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Jose Angel Gurria, a former minister of finance and foreign affairs in Mexico, and a member of CGD’s board of directors, has been named head of the OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the Paris-based club of 30 rich and middle income countries committed to democracy and market economies. Angel Gurria is the fifth person to head the OECD since its creation in 1961, and the first from a developing country. The selection process appears to have been a model of transparency (especially compared to the secretive guessing game that surrounds the selection of the president of the World Bank). The resumes of the six candidates and the deliberations that led to Angel Gurria’s selection are available on the OECD Website
What’s in store? The FT has just published an interesting interview that John Authors conducted with Angel Gurria last month. In it he addresses several sensitive questions, including whether the OECD should admit the “Big Four” economies (Brazil, China, India, Russia) that are not currently members. Asked whether the OECD “should become the forum for resolving global imbalances,” he replied unequivocally:
AG: Yes. The OECD should promote everything that’s consistent with its mandate, which is to make the world economy work better. That means dealing with external imbalances or current account imbalances or currency imbalances. It should be a central meeting point. The more you engage with members you have to look at what works for them and what doesn’t. This is potentially an extremely exciting institution. It’s natural for people to gather there and discuss.
Congratulations Angel! The OECD is going to be an interesting place to watch.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.