A Kingston University economics lecturer is helping to steer his home country through one of the most severe financial crises in its history. Dr José SÃ¡nchez-Fung is working as the Director of Monetary Programming and Economic Research at the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic. His role puts him at the centre of economic policy-making in Latin America.
Dr SÃ¡nchez-Fung was asked to make changes to the way the bank operated after his homeland was forced to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund. He has taken a yearâ€™s leave of absence from the University and moved his family back to the Caribbean while he undertakes the project. â€œIâ€™ve always maintained close links with economists in the Dominican Republic and devoted a lot of time to understanding the macro and monetary aspects of the economy. Iâ€™m now hoping to use this knowledge to help the Central Bank design and implement a more scientific monetary policy to stabilise the economy,â€ he said.
Heading a department of more than 40 people, Dr SÃ¡nchez-Fung regularly contends with a number of make-or-break decisions. â€œA typical day can involve anything from briefing the monetary policy committee to holding conference calls with Wall Street investment banks. Iâ€™m also constantly developing my network of contacts among Latin American and Washington-based central bankers and international policy-makers,â€ he said.
Dr SÃ¡nchez-Fung intends to share his experiences with his students when he returns to Kingston in September. â€œTeaching economics can only be made more relevant by showing students how it affects their day-to-day lives. My time with the Central Bank will radically increase my ability to explain real life problems and demonstrate how economics can be used to solve or mitigate them,â€ he said.