Meeting, hosted by the Department of Economics and the IED,  brought together ten MA Program alumni with current students for a panel discussion, Q & A session, and a catered reception. The panelists were John Affleck, MA ’00, International Economist – Property & Portfolio Research; Ted Davis, MA ’05, Manager – Analysis Group; Brian Herr, BA ’99, Portfolio Manager – Candlewood Structured Credit Hedge Fund; Gautham Iyer, MA ’05, MBA student – MIT Sloan School of Management; Bain & Company; Cristina Jaramillo, BA/MA ’10, Research Analyst – The Brattle Group; Kristina Kelly, BA/MA ’08, Senior Energy Analyst – KEMA;  Darren M. Lowe, MA ’10, Analyst – Nyes Ledge Capital Management, LLC; Jessica R. Sincavage, MA ’03, Chief – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Division of International Technical Cooperation; Charles Tao, MA ’08, Research Analyst – OptumInsight; and Greg Weitzner, BA/MA ’12, Investment Banking Analyst – Barclays.

March 23, 2011: Luncheon to Honor John Harris

The Department of Economics and the Institute for Economic Development hosted a luncheon to celebrate Professor John Harris‘s inclusion in 100 Years of the American Economic Review: The Top 20 Articles. His paper “Migration, Unemployment and Development: A 2-Sector Analysis” was recognized as one of the top twenty most influential papers published in the AER in the past century (and the only one in development!).

February 25, 2011: Graduate Alumni Night in Washington, D.C.

The Economics Department and the Institute for Economic Development hosted the first Washington, DC-area BU Economics alumni reunion in at the Beacon Hotel. Alumni and faculty enjoyed an evening with old friends, lively conversation and new contacts.

October 29, 2010: Alumni Night at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge

The Economics Department and the Institute for Economic Development hosted an alumni night at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge as part of BU’s annual Alumni Weekend festivities. Alumni, faculty, and current graduate students enjoyed an evening with old friends, lively conversation and new contacts.

October 15, 2010: Career Information Meeting

The sixth annual Career Information Meeting, hosted by the Department of Economics and the IED,  brought together eight MA Program alumni with current students for a panel discussion, Q & A session, and a catered reception. The panelists were John Affleck MA ’00, International Economist – Property & Portfolio Research; Greg Brown BA/MA ’05, Manager – StoneTurn Group; Randy Cohen BA/MA ’07, Product Controller, FICC Rates – UBS; Kristina Kelly BA/MA ’08, Senior Energy Analyst – KEMA; Darren Lowe MA ’10,  Nyes Ledge Capital Management, LLC; Fei Rong MAEP ’08, Senior Associate – Boston Strategies International; Charles Tao MA ’08, Research Analyst – i3 Innovus; and Rebecca Wildner MA ’09, Analyst – Abt Associates, Environment and Resources Division